Steampunk zombiefest RTS They Are Billions may not have a campaign yet (it's coming), but I reckon this latest early access update might be more important in the long run. Released yesterday, developers Numantian Games rolled out their Steam Workshop-integrated editor after a couple weeks of testing. Players can build scenarios both hand-crafted or procedural, with custom rules, complex scripting and new victory conditions. They also released a new official challenge scenario - even with reinforcements, can you finish your defences when the horde is only 50 days away?
In order to help out new creators, the developers have published an official guide to the editor. It's not particularly long or detailed, but it should be all you need to know to create a basic map, populate it with baddies and share it for other people to die on. Numantian uploaded their official example scenario - The 50 Days Challenge - back on November 8th, and over the course of the month another 110 maps have been produced, all before the official editor launch. I'd not be surprised to see that number closing in on a thousand by the new year.
The stuff the players will be cranking out over the coming months should help pass the time until the full campaign release. Numantian say they're focusing most of their efforts on the campaign now, and don't think it's too far off. They've also got plans for another two map themes, new features for the existing Survival mode and additional scripting options and features for the editors. I reckon that in the long run, more editor features will pay off most. You've only got to look at the enduring Age Of Empires, Warcraft and Starcraft scenes to see just what good tools can do.
Accompanying the editor's release, They Are Billions is 25% discounted on Steam, bringing it down to £14.62/€17.24/$18.74. The game is still in early access, with its story campaign mode estimated ready for play by spring 2019.