Category Archives: Burden of Command

Burden of Command Now Has a Steam Page

Just a quick update to inform everyone that Burden of Command now has a page on Steam, in preparation for release sometime in the next year or so.

For those of you unfamiliar, Burden of Command is a tactical RPG set in the Second World War, which puts you in the boots of a US Army rifle company commander as his unit fights through North Africa, Sicily, Italy, France, and Germany. It features writing by both me, and Allen Gies (of Tin Star and Marine Raider fame). For more information, check out my previous posts about it, or the Burden of Command website.

May Updates

It’s been another busy month so far. I’ve been putting a lot of time into Burden of Command, although I suspect that the bulk of my work as a writer is almost finished. HMS Foraker‘s still moving along as well. I’ve just finished the third and last chapter, which means I’ve only got the epilogues and a few other bells and whistles to wrap up before it’s “done”. I’m considering avenues of distribution now. Assuming I find one, you might be seeing it released sometime this summer.

As usual, new installments of A Soldier’s Guide to the Infinite Sea, and An Adventurer’s Guide to the Fledgling Realms are also now up.

April Updates

It’s been a busy month so far. Not only have I been working on the last chapter of HMS Foraker, but I’ve always been spending a lot of time and effort putting together on a particular segment of Burden of Command which took me to a lot of places I’ve never been before from a technical standpoint. Needless to say, I’m not going to spoil what exactly it is, but I can say that it’ll certainly start some conversations when players see it on release.

In other news, new installments of A Soldier’s Guide to the Infinite Sea, and An Adventurer’s Guide to the Fledgling Realms are also now up.

Some News for February

So, I’ve got a few more minor housekeeping updates this month, just to keep everyone appraised.

First of all, we’re very nearly finished the primary writing work for Burden of Command, and the main campaign is only a few steps away from being completed. While this still means we’ll have a few months of scripting, polishing, proofreading, and other supplementary writing to do, it does mean we’re in the home stretch. In addition, I’ve been working on a little side project (I’ll announce that in a week or two), both to unwind a bit from finishing up Hallowford, and to help transition in writing from Burden of Command‘s earthier, more direct style to something fit for a project with a more circumspect and courtly tone.

Long story short, I’m getting ready to start on the primary writing phase of Lords of Infinity.

In addition, new installments of A Soldier’s Guide to the Infinite Sea, and An Adventurer’s Guide to the Fledgling Realms are now up.

December Content Update And Burden of Command Devblog

It’s the second week of the month, which means it’s once again time for another installment of A Soldier’s Guide to the Infinite Sea. This month’s article continues covering the governance of the Unified Kingdom of Tierra, this time regarding the various ducal governments.

Remember that thanks to my supporters on Patreon, next month’s issue of A Soldier’s Guide to the Infinite Sea will be joined by the first installment in a new column based on my second fantasy series: An Adventurer’s Guide to the Fledgling Realms. Those who pledge $1 a month will get access to both articles a week early, while those who pledge $2 a month get to vote on next month’s topics.

Speaking of the Fledgling Realms, The Cryptkeepers of Hallowford, the sequel to 2015’s The Hero of Kendrickstone, will release later this month. I’ll have a page up for it soon.

Last, but not least, I’ve written a development blog post on Burden of Command, regarding the importance of creating empathetic characters in narrative-based games, and how we are working to make sure that the members of the player’s company in Burden of Command will feel like complex and dynamic officers and men worth mentoring, leading, and protecting.

Announcing: Burden of Command

A lot of you have been waiting a long time for this announcement. I’ve certainly been waiting a long time to make it. Now that the project in question has finally been announced (with the help of a rather nice article from Rock Paper Shotgun), I can finally reveal what I’ve been working on.

Over the past year, I have been working alongside some supremely talented people as a writer on Burden of Command, a tactical RPG set during the Second World War.

In Burden of Command, the player takes the role of a company commander in the 7th US Infantry Regiment, a unit which not only carries a distinguished legacy dating back to the War of 1812, but also spent three years fighting in the European Theatre of Operations. The 7th (nicknamed “The Cottonbalers” after the story that they used bales of cotton as cover during the Battle of New Orleans) slogged through some of the hardest and least-known battles in the Theatre (Operation Torch, the Allied invasion of Sicily, the Anzio Landings, Operation Dragoon, and the liberation of Southern France, to name a few).

Although Burden of Command has a lot of wargaming pedigree and its combat takes place mostly on a 2d hex map, its campaign not just merely a string of historically accurate tactical scenarios set up so that the player can push nameless counters across a static map, towards an arbitrary objective. The player doesn’t just control a handful of impersonal icons representing a rifle company. The player fully inhabits the role of the company commander, both on the battlefield and off. The player’s company is made up of vivid personalities, each custom-written with their own idiosyncrasies, mindsets, and histories. Some even have troubled pasts and hidden agendas. It’s up to the player to earn their trust and respect by managing their subordinates’ doubts, their fears, and their crises of conscience. Making the wrong decision in dealing with a platoon commander could lead to consequences on the battlefield. Keep alienating him, and the player could start a long-term feud, or even push him to the breaking point.

The mental dimension of war is a huge factor in Burden of Command. Not only can events on and off the battlefield wear at the nerves of the company’s platoon commanders, but they can also affect the player character’s own mental state. Embracing a certain way of looking at the situation around them can open up some options, but it can also close off others. Looking after nearly two hundred disparate individuals in the middle of a war is difficult enough. Doing so while also having to carry out orders which will put your company in harm’s way, and while trying to maintain a clean conscience could be enough to drive a player’s company commander to mental collapse at a time when decisive, competent leadership could mean the difference between life and death.

And there will be death. One can hardly make a game about war without it. The only characters who are safe are the historical figures who survived the war. Ordinary soldiers, platoon commanders, and even the company commander can be wounded or killed as a result of the player’s decisions, on or off the battlefield. Ultimately, the responsibility for who gets to go home in one piece and who doesn’t rests on the player’s shoulders, and we have done our very best to make sure that this essence of command will be a heavy burden to bear.

Needless to say, I am very excited about this project, and I hope that at least some of you are just as enthused as I am. Over the next few months, I’ll be occasionally posting some general updates regarding the state of the project. I’ll also be detailing some of the unique gameplay and narrative design elements I’m particularly proud of as we close in on our planned release date sometime next year.