Hello! I’m Tomas Rawlings, and I’m the designer here at Red Wasp Design. My plan is to use this blog to keep you updated on the progress of the game, but more importantly to talk about design issues and get your thoughts on them. I can’t promise we’ll act on all your suggestions, but we will read and consider them. The blog is based here, but we’ll be sending links out on our Twitter feed (@redwaspdesign) and to our Facebook page too. Here’s some art from the new game:
I’ve always wanted to do stuff around Call of Cthulhu. A few years back myself and Stu (our artist) did a monograph for Chaosium called ‘The Dark Mirror‘. After this was completed, we did start email discussions talking about our collaboration further and The Wasted Land is the result of those discussions. We agreed to work together to create a video game based on the role-playing game (RPG) Call of Cthulhu.
Now I’ve been a fan of the game for a long, long time. I first encountered it via the gaming magazine Dagon when I was about 12 years old. At the time I was playing Dungeons & Dragons, so the idea of the new game, steeped in horror and insanity was very alluring. I went to my local library to learn more and came across the book, ‘Lurker at the Threshold’ by H.P.Lovecraft (the man behind the bulk of the Cthulhu Mythos) and August Derleth. From that book onwards, I was totally hooked. (I later found out that ‘Lurker at the Threshold’ was mainly by Derleth and is a controversial book.) I devoured all the works of Lovecraft that I could lay my hands on. Back in the day this was a harder task than it is now – no Internet, no Amazon or eBay – so I tended to find the works in second-hand bookshops. This just added to the vibe of the whole thing.
Around this time I also got hold of my first copy of the Call of Cthulhu RPG which was I think the 3rd Edition. To me, the game was very different to all other RPGs around at that time. In games like Dungeons & Dragons, once your character progressed from early levels, you became very powerful. Magic weapons and spells were abound. By contrast, humans in Call of Cthulhu were very fragile and as the games progressed, you succumbed to insanity in the face of the horror. So when I was lucky enough to get a job in games development 15 years ago, it was my background in RPGs, especially D&D and Call of Cthulhu, that served as my training as a designer. Indeed I’d still recommend any aspiring games designer spend the time to play a paper RPG, as it is a great way to really understand both the mechanics of a game and the narrative of the adventure.
The game we are creating will be a mashup of a turn-based strategy and an RPG. So what will it look and play like? Well, we’re big fans of games like Rebel Star Raiders, the XCom games, Advanced Wars, Fire Emblem and the Battle of Wesnoth. Expect inspiration from those within what we create. But we’re also creating a game for a mobile platform, which is a very different gameplay aesthetic from other handheld platforms and console or PC. Over the coming months, I’ll be using this blog to update you on how the game is going, talk through (and get your feedback on) aspects of the game design, especially those areas where we’ve had to diverge from the paper version of Call of Cthulhu. I’ll also be sharing with the bits of the game’s narrative, background, characters, weapons and equipment. Plus other odd bits that appeal to us. I hope you’ll join us!