So long as there exists a market for '90s style party-managing RPGs, Spiderweb Software and its mostly-solo designer Jeff Vogel will be there. The studio's next fantasy strategy RPG, Queen's Wish: The Conqueror, is near-ish to completion, and while anything can happen in the wacky world of game dev, Spiderweb reckon it'll be out this autumn. The first in a potential series (having concluded the stories of Geneforge, Avernum and Avadon), it's the story of a young royal leader fighting to get into their family's good books by reviving a lost colony. Below, a new trailer.
Reminding me a little of the recent Pathfinder: Kingmaker, there'll be some big-picture management in between itemising your loot and making sure your party are in tippy-top condition. There's towns to upgrade, and forts to build on their borders, which can be given strategic and tactical upgrades to assist you in combat if you end up having to fight there. As well as the obvious monsters that have moved in, there are rival nations to tangle with, with both diplomatic and military solutions to the problems presented. While the graphics are old-school, there's fresh ambition here.
Spiderweb claim it'll be open-ended, too, with multiple quest solutions, paths to take and endings to discover, befitting its strategic ambitions. I'm curious to see how well the strategic structure will work, as it's a little out of Vogel's wheelhouse, but I'm excited to see him try, and sure it's a formula will only improve as the series evolves. I'm keen to play - while bopping dragons is easily done on the tabletop, kingdom management and yelling at the peasantry is something reserved for computers, and blending the two is often compelling. I'm polishing my crown in anticipation.
Queen's Wish: The Conqueror is due out this autumn, and will be launching on Steam and other stores to be announced later. You can see more of the game (and Spiderweb's fifteen other RPGs) on their official page here.