The Difficult Second Album

Gaslands is a success. What the heck do I do now!?

Of course, I had hoped people would enjoy it. I had hoped it would show that I am a real game designer. In particular, I had hoped it would do well enough for me to get the chance to do another game. I didn’t expect quite the reaction it has got!

It’s been an unexpected and delightful five months since Gaslands was released, with three particular highlights. Firstly, selling out the first run in three months, (much faster than anticipated), and having Osprey rushing to get more published was particularly exciting. It’s a shame that it was out of stock in most places during March, but hopefully the buzz that generated will ensure that any lost sales are recouped with interest.

Secondly, the community on Facebook, Twitter, BoardGameGeek and the Gaslands forums has blown me away. Not just the speed of growth and the enthusiasm, but also just how NICE people are being. It’s like Gaslands has a culture of it’s own, and it’s really positive. Also, people sharing stories of playing Gaslands with their kids warms my heart. I deeply hoped that would happen and it’s so awesome to know that it is, and that these kids are having a fun first exposure to the hobby I love so much.

Third, Osprey agreed to publish a second game of mine!

A Billion Suns will be a fleet-level science-fiction spaceship game, placing you in the admirals chair of a massive fleet of interstellar warships. It will allow you to fight out cinematic space battles with spaceship miniatures in any scale and across the full gamut of sci-fi tropes. Whether you want to game Star Trek, Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, The Expanse, Babylon 5, everything will be supported and full of flavour.

Obviously, I’m excited. Over the moon to get the chance to do it all over again, but… crumbs… Is this ever nerve-wracking! What if Gaslands was a fluke? What if this next game is no good? What if I regress towards the mean?!

A Billion Suns will be my difficult second album. People will expect it to be good. They’ll expect it to be different to Gaslands. They’ll expect it to be the same as Gaslands.

I have less time to write it, as I need to turn it in mid-2019, and I’m also still writing and managing Gaslands stuff. I’m running a mail order company from my living room. If I disappear from the forums and Facebook pages for a bit, you’ll know why.

This game is going to be a different affair. It’s not going to be Gaslands in space. I’ll talk about my vision for the game, and my initial design principles in an upcoming blog post, but it will be different and also the same. You can expect the same cinematic action, but less madcap. You can expect the same tricky decisions, but more strategic in scale.

I am bursting with ideas for this game, and I cannot wait to share them with you.

See you on the bridge…