Yesterday EMPIRE, a game I’ve been designing for Crazy Monkey Studios for the past 8 months or so, was released. It was a pretty quick turnaround – after working on 100 Rogues, which took about a year and a half, and AURO, which so far has taken nearly two years, it’s nice to design a game, make it, and put it out there.
It was a pretty different experience, process-wise. Unlike AURO, I really knew what EMPIRE was going to be at the get-go. The game that it ultimately was released as was very close to what I had in mind from the start – especially combat, which I feel is very strong in version 1.0.
Despite the fact that I’m really happy with where EMPIRE is now, I feel that version 1.0 is just the beginning. I have a lot of other plans for the game in future updates. For instance, I’d like to change the way that monsters work on the overmap. It would probably be good if monsters had the bases that they have now, but also sent out troops which milled about randomly until they came in contact with the player’s city. That way, there’s a bit more life/emergence to the monsters, and it also makes the whole “I target you, you target me” thing – which is kind of strange at the moment – less of a problem. Monster cities would never “attack” you, only launch wandering monsters. Monsters themselves would attack, but simply by walking onto your city. Since you and the monsters are already very asymmetrical, it makes sense that the way they attack would be different than the way you do.
Another thing that I think the game might need is some third resource – perhaps “gems”, or perhaps “settlements” – that you can see through the fog at different locations on the map. These would be required for certain tech things (such as perhaps Shaman’s Huts), but also finite, and could be wiped out by wandering monsters. This would give exploration a much-needed boost in its coherence as a mechanism.
Anyway, overall I’m so excited about having another game I designed out there. I can’t wait to hear what people think of the game. If you know anyone who wants to review the game, send me an email and I can probably get you a promo code.