Greg Announcement 29 Comments

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.


Comments 29

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  1. Joonas Laakso

    So goddamn welcome! Would be great to see new material and a comprehensive rules overhaul. We played a campaign last summer and loved it, even if the rules were clunky.

  2. Dave D

    Yay! Ahh! I couldn’t be happier about this! Is there any chance you’ll be also delving into the universe of HG through novels or comics? I loved reading the storyline books and have always wanted more of that sort of stuff.

    I can’t wait to help support you guys 100% on this new adventure 😀

    1. Post

      We definitely have plans for both, but we’ll be starting small with novellas and one page comics and we’ll see how far we can push things.

  3. Oscar S

    Looks like I’ll have to come out of role-playing retirement. I look forward to seeing the fruits of your labor.

    1. Post

      Hi Oscar, that’s a tricky question due to the complexity of the project and our small team. We plan to write a post next week to show how we’re going to allow you to track our progress.

  4. Riker

    Where to you plan to take the Timeline, will it fit with the current Heavy Gear Blitz one ? I want to know what is going on at Temple Height!!

    1. Jason

      Hi Riker,
      We will be using the original timeline from the storyline books, but we will be advancing it beyond the last book’s dates and events. The RPG will have some of the elements from the Blitz timeline, but some things that are more wargame-centric will be altered or eliminated, while other events will happen at a later date. The mystery of Temple Heights and the Koreshi will definitely be explored. Maybe your characters will be the ones to discover the hidden mysteries of the ancient chamber.

      We also plan on looking at the historical events in much more depth. The early exploration of the colonies, the chaotic times on Earth during Kir Arya’s existence, and War of the Alliance are all rich points of time that could be explored.

      1. Albertorius

        That looks very promising :). Good luck, and good hunting!

        …and if you plan on doing 28mm minis sometime (really good for a KS for example ;)), I’d be willing to buy stupid quantities of them 😉

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          Hi Albertorius, we are planning on doing 28mm miniatures. You can probably guess which NPC we’re going to start with. 😉

  5. Mark Perre

    Guys I couldn’t be prouder! I soooooo look forward to things to come from a great pair of guys!! Hint nudge Rabid Honey Badger love! 😉

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  6. Spanky_Harrison

    So are you guys going to be re-hashing the Silhouette system, or are you going to be writing something new?

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  7. Tankero

    Hey guys!

    Glad to see that this is getting ready to take off again. The universe was awesome, even if it did have a few quirks. I’m guessing you’re going to release more information about your roadmap soon? Who will be doing the art? And finally, how hard will your scifi be? Is it still going to be diesel-punk or will you cut a more “Eclipse Phase” sort of pattern?

    I’d love to pitch in as well, if you have plans for that.

    Thanks for taking on this challenge!

    1. Jason

      Hi Tankero,
      We will be continuing the original hard sci-fi that the game had in the original system. We want to maintain the consistency of the universe as much as possible, so no worries about intelligent alien life forms and fast warp drive space travel. As far as artists, we will be previewing some of the artists and their work in the weekly blog. What I can tell you that it’s going to be amazing! As far as a roadmap, we will be previewing the philosophy and goals we have for the Anniversary Edition later tonight. Keep an eye on this blog for more info!

    1. Jason

      Hi Iaian,
      We’ve got more than just the RPG in the pipeline! If you like the Heavy Gear setting there’s going to be some great things coming including some 28mm miniatures!

  8. James "Stryker" Cunningham

    Excellent news! I had essentially given up on there ever being another rpg for any of the dp9 settings. I definitely look forward to all the fruits of your work. And if you all ever are open for another mind or pair of eyes I would be more than happy to help in any way. This is the best gaming news I’ve ever heard!

  9. Alexander Shepherd

    While you have kind of distanced yourselves from the Pod, and Robert Dubois to some extent, I keep seeing doubts expressed here and there over your [Jason’s] intentions based on previous forum gaffs, timeline gripes, and the like.

    As my own opinion, one thing I think people are finding dubious, even though they may not be recognizing or expressing the fact, is not so much the approach taken for past projects y’all have worked on but that the people chosen to be key personnel or contributors for this new direction are still inevitably only those who have never expressed overt criticism of yourself or Mr. Perkins.

    It still just seems like the same old deal in fresh packaging. This could be in large part just various cases of sour grapes by individuals, but still something that might be taken into consideration none the less.

    1. Post

      Hi Alexander, would you like to contribute to Heavy Gear Universe? If there is talent out there that should be brought to our attention, please let us know.

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