What are we changing?
After a great deal of play-testing and market research, Sean and I are ready to make a very big change to Yesterday’s War. We are going to turn it into an RPG, or role-playing game.
In the process, we intend to move Yesterday’s War from Pangea Games to Smunchy Games. The intention right now is to work Yesterday’s War into the currently in development Rift Shifters brand. We’re not 100% sure what that will look like yet, but imagine Rift Shifters: Yesterday’s War as being analogous to Star Trek: Deep Space 9. Star Trek is the larger franchise, with Deep Space 9 being a show within the franchise.
Why are we turning Yesterday’s War into an RPG?
Naturally, if you’ve been following the development of Yesterday’s War since the beginning, this raises a bunch of questions for you. Why an RPG? Why move it to Smunchy Games? Why work it into a larger franchise like Rift Shifters instead of just letting it be?
First and foremost, let’s answer this: why an RPG instead of a board game? The simple fact is that most of you have shown far more interest in the art and the story than the game itself. That is not necessarily a bad thing for a board game, and it could push us to funding successfully on Kickstarter. However, we fear that we’d be making two mistakes. One, we wouldn’t be playing to Yesterday’s War’s strengths as a franchise. Two, we’d be putting work that’s less than our best on Kickstarter. Neither Sean nor I are into that.
We’ve been play-testing Yesterday’s War for months, and we’ve hit a wall in development. It’s a good game. I enjoy playing it. Yet there’s this disconnect in theme and mechanics that has proven intractable without a major change to the game itself. That means remaking the game from the bottom up and spending months more on development. We’d do that in a heartbeat to make a great product, but consider this: if we have to remake the game to increase quality in the first place, there’s marginal extra effort involved to pivot entirely into an RPG.
Why move Yesterday’s War to Smunchy Games? This wouldn’t change the arrangement between Sean and I all that much. It’s still the same profit/cost math behind the scenes. We just want to put the Smunchy Games logo on the box and use his lists for communication, instead of Pangea Games. That’s because his audience is specially tailored for RPGs instead of board games, which makes sense because that’s what we intend to create.
Why move Yesterday’s War into Rift Shifters? Rift Shifters is a sci-fi universe with multiple different timelines that intersect and bounce off each other in interesting ways. One such timeline could be the Yesterday’s War timeline. It would follow the same basic rules of the Rift Shifters universe, to make the playing experience good for RPG fans, but it would have the art style and vibe you’ve come to expect from Yesterday’s War. Essentially, it comes down to usability and making a great gamer experience.
What does this mean for me, a fan?
For you, this could be good news or bad news. Let’s do the bad news first: if you had your heart set on Yesterday’s War as a small-box worker placement game, you are likely disappointed. That’s okay. We totally understand.
However, most of you are into Yesterday’s War for the art, the name, and the basic premise. All of that stays the same. In fact, we’re leaning into that more. We’re going to flesh out and polish the lore to the extremely high standards of Smunchy Games. The currently tangentially related lore vignettes on this site will turn into well-researched, carefully organized, meticulously crafted novels.
In summary, Sean and I know this is a huge change to Yesterday’s War, which you’ve been following for a long time. Our intention is to create an excellent product that satisfies what you’re looking for in a game. We believe that even though we’re making a really big change, this is going to make the game into a much better experience in the long run 🙂