[CLOSED] BATTLETECH: a giveaway - what does Battletech mean to you?


#1

Update 2: and the winner is…

Update: the Winner has been picked and contacted via forum DM. :grinning:

Hello amazing people of Waypoint. I would like to give away a copy of the upcoming BATTLETECH on Steam.

I have been thinking about what to do with this giveaway for a while now and always ended up with some fake sounding competition or another. Finally I ended up thinking about why I couldn’t get good content out of me. Basically it’s because BATTLETECH and Mechwarrior where always a proxy reason to hang out with the group of people I spend most of my twenties with. For me Battletech means compromise for the sake of friends, background context for a lot of fun times and having them tell all the stories of what it meant for them to pilot dem mechs.

So I am here to ask you.

What is battletech for you? Tell me your meaning, your stories or just tell me that you like robots. The winner will be drawn at random from the eligible participants. I will cut of the submissions on the 23th of April at 6 PM Central European Time. That is noon EDT and 9am PDT.

Eligible are all posters except those who explicitly exclude themselves from the competition and just want to tell their story or meaning.

The reason you would want to exclude yourself is if you already have the game or any other reason. I’d like to implicitly aim the giveaway at people who are short on cash and it could use the game as a form of self care.

If you want to exclude yourself drop a [EXCLUDE ME FROM THE GIVEAWAY] at the top of your post.

:smiley:


#2

So, I’m going to cheat a bit :slight_smile: I don’t know anything about Battletech at all, the upcoming game is going to be my very first experience with the property. You might be wondering why I’d start now, then. Answer: because of what Harebrained Schemes means to me.

It’s not just that they brought back Shadowrun, a franchise I never thought I’d see in video games again; it’s not that they set a high standard for polished, excellently-written RPGs, or that they created games that drew me into their world in a way few others have, where I can close my eyes and remember the exact layout of Heoi, the alleys of the Kreuzbasar.

It’s that when I look at Harebrained Schemes, how they operated, how they learned valuable lessons from each release and applied it to the next, how they never nickel-and-dimed their player base or compromised story for the sake of expediency, I see an indie developer that should be a role model in the industry. I want them to succeed; to come back for a fourth Shadowrun, and a fifth; to have as many Battletech sequels as they’re inspired to create. I want Harebrained Schemes to win, and I want other developers to live up to their example.

That’s what Harebrained Schemes means to me, and that’s why Battletech matters to me. :slight_smile:


#3

[EXCLUDE FROM GIVEAWAY]

Firstly, I agree strongly with @shawne and their love for HBS. Whenever I’ve reached out to HBS folks with concerns about something, they responded immediately and appropriately. A while back, I had asked “hey, are we going to see Middle Eastern or South Asian characters in Battletech?” I got a very resounding answer in this update. (Dr. Murad is the first NPC of Pakistani origin in a game that I can recall seeing, well, ever. That means a hell of a lot to see.)

Not only are they ethical and responsible, but they’re also thoughtful designers. I could fawn over the process and point out the various ways that they’ve put deep and sincere thought into their games, but I’ve gotta submit this post quickly. Long and short of it is that through seeing their work on Shadowrun, and now on Battletech, HBS has earned my trust.

OK, HBS-related preamble over. What does Battletech mean to me?

Battletech means a setting with a Byzantine mass of continuity that, despite missteps and failures, nevertheless still acknowledged brown people in its future. It means a setting that latches on to my enduring fascination with mercenaries and lets me engage with that in a fun way…while still allowing for the potential of serious discussion about conflict and the cost of warfare. It means a setting that contains three thousand and one different nonsensical components, but nevertheless manages to be compelling despite (and because?) of them. It means rolling up my first MechWarrior PC and putting half my points into knowing how to use a sword, because I was coming in from D&D and by GOD if a system offered me a chance to use a sword, I was gonna take it. It means goofy '80s colors and aesthetics and FASA layout and hex grids. Always hex grids. It means sitting around a table with my friends, trying to learn this game, and having someone spill a bit of salsa on the city blocks our mechs were slogging through. “Direct hit on the salsa factory! Oh, the humanity!”

It means some goddamn Clan nonsense.


#4

When I was around the age of 13, I went along with my dad to his friend Tim’s house. His friend didn’t have a child himself, so I wasn’t very excited by the prospect of being stuck somewhere without anything to do, while I waited to leave. When we arrived, Tim offered to show my dad and I around on the obligatory Guided Tour of Hospitality.

He shows us the living room, the kitchen, the hallway, all the usual architectural shit that homeowners are enchanted by, but children decidedly are not - until he shows us his computer room. It’s a sunken-level space with a large bay window to its rear, and, facing the stairwell, is a large wooden desk. It holds a monitor and keyboard, of course, but, flanking the keyboard, are a joystick and another strange gadget that looks like a black fist, riddled with buttons. I ask about them, and he responds by asking me if I play computer games. I nod enthusiastically. “HELL YES!” my thoughts scream. I’m a big Quake 2 player at this point, and a seasoned GameSpy demo downloader (what else do you do as a child with no money but play the shit out of some freeware?)

He explains that the setup is for his favorite game, MechWarrior 2. The grip is a throttle: push it forward, your mech accelerates, and pull back, it decelerates. The idea of a series of dedicated devices specifically for the one game you play blows me away. He offers to let me play it while he and my dad go shoot the shit. I sat down in the oversized executive chair, put my hands on the unfamiliar devices, and my love for MechWarrior 2 was born.

I would continue to play MechWarrior games through MW4 on my own, at home. The combination of sheer size in both the player’s avatar and the landscape on which battles were waged was entirely new to me. Spotting a Wildcat rising over the horizon of rolling hills alive with spring grass, like some astral body of steel and warpaint, was entirely different from the close-quarters, lighting-quick combat in derelict alien steel mills that I was used to. It was tense. Each time I spotted an enemy, I was to prepare for battle. That first moment of recognition was stretched from milliseconds in Quake 2, to minutes in MechWarrior, as they and I both decided which weapons to ready, which resources to divert, before we even decided whether or not we would pull the trigger at all. It was the first time I played a game where it was just as likely that I would flee, as I would fight.

I suppose that is what Battletech games mean to me: from desk setups of throttles and joysticks, to lasers and rockets equipped in the armory, to hitting switches and pulling triggers in the cockpit, Battletech is about preparation on a micro and macro scale.


#6

My first battletech games were Mechwarrior 4: Vengeance and Mechcommander 2, and as a kid, I loved the FMV in the intros and cutscenes. Especially the intro of Mechcommander 2, with the in-universe news casts interspersed with in-engine footage, it just really grabbed my kid brain in a major way. I was never super into drawing, but I drew a lot of mechs on school notebooks, and would pretend I was a mech, etc. Pretty typical goofy kid stuff.

Later, when I started highschool, mechwarrior was one of the first games I had in common with the tech crowd there, and a lot of people I met and still talk to today were into the games. I got some people together and managed to get the Battletech 25th Anniversary box set, and actually got to play the tabletop version with people. It was an absolute blast for about one hour of each six hour play session, so it was hard to justify continuing.

What was really nice about Battletech then, and seeing the franchise sort of revitalize, is that it’s one of the very few games that gives me that sense of childlike joy. I tend to be pretty cynical about a lot of stuff, but Battletech is one of the few franchises that I continue to be hopeful about basically every iteration of it, even though there have been some stinkers. Also, I’m super excited because HBS is heading it up, and I’ve played all their Shadowrun games, and was a Shadowrun GM for about a year.


#7

I’ve never played Battletech I just want to fuck around with mechs and free shit


#8

I have updated the cut off time with EDT and PDT timezones info for clarity.


#9

I love science fiction. I love mechs. The graphics are great. Game looks fun. it’s on my steam wishlist. So thanks for the chance!


#10

[EXCLUDE FROM GIVEAWAY]

When I was a young nerdy kid playing the Mechwarrior games and reading RPG manuals over and over again I wished that I had a group of friends who I could share these things with. When a cousin introduced me to a local gaming club filled with like minded geeks (mostly older) I was ecstatic and struck with a little bit of hero worship and was willing to play whatever games were available. It turned out that the group was into Shadowrun and Battletech so these became my first tabletop games and I was thrilled.

Ever since that time (now decades past) FASA’s products have come to mean the world to me. I spent my teen years reading every module, playing every game and consuming every tie-in product (Shadowrun and Battletech novels were my jam and I adored the animated series), and I’d get especially excited for each new computer game.

To me Battletech meant finding worlds bigger than myself. The first was the real world that suddenly grew to include other people who I could bond with over my love of games and fantasy worlds, and the other was an imaginary world with centuries of lore, thousands of solar systems, epic battles, political scheming and thrilling adventure.

Battletech has in some ways also molded my career as an adult, first the computer games inspired me to head off into the tech world, and then later it was memories of Battletech that helped me decide to switch out of the high tech world into the video game industry. I decided that I wanted to help give other people the experiences that these universes had given me.

When HBS announced Shadowrun Returns I was thrilled but apprehensive, could a kickstarter project do justice to one of my prized childhood universes? could the game even get made on a crowdfunded budget? It turns out my anxiety was misplaced, I loved Shadowrun Returns and was grateful that it was successful enough to get sequels and I was impressed with how each game improved on the last. So when Battletech was announced I can only say my body was ready, I threw my money at the screen and now that we’re just days away from launch to say that I’m excited would be a gross understatement.

Battletech opened my eyes to larger worlds both real and imaginary and I can’t wait to dive back in.


#11

I’ve always kinda been curious about the lore of Battletech but I never really got into the books for some reason (I do love serious giant robots so I’m not quite sure why I never dove in).

However, when I was about 9 or 10 my family got an IBM Aptiva computer. It was a hell of a piece of machinery: black and blue motif with an absolutely gargantuan screen. It even came with a matching joystick that I could never get to stay properly calibrated.

With this monstrosity was packed a small booklet of software that ranged from a copy of Encarta (RIP) to an FMV Jungle Book adventure-ish puzzle game (The live action movie, not the cartoon. I could probably make a whole thread about that one), but it also included Mechwarrior 2. And I was head over heels for it. I wasn’t very good and I distinctly remember getting berated for failing the training exercise by your observing superior, but I didn’t care. I loved testing all the different mechs and their weapon configurations and would cycle through them all until I found one with great lasers or missiles or jump jets—depending on my mood. And seeing that wire-frame representation in the corner of your screen gradually transition from green to yellow to red as you got slammed by yet another missile volley was a perfect panicky hell.

What I especially remember is the voice of the computer as you cycled through all the models. It would make them sound so weighty, so menacing. Even without looking up any gameplay footage I can still hear that voice in my head: Mad Dog, Hellbringer, Rifleman, Summoner, Kit Fox…

(also shoutout to Kit Fox for being small and you can do it I believe in you)


#12

I’m afraid to parrot what a few people have said already, but regardless of whether I submit the most original story or not it felt good to get this down on paper.

My introduction to BattleTech was the culmination of a few acts of generosity. I loved videogames as a child, but it was a long-distance relationship. As a single parent struggling just to keep the roof over our heads, buying a computer or a console for her kid wasn’t really an option for my mother. So I cherished every minute I spent at my cousin’s house/computer chair, and took every excuse I could to sneak off to see friends who had a console or three. (Sure, my cousin and friends were great people, but could they really compare to a fox in a star fighter, or the majesty of green blobs smashing into pink blobs? [er, “Orcs” and “Humans”.])

And then, on the eve of my fourteenth birthday, a friend of my mother’s showed up at our door. His company was downsizing and had tossed a few of their PCs to the curb. This thing was a rust bucket: it chugged just loading the OS, it kept trying to establish a connection to the office network and refusing to continue until I provided a password I did not possess. I was undeterred. In front of me was the object of my dreams, and I was not about to let things like “this thing won’t be able to run Pong, let alone the games you want” or “you don’t actually have access to it” to slow me down. I’d befriended some older nerds at my local card/comic book store, and with their help and a few components they had lying around, I had myself a working (for certain definitions of “working”) gaming computer.

Of course, I had no games yet. This hadn’t entered my mind quite yet, but by stroke of luck the guy living upstairs from us worked in the industry (I think he was a games journalist, but as a young introvert I wasn’t exactly ‘good’ at ‘dealing with most humans’ so I don’t actually know). He got a bunch of games sent to him and was more than happy to share his love of the hobby by leaving disks in our mailbox.

I was giddy with excitement when my mother handed me the first batch. I don’t even remember what else was there, just that one image captivated me. A giant, two-legged robot firing lasers. Sure, that concept is basically the corniest one imaginable, but god damn did it look awesome. Mechwarrior 4.

Vengeance. (Ok give me a break I was 14! :P)

I don’t know how many hours were devoted to that game. From the tragic intro with fake John Travolta to a young man in pain over his estranged father (BOYS DON’T CRY OK, IT WAS FINE), I was hopelessly hooked before I even dropped into the cockpit. To then pilot that first Shadow Cat was magical. It felt unlike any other game I’d ever heard about. I loved (and still do) strategy games and simulation games, but they feel like distant worlds only abstractly interacted with; first person shooters, on the other hand, usually feel like you’re being dragged around by a floating, psychopathic gun. Piloting a mech was such a visceral experience, and each chassis had its own personality: seeing a Raven flit about on the horizon, getting smashed in the face by your first Uziel double-PPC shot, watching the inexorable advance of an Awesome.

I could go on forever about how that game makes me feel. I’ve liberated Kentares IV countless times, agonized over saving my sister or doing what needed to be done to push the invaders off our world, and in this personal story felt like a part of an infinitely larger whole, a galaxy in flames. For all that it can be trashy wish-fulfilment fantasy, BattleTech is a magical place filled with moments of unrestrained humanity: the hope, fear, loss and determination that make us amazing, horrific, endlessly contradictory beings.

And now I can only laugh at how things have a tendency to come full circle. I’ve got my own kid now. She and her mother weren’t much into gaming when we came into each other’s lives. I’ve been a bad influence, I guess. Our cupboards are filled with boardgames, now, and suddenly they’ve gone from playing Candy Crush and Hey Day to being quite interested in what’s going on my computer screen. Hell, not long ago they watched me play XCOM and have insisted on started their own campaign. That’s beyond anything I would have imagined!

So while I’ve been following BattleTech’s development since I first heard Harebrained announce it, all of a sudden it’s resonating that much more. I’d like nothing more than to introduce the two loves of my life to a world that enchanted me long ago and continues to draw me back. Noticing the poetry of life as I write this, my stepdaughter happens to be 14 herself. Fifty bucks doesn’t seem like much in exchange for that experience, but I’ll be quite honest and say I don’t have it at the moment. As a spoiler warning for anyone without them, kids are the foremost experts at finding new and inventive ways to make money you thought you had go up in smoke! (That is written 90% in jest…) So when I saw this post, I knew I had to stop lurking around Waypoint and try my luck. Regardless of who gets it, I just wanted to thank Quak0r for both his generosity and for the topic of the contest. Just this trip down memory lane has been quite the gift!

Edit: After re-reading my post, I don’t want that last part to seem like a guilt-trip. I’ll pick up the game eventually, as I’m sure it’ll be on sale after a year or so. I was just sharing my situation!


#13

Submissions are now cut off.
I will draw a name as soon as I am no longer besieged by my baby :3 I will DM the winner for further info.

So far thank you all very much for sharing your stories!

Update: the winner has been picked and contacted via forum DM. I’ll wait if they are comfortable with being named as the winner in the thread before announcing it.


#14

Whoever they are, welcome to stompy robot mercenarytimes! :smiley: