I love the discussion so far! Only a few folks chiming in but it has been enlightening. We need all kinds on this project both positive and critical thinkers. Without both we cannot find a balance. In regards to the possible problems:
1) Permission will most likely not be an issue as I personally plan not to make any money off of this. I think it would be best to hand it over to the creators anyway considering it is all based on their intellectual property. Its just a game I would like to see made so profit is not my governing factor. Only two business reasons would restrict permission, dilution of the brand or intellectual property or it is already in production in which case it will get made anyway without my help.
2) The map issue is only a problem with massive multiplayer games, something I never intended this to be. Although I really like where your head is at on this one. Grand ideas are never a problem. We just may not be able to meet the expectations. My thought was more of a single player adventure RPG/Strategy game. Though multiplayer (if we can figure it out) would be awesome! Maybe we just have to localize it or do it like civilizations; sending the actions done each turn to the other player. The only time we would get hung up is if one or the other player isn't interested and with a words with friends style matchmaking system in place you would only be playing mostly with people you know.
3) Combat in this system is turn based. Live time only comes from orders given by warlords and led stacks. This is only a problem if we have no defense system set up. Having warlords with basic orders like "Attack high value targets", "Don't defend against led stacks" or even "Only target led stacks" would suffice because that is all one can do in that system anyway. Solo units can have unique orders like "Strike high value targets of opportunity".
4) I think we vastly underestimate the power of the Ipad. It can handle some older more complex games with ease (take a look at Bard's Tale) so it would be up to someone with programming experience to tell us what is and isn't possible. But that being said, if it doesn't work on the Ipad it is the Titan's will. Perhaps we switch gears at that point to PC.
5) Custom units would be awesome, though only if it is possible that is a good question. But that isn’t really something that pops up in the world to be honest. Erfworld doesn’t have custom unit creation; though every unit does tend to have a certain uniqueness to it we may have to sacrifice that for the sake of feasibility. Stabbers, infantry, archers, heavies, siege, warlord, caster. We can break it down based on that and the random pops will help to keep the game special and true to form. Each faction (as illustrated in the comic) can have certain unique unit pictures but they will still stick to the major categories already mentioned. And great point on the having too many unique sprites being impossible. Totally agree. Only a few uniques per side is a better plan.
6) Creating a custom side would be way easier than we think, I imagine. Simply pick a style (aggressive, defensive, magic heavy) pick a background (Overlord, Royal, etc…) then if you want more choices pick a trait or two (infantry specialist, siege specialist, heavy specialist, etc…) and it will help to figure that out. Pick from a few styles of livery and you are good to go! Yeah we sacrifice the customization of the pen and paper, but that is something one just has to do to create something like this. Custom color options and maybe even upload a picture of your face or an emblem you draw and it inserts that picture into the game to be your emblem.
7) The only tricky piece is the magic system. You guys are correct that it has the most potential to be a game breaker. However, it is the big game breaking moment that defines Erfworld lately. But we can make it complex to be set up those game breakers. Charlie had to have a thinkamancer link the turnamancer to something else in order to do that big turn change spell. So someone would have to have a Turnamancer, a Master Class Thinkamancer (or Arkendish with someone to work it) and then some other kind of mage I don’t even know about. And all that randomly pops, so not so much game breaking as it is like relying on the royal flush on the flop in a game of Texas Holdem. Igniting the volcano killed everything including their own side (almost). And it took a Thinkamancer, Dirtamancer, and Croakamancer. Then they needed a few Master Class Thinkamancers to unravel the link. Gamebreaking? Yeah, but damn did that take some work to avoid being worse off in the end.
Final thoughts: A great start ya’ll. Will it be multiplayer or just single player with some defined parameters? Will it be Ipad or PC? All of these can be answered if we put our minds to it. Spread the word and get more people involved and we can get a better idea on what will and won’t work. Step one is define the idea and get a design document up and available for folks to take a look at. After some more discussion I will try and write up a one page summary that will better define what we are thinking about. Then we can work off that and dig deeper as time goes by. The point of the one page design doc is just to get people with talent interested, after that we can really get it solidified. Thanks you guys and keep up the good work! If I didn’t address anything please let me know and we can keep going.