Stronghold Kingdoms was officially announced late last week. Since then, WarCry has had a chance to sit down with Firefly's co-founder and designer Simon Bradbury to find out more about SHK. Find out all that can be told below:
Please introduce yourselves and give us your game development history.
Simon Bradbury Designer and Co-Founder of Firefly Studios - makers of fine castle games since 1999 (Stronghold Series)
What is the background of "Strongholds Kingdoms"? How long was the idea floating around before development began?
Its an idea we have had in our minds ever since we started making the Stronghold games, we've always wanted to make the castles people build mean more than just a one off game - castles have stood for centuries after all - we wanted our digitals ones to last a long time too! We first started dev work on kingdoms back in 2007...any game that has a long play time we figured was going to take us a long time to design and tweak!
How many people are working on development?
About 8 in all, but this will grow as we approach beta
Where are you in the development cycle of Strongholds Kingdoms?
We have just launched a closed alpha of 150 people. Really to test out some ideas and to start to work on the support systems that an online game needs, a good third of the game has yet to be written tho!
Will you have a closed and/or open beta?
Yes - we will have a closed beta - towards the end of the year...
Do you plan any cross-platform development?
Initially we will be concentrating on PC development, but have some other plans. :)
What is the back story for Strongholds Kingdoms?
The area of the world you are paying in will be geographically correct (Britain for the alpha for example) and the idea is that there is no king, it is a land divided into new and small lords.
As you rise through the ranks - you gain more control and power - maybe becoming the sheriff of a country for example. You join together In factions and houses and as the game moves on your power block will fight to elect the king of there choosing and then to gain overall control of the (game) world... that king could be you!
What historical epoch gave you inspiration for Strongholds Kingdoms?
It will be strictly early medieval with no fantasy elements, that ground is covered in plenty of other games I think!
What 'real world' places will players see/visit?
Initially The UK , we then have a range of other countries and regions we wish to cover...
Which of the above is your personal favorite and why?
The UK - because it's the only one so far. :)
Into what category would you put Strongholds Kingdoms: RPG, RTS, FPS, a combination? Why do you feel that way?
Stronghold Kingdoms is a castle game and a mix of RTS and browser based games such as Tribal wars or Travian.
How is multiplayer incorporated into Strongholds Kingdoms?
Well - there are some PvE elements in the world currently and there will be others, but mainly its one huge PvP environment - I pillage your castle - you siege mine and destroy some buildings... etc etc in a game world with 1000's of other players the whole thing is one huge multiplayer game.
Is there a single player game? If so, how is it different from the multiplayer game?
Not currently - but Like many ideas, this is something we think about.
Will Strongholds Kingdoms be available as a physical product or as a digital download only? Why was that decision made?
It will come out as a physical product as well as digital. Like any dev team, we need it to be a commercial product and we see no reason to limit its distribution.
Have you determined what subscription model Strongholds Kingdoms will follow? Will it be a monthly fee, microtransaction or some combination of the two?
We are not announcing that yet!
Does Firefly have any other games in development? If so, can you tell us anything about them? Do you plan to keep the same sort of model for the target audience?
Yes we have another game in development, but you'll have to wait until we announce it!
Please add any other information that you'd like.
I'd just like to say thanks to the many people that are emailing us asking if they can join the alpha test. We are however now full. Please leave your details on our website, www.fireflyworlds.com and we'll get back to you in a few months time!