What is Freeburg Minecraft Project

Today we have John Sterritt introducing our new Freeburg Minecraft Project:

We once asked where is Freeburg. My brother defined it as an idea not a place. That worked alright for the idea and notion of Merchants of Freeburg. But to me, Freeburg IS a place, it should be a better defined entity than vaguely Western European Fantasy. Over the many months of playing Freeburg during playtests, watching as the town ebbs and flows it became more real to me than a game about teaching economics in a fantasy town. We saw varying ideas for how to run the town and it’s companies from anarcho-capitalist utopias, merchant backed police states, to state owned markets with semi private warehouses. After seeing all of these I wanted to define what Freeburg is. On the back of the box in a previous edition we called it a small town on the frontier. Which Frontier? Who’s frontier? Isn’t the Burgermeister his own top entity answering to no one and thereby Freeburg is definitely on no frontier at all. To aid in this confusion, though admittedly it may have been entirely my own, we decided to bring the town to life. First of these projects aiming at enlivening the idea of Freeburg is a Minecraft server dedicated to allow players to help shape the Burg (or walled town as English would phrase it).

By so defining Freeburg, the struggles and successes from playing Merchants of Freeburg all the more real. This creative project aims to connect more people with the ideals of the game as well as each other. It also makes a unique and adaptive realm to base more content in, as I have said earlier this is the first of hopefully many projects to enliven the idea of Freeburg.

Why use Minecraft? We determined that this game is the best creative engine to empower our project due to it’s ease of use, wide range of players and ease of sharing information. No it is not the ideal platform, but it is easier to use a minecraft server to do this and we can work the issues out from there.

Together we hope to build this fantasy town of our imaginations and impart the Lore and backstory that will make Merchants of Freeburg not just a medieval market sim of a board game but a whole world in and of itself. I see this project as a sort of open source worldmaking where fans and friends of SSP can directly track their impact as this idea develops. This is aimed at making more games, more content; such as novels (to be elaborated on later), as well as a rich minecraft community.  

Come and join the community here.

Artistic Developement of Freeburg

Artistic Development on Merchants of Freeburg started in August. And after determining the best artist for this project, Anna Hollinrake has been diligent with providing Sterritt Strategy with original Art for this new title. She is a digital artist based out of county Kent, Uk. You can see all of her other projects on her website and her deviantart page. Her new talent and millennial generational approach pair perfectly with the youth and drive found in Sterritt Strategy Publishing.

Anna’s last major personal artistic project was Apotheosis, which demonstrates her wide ranging abilities in illustration, 3D digital design and the incorporation of these art forms. This project was in UDK using 3Ds Max, Zbrush, Photoshop and 3D Coat. In this project she conceived, designed and built digitally a whole temple structure. To learn more about Anna’s Apotheosis visit: Her Blog for the project, or Her fly through video.

She has set the artistic style of Freeburg in this rich and lovable storybook-esque fantasy world. While Freeburg is very much its own world, her art and the game will have you feeling a better of medieval township, a Bothers Grim fairy tale or Chaucerian verse. Her attentions to every card and piece allows this game to come to life in every lush wood tone, lavish gold trim and weathered looking parchment. Truly her art adds a tremendous value to a captivating game.

In the rest of the Art Book enjoy the example of several of her completed personal projects, cover art development, game board development, Accounting mat design, Commodity Card designs, and other coming parts and components. Every part of this book is a work in progress on the Merchants of Freeburg project; the most recent prints are literal work as it was before this convention.

You can get your own copy of Merchants of Freeburg in our store at http://www.sterrittstrategy.com/store-1/5rzkw1426d8j11pm1845c9mam91bkr

Where is Freeburg?

This is a question we get a lot. The good thing is people think they know who merchants are, well they at very least want to think they know who merchants are. In truth merchants are very different in their habits, approaches and natures over the course of time, right. You could never expect a street peddler in Rome to accept Credit Cards, or an Ancient Sumerian to understand the coins in your pockets. Yet Romans had banks (look up A for more information, or read the history of banking on Wikipedia) and Sumerians still had objects of value (see B or more history of Banking and Money).

Freeburg is nowhere, and Freeburg is everywhere to every human that ever was or will be. Freeburg is a dilemma and a goal. Freeburg is a balance of many players. It is the big question for all people and peoples. When we declare and defend one’s independence and the independence of our neighbors and our neighbors’ neighbor, this is the discourse that must take place. When we reaffirm our loyalties or seek to expand or limit the powers that be, this is the discourse that must take. When we question the point and efforts of government and the market, this is the discourse that must take place.

Merchants of Freeburg is a tool to talk about the heavier issues that we in our living rooms could never feel we had the know how to talk about with comfort or enough relevant information. Merchants of Freeburg is a Board Game first and foremost! It is about living out the choices and lives of the countless unsung heros of the Merchants in a Storybook Esque Fictional Town. What makes Freeburg a worthwhile experience is unlike any other medium of art, it will let you toy with ideas about government and the market. And it is a board game, so nobody will ever learn of your exploits, no matter how morally questionable, in the game, unless you choose to share them.

A better question for Freeburg is; When is Freeburg? While it is clearly a Western European Settlement, The best players of this game will tell you that is its setting in time. Back before our industry, Back before our Enlightenment, back before our Reformation, Back before our Rebirth, back in “highest of societies” in the late Dark Age of Western Society. Yet in this game players may have a chance to see the light at the end of this period of the shared history of our common language. And while this is a game set in the simple words of our shared language’s common history, the mechanics of this game can be set anywhere in time or cultures.

This is the game in the minds of every protester, every armchair thinker and every armchair tinker in the realms of all parts of society. The real question of any interest is Why Merchants and Why Freeburg.

Merchants are the feet of the world. Without them ideas would never move between cities. Without them Government have no revenue. Without their acceptance world leaders are just talking heads. Historical change is up to them. In our Game Merchants of Freeburg, we use a very wide definition of the word Merchant. In general, in the game a merchant are all people who choose to do things without being the sovereign of a total group of people. So in English my merchants aren’t just salesmen and women, but independent farmers, righteous thieves, outspoken clergy, union leaders, protest leaders, dissenters, envelope pushers, visionary inventors and the millions of the unsung heroes of history.

Freeburg is the choice every merchant needs to make. Remain “Free” to do as they please, or build a little bit of the “Burg” to remain safe to live to next big profit. This is the ultimate change of statecraft as noted by state crafters throughout Humanity. From Benjamin Franklin’s “They who can give up essential Liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety” (see part C for more) to the very different challenges of Tecumseh “Let us form one body, one heart and defend to the last warrior our country, our homes, our liberty and the graves of our fathers” (see part D for more). This is the central tradeoff between all individuals within all societies. When to act freely and When to act in our common good. The challenge in our game is to play the game from the perspectives of merchants and work together and apart to see who can win that particular game. The uniqueness of our design and mechanics is in the fact that never will you have a game that will be similar to the ones you had before, and all the times you play this game the trusted mechanics are as much or as little as you and your group feels it can handle.

Stay informed about the continued development cycle of this game and others we design by reading this Blog. Coming Sunday is a Blog about the current state of our Illustration and a more indepth look about our selected artist, Anna Hollinrake. You can see more about her previous work from her website, here http://anna-hollinrake.tumblr.com/.


Links for your idea surfing pleasure:

  1. H Temporini, W Haase. Principat, Volume 8. Walter de Gruyter, 1977. ISBN 3110073374.

  2. http://ancienthistory.about.com/od/neareast/ss/052909Mesopotamia_2.htm#step-heading

  3. More Quotes on Liberty http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/liberty.html

  4. More Quotes on Security http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/security.html

Welcome to the Sterritt Strategy Publishing, Ltd. Official Blog!

Sterritt Strategy Publishing is an Independent Game Design and Publishing company established in New Hampshire in 2012. Ever since we have taken pride in developing games that bridge the gap between ‘casual’ and ‘hardcore’ gaming, with rules that are easy to understand and actually make sense. All while introducing the players to a new level of entertainment. We take this very seriously, as gamers that have also played great conceptual games without solid rules.

In short-order the next few posts will introduce our first release Merchants of Freeburg, unveil our Convention touring schedule for said release, and discuss our background in game design.

We look forward to sharing who we are, what we think about, and how our development is progressing.