Skulls Of The Shogun Escapes Windows 8 Tyranny

By Alec Meer on June 18th, 2013 at 6:30 pm.

Is that true though?

I’m going to have a full interview about the strange, sad tale of how/why excellent TBS Skulls of the Shogun so bewilderingly ended up as a Windows 8 exclusive, and how it all went so, so wrong, up on the site tomorrow. Meantime, let’s share the good news – this ace, very funny and tight undead Samurai battler is now free from its Microsoftian chains, and will arrive on Steam & Humble for any PC that can handle it next month. And thank God for that.

It’ll have brand new stuff on its old bones too.

They’re calling it the Bone-a-fide Edition, which only makes me like it even more than I already did. Mostly I’m just so relieved that it’s going to be available to everyone, not just early adopters of one of Microsoft’s most divisive (and flawed) operating systems ever.

Main addition is a new sub-campaign with a new story and a new star, but there’ll also be six new multiplayer levels, persistent progression, real-time and asynchronous multiplay and all sorts like that. In theory, the multiplayer will be cross-platform with wherever else the game lands up from hereon out, though the Windows 8/Phone/Surface/XBLA versions remain their own little walled ghetto.

$14.99, late July, discounted pre-orders open now via Steam and Humble. I’m looking forward to hearing what any other human being thinks of the game now it’s not just me and 12 other guys who’ll own it.

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49 Comments »

  1. Arkh says:

    Yay! Finally!

    Thank you a lot Devs!

  2. amateurviking says:

    This is the best of news.

    Hurrah!

  3. 65 says:

    “casual racism”

    Explain?

    • Riaktion says:

      He means how it portrays cartoon undead samurai skeletons as stereotypes. They are worth more and can do more than fighting in Japanese themed games. When will this casual racism stop? I. am. outraged.

      At least that’s what I assume, I imagine CrispinFister can explain for themselves, but then I have good imagination.

  4. WoundedBum says:

    I know this is always brought up, but I don’t think 8 is MS’s most flawed at all. It’s interface is different and I get why people don’t like that, but aside from that it’s like Windows 7 but faster. Ah well, I guess it seems nicer to me because I got it for super cheap.

    • zeekthegeek says:

      So lowering the price makes a turd okay now? Good to know you’re so easy to please. I like my OS not to be saddled with Tablet leftovers that don’t work well with mouse and keyboard.

      • WoundedBum says:

        Well it certainly makes it better. But I’ve not encountered any problems using Metro at all, it mostly seems like a full screen start menu.

        • SuicideKing says:

          That is the very problem.

          Anyway, i tried it on two laptops, didn’t like it, both were touch screens.

          Lack of choice, depreciation of the explorer shell, etc…

          I digress, i’ve been over this too many times on the internet and otherwise.

    • aliksy says:

      My dad hated windows 8. I tried to install the version of linux (ubuntu 10.04) he was used to, and the secure boot thing almost turned it into a big paperweight. Fun times.

    • stampy says:

      i <3 Windows ME

  5. kwyjibo says:

    Nah, Shadow Warrior should be coming out on non-tablet OS’s.

    Also I tried the original on Steam last week, it’s so damn hard.

    • DrScuttles says:

      It bloody is, isn’t it? The first level killed me an embarrassing amount of times. And Serious Sam 3 kills me over and over. I swear I used to be good at these kinds of games.

  6. idolminds says:

    Sadly, buying from the Humble Store just gets you a Steam key.

  7. spathi says:

    I find it worth mentioning that the sound track was composed by one of my fave artists -Makyo of the Dakini Records fame, and is available for review and purchase at bandcamp – http://makyo.bandcamp.com/album/skulls-of-the-shogun-soundtrack

  8. Tei says:

    This looks like one of these games that include all other games in it. I like, in theory, in practice my backlog is enormeous.

  9. Bobka says:

    Yay! I liked the look of this, and now I can play it.

    To hell with W8 exclusives.

  10. AvistTorch says:

    Hooray! Finally! A thousand times yes!

    Met these guys at a convention 2-3 years ago (man, has it been that long?) and played their game — it hooked me, so I was sad when I later heard it would be Windows 8 exclusive. When I asked them about it, they said those were just their “launch plans”. Glad to see this is what they meant!

  11. the_tyrant says:

    The exclusivity was inexplicable? The game was designed as a touch game, makes perfect sense for it to be designed for Windows 8.

    Trust me man, the Windows 7 “surface” (aka pixelsense) touch APIs are HORRIBLE to use. I would MUCH rather use the RT apis. As for windows before 7, I shudder at the memory of the touch apis.

    • borut says:

      This is true – if you’re looking to play Skulls on win7 touch it’s not going to function that well. As many problems as Windows 8 might have, if you’re actively using touch-based Windows 7 instead of it, you probably hate yourself (for many reasons).

    • malkav11 says:

      It’s a turn-based strategy game. There’s not exactly a ton of design to be rethought for a mouse-and-keyboard interface, nor as far as I know any real mechanics that are primarily suited by a touch interface. (I’ve never been able to identify what that would look like, anyway, but that’s me. I hate gaming on touchscreens and tolerate it only because there’s a ton of excellent iOS boardgaming that has no equivalent PC version.)

  12. Reverend Lovebutter says:

    Loved it. Played a few minutes of the demo, immediately bought the full game [which is a huge pain in the ass, and aesthetically repellent, buying Microsoft Points]. They played, happy. Great humor. Great gameplay. Consistent tone, exactly right.

    Sadly, I make games, so I have no time to play games. Only played for a couple of hours. But this was the only fun thing I did on the Xbox 360 this year. [Uh. Except Dragon's Dogma. And that was really 'research'. Ahem.]

  13. TechnicalBen says:

    Exclusivity deal goes horribly horribly wrong?

    “You don’t say!”

    http://lmgtfy.com/?q=you+don%27t+say

  14. Shooop says:

    Shadow Warrior this is not. Don’t make an issue out of nothing please.

  15. Shooop says:

    Good sense prevailed for once in the gaming industry.

  16. Radiant says:

    Fuck this shitty game.

    PACMAN DX CE IS STILL IMPRISONED WITHIN EIGHT’S WALLS.
    FREE PACMAN.

  17. Caiman says:

    Sadly casual offence posts are not RPS exclusive.

  18. orient says:

    I spent a few days with 17-bit tech support getting this game to work on my cheapy Win8 laptop, but I’ll gladly buy it again if it means playing it on a real computer.

  19. Frank says:

    Getting Windows 8 does not make you an early adopter, since that is not the future of OSes.

    Glad to see this coming back to us. That wasn’t such a long wait for me. I wish they’d stuck with “haunted temple studios”…maybe they can go back on that, too.

  20. Strabo says:

    That’s great news! Always bugged me they put it into Windows 8 only. Preordered it like RPS always tells me not to, because it leads to lazy developers! Kidding, all the reviews tell me it is a great game, so that’s a low-low-low-risk preorder.

  21. Teovald says:

    No longer confined to Windows 8 but still Windows only :-/ .
    Very interested to hear some details about the Windows 8 launch. I guess that Microsoft must be handing out a lot of cash in order to make a dev limit himself to 5% of the desktop market..

    • Malibu Stacey says:

      I expect there will be Mac & Linux versions pretty soon as this is destined to end up in a Humble Bundle in the not too distant future. Hell it’s already being sold through the Humble Store.

  22. Alabaster Crippens says:

    I do wonder if this exclusive situation is exactly the sort of thing that can be avoided by kickstarteriness.

    Presumably they needed a big cash injection and microsoft offered it with strings. The idea is appealing enough that hopefully a good kickstart campaign could have got it the same injection, sans strings (or with different strings, depending on how you look at it).

    Anyway, I’m paying immediately upon announcement to hopefully demonstrate the support I had for this project. In my brain it’s getting across some impression of my disappointment at the Win8 exclusivity, but effectively I’m just throwing money as soon as I’m able, so that may not be true.

    /ramble

    • Teovald says:

      It should help, but in the end it also depend on the dev willingness as well. AFAIK there are no announcement of Linux or MacOsX versions of the game.
      Kickstarter can help but if you look at recent examples, there are games like Shadowrun that still received money from an editor and the assorted demands (in that case DRM but no OS lock) and other like Broken Age that are indie and can do whatever they want.

  23. Malibu Stacey says:

    So when they said

    “We built the game in XNA and C#. GFWL, for technical reasons, did not support C#. So we would have had to port the entire game back to C++. So while Win 8 doesn’t support XNA, it does support C#. There’s an open source version of XNA called MonoGame, and so we ported that to Win 8 in a lot less time that it would have taken to re-write the game in C++.”

    what they actually meant was “When we inevitably get fuck all sales on the platforms Microsoft has bribed us to release on, we’ll do the trivial amount of work to get it onto less retarded platforms so we can try not to go under with only one release to our name.”

    If it’s released with GFWL I’m still not buying it though.

  24. leQuack says:

    Bought this game on the Xbox when it came out. Really nice tone and humor, but the campaign became rapidly boring because all missions felt the same after a certain point. Multiplayer is fun but a bit flawed, especially on the smaller maps, because of the unfair advantage of the player that starts first.

  25. HisDivineOrder says:

    I’m less interested in the game’s release and MORE interested in “how it went wrong” with Microsoft. Other than, y’know, being related to Windows 8.

    Needless to say, Windows 8 is the devil, RT is Ragnarok, Windows Phone is the monster that gnaws kids’ leg bones that lives under your bed, and Xbox One is the console version of SHODAN trying to help people by helping itself because of how beautiful it is.

    Honestly.

  26. Joe-Gamer says:

    No mention of the fact that anyone who already bought their game DOES NOT GET the new content…ever apparently? That’s kind of a shitty way to treat the people who bought your game despite the terribly stupid windows 8 exclusivity. A company that makes shitty decisions like this one,,,well does not get my money..
    https://twitter.com/bazfum/status/347038026158981121

    • borut says:

      Because of the expense of releasing this content as DLC for all previous Microsoft platforms, as well as current market conditions, we’ve decided to focus on Steam and additional yet-to-be-announced platforms for future content and products.

      But if you can prove you’ve been a hardcore fan and supporter of the game all this time, I will give you one of my personal codes.

      http://steamcommunity.com/app/228960/discussions/0/864971045010579387/

      • wyrmsine says:

        That seems like an awful way to treat your customers.

      • Joe-Gamer says:

        I’m not a hardcore fan or supporter, how could I have been without windows 8? I always thought this was an interesting looking game but I could never play it because I don’t like Windows 8 which was aggravating. I don’t want to be the angry internet guy who shits on you no matter what you do, so I’ll try to explain my views on the matter.

        I choose which games I buy based on much more that just the games themselves. As a PC gamer I have a massive catalog of games, more than I could finish in a decade, so there is never a “must have” game to me, I’ve got hundreds of others I could play. I also have the unique ability to play almost any game at all for free If I choose. This has led me to a much stronger “vote with your wallet” mentality. I pay just as much attention to the companies behind the games as I do to the games themselves.

        IMO platform exclusives are bad for gaming, how can we say games should be considered art but then lock them up behind artificial walls? So I hesitate to support a company who participates in such deals.

        You say that the cost of releasing this DLC for all previous Microsoft platforms is too high. I’m not a developer, I can only make vague guesses about costs and resources but from a consumer standpoint this sounds implausible, what happened to all the money M$ handed over? They must have handed over a HUGE chunk of change since they were asking 17-bit to give up %95 of their customers. Can it really be that hard to port C++/C# bits from one platform to another? What about all the money that will be made from being on steam? Can none of that be redirected toward doing right by the earliest supporters? Did 17-bit sign a bad deal? Wouldn’t you want the best version available on all platforms? I don’t know the truth behind any of this. All I can see from my portion of the transaction is that the few customers that already bought the game are getting a raw deal. When you move on to these “yet-to-be-announced platforms” will we be the next ones cast aside?, will I be left with the lesser product while 17-bit chases larger markets elsewhere?

        The fact that you are here and on steam offering previous customers a steam copy seems like it should garner some goodwill(it does) but I’m cynical, we’re not even talking about different hardware platforms, we’re talking about different versions windows, anyone who bought the game before SHOULD get access to the windows 7 version, they should be able to enter their serial into the “activate on steam” box and play away. for many games on steam I get the PC, the Mac, and the Linux version with a single purchase, are you seriously telling me that Win7 and Win8 requires more time and effort to port to/from than Windows and Macintosh?

        The fact that your here, listening to customers and offering to help them really means a lot, maybe it’s just reputation management trying to shut down the loudest complainers but I’d rather believe(and I really had to struggle to set aside my cynicism) that you and your studio genuinely care. So if you can be good guy developer, I suppose I can be good guy customer(just this once) and buy your game.
        http://steamcommunity.com/id/Joe_Gamer

        You should just blame everything on Microsoft, PC gamers really, really, REALLY hate M$ they’ve got us over a barrel and they know it…getting published by M$ is probably the worst thing you could ever do to your PC game.

        Edit: Ah I see that you are already on board with that XD
        http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2013/06/20/the-sorry-saga-of-skulls-of-the-shogun-windows-8/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+rockpapershotgun%2Fsteam+%28Rock%2C+Paper%2C+Shotgun%3A+Steam+RSS%29

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