Hey, I am the developer of Wizards and Warlords, a fantasy strategy game currently in Early Access. As you can tell this thread was posted quite some years ago, so I've made some changes to the original post to keep it up to date. I am a programmer with a few decades of experience, some of that in the games industry, and some in other areas of software development. This is a project I work on in my spare time - I have a full-time job and a family, which explains why it's taken some time to get to this point.
The game is turn-based and takes place in a randomly generated fantasy world, represented by a map of hexagonal tiles. The player takes control of a Wizard or a Warlord, starting with a small holding, a few followers and a small army. The world is populated by city-states, tribes, monsters, races, dungeons, cults, religions and ancient evils - and of course, rival wizards and warlords.
The vision is a turn-based fantasy strategy game with deep mechanics, flexible game play and a high degree of replayability. The procedural world generation engine is designed to create not just a world map, but entire cultures, dungeons, ancient civilizations, pantheons, planar cosmologies, ancient evils, and more. A rogue-like element applied to the strategy game formula. I am also committed to the support of extensive modding of the game.
I draw inspiration from a variety of sources - Master of Magic, Dwarf Fortress, Europa Universalis, Crusader Kings, Fantasy General, Total War, Fall From Heaven and Dominion, just to name a few. But this is not an attempt to create a successor of a classic, such as Master of Magic, a game many strategy game fans have fond memories of, and which a strong contributing impetus to me starting out this project many years ago. But I am creating a new game, with its own approach and its own way of doing things.
The graphics have gone from mono-colored blobs and a GUI similar to an ancient and user-unfriendly business app, to a jumble of free assets, programmer art and placeholders, and has now finally started integrating proper professional art, mostly purchased through the Unity Asset Store. The plan is to use revenue from early access to commission even more great art. There is still a long way to go when it comes to aesthetics, but for those of you saw the first public pre-alpha versions, I am sure you agree the difference is massive. Note that the development is not dependent on a certain amount of revenue to be finished, so it's not something I'll abandon or leave incomplete due to lack of commercial success.
There was a decently long period of public alpha and the core functionality has been implemented. Games can be started, research made, armies recruited, dungeons explored, followers can be sent on diplomatic or covert missions, random events occur, spells can be cast, cities, fortress and mana nodes can be conquered, various structures can be constructed, buildings and upgrades are in, etc. There are bugs. There are unfinished or inaccessible parts of the game (player-controlled Warlords being the main one). There are balance issues. The reason I went from public alpha to pursuing Early Access on Steam is to reach a wider audience and get more testing, feedback and ideas. There was also a lot of overhead involved in not using a distribution platform.
The features planned for release:
- Randomly generated fantasy worlds, with massive variety and depth, making every game a unique experience. The parameters can be customized so you can have a low-magic human-only world, a "classic" elves/dwarves/orc/dragons world or an exotic one with completely randomly generated races and cultures, not following the usual tropes.
- Play as a Wizard with enigmatic goals, arcane research, a multitude of spells and summoned/constructed/enchanted armies and followers. The Wizard Tower is a core mechanic, and can be upgraded and improved to suit a variety of play styles. Customize the traits and magical aptitudes of your Wizard, or select from pre-created templates.
- Play as a Warlord and command a custom culture and race, forging an empire or legend through conquest, diplomacy, heroics or economic dominance. Customize military units and armies, build great fortresses and lead your culture to greatness, through technological research and cultural development.
- Interact with other planes - fending off invasions, hiring extra-planar mercenaries or even raiding them for exotic resources and artifacts.
- A rich variety of random events creating opportunities, threats and interesting stories.
- Organizations: The world is not only populated by rival realms, independent cities and monstrous threats. Hidden cults plot and scheme. Knightly Orders command immense martial power. Uncover their hidden agendas, ally and barter with them, or infiltrate them to bend their power towards your goals.
- Command followers of all kinds - priests, warriors, nobles, sages, merchants, artisans, rogues or more exotic personae. Send them to explore dungeons, on covert missions of espionage and sabotage, or as diplomatic envoys securing the support of independent cities and tribes.
- Your workers can build and work mines, quarries, vineyards, outposts, shrines and other overland sites, providing your realm with resources and gold.
- Cities evolve according to their culture and what buildings you construct. They gain levels in areas such as martial, spiritual, prosperity, even crime and decadence. This affects events, stability and the properties of characters and military units from the city.
- Ancient evils slumber. Beware waking them or taking too long to complete your goals. Gigantic oozes, the mad ghoul king, eldritch horrors, and other randomly generated ancient evils provide events to shake up the end game. They will corrupt your followers, unleash monstrous armies on the world and even potentially bring about the end of the world.
- Windows, Linux and Mac support.
- A map and world editor for creating custom maps and scenarios.
I have a blog at http://wizardsandwarlords.wordpress.com/
and webpage/forums at https://wizardsandwarlords.net
There is a Steam page at: http://store.steampowered.com/app/567080