Date: Wed, 11 Dec 96 08:21:23 0800
From: James Ernest (email@example.com)
Subject: Battletech CCG
"Reading between the lines of the rulebook and subsequent interviews, it is possible that Richard Garfield was brought in late [to Battletech] to bail out a flagging design." (from Mike Siggins' review of the Battletech CCG)
In defense of the first Battletech design team, the original game wasn't flagging. It just didn't happen to be written by Richard Garfield.
WotC's contract with FASA had promised that Battletech would be a Richard Garfield game. Not just "developed" or "approved" by Richard Garfield, but _designed_ by him. Regardless of this obligation, WotC had contracted the job to another designer, since Garfield was far too busy developing Netrunner. That designer was Glenn Elliot, who in turn subcontracted my services as assistant designer in the summer of 1995.
Glenn and I (along with assistance from FASA and several WotC playtesters) developed a Battletech CCG which was elegant, functional, innovative, and almost completely scrapped when the project was handed to Garfield. All the credit for the current Battletech game belongs with the second design team.
You can check out more of James Ernest's game designs at his own Cheapass Games site.
The Game Cabinet - firstname.lastname@example.org - Ken Tidwell