Jeffro's Space Gaming Blog

Microgames, Monster Games, and Role Playing Games

Industry Notes

Well, the RPG industry appears to have failed it’s saving throw versus girls and beer….  Meanwhile, all the other games subsist on the scraps from D&D’s table while the timing of the release D&D’s 4th edition could have a huge impact on everyone.

Interesting times!

Car Wars lives on in Steve Jackson’s GURPS.  The collision rules that were developed for Autodueling have been expanded and adapted in the Campaigns book just as the old Traveller rules for different atmospheres and gravities show up in there, too.  Most of original Car Wars archetypical handweapons have been resurrected as generic inate attacks in GURPS Powers– that’s much more user friendly than the monolithic equipment list that shows up in GURPS Characters. 

Of course, the original range modifiers that were borrowed from Car Wars are long gone… but GURPS still has one second combat rounds just like everybody’s favorite board game.  And even today, ideas that were pioneered in Car Wars still show up in GURPS.  The borderlined silly concepts of having multiple tire and power plant options each with their own percentage modifiers have in 4th edition GURPS become the way everything is handled: buy an advantage or disadvantage, and then layer on as many of the perks, quirks, limitations, modifiers, and enhancements as you like!

So, Car Wars lives on in a way and the ideas continue to be developed and adapted.  I think that was a major part of the appeal back in the day– it was just such a neat little package of ideas.  Problems that were solved during the rocky period of Car Wars‘s rapid development in the eighties continue to be good solutions today– even in radically different gaming cultures.  Of course… these new games don’t fit into a nifty little plastic pocket box, but that’s another story….


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