Burden of Command - WW2 tactical battle RPG


Take note, boys and girls. This thread is a master class in how to engage potenial new customers in a strange new place. Can’t wait to see this game!


Yep I am now very interested in the game.


I’m a long time lurker to QT3 who just signed up because of this game.
I’ve been lucky enough to be a play tester for the project and wanted to comment on the quality of the writing in the game.

To date, I’ve only been able to play through the narrative scope of the game.
Luke has shared enough of his design philosophy and design choices to give me confidence in where he’s headed with the “game”. I strongly believe they are on the right path and have a great team supporting them - but just wanted to say even if the “board game” aspect didn’t work out - the experience would be great to play as standalone interactive fiction. The writing is polished, evocative and thought provoking, with more than enough alternate paths to walk down to add lots of re-playability.

I’m really excited for others to get a chance to see it down the road.


Love your user name, look forward to seeing how the game turns out!


I agree. @lhughes42 the forum is basically filled with grognards. I certainly qualify on both the old and the complaining a lot, also playing wargames since the early 70s.

I’m curious about the economics. How are you funding it? Do you think you’ll end up working with a publisher?


Hey @Strollen and @easytarget ,

Misspent my youth on 3R (this crowd will parse that it’s clear) and then got addicted for awhile in adulthood to Totaler Krieg (had to swear off), Still have a boardgaming group, but true confessions, we now typically play meeple wargames like Quartermaster General (it’s a great game actually). Sad days LOL.

SpiritYossarian , thanks for the kind words. I’ll pay you even more virtual playtester $$ later.

Speaking of such economics Strollen, I’m funding it our of my own pocket. Work of passion and all that. I believe we can make back the cash outlay but unless a super hit never the hours I’ve invested plus all the volunteers. But that’s OK, we’re not strictly in it for the $$ (or I’d be pretty dumb picking a wargame like topic ;) ). Future DLCs the economics should work better with a built engine.

As for publisher, I’ve been approached twice now, which is encouraging. But has to be right kind, I like having control over the creative and to some extent the marketing process. No one cares as much about a game as those building it :)

Thanks for your interest guys,


@Guap and @jpinard (frog boy!),

Had to do a second message so I could reference your names ;) (new users are not trusted by the tech around here)! Thanks for the interest. The “engagement” comes from the genuine pleasure to talking to potential customers ;) Seriously, it’s a pleasure.



Awesome, thanks!


They’re ganging up into a small unit formation now! Artillery support!


suppressive fire!


All I can say I haven’t said already on this forums already is that from the sounds of it, the IF and the tactical sim are two very independent components. So you could perhaps reuse the IF one for other kind of historical games. And the tactical engine maybe can be designed so you can reuse parts of it as well to do other kinds of historic strategy games, or set in another times.


They are integrated in the sense that the interactive fiction can trigger off dynamic events in the battle: hexes entered, certain actions happen (assault, shooting, retreats etc). We wrote a dynamic “pattern matching” engine based on Inkle’s Ink script so the writers can articulate these triggered events without programming. There are more “scripted” starts to a battle though and to it’s end.

We also work hard on trying to make the IF (interactive fiction) and the tactical play reinforce each other. Decisions made in the IF can change the battle, the reinforcements, the morale state of the men etc etc. Inversely effects (like say stress) suffered on the battlefield could influence how you are reacted to in IF moments.

All that being said yes the IF and tactical are pretty open to any squad based period for future DLCs. Vietnam would be an obvious one, modern has been suggested. Maybe WWI. So I don’t oversell the tactical engine would not make sense as stands for pre squad based. e.g., 19th century combat and before.

While we plan DLCs we fervently hope there will be modding and will work to support (though first release those tools will be rough, in form we use them).

Hope that clarifies a bit,


I see, so the IF component is actually an integral part of the tactical engine, replacing what other systems like TOAW or Paradox Clausewitz engine do with a purely reactive or passive event engine. From what you tell me, the storytelling component seems to have some degree of autonomy

That’s pretty interesting… Reminds me of what some people have tried to do with Twine (Clockwork Empires), or “concept” games pursuing the “interactive storytelling” unicorn (I love unicorns, fwiw).


Hmm I don’t know their reactive systems well (have you programmed those scripting engines?!). I don’t want to mis-represent. the “StoryTeller” is a seperate chunk. But it knows how to watch the tactical engine world and how to effect it.

So what we have is a relatively sophisticated “if then” engine embedded with a interactive fiction scripting language. By sophisticated I mean that you can put fairly arbitrary sets of conditions together to “fire” a given action. The actions are either more interactive fiction moments (they pop up in various forms) or you can within a limited set of actions cause things to happen in the world (unit move, fire, lose morale etc). Maybe a bit of it gives you an "impression* (and allows me to geek out LOL):boc%20script%20sample

So basically there are two parts for this “patterson whines” event:
– a set of triggers (conditions of the world) – first that some “units” are moving to hex (0,2) and second that those units are German :-) The “StoryTeller” watches the world and if those conditions satisfy it does the “commands” section
– commands – in this case a ‘bark’ message appears over the head of the units that were spotted in the triggers and says “are we there yet?” Obviously these German units must be small children LOL.

Just gives you the ghist I hope. Aren’t you glad you asked LOL.



Hi Luke,

thanks very much for your answer. I am very happy to have asked :)

From that snippet I can see that you guys have something similar to action nodes in behaviour trees


that’s a framework I have been using at work (not doing videogames or war games, my partner approves of my hobbies in historical war gaming, just doesn’t allow me to dedicate myself to other endeavours), and it comes with a very nice online editor, which we have used to have “analysts” specify complex behaviours.

What I meant by “purely reactive” is the following.

In TOAW, the event engine allows you to define trigger conditions too, over a very limited set of variables which are exposed by the engine. So the influence you have on them, as a player, is limited to how you affect the state of the game world (e.g. I got a unit in location X, which flips ownership and in turn triggers an event).

In Paradox’s Clausewitz engine, you can have variables which aren’t exposing some piece of data describing the state of the game world (hex ownership), but actually be control variables, which are used to control the flow of the “story line” via simple conditionals (if then else). The problem with Clausewitz scripting is that you have relatively little ability to compose “story lines” (other than copying and pasting), and also recurrent patterns of behaviour become difficult to implement.

What I referred to as the “unicorn” is this idea that the game environment is also acting as an NPC if you wish. The behaviour of this NPC affects the game world, and with the right tools, you can create a real impression of “agency” very much like an umpire in a real world war game or a RPG game master decides to pull the strings to create situations with the intention of achieving specific outcomes: that of exposing the players to interesting situations.


Thanks for those helpful descriptions. We are probably a bit more fluid (for better or worse) then behavior trees but lack the control flow you allude to for Causewitz engine… at least in the game world. Inside the interactive fiction of course tremendous story control… LOL!


No worries @lhughes42 I have found the whole exchange very interesting.


The game now has its own Steam page, with a video showing some details on the tactical component of the game



The link has stopped working for me too - it was working a little while ago. Now it works.