Civilization V game designer Jon Shafer has posted a new update on the Kickstarter page for his successfully funded project At the Gates, which can best be described as an empire building game set during late antiquity. That is, Europe during the time of the Roman Empire.
The update focuses on why the game has been delayed. Simply put, Shafer needed the players to have incentives to be kicked out of the nest; the starting areas were simply too cozy, and players had to be given pressing reasons to explore and colonize.
"Starting locations are no longer quite so hospitable. You start with a sufficient stockpile to keep your head above water for a couple years, but you now need to start thinking about finding a new place to live right away. This provides a clear goal from turn 1 that the game was previously lacking," explained Schafer.
The next big challenge is tackling diplomacy, stated the developer, and part of working on that are introducing borders. However, borders are "fuzzy" and ill-defined, to add some realism and also to give diplomacy some more immediacy.
"I wanted each kingdom's area of control to feel 'fuzzy', as this is how it was historically during this time, but gameplay has to win out over realism. You have to know how close is too close, because negotiating with computer opponents is just plain frustrating it's not clear what they want," noted Schafer.
Gamers interested in Jon Shafer's At the Gates but were too late to back the Kickstarter campaign can preorder the title at the official site .