Flash of Steel header image 2

Kings and Castles

February 15th, 2010 by Troy Goodfellow · 15 Comments · Gas Powered Games, RTS

Gas Powered Games has announced a new fantasy RTS, named Kings and Castles. Here is a frightening video blog from GPG Boss Chris Taylor.

The press release says that Kings and Castles is “an epic real-time strategy game for the PC and next-generation consoles. This one-of-a-kind experience will let players take on the role of one of three powerful kings who are vying for control of an all-new, original fantasy world.”

In other words, something we have seen before in a setting we haven’t seen before. I’ll try to restrain my enthusiasm.

The interesting thing here, kicked off by that video of madness, is that GPG is planning on walking gamers through the development process step by step.

Future installments will take fans step-by-step through the design process, discussing the creation of prototypes, the work that goes into creating the visual look and feel, while others will cover the proper care and feeding of chickens.

I might not stick around to watch Taylor play with his barnyard pets, but I am actually interested in this behind the scenes stuff. When I see something cool, I’ll be sure to link to it.


15 Comments so far ↓

  • WCG

    Yeah, I’ve come to the point where I’m sick to death of fantasy (and I’m not fond of RTS games anyway, since I like to take my time). But why are fantasy settings so popular, other than the fact that you don’t have people complaining that your game isn’t accurate? Or maybe that’s it, huh?

    Plus, “magic” is an all-purpose explanation for everything. You don’t have to think about plausibility when the answer is just “magic.”

    I’ve started playing the space-based game, “Aurora,” and after all the fantasy I’ve been playing, it’s just so refreshing! Admittedly, I must be a masochist for being willing to work this hard to learn a game. Still, so far, it’s been worth it.

  • Troy

    To be fair, in a lot of sci-fi games the tech serves the same role as magic. There’s not that much difference between a fireball and a photon torpedo, between the Borg and orcs.

    One of the big draws of fantasy is that people “get it” in an instant. You don’t have to explain what a wizard is, why you would build catapults or the differences between elves and dwarves. The archetypes are already set for you in almost every new fantasy setting.

    Building a new sci-fi universe is a different matter. You can build a great sci-fi game with a paper thing universe (Sins of a Solar Empire) or a good one with an elaborate backstory (Swords of the Stars) but in both of those you need to explain things a little more.

  • Jared H.

    …why did they even bother to make that video?

    I’ll admit that even though I prefer fantasy to sci-fi I’ve been overdosing on fantasy lately. Dragon Age seemed so bland of a setting to me. I’m looking forward to Elemental though, they seem to be really trying to mix up the generic fantasy setting. It’s an important line to walk, similar enough to other fantasy so that people will “get it” but not so similar that its boring and repetitive.

  • Nate

    Hasn’t fantasy been underrepresented lately in the strategy genre? Other than Majesty 2 and Demigod I’m hard pressed to think of games that have come out recently. I agree, Elemental looks like it should be great.

  • Angry Gamer

    Hmm WHA????

    Well I hope the series makes more sense later on. And I hope we dont have people cutting wood in game because that was done in 1995

  • Scott R. Krol

    What the world really needs is a WWII game set in a fantasy universe featuring lots of crates.

  • Christopher

    Luckly, they picked a title whose originality matches well with their setting’s originality.

  • Cautiously Pessimistic

    Didn’t Chris Taylor’s previous company already do a Total Annihilation fantasy spinoff? Or was it in production and never released? I could have sworn this was done already by Taylor. Unless I’m mixing up developers, and Chris Taylor wasn’t the original developer for Total Annihilation…

  • Kingdaddy

    I’ll second the sentiment about being tired of fantasy. I just started playing Dragon Age, and it was striking how even a teeny, tiny divergence from the straitjacket of the D&D motif was instantly noticeable. It wasn’t that dramatically different: I’m playing an elf character, and it’s interesting to see that race portrayed as ex-slaves of humans, instead of the usual fey, condescending Tolkienesque creatures you normally see.

    But it’s not different enough. Want something really un-Tolkienesque? Use Moorcock’s Elric series as a backdrop. Or the Dresden books. Hell, even the Earthdawn and Shadowrun RPG franchises do a lot more imaginative things with elves and orcs than the same old same old.

    Or just don’t do fantasy. Sure, a lot of what we call science fiction is often just fantasy dressed up in different clothes–but not all of it. Aside from the science, which can be stronger or weaker, there are the common story arcs that you don’t see in fantasy. Quick, name a fantasy story that was about exploration or colonization.

  • Nate

    The Scar by China Mieville, a fantasy novel from 2002, deals with themes of both exploration and colonialism. I’d love to see a game set in the world of his books…

  • Alex2000

    You guys, including Troy, are making a pretty big assumption.

    Fantasy is only mentioned once in the press release:

    “This one-of-a-kind experience will let players take on the role of one of three powerful kings who are vying for control of an all-new, original fantasy world.”

    It sounded to me that the game was going to be set in a George RR Martin style universe, rather than a D&D one. That is, like Game of Thrones, more Medieval than Middle Earth. [/b]

    After all, the game is called Kings and Castles, not Mages and Dragons. Until you guys started talking about it, I magic in this game didn’t occur to me at all. I thought it was going to be like Castles or Stronghold.

    Unless Troy has some inside info that we don’t know about.

  • Alex2000


    Darn comments section. No HTML, no EDIT feature….

    Troy, why don’t you use DISQUS for your comments section?


    It works very well. I have it on mine if you want to see it in action.

  • Troy

    You’re right, of course, Alex. There’s no reason it has to be mages and stuff. And I never claimed that it was. I only mentioned magic in relation to another comment. This could be some Conan thing with castles.

    Re changing the comments app, maybe I will, but I’m still getting used to where everything is in the new setup.

  • Jared H.

    In the event that it isn’t fantasy/magic and is instead just a game that take place in medieval Europe (or a knock off there of) I will be even less interested. While I am only kind of sick of fantasy, I have overplayed the Total War series to the point where I no longer like playing games that take place in the real world. It will need some kick-ass gameplay to get me over the mythos it takes place in.

  • JonathanStrange

    As someone who rarely plays fantasy or any genre setting in particular, I’m often amused (in a good way, not the “I’m better ‘n you way”) when people say they’re tired of Elves or zombies or Nazis ’cause long before I get bored of something, I’ve moved on.

    Then, when I’m again in the mood for Elves or zombie-killing, all I read are comments saying they’re booored with it, it’s not authentic, it’s hackneyed and the game better not have it. The cure is not in the game, but the gamer: lay off playing awhile. Or at least realize, we’re not all OD’ing on your particular poison. :)

    I, for one, would welcome magic or zombies or Elves or no Elves or Nazis resurrecting Elven zombies or…