Written by Jeremy Morgan, tabletop games editor, gamer, and software developer.
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Inspiration and Iron Edda - Memories

24 January 2014

Last night, I was thinking about inspiration. I’m one of the stretch goals for the Iron Edda Kickstarter (you knew that, right? I think I’ve mentioned it before), and I’m already working on it because it’s fun, and I’m enjoying doing it.

It struck me that this is the first time I can remember being able to list the inspirations for the game. Usually, I’m thinking through an idea and have no clue what I’d say if someone asks. Had I published a game before now, the section in the book that gives you recommendations about media to consume that influenced me, it’d be blank.

This seems strange to me. Is it possible that a designer can design without knowing what their specific influences are. I think they can, but I know personally it’s made my designs less clear than I would want them to be. (I can think of one in particular that I’m probably going to have to rewrite.)

So what’s different this time around? It’s a bigger project with a higher word count for one. I’ve got to have a very clear picture of what I want to say and how I want to say it. The vision for that grows out of inspiration.

For example, I said in my developer interview (warning: Youtube link) with Tracy that I wanted the game to have hope with a sense of gravitas. The war with the dwarves continues, and the humans have fled into space. It would be easy to make the game grimdark, but that’s not me. Dealing with heavy themes is fine, but I always want some light to shine through the dark.

By now you’re probably thinking, “Well, what are your inspirations for Iron Edda: Memories?""

Ready for this? I’m cribbing from a lot of stuff. Here’s a bullet list with some stuff as it stands right now.

  • Lady Blackbird’s sense of wonder and adventure
  • Always/Never/Now’s mystery, intrigue, and the dystopian flavor of the setting
  • Battlestar Galactica
  • Farscape
  • Firefly / Serenity
  • Doctor Who
  • Spelljammer (yeah, you read that right)

How’s that for an eclectic mix? Some of these inspire me with their themes, others with things that they’ve done with characters or environments. Does it seem like a mad scientist’s concoction? Just call me Dr. Frankenstein, I guess.



angille said:

Ha - I adored Spelljammer. Never actually got to play it, but damn did it tickle my fancy.

My inspirations go something like this:\n* Marvel Cinematic Universe

  • Pacific Rim
  • Shadowrun
  • Matrix
  • L5R (how I envision the clan structure… sorta)
  • and of course, the Iron Edda base material.

The soundtrack for Heroes would be basically a mashup of Thor and Pacific Rim.


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