I’m sure you saw it upthread, but in case you didn’t, check out the Google Docs spreadsheet patrace posted earlier: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Ash2BsWLZbvSdFJReHpCTzhuWThXb182WWtKRGFramc&usp=sharing
It’s almost (but not quite) Greek to me, but it looks like it should be pretty readily adaptable to getting a new game off the ground relatively quickly, rather than waiting for one of you clever coders to build an actual Discourse-specific engine that allows the players to directly input their stats and choices, which would be the eventual goal.
Keep in mind, @JonasEggeater and @penguinchris, running the spreadsheet will necessarily disqualify you from playing as a character, so if one or both of you commit to the gig, please do feel welcome in joining me on the Story side as well! If you guys are ready to start hammering on this, let’s start hitting it thru email or PM so as not to give anything away to the players.
As we finalize the list of Stats, we’ll have to determine how they mathematically affect battle outcomes and so on, how much weight to give each factor, etc. Pat’s spreadsheet will certainly give us a huge head start (if you guys can make sense of it, which I’m confident you can), and we’ll only need to add or alter a couple of Stats, I’d think. Heavy consultation with that post Daneel linked to earlier will also get us going.
As a rough beginning, how about these as Stats:
ARmor (works like SHields did last time)
SPeed (on gasoline - heavy AR should work against this at a predictable ratio)
TorQue (on SHITGO - unaffected by AR or SP, and used instead of gas on certain missions)
ManeuVerability (like AR and SP, heavily influenced by Vehicle Class at the beginning)
ENgineering (better build quality means better survival and fewer repairs required)
In discussion with @funruly, he mentioned it might be cool to have a fourth class in addition to the fast and lightly-armored Scouts, the slow and tank-like Mules, and the medium-armored and medium-speeded but heavily-armed Escorts. He suggested a “wizard” type class, which struck me as an excellent idea. So we’ll have the Mechanics. They are slow, weak, and lightly armed, and will often have to negotiate for protection with pals in other classes. But the Mechanics have two things going for them: they can repair themselves cheap (free labor, reduced-price parts) and also sell their repair services to other classes for whatever price the market will bear; and also the Mechanics are the only Drivers who can read. In-game, this means that certain pitfalls can only be avoided, and certain stashes of loot can only be found, by the literate Mechanics, while everyone else will blunder right into those pitfalls (or miss the stashes completely) due to not comprehending the signs.
There will be incentive to protect the Mechanics and help them stay alive, at least for cooperative Mechanics who don’t use their advantages to the detriment of others. But there will also be other motivations. Cooperation in pulling the Ark to the launch pad won’t be the only logical goal… only the first and most obvious one at the outset.
As defaults, Scouts are high in SP and MV, but low on FP and AR and TQ. Mules are very high in TQ, high in AR, medium in FP, low in SP and MV. Escorts are high in FP and MV, medium in SP and AR, low in TQ. And Mechanics should be… well, low in SP, medium in MV, medium in TQ, low in AR, low in FP, but possess the Repair and Literacy skills (which, for the sake of simplicity, should probably just be binary constants, an either/or on/off kinda thing you either have or you don’t, with Repairs occurring to a negotiated price per hit point restored).
Does that sound good? And if so, does it give us a starting point to build a spreadsheet?