Apocalypse Road Development Update

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Chad Jensen's Welcome to Centerville is Shipping Now!

Carla and I are proud to announce that Apocalypse Road is in the tidying-up stage at this point. The game just went up on the P500 last month, so this is very fortunate. The idea for the game arose from the response we got from people at conventions where we demonstrated Thunder Alley. Invariably, someone would want to ram other cars. Often the discussion went to putting guns on the cars. We took their desires to heart and sat down even before we started working on Grand Prix and tried to envision what Thunder Alley with guns would look like.

We came up with a few requirements:

  • This new game needed to work within the Thunder Alley framework so there would be no need to create a new movement system.
  • That also meant the game would portray a team sport again, to guarantee enough cars on the track.
  • It would not be super detailed on the combat focus. The shooting needed to be as fast as the racing.
  • We still wanted it to be a race, not just a dogfight simulation in cars, so the action on the track needed to keep moving towards an end. This meant we needed to use closed circuits as opposed to open road.
  • Finally, we wanted players to be able to run Apocalypse Road on the tracks that already exist if they want to.

So what is Apocalypse Road? At its core, Apocalypse Road is Roller Derby. Each car on a team that crosses the finish line scores that team one point. Games are played to 15 (or fewer with more players). You can do that as a variant of Thunder Alley right now. But wait, there’s more. In addition to just crossing the finish line, each player scores 1 point for each enemy car that they put out of the race. The instant one player reaches that magic 15, the game is over.

Cars are rated for various amounts of speed, armor and firepower, with the heavier-armed and armored vehicles having slower base speeds. Cars also have various types of weaponry, each with unique combat results. Seems like a lot for a game where shooting needs to be as fast as moving doesn’t it? Yeah, it does, and striving to find that right combat system has taken us almost a year. Yes, other than combat, the game has been done for a year. How did we solve the combat issue? We stole from ourselves. You may recognize the base combat system from a little game called Manoeuvre. Static defense numbers against variable to-hit dice determined by movement type. The real breakthrough came when we switched to the event decks.

Apocalypse Road has no pitting, no leaders, no real break for events. It just pretty much keeps going with a brief redraw and 1st player pass every five activations. But the movement and combat events are the key thing. If you decide to use a good movement card for maximum effect, you draw a movement event. This could be good or bad, and may provide random damage to the field. When you attack another player through shooting or ramming, you draw from a combat event deck to resolve that attack. This has allowed Carla and me to customize the various weapons through their results. No die rolls or draw bags. Each card has a possibility to be either a showstopper or a glancing blow.

There is one bit of customization that we are offering again. As we did for Thunder Alley and Grand Prix, we are allowing the players and buyers to help us name the various teams, drivers and tracks. As always, we thank GMT for allowing us to do this. The money from this helps Carla & me to attend various conventions where we can play and spend time with you. The campaign to name items in the Thunderverse has been going on for a while but I am posting about it here to try and help drive home the remaining teams and such before we start finalizing the game. If you want to have a hand in this, here’s what you can do.

Sample Track for Apocalypse Road

To sponsor a track in the Thunderverse the cost is $100. You get to name the track and locate it anywhere in the world. There are three tracks remaining and you can choose from among them.

To sponsor a team the cost is also $100. You get to name the team, locate the team, provide an owner name (real or fictional), and choose from the colors remaining. Some teams have already been taken and some drivers have been put on teams with no owner. You may also narrow down the color and provide a logo idea for the final art to either use or be inspired by depending by its quality. Teams remaining are: Dark Green, Light Green, Light Blue and Gray.

To sponsor a driver the cost is $50. You get to name the driver and provide a number id for him (1-3 characters involving numbers or letters). In addition, once I have the formula posted, you can make a custom version of that car for play using the formula. Currently there are drivers available for all colors: Dark Blue, Dark Green, Yellow, Purple, Black, Golden Gate Orange, Light Blue, Light Green, Pink and Gray.

You can contact me at jeff@nothingnowgames.com to get the ball rolling on helping us populate the Thunderverse. Thanks for your involvement and help!

Chris Janiec's Wild Blue Yonder is Shipping Now!

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3 thoughts on “Apocalypse Road Development Update

  1. First off we have to get those pre-order numbers up. Then of course the final timing is up to GMT and not me or Carla. I’m eager to get it out too.