Twenty-two years: an infinitesimally small amount of time in the life of a galaxy. An extremely significant amount of time in the life of a game designer. It seems an inordinate amount of time to work on an RPG, and it is. But the story of Galaxy Prime is a special one, with all manner of twists and turns, fits and starts.
It began way back in 1987, which was high school for me. I had been gaming for about 7 years, primarily D&D. I was just beginning to discover the immense variety of games on the market and decided that it was time that I try my hand at creating one of my own. I realized that, at the time, there was yet to be an RPG for the Star Wars universe. Being a huge fan, I set out to change that. I began with a few simple notes, working off my toys, books, comics and of course the movies as source material. I then looked for a dice mechanic that hadn’t been used yet and came up with a 3d10 system. I have no idea why. I made stats for a few races and occupations, plus some simple vehicular rules and was ready to go. Didn’t really take that long for a prototype.
A month later, West End released the first edition of the Star Wars RPG. I was disappointed but decided to check it out anyway. I wasn’t happy with their mechanics so instead of trashing everything I had already written, I went ahead and fleshed it out some more. By that point I couldn’t label it as Star Wars, so I decided to turn it into a homebrew system that was not for sale. I added races from Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, Predator, Aliens, and in later years Babylon 5, Master of Orion and others. The game came to be called Universe, since it encompassed much of pop culture scifi. Everyone who played it had a blast. There were all sorts of classic moments, like wookiee jedis fighting predators with jet packs. Or the party that stole transporter tech from the Federation and sold it to Palpatine’s empire. The game built up over the years and was eventually changed to a simple percentile system.
Then in the late 1990’s, when I seriously began working towards self publishing my own games, the long process of converting Universe to its own sellable original entity began. I discovered that it is far better to start from scratch that to convert a game. All manner of inconsistencies, name changes and spelling errors came up. New mechanics developed and had to be reconciled with what elements of the game already existed. As for the galaxy itself, I wanted to do something different. So many scifi settings are human-/earth-centric, and I wanted gamers and game designers to stretch their imaginations a bit. It was a trial and a labor of love. It is also the ultimate tribute to all of the wonderful science fiction of our generation, as well as a return to the good old days and ways of roleplaying. Hope you like it.
PS. I would be remiss not to mention the fantastic (though later) influence that the comic book series Alien Legion had upon Galaxy Prime. Very cool indeed!
PPS. d-Infinity Independent Game Awards
Best RPG - Galaxy Prime