That Which Sleeps Is An Evil God Game On Kickstarter

That Which Sleeps is a great idea for a strategy game: you’re an ‘awakening evil’, an old god long forgotten who is now trying to regain control of the world. To do so, you must send your disciples out to spread famine, plague and corruption, all while deceiving everyone into thinking that this is the status quo.

A documentary game, then. It’s on Kickstarter and already $8,801 towards its $12,000 goal, and there’s a trailer below.

All strategy games are ultimately about numbers and systems, but those I like best have personality in their races, leaders and AI. That Which Sleeps seems primed to satisfy me. From the Kickstarter page:

The player must balance an aggressive approach utilizing his considerable power and eager hordes with the need to remain unknown to the Champions and Heroes of the world. This allows for multiple play styles and various meaningful decision paths – all made more unique and re-playable due to the large cast of available agents and awakened demons aka “Ancient Evils”. In addition, the world is customized at the beginning of the game as you explicitly lay out how you were sealed away, and what methods you used to manipulate the world in your slumber.

There’s also more information about some of the game’s ancient evils, including plenty of obvious Cthulhu-inspiration. Every part of the game should be moddable too, so you can add your own dark ones to the roster after release. Start with Horace.

My favourite thing to do in any strategy game – in any game, really – is to lie or deceive. That’s why I betrayed every alliance I ever formed when we played Neptune’s Pride. It’s why Jim, John and the others I play D&D with only this week discovered that my warlock’s powers require a regular, supernatural sacrifice. Even when there’s no point to it, having a secret is a self-set challenge that can make a game more exciting. I love the idea therefore of trying to trick and deceive an AI world through softly-softly malevolent actions.

$10/£6.13 gets you a copy of the finished game with an estimated release date of March 2015, while the significantly more expensive $50/£30.67 will net you earlier beta access.

There’s a That Which Sleeps site, but if you want more detail on what the game will offer, you’d be better off reading the team’s development blog over at TIG Source.

32 Comments

  1. Ialda says:

    Another good point of the project is an event system inspired by King of Dragon Pass. It’s a major reason beinh me backing the project, together with the idea of subtlety influencing a living world ruled by IA instead of straight conquest.

    • Quiffle says:

      Well hell, that seals the deal for me. The only thing I can say that I don’t like about this is the jarring disparity in some of the artwork. For example, the “heroes” look really out of place with some of the other illustrations in the game.

      • Ernst_Blofeld says:

        The anime hero portraits are placeholder that they intend to replace with proper art comissioned for KS money.

  2. JiminyJickers says:

    Ooh sounds interesting. I’m a bit Kickstarted out but it seems that they are well on their way to meeting the goal so I can happily wait until release.

  3. Anthile says:

    Ah, screw it. Bread-and-water theme for October it is.

  4. strangeloup says:

    This is the fifth Kickstarter I’ve backed in the last couple of weeks, but eh, they can squeeze $10 out of me for a preorder as it looks right up my alley.

  5. shimeril says:

    And now they have another $10…Looks interesting.

  6. Philopoemen says:

    The editor sold me – I can forgo the procedural generation stretch goal when I know the community will be pumping out different scns.

  7. Senethro says:

    How come noone thought of this game before?

  8. lordcooper says:

    Anally betrayed.

  9. tumbleworld says:

    Padan Fain working for Cthulhu, eh? I’m sold.

  10. Shar_ds says:

    Also backed… eh, it’s payday soon after all..

  11. The Council says:

    Another $10 to them. I’m quite burned out on the concept of crowdfunding, but this just looks like too much fun to pass up. I hope they’re able to reach all their stretch goals.

  12. Carados says:

    If you’re gonna make a game that sounds like Dominions 2/3/4, you should make it not look like Dominions 2/3/4.

    • mgardner says:

      I thought the same thing – I was surprised to see that this is not an Illwinter spinoff of the Dominions series.

    • Cpt. Beercan says:

      Yes, this looks and sounds (conceptually) very similar to Dominions. Too similar for my liking.

    • AXAXAXAS MLO II: MLO HARDER says:

      I’ve never even played Dominions and my first thought was “so, is this Dominions where you can’t even choose your character?”

    • falconne says:

      Wait what? It doesn’t sound anything like Dominions. That is a traditional strategy war game where you build military settlements and recruit armies that you control at the strategy layer, to conquer territory.

      This one is a game where there is a fully autonomous world going on and you play a “demon” who can subtly influence individuals in the world with the intention of causing chaos.

      It’s not even in the same sub-genre… if anything I would compare its mechanics to the subtle political intrigue in a game of CK2 as a lowly Count slowly clawing their way to the top.

  13. Phantasma says:

    Really dig the concept, the anime undertones (e.g. hero portraits) not so much.

    • paulsoaresjr says:

      1) It sounds (and looks) an awful lot like Dominions. Not necessarily a bad thing, especially if they can improve on interface and accessibility, but Dominions (and Illwinter, the devs) are well-loved so I’d expect to see pitchforks and torches at the gates of this project.

      2) The anime doesn’t fit but fortunately it appears to just be placeholder material

    • lemon10 says:

      The dev has said that all the hero portraits are placeholders and will be replaced before the game proper is released.

  14. DuncanIdah0 says:

    To some degree, this looks a little bit like a fantasy AI War.

    The concept of unbalanced forces between thee player and the AI is very similar. As in AI war, it seems that you have to gain power and approach your objective without alerting the AI, so balance to your development is key.

    They have already reached their goal, the power of RPS on display?

  15. BooleanBob says:

    “To do so, you must send your disciples out to spread famine, plague and corruption, all while deceiving everyone into thinking that this is the status quo.”

    Insert your own joke about the Conservative party.

  16. DemonDog says:

    I love the idea that the evil gods have to remain hidden – on the surface it reminds me of Solium Infernum a bit. Good luck guys!

    • QSpec says:

      Good reminder. I need to get my old group going with that.

      My only problem is if one person goes inactive, the game grinds to a screeching halt, but aside from that… fucking fantastic game.

  17. QSpec says:

    Anyone know if it will have multiplayer? If so, I’ll back today.

    I admittedly didn’t look super hard, but I did ctrl-f for common terms and couldn’t find any.

  18. Noumenon says:

    Didn’t RPS do a whole diary of this game where they played as an evil inanimate obelisk and kept accumulating slaves without trying to?

    • Quiffle says:

      Maybe you’re thinking of Dominions 4?

      • Immobile Piper says:

        Might you be mixing your RPS and PCGamers as well?
        Sounds a lot like this particular SP playthrough:
        link to pcgamer.com

        And I’ll have to echo falconne, this game doesn’t seem that much like Dominions. I mean the map does, sure. But mechanically there seems to be very little similarities in there.

        • Noumenon says:

          That was what I was thinking of, thank you very much. With both articles before me I can see the differences.

  19. Gothnak says:

    Well, that’s my 2nd ever Kickstarter backed… That and Hex so far…