Super Roman Conquest Is Ex-LucasArts, Looks A Bit Rough

By Nathan Grayson on October 26th, 2013 at 10:00 am.

Placeholder art is placeholder.

So, here is a thing. As you well know (and are probably still biting back residual tears from), LucasArts is deader than the Death Star, buried in a coffin more wooden than Hayden Christensen’s Anakin Skywalker. It was a shame to see the legendary developer go, especially with promising projects like Star Wars 1313 in the works. Super Roman Conquest is, um, not exactly what I would have expected from survivors of the studio’s final days, but it does show some promise. It’s a 2D RTS, but with multiple “lanes” to mitigate the yawn-inducing simplicity such a setup might suggest. It also has quite a ways to go, by the looks of things. Naturally, then, it’s on Kickstarter.

It’s an interesting enough idea, and admittedly the first thing that will apparently change is the art. If successfully funded, the game will remain 2D, but much more lavishly so. That out of the way, here’s how combat will actually function:

“Units have the ability to travel deeper into the battlefield, allowing you to utilize all three dimensions of the world. By using these unique battle lanes, we exponentially increase the depth and complexity of typical sidescroller strategy games. This allows you to use familiar RTS tactics - set up ambushes, distract and flank enemies, or tactically retreat to fight another day. Find a leadership style that fits you; there is more than one way to achieve victory in SRC.”

You can also assemble your army from a number of customizable, apparently historically based soldier types including centurions, auxilia, archers, cavalry, engineers, doctors, and of course, elephants. The campaign, meanwhile, sees you march across the map, taking over settlements, levying taxes, and making Real, Impactful Decisions. For instance, do you sell citizens as slaves or just kill them all? (You are, perhaps, kind of a jerk.)

So basically, it’s familiar strategy, tactics, and management from a new perspective. That could make all the difference in the world, or it could end up another flashy yet flimsy gimmick. We’ll see. Super Roman Conquest is only asking for $30,000, and it’s already made it pretty well past $5,000. Hardly a mark of guaranteed success, but the itsy bitsy strategy isn’t in danger of getting stomped flat by Kickstarter’s fickle user stampede, either. Not yet, anyway.

Pending funding, a smooth development cycle, and all that jazz, Super Roman Conquest should be out in the month Julius of the year 2014 A.D. There will, of course, be a semi-public alpha/beta before that, because time is linear and 2014 comes after 2013, the year of the semi-public alpha/beta.

Personally, I find myself feeling a bit unsure about this one. The concept isn’t bad or anything, but arrrrgggghhh. So many Kickstarters. Also, SRC looks so very, very early. Don’t get me wrong: this is infinitely better than opting to show no gameplay at all, but hmmm. I suppose there are downsides to taking the wraps off the, er, game part of your game too quickly. Where are you at on this?

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22 Comments »

  1. B1A4 says:

    So, no Centurion: DoR (1990) remake? I’d play that.

    • badseed says:

      I’d play *the hell* out of that. One of my favorite games as a young’un.

      • SuperRomanConquest says:

        Hey all, Matt the developer on SRC here. Just wanted to let you know that Centurion: DOR is a HUGE influence on the development of Super Roman Conquest. We plan on including a bunch of the coolest features of Centuion: DOR, IMHO, like choices on how to respond/react to other factions and in game events. Just like Centuion: DOR these choices have consequences that can really impact your campaign.

        The design calls for these events to be super frequent, think FTL, and based on the player’s previous actions. Personally, I always loved those events in Centrion and they really helped me form my own story about my campaign. That’s EXACTLY what we’re going for in SRC.

        Without getting too much into city building, we’re also adding the ability to throw games to please the Mob or the Senate. The plan is for these the gladiator games/chariot races to tie into the favor of the Plebs/Senate which will obviously effect your campaign.

        Ok, that’s all, sorry for the long explanation.

        TL:DR – You’re right, Centurion: DOR is awesome and a heavy influence of what we’re trying to do in SRC.

    • Michelle says:

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  2. LionsPhil says:

    All I can think is “it would work much better from a top-down perspective”.

    • Wurstwaffel says:

      exactly! I don’t get why you would even bother making a side scrolling rts. It just seems like a shitty genre.

      • jrodman says:

        There’s a huge pile of them popular on flash sites, and some low-cost coop and head to head games. In other words it’s an established genre, whether or not that makes it good.

      • CaesarBritannicus says:

        This game and King Arthur’s Gold both seem to be modelled on the gameplay of King Arthur’s World for SNES (which, in turn, was an RTS take on Lemmings). It was an absolutely amazing and excellent game which achieved a lot of the fun of an RTS without tons of scrolling around or requiring the use of a mouse.

        Here is a Let’s Play of King Arthur’s World for comparison : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=db-rB6Nkje8&list=PL891CFF7F19CD2A84

        • SuperRomanConquest says:

          Hey there, Matt the developer here (yes, again). We actually list King Arthur’s world as one of the key influences of SRC on our Kickstarter page. It’s so nice to find people who enjoyed the awesome strategy gameplay that King Arthur’s World brought to SNES. And as you noted, all that on a controller as well. Very impressive.

          After Lucas closed and we started thinking of ideas for games we used to love and played the hell out of but that no one seems to do right these days King Arthur’s World was one of the first that came up. SRC was originally prototyped as a kind of “King Arthur’s World for your cell phone” until we really started to sink our teeth into a couple more complex systems that fit much better in a PC title than a game for your phone.

          That said, we’re definitely looking to create that really rewarding, hyper-strategic gameplay of KAW while adding some deeper meta-game elements that just didn’t exist in the classic SNES title. We’ll also add some more complex art and modern dynamic lighting that also were impossible due to the technical limitations of the SNES.

          Sorry to keep bombing these posts with super long comments, it’s just exciting to see someone who appreciates KAW the same way we do.

    • bill says:

      But we aren’t exactly lacking in top-down / 3d RTS games.

      I can’t say I’ve every played a 2d RTS, and they may well suck, but I understand why developers might want to try it – because it’s something a bit new*. New twists on old genres don’t always pan out, but I get why developers and/or gamers would be interested in giving them a shot.

      *(notwithstanding that hundreds of them have popped up on kongregate/android recently).

    • Borsook says:

      I can think of one game – Swords and Soldiers, that’s a side scrolling RTS that is far more fun than any normal RTS I’ve played. Sidescrolling is a lot more ordered, you do not get a chaos on the battlefield, your units can have proper formations, it’s easier to say at a glance what’s happening. Plus there aren’t many games like this, so at least we are getting something different from the 1,000,000 RTSes out there

  3. Capt. Eduardo del Mango says:

    That looks very similar to a lot of Flash games you can find on Kongregate or anywhere else. The ‘lanes’ thing works acceptably for a throw-away browser game but I can’t see myself wanting to stump up for a ‘proper’ release of something like that.

  4. Dozer says:

    Using lanes allows an ‘exponential increase’ in complexity?

    My maths is rusty, but going from one dimension to two isn’t an exponential increase is it? I’m not sure what the correct term is – geometric increase perhaps?

    Without the lanes, this would be one-dimensional gameplay (perhaps 1.5 dimensions if arrows can pass over other units) drawn with 2d sprites against a 3d background. With lanes – 1.75 dimensions if you have a choice of a small number of lanes and arrows can pass over people’s heads?

  5. Meusli says:

    Does everyone else have a problem with fullscreen not working on embedded kickstarter videos?

    • oyog says:

      I can’t decide whether I find that more irritating or the fact that fullscreen on Kickstarter’s website only fills my browser rather than filling the screen the way Youtube or Vimeo does. Kickstarter videos used to work that way, why did they change it? Is it just because I’m using Firefox or something?

  6. HisDivineOrder says:

    Hm.

    Looks a lot like a better-looking Ryse to me. ;)

  7. hjeer56 says:

    This is fantastic. Google is paying 80$ per hour! Just work for few hours & spend more time with friends and family. Yesterday I bought a top of the range Lancia after having made $9458 this month . Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it out http://goo.gl/w7ceUX

  8. yusefsmith says:

    “Units will have the ability to travel deeper into the battlefield, allowing you to utilize all three dimensions of the world. By using these unique battle lanes, we may be able to exponentially increase the depth and complexity of typical sidescroller strategy games. This will probably allow you to use familiar RTS tactics – set up ambushes, distract and flank enemies, or tactically retreat to fight another day. Find a leadership style that fits you; might be more than one way to achieve victory in SRC.”

    I hope this game will be as cool as it sounds

  9. Borsook says:

    Even if the visuals stayed the way they are I would still love this game! It’s the first really fresh thing from LucasArts in many years. I’m a bit afraid of the moving deeper mechanic and whether or not it will prove confusing, but other than that the concept looks solid and fun.

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