developer diary

[Heroes of the Falling Star] Developer Diary 1: From Idle Musing to First Draft

Hello everyone,

As I announced yesterday, I’ve put together a fairly solid first draft of Heroes of the Falling Star, a Wuxia RPG for kids. Honestly at this point it still feels a little surreal to me as the idea came to me while I was watching my son while he was asleep in his crib.

I’m not really a very good craftsman. The most complicated thing I’ve put together was a Gundam model kit, and that doesn’t really say much for my chances at making something practical for him.

And so I decided I would do something that I was good at, and dedicate it to him instead.

That’s how Heroes of the Falling Star came to be.

False Start

Heroes of the Falling Star began as a very, very different game. Originally called Meteor Kids, it was a post-apocalypse game about children that have been released from cryogenic sleep chambers by their well-meaning but barely functioning AI caretaker. These kids were meant to go out and scavenge for lost technology that could be used to repair their home enough to restore the functionality necessary to thaw out their still sleeping parents.

Yeah, it was pretty bleak.

So I figured that it wasn’t the kind of game that kids would necessarily enjoy. There was a dark undercurrent on it that would probably frighten kids instead, and they don’t exactly have the life experience to really understand what a post-apocalyptic existence entailed.

That said if this idea does appeal to you, do go and check out Mutant Year Zero. It’s awesome.


With that idea set aside for another day, I refocused on what I wanted an RPG for kids to do. This game was going to be a love letter to my son, a work that would ultimately reflect the things I would hope he would learn while growing up. I reached to the core of my identity, the things that made me who I am.

I wanted him to gain an appreciation for his Chinese heritage. That made the decision to go for a Wuxia setting easy.

The second thing I wanted, was for him to grow up as a good man. That was going to be a little more difficult.

I went to my research of wuxia literature and came upon the virtues of the xia, the wandering knight-errants that were often the protagonists of wuxia fiction. It was a surprising fit with the model of behavior that I was gunning for, and so I incorporated it into the system as well.

Writing and Rewriting

At this point I’m heavily into the writing / rewriting cycle for the manuscript. I could easily say that the game was complete, but I’m certain that once I get back to it there’s going to be a ton of things that weren’t immediately obvious to me and I’ll be kicking myself in the butt for missing them.

If you’re interested, Ive got the draft up on Google Drive so if you’re interested in seeing it develop:

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