Just recently announced, Jon Shafer’s At the Gates will have native Linux support. Even more impressive is that the Kickstarter campaign has already surpassed its pledge goal with over a week left. Needless to say, seeing native platform support without a stretch goal is impressive.
Just wanted to let you know that we have decided to release At the Gates on Linux. You’ll receive a Windows, Mac and Linux version if you contribute at the $25 tier or higher.
Thanks for your interest!
– Jon Shafer
You will face many challenges in your journey to become the master of Europe.
At the Gates is an empire builder similar to Sid Meier’s Civilization. Starting with a small tribe, you must explore the world, exploit its scarce resources, and eliminate or outsmart potential enemies. The game starts simple but grows in complexity until you command a mighty economic and military powerhouse.
Over the course of a single game your tribe will migrate to more lush and bountiful lands. While you conquer and barter with other clans and work alongside the Romans. Since you will learn from them and finally destroy them. Along the way, you’ll also need to master the art of war and craft. With cunning plans to strengthen your kingdom. All while enduring the worst mother nature can throw at you!
Fighting wars in the winter is either heroic – or foolish.
At the Gates features several innovations which separate it from other empire builders.
A single playthrough of Jon Shafer’s At the Gates becomes more interesting the deeper in you get. So unlike many strategy titles which lose steam when victory becomes assured midway through. Over time, the world’s resources are slowly but inevitably consumed. Since this forces you to seek out new sources of food and wealth if you hope to survive. The most satisfying victories are those which are hard-earned!
Jon Shafer’s At the Gates coming to Linux, Mac, Windows
But the world is much more than simply a canvas for resources. Jon Shafer’s At the Gates takes the traditional concept of randomized maps to a new level. As time passes so do the seasons, transforming the very landscape which surrounds you. Once-fertile grasslands become barren dirt. The waterways you’ve grown familiar with will freeze over, thwarting or aiding your travels. Accounting for the environment is essential not only when planning military campaigns, but also planning for the harvest necessary to feed your hungry clan.
Jon Shafer’s At the Gates innovates on the diplomatic front as well. Relationships are cultivated by completing situational requests for other leaders, giving you the ability to dramatically reshape the political landscape. If Attila’s people are starving, then providing him with a timely gift of food could very well earn you a friend for life. The tools for forging powerful alliances are always right at your fingertips.
While making friends is always nice, there will be times when discussions break down and you must take to the battlefield. Success in combat requires careful timing and management of supply, particularly during the harsh winter months. Starving an enemy into submission can be a powerful tactic – but first ensure your own troops are fed!
- Adapt to an ever-changing landscape as the seasons change. Craft plans where you not only survive but hope for fields to dry up, marshes to flood and rivers to freeze solid.
- Build a robust economy by finding and exploiting new resources. Deposits slowly deplete so you need to always be on the hunt for more – even if they belong to your neighbors. If none are nearby, a better option might be to migrate your entire tribe to a different part of the world!
- Vanquish enemies on the battlefield by deftly maneuvering around them and destroying their chains of supply. But make sure your own are protected, as tactical victory means nothing if your armies then starve to death!
- Forge lasting diplomatic relationships with other leaders by lending them a hand in times of need. If Attila’s people are starving, sending him grain might earn you a friend for life.
- Fight or cooperate with the Romans – and become more like them. Barbarian kingdoms become more “Romanized” and gain access to powerful new technologies as they interact with the two halves of the Empire.
- Play on a geographically accurate map of Europe or 100% randomly-generated worlds.
- Lead one of eight factions, each with unique strengths to take advantage of and challenges to overcome.
Current state of At The Gates:
At the Gates has a significant head start over many other projects that show up on Kickstarter. Our team already has a fully-playable prototype which includes a rough implementation of every major feature. Maps can be randomly generated, you can order your armies to crush enemies, basic diplomacy is possible and so on. We’re very happy with the current state of the game!
So if that’s the case, why am I asking for your money?
The short answer is that in spite of that progress, the road ahead is still a long one. While At the Gates is technically playable, the mechanics are still extremely rough. Iteration is the most vital element of game development, and the current version of At the Gates is just a first draft. The AI – essential for any single player strategy game – is still in its very early stages and will need significant development time and resources to provide the challenge strategy gamers expect.
The art style is solid, but there’s a significant amount of polish work we’d still like to do. Portraits have been completed for only one out of the ten leaders. There’s zero animation work done for either the units or the landscape. We have no sound effects, nor music outside of a single title theme.
So, yeah… our to-do list is pretty packed!
Conifer Games is a brand-new studio. We’re not sitting on a massive pile of cash, we don’t have a publisher and, as of right now, any future expenses will come directly out of the team’s pocket. In other words, without your support At the Gateswill never be finished.
$40,000 is not a large budget for a game with this kind of scope. But it’s sufficient to finish Jon Shafer’s At the Gates because we’ve already made significant progress, and have a very small development team. Raising more than that would let us add even more features to the game than we’ve talked about here, so we’re certainly hoping to not just meet this threshold but shoot beyond it!
Our launch target for Jon Shafer’s At the Gates is the first half of 2014.That date is obviously pretty far off, but we believe in setting realistic deadlines and being honest with you all about what to expect. A game like this can’t be built in six months. Well, not a good one, anyways. But at least it’s coming to Linux.
After At the Gates ships, Conifer will continue supporting it with patches and new content. And, should this Kickstarter be a success, once development on Jon Shafer’s At the Gates ultimately winds down we’ll begin work on other fresh, deep and ambitious titles. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves now!
So you all know that there will be a release of At the Gates for Linux. You’ll receive a Windows, Mac and Linux version if you contribute at the $25 tier or higher.
With your guys’ support we can make all of that a reality. Come and be a part of an amazing game and a new company with a bright future. We promise we won’t let you down!