Feudal Wars is back!

[x-posted from Kickstarter]

It has been almost 2 years since development of Feudal Wars went on hiatus. In that amount of time, I created two games: Strike Tactics and STBA.io. Several weeks ago, I made the decision to finish Feudal Wars as my next game!

Because I am utilizing the engine I built for Strike Tactics (instead of starting from the old Feudal Wars codebase), Feudal Wars is actually very far along. I am very close to a multiplayer pre-alpha and I intend to have a finished game by March (3 months from now) at the earliest, and April at the latest.

The game engine is fundamentally different from the one built for the demos currently accessible at feudalwars.net. The biggest change concerns performance. Environment (such as mountain and trees) won't be rendered as individual entities, allowing the game to run at a smooth 60FPS with 1,000 units on the map on good machines. Another major change relates to pathfinding. In summary, units will find the quickest path possible, regardless of what that does to change their formation. 

In addition, many things have changed concerning the original scope and vision of the project. I no longer wish to make a “full blown RTS” but instead, a form of gameplay which distills the fun things about RTS (unit control, base-building, etc) while shedding the (sometimes) boring and time-consuming aspects (eco-management, production, etc). My ultimate goal has always been to make a traditional “highly accessible RTS” that anyone can enjoy, including younger kids. I'm still doing that. The only part I'm changing is the "traditional" part. 

I recognize this is very different from my original vision - which was to make a purebred classic RTS. I feel I accomplished that goal with Strike Tactics and want to take Feudal Wars in a different direction. I want to make something more approachable but with the same level of depth.  

Because it is constantly changing, I have decided to not go into an in-depth explanation of what gameplay will be like in the new Feudal Wars, but I can say that I have elaborate plans. Here are some bullet points concerning gameplay:

  • You will be able to choose civilizations which have special units and bonuses. I intend to have at least 5 civilizations at launch (French, English and Teutonic Order are givens).
  • The standard game mode will be free-for-all, aligning with the theme of the middle ages which more or less, was a free-for-all (kingdoms divided into smaller parts or fiefs, constant warring between factions, etc). This tones down the competitive aspect because things won't be "head to head." However, there is nothing stopping me from releasing other more competitive game modes (such as 1v1 or 2v2) later on. 
  • Gameplay will focus on the military mechanics found in traditional RTS games. Unit control, map control and military strategy will determine your success in the game. Building and capturing castles will allow you to gain map control. There won’t be a long 10-15 minute slow period at the start of the game in which everyone is focusing on developing their economy. Instead, military conquest and map control will be the driving force behind the game mechanics (and by that I don’t mean control points). You will however, grow your kingdom and army as the game progresses. There will be huge incentives for attacking, which will make games short and fast-paced.
  • There will be 2 classes (infantry/cavalry) and 3 subclasses (polearm, missile and sword) making a total of 6 unit archetypes. Each archetype will have strengths and weaknesses. Buildings will be considered a pseudo-class. Each subclass will be accessible from all civilizations and will have 3 tiers (e.g. tier 1, tier 2 and tier 3 polearm). 

Great efforts will be made to make it easy to find games. Although there will be a somewhat hidden lobby system you can access, the default screen will funnel all players into a single queue for finding free-for-all games. We’ll start with that and expand as the game grows.

Who is working on the project? 

Currently, I am the only one working on the project. All of the original Feudal Wars team members are busy working on other projects. However, I would happily hire them back if they were interested. Realistically, this won’t happen till after Feudal Wars has launched and made some money. 

What about art? 

Before FW went on hiatus, Jorge (the lead artist) was kind enough to donate all of the assets he created for the Age of Chivalry AOE2 mod. These assets will essentially fill in the gaps for much of the unit art which is missing. Ground textures, trees, buildings and most environment art was complete before FW went on hiatus. Thus, I have everything I need in the art department to complete the game. 

Contour Chromatic (a collaboration between British composers Robert Sword and Giles Thomas) will be producing an original soundtrack, as originally planned. 

How much will the game cost? 

The game will be free, supported by ads, and accessible from any browser, but will work best in Chrome. If your computer can play stba.io, it won’t have any problem with Feudal Wars. Feudal Wars in fact, will have smaller hardware requirements than stba.io or Strike Tactics. 

How can I get involved? 

You can get involved by joining the Discord which is the best way to interact with me and also where I will make important announcements and field questions. I'm pretty much perpetually on Discord, so it's the best place to get in touch with me. 

Invite link: https://discord.gg/SQFMnMK

I hope to see some of you there. I am excited to finally complete this project as it has always been lurking in the back of my mind. I learned a lot about game development in the last two years (specifically browser game development), and I like to think I am much better equipped than when i started with Feudal Wars. 

I will do my best ... stay tuned for further updates!