So I'm beginning my new Icar campaign this September and I'm really excited! I've started a new setting document (it's really rough right now) for the players to read and get thinking about their characters. It's really rough (and hosted on Google docs).
Big challenge Going into deep space without hitting cliche left, right and centre is really hard. I'm going to be reusing a lot ideas I couldn't justify in my last couple of campaigns. To bind all the events together, I need the player characters to be well fleshed out before they get into deep space because the players will need to understand their character. It's all very well being shown a crazy blob that eats cities but unless you know the sort of character you are, you won't know how to react.
In more familiar settings, it's fine to think-out the character as you go but here the players will need some guidance from their own back story.
It's sort of players old and new. I have my old "classic" players of Fish, Dwain and Byrn. They've all been playing for ages. Then there's Jen, who's been playing a couple of years now. We're seeing the return of Wallace, who used to play for YEARS and moved away to London and Baron, who I've not roleplayed with (beyond the odd day here and there) but we've known each other for years and years and years and years.
I'm still writing - the setting is coming along nicely. I'm trying to do a little of the Fleet graphics too, to keep myself sane!
So, we're done with character creation and a few sessions in Roll20 isn't perfect but it works well enough. I think characte creation might have been a bit long at one player per session. Some were more fun than others and it was difficult to engage all 6 players in every scene. I'll give it some thought.
I think there are enough surprises overall to keep the campaign fresh. I like that we have some unstable player characters on the team, they keep things fresh and stop "the most efficient" solution every time.