Sunday, March 23, 2014

Building Starships For GURPS Third Edition Revised, Part Two

So, back in our previous article, we started to talk about the Concordiat Navy at the TL 10 era.  One of the biggest factors of change was the existence of the two steps of reactionless thrusters, both of them powerful enough to change the nature of the game for starship combat.

And, a few more notes to round out the last points to be made about what happened during the TL 10 and Fourth Frontier War era.
  • The Concordiat Army moves on it's own transports, which are HUGE, lightly armored and armed, and require a lot of landings to land their heavy armor and AFVs.  The Army is mostly a garrison force during the TL 10 era.
  • Shuttles for the various ships have two engines.  The first is a fusion ram-rocket with enough fuel space to make a powered orbit around Earth.  It also mounts (relatively) low-powered reactionless thrusters for orbital changes.
  • Government in a nutshell-the Concordiat is a constitutional republic, with a LOT of authority being given to sector governors and such.  The Kaa Imperium is a hideously egalitarian feudal monarchy.  Since the only way to communicate is by a ship in FTL (FTL communications-on an interstellar level-don't show up until TL 12), the captains of starships have to be able to make critical decisions right there and then.

So, we deal with the Fourth Frontier War, where the Kaa get trounced (again) after the Concordiat gets suprised, there's only one set-piece battle in the form of the Battle of Agrippa (dreadnoughts on both sides), and the Concordiat gets some more worlds as buffer territory against the Kaa Imperium.  TL 11 rolls around, and the Concordiat has some issues.  Namely-victory disease.  They just kept winning against the Kaa in so many battles that they thought it was always going to be this way.  That, and the Liberal Democratic Party in the Concordiat Senate was of the opinion that "war never solves anything" (how much of this was "paid opinions" a'la the Soviet Union-sponsored anti-nuclear movement by the Kaa is open to debate).  Force field technology came into existence at this time, and the Concordiat Navy mounted forcefields on their ships at the same rate as armor.

This lead to the pre-First Interstellar War Concordiat Navy.  Some of the details of the design choices here-
  • The "Patrol/Battle" fleet dichotomy was eliminated.  More powerful thrusters meant that most ships could land on a planet if they were streamlined, and the Concordiat Navy had to fight for every credit in building starship hulls.
  • For the most part, the ships built were "revised" versions of the TL 10 fleet, with some of the quirkier hulls gone.  One big change was that the required minimum for Navy ships was "2/2"-minimum 2Gs acceleration and 2 light years a day in hyperspace.
  • Missiles carried nuclear weapons, as no practical chemical warhead could be mounted to punch through force fields and armor.  Once again, GVB seems to choke on building bomb-pumped x-ray lasers and figuring out how to fire "missiles" built in GVB as vehicles out of massdrivers.  But, that's the core concept.
  • More point-defense, especially for larger capital ships.
  • Pretty much everything but the heaviest of shuttles were pure reactoinless thruster-based.
Unfortunatly, the Kaa Imperium had something going for it-an Emperor that was very much like Justintin of the Byzantine Empire-ruthless, powerful, capable, and not quite sane on a few things.  One of those things was the Concordiat.  He was going to be the Emperor that conqured the whole Concordiat and he had a plan.  And, a great espionage service.  Namely, in the Engali Moot-where he managed to get the information and tooling needed to build TL 12 force fields, power cells, and hypersinks (for the ship's stealth systems).

When boiled down, the Kaa Emperor's plan was simple-
  • Foment revolt and piracy all along the frontier. This included dropping Vern queens onto a number of worlds to keep the locals busy.
  • Lower the Concordiat's will to fight, politically and socially.  Find potential Quislings wherever you could.
  • Build a huge fleet.
  • Attack.  The attack was in three "talons", and they were all aimed to hit Earth.  Planets in the way of the talons would have all their orbital assets destroyed (except for fueling stations for the fleets) and orbital bombardment of anything on the planets that could be used as a military asset.  They could all be formally "conquered" when the Kaa Imperium won the war.

    Raiding fleets would be dispatched as well, attacking merchant ships and engaging in other attacks in the meantime, to keep the Concordiat Navy busy.

    Once you've hit Earth, it's all over (as the Emperor saw it).
  • Bask in the victory over the most hated of foes, enjoy your new slaves, and make sure that any threats to your power base are eliminated as soon as possible when the war is over.
Unfortunatly, the Concordiat Navy got some warning that something was about to happen.  They thought it was going to be another border war.  Not the start of what would later be called the First Interstellar War.

Several things went the way of the Concordiat during the early phases of the war-despite the losses and the casulties and that the "northern" talon got within three weeks travel of Earth before it was defeated.
  • Concordiat battlecruisers showed their mettle-the Kaa had their logistics transports in convoys at the start.  But, the guard ships were light cruisers (most Kaa warships of destroyer size and smaller were battleriders).  The Concordiat's Marathon-class battlecruiser had the acceleration profile of a standard light cruiser (about 5-6Gs, if I recall), a long-ranged and fast-firing particle beam cannon on the spinal mount, and while it only used 350mm missiles, it had a lot of them to fire.

    Within the first few weeks of the war, the Kaa had to detach battleships to guard their convoys, which took them out of the war as effectively as if they had blown them all up.  This weakened the Kaa's raiding strategy, which was dependent upon the battleships.
  • Capturing two of the Kaa's forward repair ships and bringing their data cores back to the Concordiat Core Worlds.  This gave the Concordiat an idea of the new technologies the Kaa were using.
  • The political and military leaders never lost their nerve.  What was supposed to be a hard sweep through the Concordiat got bogged down in a number of locations.
As the Kaa fleets were fought, Concordiat shipyards began to incorporate into current hulls the new technologies.  And, the first products of these new ships will be talked about in the next section.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Building Starships For GURPS 3rd Edition Revised, Part One

I truly do not have a life.

Really, I don't.

Over several weekends-when there was fuck all in terms of movies, TV, etc, etc, etc, about eight years ago (I checked my purchase receipt), I picked up a copy of the GURPS Vehicle Builder for GURPS Vehicles.  This was back in the days of GURPS 3rd Edition Revised, when there wasn't so much fear about superscience technology and the game had math out the ears.

Anyways, I was playing around with the Vehicle Builder and eventually...I built a starship frigate.

It was a TL 10 frigate, all reactionless drives with a hyperdrive.  It had vectored thrust and was streamlined and could take off and land from a planet, and could carry enough passengers to count as carrying a reinforced platoon of Marines.  Spinal particle beam cannon, backed up by four 350mm missile tubes, four light xaser cannons, and six point defense xasers.

From this ship, which I eventually named the Adams-class frigate, I started to work out...a fleet structure.

I told you I had no life.

Anyways, eventually, I built a fleet.  Then, I built another.  I built a third.  And a fourth.

And then, the hard drive on my Windows XP machine decided to cut it's own metaphysical belly open and I lost all the ships (most of my backups were photos-long story).

So, that idea died.

Until about a few days ago, when I read a review on GURPS Spaceships for GURPS 4th Edition.  And, found on an old, old, OLD flash drive the concept notes for the ships I'd built.  Sadly, not the ships themselves (which I might have to do again), but the notes were interesting.

The first part of the notes (in condensed form)-
  • The game universe was built around pretty much bog-standard GURPS tech progression, starting off at TL 10.  Hyperdrives and reactionless thrusters were the norm.  The history I had worked out had gone up to about TL 12 and about 300 or so years (which isn't that long in a human society where longevity treatments can give lifespans of up to 150+ years).
  • The major power blocs are the Concordiat (human, several alien races), the Kaa Imperium (Kaa and slaves), the Engai Moot (Engai territory), and several small "pocket vest" kingdoms.  All the alien races came from GURPS Aliens.
  • There had been a LOT of jockeying for territory and power between the Concordiat and the Imperium.  By the time TL 10 came around, there had been three "frontier wars", and the ships built in the game had fought the fourth.
  • The Kaa Imperium is mostly TL 9, except in drives, stealth (TL 11), and some other technologies.
  • Ship hulls were the "classic" progression for FTL hulls-corvette, frigate, destroyer, light cruiser, heavy cruiser, battle cruiser, battle ship, dreadnought, super-dreadnought and finally monitors.
  • The Concordiat had essentially a two-tier Navy during the TL 10 era-Patrol Fleet which didn't have anything bigger than a battleship, and Battle Fleet, which went all the way up to monitors.
  • All Fleet ships-from the smallest to the largest-are "1/1" capable at a minimum-able to do 1G in acceleration, and l light year a day in FTL.
  • Patrol Fleet ships tended to be more lightly armed, but had more space for small Marine detachments, LARGE medical bays, and anything smaller than a heavy cruiser could land and take off from Earth by itself.
  • Battle Fleet was the reverse.  Destroyers and smaller could land on planets, but they tended to carry more weapons and heavier weapons.
  • No space fighters.  Battle riders-warships that didn't have FTL-were used, but the survival ability of a fighter was non-existent in this universe.  Concordiat battle riders were all sentient AI drones (fifteen years of service meant full citizenship and paying off their creation costs), Kaa battle riders were what filled the destroyer-and-smaller niches in their fleet, and had biological crews.
  • Weapons-the Concordiat was built around spinal particle beam cannons and missiles, with xasers (x-ray laser) cannons as backups.  Concordiat ships had three sizes of missiles-350mm, 500mm, and 750mm.  At TL 10, the warhead commonly used was a HUGE HEAT round, followed by a nuclear weapon.  By TL 11, nukes were common (and, I would have built every single nuclear missile as a bomb-pumped weapon, but the Vehicle Builder tended to choke on that).  I built the missiles as vehicles themselves-power cells with a small nuclear power unit so the missiles could be used as mines if needed.

    Point-defense was provided by a small xaser cannon that had UNGODLY rate of fire...
  • Concordiat ships of heavy cruiser and larger mounted particle beam cannons on turrets, as well.  The heavy cruiser mounted essentially the frigate's spinal particle beam cannon, and it went up from there.  As well, ships that were battleship and larger mounted turret-mounted missile launchers for 350mm missiles as anti-battle rider weapons.
  • Battle riders had a dedicated tender/carrier ship in the Concordiat Navy, and were also carried by ships of dreadnought or larger in eight-ship groups.  They were also docked in huge numbers at anchorages (a term used by the Fleet for orbital elevators that were almost common on every major Concordiat world) for planetary defense.
  • There was a dedicated Marine transport that could haul a single reinforced Marine Expeditionary Unit, and drop it with transports in a single drop.  Built the shuttles (three-a squad-sized lander/gunship, a company-sized lander, and a vehicle transport), tanks, AFVs, powered armor...
  • And, then, we got into quirks...a good example was the Joshua-class battleship, which was built around a TL 10 Heavy Advanced framework (most other Concordiat ships were built on Heavy Very Expensive frames).  Why?  They had partially gone through the first flight run of the ship back when ships were built with TL 9 reactionless drives for low-thrust operations and pulse fusion engines for high-maneuverability combat.  TL 10 drives surprised everyone and they retrofitted the Joshua-class with the new drives.

    When the Joshua-class was retired, the Engai bought the hulls, stripped them down to the framework, and built their own warships on top of them.  In fact, they pretty much built their own TL 13 version of the ship a few decades later.
Next up...the First Interstellar War, TL 11, and how shield technology changed everything.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

An Open Letter To BayCon...

...with CCs to KublaCon and FanimeCon

BayCon, my relationship over the years with you has been mostly,  You were my first BIG con.  You were the con that I loved going to, even when you were at the DoubleTree.  The parties were always awesome.  Your Dealer's Room had neat stuff.  And, you were awesome to go to, with the ladies in their beautiful costumes...

But, now?  Last year, it almost wasn't worth it except for "I've got friends there".  In the middle of the 2012 movie season, where the biggest run of science fiction and comic book movies (The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises, Prometheus, etc, etc), there was NOTHING there advertising or showing off for it.  Most of the panels were local fans doing...interesting things, yes, but still.  And, let's not talk about the Dealer's Room.  It was almost entirely costuming, with maybe a few other things in corners.

Mind you, it was useful for finding things like accessories for models when I shoot...but, still!

And, there is the fact that you're hemmoraging attendees, to FanimeCon especially.  And, with Fanime starting their own steampunk con, there will be even fewer attendees.

So, what can you do about it?  I'm not sure about this year-probably not enough time to get in on probably the biggest run of sci-fi movies in the last five years (let's see... Iron Man 3, Aftershock, Star Trek: Into Darkness, Pacific Rim, Man Of Steel, The Wolverine, Elysium...and I'm just skimming the surface here!).  But, there's 2014...and my suggestions-

1)Bite the bullet.  You can't survive as a "literary science fiction convention" in a time with so many choices.  Accept that you have to expand and go "we're for science fiction and fantasy, any format".  Get guests from things like the upcoming movies for the season (yea, you might not get the director of the new X-Men movie in 2014, but you could get the costumer....).
2)Better management of the dealer's room.  I've heard from some people that MIGHT have been vendors that they can't get in because the dealer's room is already full.  Of costumer stuff.  Bigger dealer's room?  A "wait list" that fills certain categories that if you get enough people you get a bigger dealer's room?
3)Better panels.  Some were good, some were bad, some need MUCH better moderation.  There's a lot of resources out there for panel moderation- a moderator boot camp, perhaps?  Anybody that wants to be panel moderator has to attend?
4)Bury the hatchet with KublaCon and FanimeCon.  And, work out this idea which I call a "Hopper Pass".  The three cons move to a location that is relatively close to each other (there are two con-ready hotels in Downtown San Jose near the Convention Center...hell, KublaCon could use the Hilton San Jose and Kubla Con can use the Fairmont San Jose), and they work through a neutral third party vendor that issues a "Hopper Pass".  You order the pass through one of the con's websites-let's say Baycon-at the end of the 2013 con for $120.  BayCon gets $50, Fanime and KublaCon get $25 each, and the third party vendor gets $20.  If you were to order it through Fanime or KublaCon, the money would be distributed that way.  As you get closer to the con season the prices go up, and you can't get them at the door.  You'd have to get tickets for all two (or all three!) to attend for the cost you'd have paid earlier for two.

So, what does the "hopper pass" give you?
  • It comes on a VERY nice 4x5" laminated plastic card that has custom art based upon the con you ordered it form.  The BayCon one for 2013 (if it was this year) would have art drawn by the artist GOA this year, Cliff Nelson.  There's one for kids and one for adults (with a special edged banner one for 18-20 adults).
  • You get to go to all three cons.  No waiting, no reg lines.  Show your pass, go in.
  • Priority seating for all panels and events.  The first two rows are reserved until the panel and events start.
  • Priority registration and table assignment for any things like "breakfast with the guests".
  • A special, "Hopper Pass"-only program guide.
I know people that would pay $120 for that kind of privilege.  Or more.  I would pay for that.  Especially if the cons were in walking distance of each other.  It would allow for cross pollination, the occasional random "never done (insert con here), let's go try it!", and it would attract more fans that would feel like they would get more "bang" for the buck...

It's time to really get serious about this.  There's opportunities here...and they should be taken.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

My Idea for A Sequel for "Wreck It Ralph"

I will admit, I enjoyed watching "Wreck It Ralph" in the theaters.  It's not them most brilliant of films, and it could have pushed a bit more of the edge...but, it was pretty good.

So, time for sequel thoughts!  Authorial notes-I would love to see this done and I even have a script outline done, but if it doesn't...

Anyways!  At the end of the first movie, Ralph decided he wants to do more heroing stuff-he likes being the good guy.  It's at least easier on the back and such.  Meanwhile, the arcade gets a new video game, Roar Fire Green, a Japanese 2D fighting game (an expy of BlazBlue, with the tie-in game made by Arc System Works), where the gaming world learns that anybody that beats the game gets a single wish.  Ralph, deciding that he wants to get this wish, gets into the game-and gets his ass kicked, hard.  He needs to learn how to fight, and a mysterious character (voiced by Doug Erholtz, who's voice and character design should be red flags RIGHT THERE) tells him that maybe he should get some training and learn how to fight first.

So, training montage (I mean, we go through Street Fighter, Soul Caliber, and Mortal Kombat montages) and a mysterious woman (whom is NOT Rachael from BlazBlue, even tho she has the same voice actor) whom gives Ralph a weapon (a big-ass hammer) and warns him that "time can be reversed, but an observed event cannot be changed".  Considering the nature of the huge number of characters descending on the game to play, it's now been turned into a tournament team play for the top title position.  Ralph has a team with a lot of other "bad guy" characters (i.e. probably M. Bison, Kano, and a few others), and he now has an additional team member from the game (a Cattleya expy voiced by Carrie Anne Moss of The Matrix fame) and they start fighting their way up the tournament ladder.

Ralph is wondering why his ally is in the tournament in the first place-and why she has the locket that she wears.  After a "fighting/flirting" training session, she reveals why she has the locket-it's her daughter.  In an earlier game her husband was killed defending her and her daughter-and the daughter died, anyways.  She wants to make it to the end of the game, where she can get the one wish and restore her daughter to life.  Ralph offers to help, even at the possibility of giving up his wish of being a hero.

Meanwhile...the players discover that the whole "tournament and wish" was merely a disguise by the Big Bad that organized it to link all the video game systems together, then crash them all.  When they were rebooted, he would be the ultimate power across all the systems, making him into a God.  Learning this, the entire tournament is attacked by clones of the contestants, in which Ralph and all of the characters defeat and they go forth, fighting their way up the mountain where the Big Bad is hiding out.  In the process, he sheds teammates holding off various threats until he reaches near the top of the mountain, where he and his female ally are nearly knocked off the bridge into a deep, fog-filled chasam.  Ralph is holding onto her, but can't pull her up...and she tells him to let her go, go beat the Big Bad.  Ralph refuses, keeps trying to pull her up as the bridge starts to collapse...and she makes him let go by hitting his hand.  She falls into the fog-filled chasm, and Ralph thinks she's dead.

Getting to the top, the Big Bad reveals that his weapon will start by attacking the world of Wreck It Ralph-and Ralph has to choose between saving his own game or letting all the others fail.  In a cold rage, Ralph defeats the Big Bad in crashing ruins of his game, walking away as the last of it falls and the game machine dies in the Real World, destroying the Big Bad as well.

Hailed as a hero, Ralph wonders what happens next and wonders what will happen to him.  At that point, the mysterious Rachel expy shows up and thanks him for doing what she couldn't do, because she had observed those events.  Ralph, angry, demands to know why she couldn't warn him about losing his friend-and the Rachel expy reminds him-"time can be changed, but an observed event cannot be changed.  You saw her fall-but did you see her land?"  Ralph realizes that he can save her, so he "borrows" Star Fox and a R-Wing, travels back in time with the Rachael expy's power to fly through the fog bank, and catches his friend.  Returning to the game of Roar Fire Green, the Rachel expy reveals that there are hidden characters and as it just turns out, there was one of a certian Ralph...

The movie ends with Ralph, his girlfriend/wife and their son playing in the game's world, hearing that a new challenger has appeared.  The grab their weapons and head out the door to face the challenge.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Wow...I Didn't Think It Was Possible

But, it is.  It truly is.

I no longer have any reason-at all-to watch Network TeeVee.

Let's see...the 2012-2013 schedule is...grim.  To say the very least.  There is not a single new show that does not insult my intelligence (Last Resort, Revolution), "comedies" where the males are basically overgrown children (Ben and Kate), or is "US remake of the BBC version, and the BBC version was better" (Elementary).  And, while I am a big fan of CSI, NCIS, Castle, Criminal Minds and Bones...why am I paying $100 a month or so for just those five shows? 

Or network TV news that I don't watch.

Or just about everything ELSE that I do involving network TeeVee.  Maybe basic cable shows, but I can get most of what they have on iTunes.

So, why should I support it with my money?

Next year, I'm getting a Roku Box (after getting a new iPhone-it's time).  And, I'm just going to order shows that I want.  I'll even pay for them.  But, I don't want to pay for what I don't want.  I don't need these shows.  And, if my money is no longer supporting them...I'm a happy camper.

The only question becomes...consequences.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

If I Only Could Organize A Kickstarter #1

I'm an aspiring (i.e. I need to write more) science fiction writer and one of the biggest issues for me is simple.


Or, more accurately, how do I calculate how long it takes things from getting to point A to point B without pulling numbers out of my ass.  And, I don't want to pull numbers out of my ass and have the hordes of sci-fi fans that do know math to crew my ass about how I got it wrong.  I understand why getting it right is so important-some movies and shows that otherwise would be good start to piss me off because they get something wrong that I know is some other way.

This is the tool I want to relieve me of the fear of math, and if I could figure out how to budget it and get a staff, I would have the Kickstarter page up so fast heads would swim.  This program would let me do something like this-

"Okay, I'm sitting is Ceres on October 22, 2311. I can do 0.01 G continuously, but I have only three days worth of life support. WHERE can I get to?"

Or, something like this-

"The day before Challenger blows up, I've got the Space Shuttle, a NERVA rocket that fills up the cargo bay with engine, fuel, and a very small crew module with 75% efficient air and water recycling and three people. Total mass is 24,000 kilos, half fuel (water). From a Cape Canaveral launch, where can I go and still have enough food and fuel to come back? And, can I do better if I have a Titan IV-B launch at Cape Canaveral lift the engine and fuel tank, and have the Shuttle carry the crew and passenger module?"

Better yet, something like this-

"I've got a ship sitting at SFO that has AG lift that basically makes my ship neutrally buoyant, a 1 G continuous thrust drive, and a hyperdrive that I need to get at least 100 diameters away from any planetary body larger than Ceres and can do a light year a day. How long from Earth to the (theoretically) habitable planet of Tau Ceti if I leave tomorrow?"

Even better!  Here's an idea I'd love to simulate out-

"How would the mission of 'Time For The Stars' work out if the ship could accelerate at 3Gs once it got outside of the equivalent of the orbit of Neptune for Sol?  Or just 1G the entire trip?  What would be the time dilation difference between a person on Earth and a person on the ship?"

Note, this is all menu-driven, you build everything from ships to star systems via the menu system.  The program would have a "near star" map of all the stars in fifty light years, and let you create your own stellar system.  And, yes, I know there's AstroSynthesis out there-it isn't quite what I need...but it's pretty close.  And close only counts in horse shoes, hand grenades, or tactical nuclear weapons.

I can even see the if you just want to simulate "historical" missions, full features unlocked if you buy an access code.

So, would you want to see this particular piece of programming work?  Pay $50 for it?

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Not A Good Time To Be A Gamer

It is definitely not a good time to be a non-twitch gamer these days.  Case in point...

  • Looking at the list of PC game releases for the next few months, the only games I'm even remotely interested in are Max Payne 3, Tom Clancy Ghost Recon: Future Soldier (now, isn't that a word salad), Carrier Command: Gaea Mission, and XCOM: Enemy Unknown.  Which doesn't sound too bad...except that's about four games out of a couple hundred.  And, none of them have the grand scope and sweep of Supreme Commander, Sword of the Stars, or the intense action as what Half Life 2: Episode 3 should be.

    (Assuming Half Life 2: Episode 3, Manchester United 0 ever comes out...)

    Hell, nothing is coming out that looks like another version of Portal and Portal 2 (something exciting and does something different).  Which is irritating...and, let's not even get me into the whole DLC dime-bagging that seems to be the new business model of game companies-sure, you can have all that neat stuff...either by grinding yourself retarded, or a few small payments of $10-20.  Or Day One DLC that seems to be features that the game cut to make deadline, but installed later to motivate you to buy the Super Uber Collector's Edition, or spend more money to get the content that you should have gotten with the game. (cough Mass Effect 3 cough).
  • Pen-and-paper RPGs being seriously into the whole "go through dungeons and find the 12'x12' room with the kobold guarding the treasure box" aspect.  Don't get me started on whatever version of Dungeons and Dragons is coming out, as it seems that the game is trying to play "we're a mumorpger that you can play in person with other people in the same room!" games with us.  Pathfinder is playing "we're D&D 3.5.1" games...and the games I'm enjoying the most?  The Warhammer 40K RPGs coming out of Fantasy Flight Games, especially Rogue Trader (but not Black Crusade, as I'm not their target market-i.e. 18-21, angsty, and goth, or all the Elric books written by Michael Moorcock in his youth).  Hero Games is having a serious slow-down in their publication speed (but, I must say that Hero 6th doesn't do anything really that FRED didn't already do pretty well...and I'm a Hero Games fanboy).  Cthulutech and Eclipse Phase haven't had any releases in a long, long time-at least the creators of Cthulutech admit they were having publisher issues.  Steve Jackson Games seems to have gone over to a mostly-PDF release format for GURPS. 

    The big thing for White Wolf Games is the re-release of the Original World Of Darkness books.  Mind you, I want to see and play with Shards of the Exalted Dream...but only if they have nifty starship combat rules.  Otherwise, I can do without.
If you're a gamer that doesn't like games where you like brown muddy battlefields (Battlefield 2/Call of Duty whatever), or aren't jazzed by pattern matching games, or other games of this ilk, you're stuck.  I'm tired of a lot of the first person shooters out there, because they don't do anything new.  Or interesting.  Or fun.  And, there are no serious RTS games coming out, except an endless stream of add-on packs for Starcraft II.  Most of the games seem to be mumorpgers waiting to find a new audience to break off small chunks of the monolith that is World of Warcraft.  And, nobody has been able to convince me that these games are not just really fancy games of Whack-A-Mole.  And, even the esoteric pen-and-paper RPGs are having a nostalgia kick as they want you to find and fight more monsters in a maze of twisty patches that are all alike.

Maybe it's just me and my tastes are getting old (I think a few of my friends would say "refined").  But, I know I want to see Tenra Bansho Zero come out-not only because I've been waiting for it for the last few years, but it sounds like the game is in a lot of ways right.   I'm glad with the existence of Kickstarter, which has brought me games like Witch Girls (which has optional wizard rules, I can so see a Harry Potter-esque game here...), Hellas (sci-fi Greek tragedy/drama adventure gaming-who wouldn't love that?), and Torchships (something I haven't seen in a while, 3D starship combat without the laws of physics being broken, spindled, and mutilated...).  Without Kickstarter, these games may never see the light of day, for which I am very glad.  And, if they come out, there may be more that follow on the path they blaze.

Oh, and I want them to be successful-if only to wash the taste of compromise, brown muddy battlefields, and kobolds guarding treasure chests out of my mouth.