A good friend of mine here in Vermont, Blackwell Hird, has just launched his first kickstarter campaign to build and release a dedicated tablet game of interstellar war. He’s a recent graduate from the Vancouver Film School for Game design and after graduating, he’s been let down by the current offerings when it comes to space-based strategy games in the digital age. The stories lacked the exploration qualities that he grew up with: “Many of [the games] simply laid out the galaxy as a known quantity which to me, does a diservice for the medium.” Conquest will look to bring the same principles of the space war games into the future that they depict.
Conquest is inspired by many of space based strategy games, that Hird grew up with, such as Twilight Imperium and Warhammer 40K, as well as other strategy games such as Risk and Diplomacy, and will bring the action to an interactive, digital setting. One frustration was the time and effort required to set up the games: “I loved the principles behind [the games], but the time involved to even set them up and get into them were far to inaccessible for many of my friends: we wanted to spend the time playing the games.” Conquest allows players to get right into the action, while still retaining the face to face and social aspects that are trademarks and attractions of board games for the tablet market.
You can visit the Kickstarter campaign here.
Here’s the description from the kickstarter page:
Conquest: my empire’s bigger than yours.
Welcome… To space! At least a small, fiercely contested corner of it. Grab your tablet of choice and revel in gleefully conquering your rivals in this turn-based strategy extravaganza with a twist. The giant space monster is not the twist. It’s just part of the scenery.
How many times have you gone to bust out one of your favorite board games, only to be fended off by long set up times, not being able to get everyone to sit still for long enough to play, and not entirely remembering the rules? The answer is too many times.
Conquest will help alleviate these problems, hopefully proving the balm for your itching board game desires. Setting up a game is as fast as pushing the big red button, the gameplay is easy to put down and pick up again at your leisure, and the rules are simple enough to figure out, while engaging enough to encourage strategy (especially if the strategy is “go forth and blow things up”).
Conquest tasks you with building your very own galactic empire and blasting your opponents into their constituent bits. Use your vast and (mostly) awe-inspiring fleet to explore a galaxy randomly generated by the game or lovingly hand-crafted by you. Discover, explore, and mercilessly conquer planets that you discover in said galaxy, all while hoping that you don’t land your fleet in the middle of a black hole. Then fight the good fight both in space and planet side until you are finally able to plant your flag on your opponent’s home world and then laugh at them.
This kickstarter project is looking to raise $41,000, which will be used to hire a programer and support team to deliver the game by November 2012, and to create an LLC to support the game and its deployment.
I’m in full agreement with Blackwell: there’s not a whole lot of good games out there that I’ve found, and having played games with him continually over the past decade or so, I’m very eager to see where this one goes.