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Coming Soon: Will of the Collective VII

by Lucas Thompson, Ambassador

15th May 2019

Starting Saturday, June 1st, Will of the Collective, the community-driven card design process, returns to Second Edition!

Last year, we set out with the modest goal of creating a unique personnel, without an ability, who hasn't appeared in Second Edition yet. Piece by piece, we designed a Borg-affiliation personnel, the freshly assimilated Lieutenant Hawk. Hawk will appear in A Less Perfect Union, having survived playtesting unchanged.


This time, we're going to do things a bit differently. Hawk's design was very top down: we picked who we wanted to make, then determined what features the card would have based on Hawk's characteristics. Usually, that's not exactly how things happen behind the scenes, though it has inspired some pretty top-down projects, like the part of A Less Perfect Union that I worked on.

Often, we determine which faction we want to make a card for and figure out what that faction needs; or other times, we'll come up with the idea for an interesting ability, then determine which affiliation's "flavor" that ability belongs to. Then we build the personnel from there - which is why someone like Hawk has avoided his entrance to the game for 48 sets or so. He just hasn't fit gameplay a theme that design has explored yet!

So Will of the Collective VII will explore working with the opposite of top-down design: we'll build a card from the bottom-up! We're going to pick a faction to make a character for first, then piece together that personnel's ability (yes, we're doing a simple ability this time), species, skills, attributes, icons and so forth.

Now, this process is a bit of an exaggeration of bottom-up design. Often, there will be back-and-forth between the types of design: "Well, this ability is clearly Gary Seven, so he should be Non-Aligned and have these skills!" Because the Will of the Collective series benefits so strongly from always looking forward, to give us as much flexibility as we'll need creatively, we'll be designing a non-unique personnel. Background characters have a lot less story-based baggage, and we can be (within reason) more free to, say, create a [TNG] [AU] personnel with Treachery, even though none of the personnel we met in Yesterday's Enterprise would qualify for that skill.

So start thinking now about what affiliation or sub faction needs a new non-unique. What simple abilities would fit with that affiliation's flavor? Warm up your pitches to sway the community to your side for Will of the Collective VII: Bottoms Up!

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