Banished Is Nearly Done And Why Can’t It Be Out Nowww?


If you are a connoisseur of modern-ish culture like myself, you’ll no doubt remember a moving, soulful ballad by the Backstreet Boys entitled “Quit Playing Games (With My Heart).” I can’t help but hear it every time I find a new trailer for splendiferous-looking rural city builder Banished, seeing as a) each brief glimpse feels like a cruel game against my heart, because b) my heart desperately wants to play this game, and c) na na na na na I should’ve known from the start na na na na baby oh. So, good news and bad news. The good news is that Banished is in its final stages of development, and Shining Rock has released a spiffy new video to celebrate. The bad news, however, is that there’s still no firm release date.

Looks pretty nice, right? That is, in large part, because it’s getting pretty close to completion:

“I’m no longer adding new content to the game. From here on out it’s all testing features, fixing bugs, and smoothing out the gameplay experience. I know everyone wants to hear a firm release date, but I’m not giving one out today. I should have a definite date to share soon.”

Banished’s Steam page, meanwhile, currently lists a “late 2013” date, so I don’t think it’d be too much of a stretch to expect it to make this year. Then again, game development is a dark and mysterious art riddled with precarious pitfalls and ample opportunities for certain death delay, so you never know.

But still, if you start getting all anxious and uncomfortable with anticipation now, the long-term strain on your nervous system probably won’t kill you! At least, not in the near future. So that is a happy thing.


  1. blobb says:

    Looks really boring.

    • stoner says:

      It’s a new take on city builders. If builders aren’t your forte, then…yep, it’ll be boring to you.

      As for me, I keep throwing money at the screen hoping to get the game sooner.

      • Reapy says:

        What are the new things with it? It looks very anno 1404ish. Just curious,have not read up on it.

        • airmikee99 says:

          From what I’ve seen and read, it’s not so much a true city building game, but a community survival game.

          • ditar59 says:

            my co-worker’s half-sister makes $83/hour on the laptop. She has been fired for nine months but last month her income was $21331 just working on the laptop for a few hours. visit this website ……. link to

        • li says:

          It’s more reminiscent of Dwarf Fortress than Anno, judging by the above trailer.

        • MrHunter says:

          It looks a bit more realistic than Anno. It’s more about food management, buildings not just popping up from the ground, and survival instead of happiness. I’d indeed say it’s more Dwarf Fortress than Anno.

      • blobb says:

        Ok cool.

      • zdeno84 says:

        I’m with you on this one, looks very exciting in its boringness and I can’t wait to play it.
        For some reason reminds me of Skyrim lands, but looks like more is going on here than in Skyrim. I could just stare at all the motion and lovely art.

  2. Martel says:

    Exciting news, and thanks for linking the Steam page, now I can put it on my wishlist before I forget about it again.

  3. Sheng-ji says:

    Oh, I cannot wait for this game, I’ve not been this excited in a very long time! (Please support modding, please support modding, please support modding…)

  4. SominiTheCommenter says:

    Backstreet Boys?
    Nathan should be banished from RPS.

  5. Rizlar says:

    I haven’t been this excited since I built my first magma forge!

  6. Icyicy9999 says:

    I’ve been following this game for a long time now, he sounds like a serious and talented developer, which means he’s nothing like the typical indie dev these days.
    I can’t wait to buy this, the fact that he didn’t even do a Kickstarter for it and built the whole thing on his own using his own engine only makes it more impressive.

  7. Cinek says:

    Looks like Settlers attempt nr. 2. ;)
    Which might be good in general. But… man… they really need to work on flames. What they did to fires there is awful.

    • stoner says:

      The developer is just one guy, who’s doing it all (programing, creating game engine, art work, effects, etc.). Go to his website and make your suggestion. He’s been very open to suggestions for game improvement.

  8. Barberetti says:

    Lazy Sunday afternoon. Chill out music in the background. A few beers. This game.

    Mmm yes.

  9. Kefren says:

    I always find these kind of games to be slightly depressing to my sensibilities. Take some pristine and unspoiled land. Then cut down the trees, divide it into fields, and claim it all as your own to do what you want with. Transform it into larger and larger settlements. Reminds me too much of real life! I’d love a reverse game. Find despoiled environments, and gradually turn them into pristine wildlife habitats.

    • DapperDirewolf says:

      Very interesting idea

      • Cinek says:

        Week later – kickstarter campaign for “Unsettlers” – a $1000000 game made by nobody and his friends!

    • airmikee99 says:

      In Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri you could plant forests, but since you’re on an alien planet you end up destroying the planets natural habitat. ;)

      • Kefren says:

        One of the games I own but have never played, I’ll maybe have a go when I finish Ghost Master!

        • airmikee99 says:

          One of the best games ever, I’ve still got my original disc, even though I play from the GOG version I purchased last year.

      • Chiron says:

        The fungus fights back eventually though…

        The fungus has been Planet’s dominant lifeform since about the time of the Lower Paleozoic on Earth. But when, once every hundred million years or so, the neural net at last achieves the critical mass necessary to become sentient, the final metamorphosis kills of most of the other life on the planet. It is possible that we humans can help to break this tragic cycle.
        Lady Deirdre Skye, “Planet Dreams”

        • airmikee99 says:

          True enough, Planet does end up winning in the end. Deirdre was my favorite leader, when she’s got an army of worms she’s unstoppable.

    • timethor says:

      A nature building game does sound nice.. with the caveat that the point behind “true” nature is that it does it’s own thing without human interference.

      But I’ve thought about ways of making a cool game out of the designing a city park for example. I’d play Central Park Tycoon, especially if it properly took into account the role of time: parks only become awesome once the trees mature (a process of decades if not longer), requiring you to plan ahead, even if the desires of your citizens change in the meantime.

      (or the “true nature” sim could also be nice if you could just nudge it in certain directions, instead of having direct control. Not plopping down trees, but introducing a parasite that kills the insects that has been destroying your seeds, thus leading to more trees.)

      • Chiron says:

        I’d buy the hell out of another version of SimEarth like this, something where you could do fun stuff with genes and watch 20 years down the line as an entire generation of foxes suddenly keels over from unexpected heart defects would be amusing for example.

  10. basilisk says:

    Banished is such a weird choice of title. Sounds more like a super-generic action RPG game than a village builder. I didn’t even notice it in the list of greenlit titles despite having some interest in it simply because the name is so bland and forgettable.

    EDIT: Oh, it apparently wasn’t greenlit. Never mind then.

    • MeatMan says:

      With no context, yeah, the title is a bit odd, but there is a reason for the choice of title.

      From the developer’s website:

      “In this city-building strategy game, you control a group of exiled travelers who decide to restart their lives in a new land. They have only the clothes on their backs and a cart filled with supplies from their homeland.”

  11. Warduke says:

    Yes, this is looking pretty nifty

  12. Chiron says:

    Looks a lot like the Settlers, a relaxing resource management game, I’ll be giving it a go I think

  13. CannedLizard says:

    Looks pretty nice. The trailer looked VERY reminiscent of the economic part of Stronghold. Which was surprisingly fun, considering no one bought Stronghold for a robust economic town management sim.

    • Banyan says:

      Heh. I was actually really annoyed that the Stronghold campaign forced you into (limited) combat. All I wanted to do is make sure my beer supply chain is efficient! Is it too much to ask that some scoundrel with a mace not run in from the edge of the map and massacre my hops farmers?! This game looks exactly like my thing.

  14. xyphen says:

    Lovely tune. *Melted*

    • cptgone says:

      yes, *melting* the damn record should suffice. you did a good thing there!
      as to the Nathan’s piece, i only read the bolded stuff, and i agree the song should be banished.

  15. satsui says:

    Been following the developer’s blog for several months now. The amount of work he puts into just minor things like crop rotation, disease, livestock, trade, AI, etc. is unbelievable. I’ll be happy when I can stop throwing money at the screen and just click “Buy.”

    • shimeril says:

      I whole heartedly agree. This is the one I’m really waiting on and it will be a day one purchase, no doubt.

  16. The Sombrero Kid says:


    also, good luck in the igf!

  17. Litany says:

    I want it thatch way.

  18. Trespasser in the Stereo Field says:

    Single player city building? Give it now!

  19. Kong says:

    I remember the Petshop Boys telling me to go West. Did they command me to find a place where I may clear a forest, plant cucumbers and preach human love? Kiss a man, don a uniform and march to glory.
    Different boys then. Petshop, backstreet, all the same.
    How many modern games do I have to play in order to revoke the same vibes and flesh and juice I enjoyed back in the days when I was young and fucking hot? Nobody will join me in a jagged alliance. Grace and luck. The rubbing of parts, it is not modern when every picture can be seen and treated as a multitude of squares is it.

  20. Archangel says:

    I’m pretty excited about this one, but I’m so confused about how an indie game is either fast-tracked onto Steam, or sentenced to Greenlight purgatory. I’m glad this (and Gunpoint, for example) went straight in, but then many finished games from publishers already on Steam (Drox Operative, etc.) are not. Does an indie just have to pique someone’s interest at Valve? Eh, I guess we’ll never know the answer.

    • nimrod123 says:

      i’m fairly sure its about contacts.

      this guy has worked as a senior member at some big name studios, so someone probably put a good word in.

      and the same applies to tom with gunpoint. he was a name in the industry

  21. mrmalodor says:

    My mouse is ready.

  22. Kaiji says:

    So this is basically dwarf fortress with pleasant, whimsical, medieval-ish graphics and without worrying about being attacked or wrestling with an insane interface?

    I’ve just fallen deeply in love.

    Give this to me.


    • jonahcutter says:

      Are the characters in the game actually modeled as individuals with different personalities?

  23. bp_968 says:

    Did anyone else notice it just popped onto steam without going through green light? Maybe I just missed it while it was on there or maybe valve just thinks highly of him/the game and so it got to jump right into steam?

    • SheffieldSteel says:

      The developer has written his own engine and developed his own game single-handed from scratch. He’s also got quite a few years experience in the game industry, got many projects approved by Sony and Microsoft, made a few contacts and, I suspect, is liked by everybody who ever worked with him. (This includes me, needless to say).

      I’m not at all surprised that Steam wants to publish his game.