Or should that read Old Games?
Awesome artist and games designer Keith Senkowski uploaded some art I commissioned 4 or 5 years ago a couple of months back, along with the comment that it was for “a role-playing game that will never see the light of day.” I’ve got to admit, that stung a little, not least because, in my head at least, one day I still hoped that Six Bullets for Vengeance would still see the light of day.
But how realistic is that hope? I’ve not touched the game in over a year, and even then that was just a bit of tidying up of the text. Six Bullets saw a fair amount of playtesting 18 months ago, when Rick Evans (aka Indie Pete) and the Pompey Crew ran the hell out of it, but this came crashing to a halt when fellow Collective Endeavour-ites Joe Prince and Gregor Hutton gave it a good beating and pointed out some of the fundamental flaws that I’d been too blind to. It went into the metaphorical draw, and hasn’t come out again since.
But now I’m thinking of it afresh and a lot has changed. For one thing, Joe has done wonderful things with the revenge genre himself with Hell 4 Leather, a game that evokes a lot of the revenge movie vibe I’d been gunning for with Six Bullets, which makes me consider whether there’s any need for my own game. After all, I design games that I want to play, and I can happily play H4L now to scratch my vengeance itch.
But, there’s one thing that Hell4Leather doesn’t quite do for me – it’s the wrong way round! Or rather, the right way round, for Six Bullets was a game told backwards, starting with the showdown and working backwards, unravelling revelations as it went. And is still its heart. I think when I do get round to revisiting Six Bullets, it’ll be with this premise foremost in my mind. How to make that kind of reverse storytelling, as seen in Kill Bill and Memento, work at the tabletop. And then hitch it to a whole wagon’s worth of badass revenge.