The Banner Sagaback in January, 2014, a visually astonishing blend of animated Norse storytelling and turn-based tactical combat. Now the game's lead director is working on a new title.
Killers and Thieves has the player running a thieves guild, hiring burglars and bandits to do their dirty work, upgrading their base of operations, and planning elaborate heists. Like Banner Saga, it makes use of some beautiful 2D, hand-drawn visuals, but this time they're inspired by the work of comic artist
Banner Saga creative director Alex Thomas has left work on Banner Saga 2 to concentrate on this new project, which grew out of a desire to find other uses for the tech employed in Stoic Studio's debut title. Originally it was astyle stripped down puzzle game which had you haggling over fenced goods, but Thomas started to think of other possibilities.
"The second iteration of the game design involved a huge, sprawling city made from individual buildings," explains Thomas. "You could recruit thieves, case joints, send them on missions to specific buildings and buy property to expand your influence on the city. The three-quarter view gameplay was designed primarily because the Banner Saga engine could already handle it."
The fencing mechanics was ditched as the designer couldn't find a way to make it work without a strong narrative focus, and the general design was tweaked to give the game a more RPG-like focus, ultimately Thomas switched over to an-style "dollhouse" view that gives the player the opportunity to lord it over their custom-built guild hall and army of ne'er-do-wells.
"This solved a whole lot of problems," Thomas writes, "including letting the player control their thieves, perform the actual act of stealing, and made the gameplay more dynamic. It puts capture and death in the hands of the player instead of a random number roll. However, it also complicates the game quite a bit. I spend a lot of time simplifying and streamlining this system."
Work on Killers and Thieves continues, but it's early days yet so there's no release plan. To keep an eye on the project, check out the, where Thomas is updating the community regularly on his progress,