I've made a point of purchasing every SOS product produced thus far. I missed the kickstarter (upset about that) but made a point of making up for lost time on DriveThruRPG.
Then came along the new offset print copy of Shadows Over Sol at Studio 2 Publishing. Why would I purchase another copy of the rulebook when I already have the PoD version? Quite simple - it's beautiful and a massive improvement on the PoD! I can't express just how pleased I am with the offset version of the book. The images really shine and the quality just feels great.
Now I have a really nice version for me to look after carefully and another copy of the book for my players to use at the game table (the PoD book is still excellent and will get a lot of use).
As far as I'm concerned it's a win-win situation and I really hope that Tab Creations keep producing quality SOS products for a long time.
Congratulations and great job!
Seriously impressed with Shadows Over Sol and the SAGA system. SOS has gotten me so hooked on Sci-Fi gaming again (that and The Expanse books and TV series) that I also purchased the Solar System Scope software which you can find at Solar System Scope. I am really stoked about the game and the setting.
Edited The GIT! (September 10, 2016 15:46:26)
Solar System Scope is pretty awesome! I remember using their planet position app on the website when I was running my initial SOS beta test campaign.
It's really interesting to me how SoS and the Expanse have so many parallels. I personally consider it as kind of a sister to the Expanse, since we started SoS about the same time Leviathan Wakes was being written, though we didn't know it yet. I read Leviathan Wakes for the first time last year and I was struck by how similar Corey's universe was in its feel as well as many broad themes to our SoS setting, which we'd apparently been writing at the same time.
SoS started as a challenge we gave ourselves back when I was still in seminary, so somewhere 2008-11 (if I remember my timing right). We basically wanted to see if we could come up with a workable game in a 24-hour period. We pulled an all-nighter, each of us taking different sections as we finished one, and wrote it all out.
But first we decided our guiding principles. What genre? Scifi. Hard or soft? Hard. Horror? Yes. How far in the future? Only a couple centuries.
So, with hard scifi only a couple centuries in the future, what could we reasonably expect? There had very recently been a successful completion of a space elevator challenge (I don't remember which one, exactly. I want to say it was the 2009 Space Elevator Challenge, but it may have been the JSETEC 2010 challenge. I remember it as being the first successful completion of a space elevator challenge, so I'd say the 09, but that could just be faulty memory, or just the wrong fact that I'm remembering just fine), so we decided that a space elevator in the next 200 years would be reasonable. Going from there, what all could be expected as developments? And so we started writing.
The end result was, of course, fairly fragmented, but it was workable. I remember I had just read the Algebraist, which my brother had given me for Christmas, and I really loved the hard scifi stuff there, and it inspired a lot of what I had written.
Then came the process of fitting all this disparate stuff together. Thorin, as the one who writes the most (by far), took that job on. I really enjoy the end result.
We did a lot of beta testing ourselves, but that was mainly just mechanical details. It was a whole lot of fun to make the game, and I love playing it.
That's really interesting about how SOS was originally conceived and designed. To be honest I really thought that The Expanse series was an influence on the game because of how similar they feel in tech, horror etc. It makes sense that, by giving consideration to what advances may take place in the next 200 years, that similar conclusions and ideas would be reached.
I guess that would be a case of “great minds thinking alike”
The Expanse definitely influenced the rewrite. But they were already very close! It still seems amazing to me how much alike they were, even before the rewrite!
I think I finally have to go and read the Expanse now … I actually had a quite different picture (people keep describing them as “Space Opera Noir”).
Anyway, the Studio 2 edition is very nice - much better printing quality overall than what one usually get's from drivethru (though they're getting better, I recently bought a hardcove through them that comes close).