A Game Of Thrones: Genesis Will Fight Dirty

By Quintin Smith on May 12th, 2011 at 6:40 pm.

A strange game. The only winning move is not to have sex with a prostitute and spawn a dozen bastards who will proceed to ruin your life.

Cyanide Studios, the French developers behind Blood Bowl and Pro Cycling Manager (I imagine them sat at their desks, stained with blood and sweat in equal measure) have just fired a salvo of intriguing new details on A Game of Thrones: Genesis, their real-time strategy game set in the world of George R. R. Martin’s wily, waspish fantasy novels. Looks like an ordinary RTS, right? Well, it turns out we can look forward to everything from bribery and ransoming to marraiges and assassinations, there’ll be a focus on backstabbery and even a need to hide your bastard sons. More after the jump.

You can find all the details here, but I’ll copy and here are the best parts:

In this strategy game, victory does not necessarily result from brute force. You can of course choose to use a military approach and besiege your opponents, but you may also strangle them in an economical war, or use all the dirty tricks possible and subtle diplomacy to politically crush them. Treachery, deception and backstabbing are everywhere… so watch your back, always!

Accessing the Iron Throne is achieved by building up Prestige for your House. Different ways are at your disposal: amassing wealth, building many alliances, controlling the Sept temples, slaughtering the opponent… However, some actions may also lead to Prestige loss: laying siege to an enemy castle or town during peace time, being victim of a secret alliance, having your bastard sons discovered, and others. Build up enough Prestige to access the Iron Throne, or crush your opponent’s own prestige to lead them to their dismissal! All the tools are at your disposal for this: assassinate the opponent’s Great Lord, cut his trade routes, bribe and turn his key units against him, capture his officers and ask for ransoms… do everything you can to win the Game of Thrones!

The notion of peace and war is very important in A Game of Thrones and, in part, fixes your strategy and how you will gain control of territories.

At the start of each game, harmony usually reigns. However, every action taken by the players has an effect, be it positive or negative, on the apparent peace. Every killing, assassination, imprisonment and other treachery actions will lead toward War. To the contrary, sending messages of peace to enemy castles (if the envoy manages to reach his destination alive!), freeing captured enemy units, and other actions, will maintain peace. Depending on your strategy and plans, you may want to maintain peace, or to precipitate war.

I do believe this game just went scrambling up a few dozen rungs on my most-wanted ladder. Good work, Cyanide.

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68 Comments »

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  1. Peter Radiator Full Pig says:

    Would be better as a slow paced turn based political backstab simulator.
    Title should read; Winter is coming.

    • Premium User Badge

      Daiv says:

      Solium Infernum perhaps?

    • Kaira- says:

      If the game plays slow enough, I’ll be more than satisfied. Not too fond of quick actioning and political scheming in one brew, so if action is slow, my slow fingers just might be able to keep up.

    • Kaira- says:

      Edit/ Very weird double post. Sorry ’bout that.

    • Turin Turambar says:

      Don’t read too much in the “RTS” term, i suspect this game will be one of those “slow RTS” instead of being… Starcraft.

    • Sutenvulf says:

      Thanks Tetragrammaton, just started book 3 and about 7 lines down in your link is a lovely little spoiler I could have done without.

    • futage says:

      @Sutenvulf, No one forced you to click the link and read the post. Immediately upon opening the link it’s pretty obvious it’s the sort of thing which may contain the odd spoiler. You chose to carry on reading and then come here to whine about it.

      I mean, you learned that something happens – the mere fact of it. Not how or why or when or what repurcussions it has narratively and emotionally and… etc.. Just that it happens. If that’s enough to ‘spoil’ a book for you then your chosen mode of engaging with culture is alien to me.

      I wish people would stop whining about this sort of shit.

    • Betamax says:

      I think it’s fair to want a spoiler warning for a link like that. I mean, there didn’t even seem to be a spoiler warning before the spoiler in question so… Yeah. Whining about whining is annoying too?

    • futage says:

      No, counter-whining is ok.

      And no, spoiler warnings are really tedious. If you can’t work out through context that something might contain spoilers, and care about such things, then you should probably stay off the internet. And if learning minor plot points of a cultural object as simple facts spoil your subsequent enjoyment of that cultural object when experienced as a whole then you probably shouldn’t talk to people at all. Or read books. Or watch films. Or play games.

    • nimnio says:

      Apparently, futage has spoiled things in the past, been chewed-out over it, and is still feeling a bit bitter.

    • TenjouUtena says:

      WARNIGN! Below I might spoil things. Or something/

      OMG! You spoiled that there’s a spoiler in the link! Now my being spoiled about that spoiler won’t allow me to be properly spoiled by the spoiler and then I cannot complain about being spoiled, because I have already been spoiled that I might be spoiled later.

      If it’s not obvious, I totally agree with futage here. The internet, in general, has gotten kind of crazy with OMG SPOILERS lately. It’s a spoiler that the Death Star blows up.. isn’t it? Or that Asuka exists in Evangelion? I’m fairly certain that the third book has been out for some 11 years now. What’s the timeout on these sorts of things. I’ve never read more than one chapter of the series, but I still plan on doing so. Does this mean that I get to tell people not to spoil that, for instance, Arya exists?

      Wow.. That was more ranty than I wanted. tl;dr is ‘Spoilers are on teh internet, and being sensitive to them is getting a little old hat, my chap’.

    • pipman3000 says:

      ^
      lol zany
      shut up

      literally nobody on this site cares what you think about spoilers

      ps:what’s your favourite anime

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      P7uen says:

      @teedhhh

      Well done you actually have the most helpful post on this thread. For that I might actually fork some Jordans.

    • Tetragrammaton says:

      I apologize for any upset, Sutenvulf. Id bookmarked the link from some time ago and either the description changed for the new version or I simply forgot it was there in the first place. So, im sorry about that.

      *****SSSSSSPOLILERSSSSS*****

      Although….Joffery dying – come on, who didn’t see that one coming.

    • Sutenvulf says:

      No worries Tetragrammaton, it did seem like it was coming and I’ve been hoping for it after all the twatful things he’s done, but you never know with all the twists and turns in these books.

      It seems like I’ve upset you futage, and for that you have my deepest apologies.

    • futage says:

      @Sutenvulf

      Gah, no need to apologise. I snapped at the wrong target – I’m sorry.

      I’m just sick of spoiler warnings, people have gone nuts with them. And I think a distinction needs to be made between revealing a major plot twist, one whose exposition is central to the enjoyment/experience of whatever it is we’re talking about and just arbitrary details – things which happen – which you’re going to get in any discussion of the thing.

  2. frenz0rz says:

    Oh my, the screenshots and that description make it look like some strange cross between Settlers 2 and the Total War series.

    Do want more info!

    And its so nice to see those little wooden territory-marking pegs making a return to gaming.

    • dadioflex says:

      Oddly, it made me think of Gal Civ II, which can be played as a war-game but where a cultural win is viable and the diplomacy is at least interesting.

  3. skurmedel says:

    I salute the Wargames parody.

  4. csuzw says:

    My 1 worry with this is at least for the single player this kind of thing needs to have good AI and anyone familiar with Blood Bowl will be all too aware of how badly Cyanide have managed that in the past.

  5. Joseph-Sulphur says:

    I don’t think this is the right format for an ASOIAF game. It all just looks too small-scale, too cartoonish.

  6. hanneswall says:

    So I guess your lords will be pretty autonomous in the way they lead their civilian lives?
    I mean, unless there’s some sort of boon to be had by doing it, why would you have bastards if you can lose prestige for it?

    Maybe it’s just a quicker way to breed more leader-characters, if such a thing exists in this game.

    • Premium User Badge

      P7uen says:

      Making a bastard is fun, it’s when the bastard is born that you might regret and try to hide it, I think.

      I doubt the majority of people set out to make a bastard and see the sex as a necessary evil.

  7. Temple to Tei says:

    Does anyone know if ITV are covering the Tour this year?
    What? Cyanide do the cycling game, it is relevant.

    And I read that as ‘willy waspish novels’ and thought ‘Someone else who doesn’t like them!’

  8. Mana_Garmr says:

    I shall give my bastard sons armies to lead, so they may crush anyone who makes a big deal of their parentage.

    Of course then they’ll probably turn on me and try to take my lands for their own, but at least it’d be funny.

  9. man-eater chimp says:

    I’d like to be able to fight on the Wall, say do rangings and whatnot.

    • Teddy Leach says:

      You’re all making me pine for Monday’s episode. Stop it.

    • d32 says:

      Teddy, I’ve bought book after two episodes, because I couldn’t wait for the next one :)
      Oh, those consumers are so predictable!

  10. westyfield says:

    Ooh, I’d love to play as House Targaryen. That can only end well!

  11. ulix says:

    “There’s a war coming, Ned. I don’t when, I don’t know who we’ll be fighting. But it’s coming.”

  12. Unbudgingprawn says:

    There are dragons in the screen shot. Slightly worrying, as I hope they focus on the realistic aspects of ASoIaF then “DRAGONS!”
    Still, high hopes

    • ulix says:

      Judging from the website you’ll play during the time of Aegon the Conqueror, who conquered Westeros with… well… dragons.

      But this also means that only the Targaryens will have them as units (at least if they stay true to the Lore, which I hope they will). But then the question arises what the other houses get as compensation. We’ll see I guess.

    • Premium User Badge

      Joshua says:

      Also according to the lore, Aegon did not have all that many troopss…

    • ulix says:

      So this will probably mean: make wise tactical use of your dragons, otherwise you’re fucked.

  13. Lorc says:

    Surely “an economical war” would just be war on the cheap?

  14. wererogue says:

    Shiny.

  15. Davie says:

    I am happy they decided to go the RTS route and not waste the setting on a dull turn-based thing. Total War is the only series that I think does TBS well, and it’s probably just due to the battles to look forward to.
    Still, something slow-paced and not frenetic would be ideal. This does sound interesting.

    • d32 says:

      Boo to you, sir, boo!

      I bet chess is also considered dull in those circles of yours, isn’t it?

  16. dethgar says:

    I would much prefer an RPG where I can be Tirion Lanister.

    • Teddy Leach says:

      I would also like this. Very much.

    • Xercies says:

      +1 on this idea as well

      Also the guy who plays him in the series has just nailed the character I think.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      Peter Dinklage is spectacular, but much too handsome. It actually changes the character. I wonder how they’re going to handle, well, future developments where his ugliness plays a key role in his inner turmoil.

      But they’ve also used him as an excuse to squeeze in (ahem) more boobs, which I can only approve of.

    • Reapy says:

      I agree that the tyrion in HBO is not the tyrion on the books. I always pictured the guy in the books more rough spoken, while dinklage is more Shakespearean in his delivery and definitely a much prettier dwarf than tyrion is. That said, dinklage’s delivery of every line is f’ing amazing and hes positively owned the character with his take on it. Also, I am going to think that the development you speak of will be represented, I think it would be too much of a diversion to not have it.

    • Werthead says:

      Cyanide are working on an RPG that will come out a year after the RTS (apparently). You can’t ‘be’ Tyrion but it’s set during the books, so there’s a chance he could turn up.

      I can sort of understand why Cyanide aren’t making a bigger deal about the RPG in casr it distracts from the RTS, but it’d also save the inevitable, “I wish they’d make an RPG as well!”, “They are!” comments.

    • cmi says:

      @Reapy: So far, I really really like his play BUT… (there is no but ;))
      About the episodes and books itself, well – I have my troubles with series like these (Abercrombie comes in mind too). Dunno maybe I’m weak or something, but I can’t really enjoy something so harsh and grim and full of betrayal which makes “the real world” look like carebear island. I’m bored by generic high fantasy volume 234 with villain xyz opposed by the formerly unknown hero abc – but why is it currently so popular to have a world where pretty much everybody acts like a villain without any qualms? Seeing a “good guy” usually means he dies or it’s just a delayed “Ha! I fooled you!” for the reader. (Abercrombie).

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      There are quite a few “good guys” to cheer for in ASoIaF, and they’re generally the most loved characters. They may be fighting on different sides, but they’re good people.

      I really want to tread lightly around spoilers, so I’ll just say there are at least four. Tyrion’s one.

      Lots of terrible things happen, and there are a few characters who are neutral or ambiguous or purely selfish or just plain confused, but there’s a lot of black and white as well.

  17. Teddy Leach says:

    Want. Want so badly.

  18. Abraham says:

    Will there be SecuROM?

  19. Shinan says:

    When reading this I thought “If this was Paradox I’d be all over it.”

    But right now I’m more cautious.

    • Malawi Frontier Guard says:

      I understand.

      Playing Paradox games is like being in an abusive relationship. You fell in love because there was one thing they did differently, something that promised you an image of more innocent times maybe, but then comes release day and they disappoint you. They disappoint you so badly that you vow to never trust them again.

      Soon however you relapse. You see this one thing again. The one time they picked you up at work and noticed your eyes. You play. Hours and hours go by and Paradox announces their next game, which you pre-order immediately as it sings of fixing all the bad things you had to endure. All the pain and disappointment.

      Then release comes, and it starts all over again. This is a bad relationship. Don’t commit to just Paradox. They don’t really love you.

  20. McDan says:

    Will we be able to sleep with anyone then? I want a veritable army of bastard sons.

  21. karry says:

    Does it feature cutscenes with bad acting, just like in the show ?

  22. Reapy says:

    It’s funny, I love game of thrones and the series (I can forgive book 4, maybe… :) ) but books 1 to 3 are my favorite of anything, but really, I don’t know that I ever want to play games in the world of westeros. Which is weird, because I usually eat up games set in good worlds like betrayal at krondor. But I don’t really want to play the game of thrones board game or this game or anything.

    I think the reason for this is that the books are all about the characters more so than the culture and/or troop types. Even then, I don’t want to go in and interact with the characters, I guess I just want to see what happens with their story. If I use main characters as generals and/or factions and interact with them, it just won’t be ‘right’.

    I guess the only way I could see an ice and fire game be something I want to play is if I could somehow play through the events of the story. Some area’s would do well for that, other’s not so much.

    I guess I just see a lot of these grand strategy style games set in westeros and I feel like they don’t really take advantage of the things that made the series stand out at all.

    • Ilinx says:

      The first A Game of Thrones board game is actually really good. I’m not convinced by that BattleLore version Fantasy Flight are hawking at the moment, but the original, 5 player strategy game is superb. It’s got all the political back stabbing and violence of the books and then some. I see what you mean about characters, but in the board game, in my experience, the players tend to take on the house characteristics, which makes for a lot of ‘That’s just what I’d expect from a Lannister’, etc. It’s a good laugh if you’ve got three or four hours to spare.

    • veerus says:

      not sure if “good laugh” is a way to describe to describe the board game… but it is amazing and tense and a hell of a good time

  23. The_Great_Skratsby says:

    Good grief this actually does sound quite good, and from all that I know it seems pretty fitting. Maybe just a tad more medieval fantasy raunch trololo.

  24. veerus says:

    looking at the screenshots, did anyone else think it looks like a classic and great, but unfortunately not very popular, game that has been featured on this site multiple times?

    i’m talking about KOHAN

    I hope I’m right. The unique “company” based gameplay of Kohan made all the conventional RTS clickfests seem so dull by comparison.

  25. pipman3000 says:

    It won’t be a song of ice and fire game unless there’s a rape button*

    *this post brought to you by Terry Goodkind

  26. pipman3000 says:

    Off Topic: Would you buy a Sword of Truth game? How about if it came with a copy of Atlas Shrugged?

    Would you play it if it was the only game in your house? Would you play it with a mouse?

  27. bill says:

    Any word on if it’s played on the World map, or if it zooms in to closer battles shogun/rts style?

    I like the idea of it being a slower paced game about moving big armies about, played on a bigger world map.

    Also, can I play as a female leader and win by seducing everyone, and then getting them beheaded?

  28. Chunga says:

    I am all for a backstabbing Phil Collins or an axe-wielding Steve Hackett. Bring on the apocalyse (in 9/8ths, please).

  29. Handsome Dead says:

    lemon cakes