Posts Tagged ‘Conifer Games’

Civ 5 designer Jon Shafer is returning to At The Gates with new ideas

at the gates

Jon Shafer and Paradox’s recent break up was sad news, even though we never found out what the Civilization 5 designer was working on, but if there’s a silver lining, it’s that he’s now able to invest more time into his Kickstarted 4X game: At The Gates. Yesterday, Shafer posted the first update since May, revealing a slight change in direction and promising more consistent updates.

Read the rest of this entry »

At The Gates is a 4X game that learns from RimWorld and Spelunky

Jon Shafer has joined Paradox to found and lead a new team and make a new strategy game, but work continues on At The Gates, the project Shafer has been developing independently for years now. It’s a 4X game that casts off many of the recognisable patterns of the genre. Instead of building an empire, you control a barbarian tribe trying to tear down an empire, or to co-exist alongside that empire. In this case, it’s the Roman empire. To survive, you’ll need to exploit resources, move with the seasons, and build a relationship with the world as well as your neighbours and companions.

Read the rest of this entry »

Jon Shafer on designing Civilization 5, joining Paradox and making strategy games better

Jon Shafer was 21 years old when he became lead designer of Civilization V. Now working at Paradox on an unannounced project and on his own historical strategy game At The Gates in his spare time, he says he’s learning from the likes of Spelunky along with the more obvious strategic influences. We spoke about how the second half of every Civ sucks, the part the series played in his life, the perils of boredom in strategy design, how much we love maps, and what the future holds for both Shafer and Paradox.

I began by asking how he ended up sitting at the Paradox Convention, in Stockholm, the city that has now been his home for two weeks: “It’s quite a long story, actually.”

That story begins in Denver, around 2003.

Read the rest of this entry »

Gated Community: At The Gates’ Painterly New Art Style

At The Gates somehow feels like a lifetime ago, and I’ve never even played it. It’s the turn-based strategy game that Civilization V lead Jon Shafer turned his hand to after parting ways with Firaxis, and it turned up at the tail-end of the Great Kickstarter Gold Rush of 2012-13. I’m quietly relieved that his Conifer Games are taking their sweet time over it. That suggests care and craft, which is what a turn-based game needs.

Also suggesting care and craft is a switch to a new, watercolour-like art style, as demonstrated in the full hour of narrated footage below.
Read the rest of this entry »

4Xtra: Jon Shafer Explains At The Gates


RPS chum Joe Robinson talked to Jon “Civ V” Shafer about the formation of his new studio, Conifer Games, and his new game: At The Gates. As you’ll see below, Shafer has renewed his mission to bring vigour and innovation to the 4X world. Read on to find out why At The Gates is the first step in his mighty quest.
Read the rest of this entry »