Aug 13

Origins of GearHead

Homemade Battletech Counters

Some old Battletech counters I made on computer, then colored with colored pencils. Probably from the late 80s or thereabouts. These resemble the original top-down sprites used in GearHead-1.

I am currently visiting my parents in Canada and trying to sort through all the junk in my closet. I’ve found a bunch of notes which predate GearHead development, but which show many of the influences that went into it.

This page from my 1993 university notebook describes a method for generating random sentences- basically, replacing tags denoted by square brackets with phrases chosen from a list. I think this was being planned for the game “Troubles with Iconic Life”, which I’ll say more about later.

I didn’t start working on GearHead proper until I moved to Korea in 1998, but during university I did work on a different mecha game called Z-Warrior. As far as I remember Z-Warrior never made it to a playable stage. However, several of its mecha designs were brought into GearHead.

The Strongarm was in GH1, and the Hoelvetican (with an “o” added for some reason) was meant to be included in GH2.

Finally, here are my notes for a Mekton campaign I ran sometime around 1995-1997. The influences of Warhammer 40,000, Battletech, and Final Fantasy are pretty clear.

Instead of drawing my own illustrations for the campaign mecha, I copied pictures from various Mekton and Palladium sourcebooks.

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