King Of Dragon Pass Arrives Expanded On Steam

“Many games claim to offer choice, but railroad you into making the same ones always,” we told you revisiting King of Dragon Pass [official site] last year, “or offer a simplistic binary option, tethered to game-oriented notions of ‘pick a reward’, monochrome extremes of kitten-petting-versus-baby-eating morality, or both … It’s a rare game that captures the complexities of leadership without getting bogged down.” The tribe-leading RPG-ish strategy game does well.

We were looking back at the original 1999 version, which was available on GOG. Now a new version has arrived on Steam, a port of the revamped mobile version which includes extra content.

This updated version comes with 48 new scenes, 4 new illustrations, new advisors, bug fixes, and a mildly less punishing economy. It’s £8.99 from Steam.

The launch has been a bit sloppy, though. It had a problem with missing executables, requiring a little fiddling to play it. It’s also missing some extra (extra) content from the iOS version, containing the new bits from Android but missing more scenes that are on iOS. “Steam users will get all additional content in the future,” the developers say. “There are some technical difficulties in porting iOS update to PC. Nothing critical but it takes time. Working on it already.”

The port sounds a bit barebones too, with slim options and no mousewheel support, and opening lore pages in Steam’s overlay rather than in-game.

It is still chuffing King of Dragon Pass, though. And the original’s still on GOG for £3.89 anyway. Some of the original dev team have regrouped to make the KotDP-ish game Six Ages [official site] too.

30 Comments

  1. dawnmane says:

    I love this game so much.

  2. Troika says:

    Thanks for the info! Will grab asap

  3. Baring says:

    Those ducks on the picture sure seems weak! take their stuff and their land!!

    • Nosada says:

      “I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I can picture us attacking that world because they’d never expect it.”

      Jack Handey

    • theblazeuk says:

      The first of many defeats for my war-based expansionist tribe.

      • TheAngriestHobo says:

        Yup, that was where it all started to go downhill for me too. :(

    • Chaz says:

      How could anyone with a good conscience do anything to harm and bully those peaceful looking duck people? Where’s the option to ask nicely for their help?

      I don’t think I’d be very good at this game.

      • Eight Rooks says:

        …it’s the top option on that screenshot? ;) “Approach the ducks and offer them a peace pact.”

        • Chaz says:

          Ah, I didn’t realise that was one of the options. I thought it was a prelude too the other options down below it in quotation marks demanding tribute.

      • Sin Vega says:

        Bullying the ducks is viable (and depending on your ancestors, might be expected), as is starting a fight with just about anyone. But friends in KODP are very valuable. They mean trade and help during battles, as well as occasional favours, and friendly neighbours will often warn you if raiders are approaching.

        They are also pretty realistic and won’t necessarily hold a grudge if you demand annual tribute. So many approaches you can take. Oh, games.

    • Henas says:

      Don’t mess with the Ducks. They will duck you up and drake across hot coals.

  4. Ooops says:

    Way to reward those who supported the game on GOG. Why not release the updated version there? Make it a paid DLC for those owning the original, and full price for the others, and everyone is happy.

    • Merlkir says:

      It’s not as simple, the GoG version was a hack of the original PC version, which they somehow managed to make run.
      This port comes from Android, which itself is a port of the iOS version, which itself is a rewrite of the original game.

      The port is done by HeroCraft, NOT A-Sharp (the original developers), they have no incentive to give their port to people who bought the game from GoG (who did their own port way back)

      • Ooops says:

        Thanks for the explanation.

      • Gormongous says:

        It’s been really weird to follow the blog for A-Sharp over the years. He’s always been adamant that the iOS platform is unique and that he’s lucky to have found it, because there are no other online platforms able to download and update several hundred megs of data. When people asked him about Steam, he said that he’d never heard of it but that he was skeptical of its ability to fulfill his needs. Android was right out, because there was no way to deliver more than two hundred megs directly via the store, and no one could convince him that there were workarounds every major Android release uses to good effect. He honestly seemed skeptical that anyone would buy the GOG release.

        His attitude about porting has been similar. The GOG release only happened because someone else did it and presented him with it, fait accompli. He fought the idea of an Android port for years, asserting that it would functionally involve rebuilding the game from scratch, until Herocraft offered to do it on their own for him, which he seems to have let them do in the full belief that it would fail. Basically, it’s a minor miracle that we have King of Dragon Pass on Steam at all.

  5. Ufofighter says:

    -> Launch a surprise attack against the puny ducks

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      Phasma Felis says:

      It’s worth mentioning that KoDP is set in Glorantha, the subject of the RuneQuest tabletop RPG, among others. It is gloriously weird and has some strikingly unique ideas. link to en.wikipedia.org

      (Gloranthan Ducks are death-worshiping berserkers. They are little feathery Conans to a one. Do not mess with the Ducks.)

      • King in Winter says:

        Plan B: mess with the dwarves!

      • Ufofighter says:

        OH SHI-

      • Xerophyte says:

        Yes, raiding the duck tribe in KoDP is generally followed by thinking “oh dear, I have made a huge mistake” as your shit gets wrecked by magical waterfowl with a marsh terrain advantage.

        Also, the title picture should totally have been the one from the event where a visiting duck is imitating a zombie, as he is the Best Duck.

      • Eight Rooks says:

        I am currently nearing the home stretch on Suikoden III, which also features warlike ducks (if not quite “death-worshipping berserkers”). I admit I was curious if they intended it as a tribute to/lift from Glorantha or if it was just a bizarre JRPG coincidence.

        • Xerophyte says:

          Suikoden had A Thing where they added one animal race per game. 1 and 2 had dog people, 3 has ducks, 4 has cat people and 5 has beavers. I think that there’s a specific pair of stars for them, too.

          Duck people were a thing in Swedish pen and paper games of the late 80s and early 90s, as well. Good old Drakar och Demoner — the big P&P game over here at the time — had several varieties. Those particular ducks even made the jump to english in the then-Target Games-later-Paradox developed 1999 diablo ripoff Dragonfire, where you could opt to play a fearsome pirate Black Duck. Anyhoo, duck races percolated around the Swedish P&P scene at various levels of joke, culminating in the grimdark duck pond wargame “Ultra Ducks: Duck Or Die”.

          The 90s were a strange time.

  6. Arglebargle says:

    Oh well, I have only bought it 3 or 4 times already. What’s another one? They deserve it anyway.

    And David Dunham’s a great PnP GM. I still recall my dragonewt-magic stealing horseman in PenDragon Pass, lo these many years later.

  7. anHorse says:

    If it runs in windowed mode I’ll buy the game again just for that

  8. Lionmaruu says:

    the fake paper texture interface, the music, omfg is this lords of the realm 2? looks like it is not, but still looks nice to warrant a visit!

    • Sin Vega says:

      Lords of the Realm is definitely related – not the military or expansionist stuff, but the farming and village management side is similar enough that it’s one of few games I’d directly compare KODP to.

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    Mikemcn says:

    I bought this game because a reddit comment told me it was great.

    It totally is, buy it, sending parties out into the unknown and having all sorts of crazy nonsense happen to them was my favorite part. I am the worst king of dragon pass but goddamn did I explore that map as much as I could.

  10. SgtStens says:

    I still have my original Win-98 compatible CD-ROM.

    Anyone out there have any luck installing games from CD using DOSBox?

  11. blastaz says:

    Picked this up after always hearing it mentioned.

    It hasn’t really aged at all due to their being no graphics to speak of, and it is a fun sort of game.

    I almost wished for a bit more documentation but spoilers spoil the experience pretty fast.

    Overall quite fun though. About to win the ten year ring if I can just keep it together…