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Brandon Sanderson wants Moonbreaker's story to "last a decade or longer"

The sci-fi tabletop strategy game heads into early access today

Sci-fi miniatures sim Moonbreaker launches into early access on PC today, but Brandon Sanderson, the renowned fantasy writer behind the game's story, says he's working on at least ten years' worth of story ideas. Brandon Sanderson is known for his prolific ability to churn out books, but he’s also a fan of games and has been working closely with Moonbreaker’s devs Unknown Worlds to map out where the game’s story will go.

Moonbreaker weaves turn-based strategy and science-fantasy together.

Sanderson told IGN that he feels the way a game plays comes before story considerations, which surprised Moonbreaker’s developers. “A game with an awful story but fantastic gameplay is still a great game," Sanderson said. Unknown Worlds and Sanderson are continuing to work on Moonbreaker jointly, which Sanderson hopes will carry on for years – even comparing the game’s multiple character viewpoints to Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales.

“We have a long-form story. We’re trying to make a game that’s gonna last a decade or longer,” Sanderson said. “So to do that, we need to be planting a lot of seeds and then harvesting those seeds.” Those will come through the stories of Moonbreaker’s captains, but Sanderson insists it could be a year before the game’s overarching plot comes to bear. He’s already planned an ending though.

The storyline for Moonbreaker was developed by Sanderson before he was approached by the Subnautica developers, but he didn’t think it was a good fit for his Cosmere series. Unknown Worlds already had a prototype for the game, and chose what they considered the more ambitious of two pitches by Sanderson. The author worked with Unknown Worlds on a weekly schedule, and came up with the game’s lore and the first batch of captains, who lead your team of tabletop miniatures.

Unknown Worlds only announced Moonbreaker last month at Gamescom. Alice Bee got a chance for a short hands-off preview of the game and thought its miniature painting was cool. “You can do washes, you can airbrush, you can stipple or dry brush for different effects,” she said. “You can also auto-mask, so if you want to quickly paint an entire gun pink without getting any of it on the character's gloves, you can.” Yet she did wonder if it might struggle to attract its core audience of tabletop miniature enthusiasts.

We'll have more thoughts on Moonbreaker next week, as review code has only just come through, but if you simply can't wait then you can start your own early access Moonbreaker journey from midnight tonight over on Steam. Don’t get it confused with that Bond film that tried to be Star Wars.

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About the Author
CJ Wheeler avatar

CJ Wheeler

Former News Reporter

CJ used to write about steam locomotives but now covers Steam instead. Likes visual novels, most things with dungeons and/or crawling, and any shooter with a suitably chunky shotgun. He’s from Yorkshire, which means he’s legally obliged to enjoy a cup of tea and a nice sit down.