Today, thanks to games, I learned that “Dickensian” was a legitimate word I could use to describe things. Sadly, rather than phallus-like qualities, it’s a reference to the extreme poverty and total bastards that make up Charles Dickens’ works. I will need to get my new juvenile insults elsewhere. Antihero was what brought the phrase to my attention, a 4X-y game with a thieves guild flavour. You take control of one of several feuding factions in not-London, stealing goods and blackmailing the wealthy to fund your operations, hiring the poor to carry them out. It’s been in development for about a year and recently popped up on Greenlight.
It’s a blend of RPG and 4X elements, with each player controlling a master thief that scouts the city for them and is upgradable with gear. As you’d expect, there’s multiple avenues to victory: direct violent options, sending your master thief to assassinate members of other guilds, and more subtle ones manipulating the powerful upper classes. Infiltration plays a part too.
The focus is on multiplayer matches of no more than an hour, with its turn-based asynchronous nature allowing you to play several games simultaneously. It’s also being developed for mobile devices and there’s plans for cross-platform play once it’s released. A single-player, story-driven campaign is in the works as well.
Development started as a solo affair by Tim Conkling, but the team’s up to four people now. They plan to hit Early Access at the start of 2015, tweaking balance and sorting out bugs before a full release shortly afterwards. More details are over on the dev blog.