Welcome to Arkrite Press.
Jason and I are very pleased to finally announce our plans to publish a 20th anniversary edition of the Heavy Gear roleplaying game. It’s a project we’ve been wanting to tackle for many years and we created Arkrite Press specifically to make it happen.
The Heavy Gear RPG is actually the source of our first creative collaboration. Jason, being the massive fan of the RPG that he is, wrote Into the Hinterlands, a sourcebook expansion designed to support his play-by-post Heavy Gear RPG on the Dream Pod 9 forum. Jason’s passion for the material and his ability to follow through on his vision impressed Jake Staines, Stephen Fox, and myself enough that we offered to contribute artwork, graphic design, and layout for it. When completed, it was published as a special section of the Silhouette fanzine, Aurora.
At that time I had already been moonlighting as a graphic designer, illustrator, and painter for Dream Pod 9’s second incarnation of Heavy Gear Blitz, Locked & Loaded. While being able to work on the books of my favourite science fiction setting was an incredible privilege, the itch to get into the finer details of character attributes, technical schematics, and minutiae of the RPG setting was always there.
In 2009, Jason, Sean Callaway, Daniel Bond, Andrew McIntyre, Mariko Shimamoto, and I made an agreement with Dream Pod 9 to publish Operation: Drop Bears Dive, which started off as a fun thread on the Dream Pod 9 forum between Sean and I until Jason joined the team and delivered 20,000 words in two weeks. It was an experimental publication where we combined rich fiction, graphics, and stats for the 2nd and 3rd edition RPGs as well as stats and scenarios for the Heavy Gear Blitz tabletop wargame. It taught us three things, that we needed to focus our efforts to create a coherent player experience, that we shared a mutual drive and interest in developing as detailed a world as we could, and that a small team with little funding could publish books with a high production value.
Jason and I went on to work for Dream Pod 9 as Line Developer and Art Director, respectively. We worked on rulebooks, army lists, campaign books, resurrected Dream Pod 9’s Gear UP official magazine, and designed a new faction for Heavy Gear Blitz, NuCoal. Consequently, the desire to publish a new edition of the RPG only got stronger.
In 2013 we realized the 20th anniversary of the RPG was quickly approaching. We approached Robert Dubois, president of Dream Pod 9, who granted us a multi-year license for the RPG while agreeing to give us a leave of absence from Dream Pod 9 while we develop the RPG. We’re still in the early stages of development and we look forward to sharing our progress and gaining your insights. We’ll endeavour to post updates on a weekly basis, we want to see progress as much as you do.
Welcome back to the Heavy Gear Universe.