The last time we looked at the dwarf settlements of King Under The Mountain [official site] Pip was admiring its Autumn leaves, like some kind of weird nature lover. This month the Dwarf Fortress-inspired management game has popped onto Kickstarter where developers Rocket Jump Technology are asking for 45 large. But, more importantly, it now has a playable build for potential leaf-lovers to try out. Or, if you're lazy, here's a video.
It’s not to be confused with Queen Under The Mountain, which is also a Dwarf Fortress style game about managing subterranean heavy-drinkers. Rocket Jump have gone the popular Prison Architect route, and you can see that immediately in the art. But here’s the low-down on what you’ll be doing.
Gameplay is based around high-level management of your settlers to harvest resources, build rooms and furniture, craft items and manage your economy. Your settlers are deeply simulated characters with their own wants, needs, thoughts and emotions who will go about their daily lives carrying out your instructions as well as looking after themselves.
Once you have a working base of operations, you can take a small party of your best and brightest characters on "adventures" - tactical combat-driven dungeon crawls to randomly generated locations or even the settlements of other players!
That’s grand but the most interesting part for me is the branching out of races. Three are promised: dwarves, humans and orcs. Orcs! These boyos are described as “a bit more challenging” as they “need to be kept from fighting amongst themselves.” The lovable snaggle-toothed rascals. Evidently, the devs seem to like orc dating sim Shadow of Mordor, because one of the stretch goals is also to include a “Nemesis system” whereby players will be attacked by recurring enemies “procedurally generated with their own appearance and personality to make every player's story unique.”
Anyway, there’s lots more to learn on the Kickstarter about what their plans are. Keeping in mind the usual Kickstarter caution, the team plan to have a playable alpha build in about 7 months.