Thursday, July 15, 2010

I am freaking out...

...because Settembrini just clued me into the fact that Dave Hargrave, the evil genius behind Arduin, was involved in the making of a sci-fi game!

Purple space chicks dig the mustache.

Star Rovers was a boxed set from Archive Miniatures.  It looks like no materials after Module 1 ever came out, which is a damned shame because the spaceship rules were planned for Module 2.  How the hell could this same mistake happen twice?  When I bought Star Frontiers back in the day I felt robbed because all the ship rules were in the second box.  But at least that got published.

Anyway, I'm just starting into the delightful Mr. Lizard's epic six part review, but anything involving Dave Hargrave and outer space has got to be messed up in all the right ways.

EDIT TO ADD:  HOLY CRAP!  I just realized I've seen that Darth Lizard before!


  1. Settembrini6:23 AM

    I am freaking out, too.

  2. I suspect that the Universe only just created this event, inserting it into our "past," so that we might discover it in our "present." This was done for the sole purpose of rewarding Old School Gamers and giving us something else to hunt for and tinker with. Expect a fan-made Module 2, any day now.

  3. Heh. You know, I posted a link here to the first part of my review/walkthrough/something when I started working on it, but it seemed no one noticed... glad it's being discovered, it was a lot of work (and fun!) to get through, and much as I love the sound of my own voice, there's little point to writing things no one reads.

    Mr. Stocken is linked to me on Facebook, and has been a very good sport about it so far. He has promised to write a reply once he gets his one remaining copy out of storage.

  4. Thanks for posting the picture.

    I am totally feeling that space mustache.

  5. @ Gospog

    My space mustache brings all the purple mohawk alien girls to the yard...

  6. Lizard: I am quite sorry I missed your link the first time!

    James: The Universe is pretty groovy today.

  7. In the spirit of things:

  8. I remember that commercial....

  9. Anonymous10:14 AM

    WOW. I had no idea that this exists. I had no idea that it COULD exist.


  10. Am I seeing this right?

    -Shirtless space hero
    -Purple punk rawk alien chick
    -Bad guy that is a cross between Darth Vader, Ming the Merciless, and a T-Rex?!

    Jeff, they stopped making this because there was no way they could top this module.

  11. Settembrini4:55 AM

    Don't disregard R2-Cthul-hoo!

  12. As a quick note, Nevile Stocken has left some replies on my site, at , including fragments from Module *3*. (Module 2 was apparently slain by Darth Vorce, which seems to happen to a lot of gaming stuff...)

  13. FWIW, I remeber this very well. It tanked badly, at least partly because it came out much later than expected (79-80), and was by then competing with traveller and etal for the SF bucks, and AD&D DMG for the graphics and layout wars. It was supposed to be the first SF RPG, and would have beat Traveller and the high end revolution to press if it hadn't ...I dunno, sat there ?

    Oh yeah, I think they got boned by Lucasfilms, too.

    Put out some gonzo miniatures for it "captain stereophonic and Pancho" being a favorite pair.

    I passed on the boxed copy mainly becuase the guy selling it was a douche (the local "from his house game pusher"); I regretted that, as it became UA very quickly. I only ever saw it again when I was working part time at a game distributors warehouse -I was packing boxes with old xeroxes and crap files paper, and noticed that I was crumpling up a pile of copies of SR -I grabbed about 95% of a copy, and three ringed it. I may have it somewhere.

    It really is Arduin (original, anyway) crossed with Star wars (the real first movie) and bound together with kind of a crystal Meth vibe on the future.

    Plus R2-CthuL00; you betcha.

    The weird thing about this post is that I out of the blue was thinking about it just yesterday, and wondering if anyone else remembered it...stars must be aligning for ....yeah, R2CthL00

  14. Is there any kind of quoting in blogger?

    Anyway, to Doc Grognard... I'm curious as to the "first SF RPG" claim, something I've never seen anyone make for Star Rovers, even as a goal. Given Metamorphosis Alpha in 1976, Traveller in 1977, and a zillion other games as well, including Space Quest, two different licensed Star Trek RPGs, Space Opera, Star Patrol, and plenty more, all prior to Star Rovers, I just don't see anyone involved in the project thinking it was going to be "first" of anything, and being an active gamer during that era (starting in 1978) I saw no advertising for it prior to its release (when there were a few ads in Dragon), making me confused as to how it could be "late". (Unless you just mean it missed a possible market window, not that it was in long development with many delays prior to release).

  15. No idea about quoting....

    That said, the info I got was from the owner of the distribution company, and I've always assumed he got it from the Arkiv dudes - their production facility (garage) was about twenty minutes away from the warehouse at the time. The timing doesn't work out for me, either, but I quite clearly remember him opining (or mocking, not sure) that it missed its niche as it would (not should) have come out before travller (or close to the same time plus, I doubt that he was thinking about Metmorphosis alpha )but for delays , possibly in production ? development ? . This discussion was in ....ummm 83 ? It was my undergraduate part time job.
    I wonder if parts of it predate traveller at least ? The planetary system/star generation seemed remarkably free of the "more scientific than traveller" fetish in post traveller SF games that you note.
    BTW, loved the review.

  16. Archive Miniatures has never been associated with the people who owned Rkiiv. Our production facilities were in San Mateo, occupying a very large "garage" (1100 square feet).

    No one ever sued us, nor did we pay any damages or reparations to anyone. Archive went bankrupt due to the economic turmoil that engulfed the country (rampant inflation coupled with runaway interest rates, which brought the entire country to a standstill).

    My distribution network of distributors and retailers simply collapsed. They went out of business because they were unable to secure business loans to stay afloat (at 24.5% interest rate, when money could be obtained, no one could afford to borrow, because the gross profit margin for distributors was 25%, and 40% for retailers, which meant incurring further losses and liabilities for themselves).

    My distributors could have returned the unsold merchandise to me. That was our policy. I could have turned around and sold their Star Rover returns easily. I had printed 1000 copies. I sold out at every convention I went to, and sold all copies I had on hand at the factory.

    When I took a loan out myself, to finance the growth of Archive Miniatures, the prime rate was 11%. As a small business owner, my interest rate was therefore 14%, and given our growth, affordable. The loan was secured by collateral - inventory and equipment. Soon thereafter, the prime rate began climbing and settled at 21.5% and stayed there. When the loan finally became due almost three years later, there was no money to repay because my receivables were scattered around the country - virtually all bankrupt and out of business. I pulled the plug on the business, and the bank collected the inventory and equipment to discharge the loan. Il later sold that equipment to the people who called themselves Rkiiv. The intellectual property rights (patents, trademarks, and copyrights of the business, including Star Rovers) remained with me.

  17. Hey, me again.

    Sorry about conflating Archive and Rkiiv; I actually forgot about the later company, and couldn't remember your spelling here at work. Did you ever have a smaller facility in the early 80's ? My memory of it was a garage style industrial lockup when I was doing delivery and pickup for BGD across the bay. Still, I may be just getting old. No intent to disparage, apologies if it came across as such !
    Honestly sorry to hear about how things went for you. I quite liked your stuff, and as I said, I regretted not buying Star rovers when I had the chance.
    That said, you still have rights to Star rovers ? Have you considered a PDF distribution ?

  18. We did move our factory to another facility - from San Mateo to Burlingame, due to the hammering we were taking from the runaway inflationary spiral that we were all going through (the floor kept rising faster than we could raise the ceiling). We also moved our household to Burlingame, as the factory was around the corner from our new house. We didnt lose anything in the way of square footage, just divided it between the front building and the one in back.

    The rights to Star Rovers still remain with me, as copyrights extend for several decades beyond the life of the author, and - last I checked - my pulse, though slowed a bit in the ensuing years, still registers on the EKG. I am considering PDF distribution, thanks to the revival in interest. But I want to tie up loose ends in Module 1 before I do so, addressing the glaring omissions that Lizard has highlighted in his excellent review. There is also some other material that I have continued to develop for it over the years, based on material that I have had on hand from the first incarnation.