I have some big news that I’m very excited to share with you all!
A few months ago I founded Conifer Games, a small development studio dedicated to building ‘meaty’ games like strategy and hardcore RPGs. Our first project is At the Gates, a 4X turn-based strategy game which takes place during the fall of the Roman Empire. Players take the reigns of a fledgling barbarian tribe trying to forge a place for itself within the new order.
Our team has been working on At the Gates for a while now, and we feel it’s finally time to start showing it off. We already have a fully-playable prototype completed, but the game still has a long way to go.
The development of At the Gates is being entirely funded through Kickstarter, so please consider contributing if this is a project you’d be interested in. The game is jam-packed with what I believe are very, very cool ideas, and I truly believe it will open up a new chapter on the 4X genre.
There’s already a ton of info about the game over on our Kickstarter page and our official website, but we’ll be adding even more to that in the coming weeks. Folks, you might want to change your homepage, as I’ll be posting a new article describing a major aspect of the game or its development every couple days for the next month!
It’s going to be a wild ride, guys. I hope you join me and see where it goes!
Posted by Jon Shafer on February 6, 2013
[January 30th Update: We're now back up and running!]
As some of you have probably noticed, the website for our podcast has been down for a few days. Unfortunately, the server had a meltdown and the website was a total loss.
We’re in the process of rebuilding it, but in the meantime you can continue downloading episodes from iTunes, or you pull them down directly from our Buzzsprout site.
Sorry for the inconvenience!
- The Management
Posted by Jon Shafer on January 28, 2013
Dirk Knemeyer and I are proud to announce a new project:
The Game Design Round Table Podcast
Wherein, we will be delving into all sorts of interesting issues related to game design and the business as a whole. In the first episode, now available through iTunes, we discuss what we’ll be doing with the show and our particular interests as gamers and designers.
The second episode will be posted early next week, and in that one Dirk and I will be talking with former-Hasbro, now independent tabletop designer Rob Daviau about what it’s like to strike off on your own, the process for creating Risk: Legacy and other fun game design topics.
Check it out, and I hope you all enjoy the show!
Posted by Jon Shafer on November 14, 2012
I was recently a guest co-host on the October 12th episode of the Quarter to Three games podcast. Jason McMaster and I discussed several topics including XCOM, Dishonored, Tokyo Jungle and a bit of speculation surrounding the future of Kickstarter.
XCOM isn’t a perfect game, but I really, really like it. Give the podcast a listen if you want to hear more. Additionally, in honor of XCOM I’ll also be putting up an article next week on consequences, so look forward to that!
Posted by Jon Shafer on October 12, 2012
I’ve been playing and designing strategy games for some time now. In some ways this hobby has grown to the point where I’m frequently unable to enjoy a strategy game just for fun – alas, it seems that turning off ‘designer vision’ can be pretty tough (especially when bad user interface is involved).
However, one advantage this affliction brings is a more critical eye. Over the years I’ve collected some thoughts on what plays a role in a strategy game being good or bad. I recently decided to start this site in hopes of sharing what I’ve learned with other designers and gamers, and also to learn along the way myself. So without further ado, let’s begin this wild journey!
Posted by Jon Shafer on March 30, 2012