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?