Words from the PhellaOne:
Hello, all. And thank you for your interest in Sol System™. Whether it was the genre, the system, or the medium, I would like to express my sincere appreciation for participating in the “first traditional, pen & paper Role-Playing Game designed for the 21st Century.”
When I first began, what was then called, the “Storytellas Studios™ project” I wasn’t sure where it was going to end. Heck, I’m not even too sure where it began! My first attempt at serious online gaming was back in 2000 when, using another game line, I created a website on a public server so I could play with my buddies two states away. I was in Minnesota and my group was in Chicago (Chi-Town!!!). We addressed some of the obstacles in our way to simulating the feeling of camaraderie and “being there”. So I spent weeks putting up a site that had all my lists for things like skills, magic spells, psychic powers, weapons, armor, and on and on. I spent some time fooling around with video chatting and trying to get everyone connected. I looked into dice generators. I made compatible character sheets. I was kind of proud of it. I had set the privacy settings to “by invite only” and limited the membership to my friends back in Chicago.
Then I invited some people I had met on the chat rooms of this other game line. They were really impressed with what I had set up and mentioned it on this other company’s chat rooms. Well, it didn’t take long before someone “official” from this other game line starting asking me some questions. Not thinking I did anything wrong and not trying to hide anything, I invited this person to my site to see for themselves (two “official” people from this game line eventually came to see my site).
Both visits ended with compliments, but the question of “copyright infringement” came up. I had countered that most of the information was tweaked to my “house” rules, and the membership consisted of people who relied on the books I purchased, anyway. That they were my gaming group from 2 states away. As fate would have it, I soon found out I was moving back to Chicago. Just to avoid any hard feelings, or “possible” legal action (though none had ever been initiated), I closed the site down and played face-to-face with the guys again.
Sometime after this, I joined the military (19D10P! Scouts out! Airborne!! All the way!!!) and I was away from the guys again. At this point I had adopted a system of milk crates, separated by game line (I topped off at 5, but I had a bunch of loose books in a duffle bag). That’s when I first recall “wishing I could take them with me.” I thought about that a lot during the (almost) fifteen months I spent in Iraq: “I wish I had my books and dice.” Having played the same system for over fifteen years at that point, I started using my “down-time” to create the templates for a compatible system on the internet.
It was after I got out of the military, and started asking some questions, that I noticed traditional “pen & paper role playing games”, as a market, was suffering. Sales were down pretty much across the industry, with even the big heavyweight publishers feeling the pinch. Sure, the economy was down and people weren’t spending the way they once did, but when signs of recovery started to appear, pen & paper RPG publishers were still looking at a questionable future. A long period of low sales had made the publishers wary of risks, yet, at the same time, wondering what could provide the industry with the needed “spark” to attract new customers/fans? New editions of old game lines? Been there. PDFs? Hmmm… that’s new, but it’s the same stuff I already have. Then it hit me!
There was a new medium that was taking over the world, a powerful, interactive media. The “evolution of print” was accelerating before our very eyes. Everyone in all forms of the greater printing industry had to evolve if they were going to keep up with the times. Let’s consider these the first steps into the next generation of “pen & paper RPGs”. Can we have video conferencing? What about online libraries? Are there Referee tools that make character generation a snap, instead of the long process we all either love or hate? Can we do a character portrait generator? Can I print it? Is there map support? And since we’re talking “next-generation” here, why not an iPhone® and/or Android® app and a system that helps me keep track of my character’s attributes and statistics? Maybe the iPhone® and/or Android® app can access my account and get me in the game if I’m away from my computer? And while we’re thinking BIG, why not figure out a way to play my character on gaming consoles where there could be a “Rules Disc” supplemented by DLC adventures?! The possibilities were endless. All that was needed was a game line.
Since I had no licensing agreements with any of the established game lines, and with more time than money, I was going to have to make one to showcase the potential of this new medium. For me, that worked out just fine because I had been itching to take my “house rules” to the next level. My overactive imagination always needed new and exciting outlets and I quickly got enthusiastic about putting “my game” together. And I was going to design it to be played over every medium from tabletop to online to console, with as many of the possibilities of the 21st century as I could conceive! And maybe, if I do well enough, the other publishers will ask me to help bring their products into the 21st century.
Then we all win. :D
That’s how we imagined it!™
-Christopher M. Martinez, Sr.-
-Founder and Game Designer-
The User-Responsive, Multiple-Interface, Networking Data™, or U.R.M.I.N.D.™, is the 21st Century evolution of traditional "pen & paper" RPGs. Focusing on data and real-world technology, U.R.M.I.N.D.™ creates a means in which all relevant data is collected, stored, utilized, and distributed. A uniform concept that can be applied to any existing RPG line. A 21st Century tool that allows us, roleplayers, to focus on the story; creating it, storing it, and sharing it. The U.R.M.I.N.D.™ system manages all mathematical computations and record keeping, while also streamlining content creation. We provide you with the same tools we used to create U.R.M.I.N.D.™ standardized content.
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