100 Rogues dev expands into 4X games with Empire

By Owen Faraday 20 Mar 2013 0
I dig the Van Gogh clouds. An alpha build of Empire, with placeholder art and UI elements.

Let it never be said that Keith Burgun pulls his punches. Here's the statement that the designer of 100 Rogues uses to introduce his latest endeavour: "I do have a number of problems with the [4X] genre," he says in a blog post, "problems which have not been getting better. ... EMPIRE is a modern, elegant solution to the problems of 4X strategy games."

Burgun's self-regard for his game design prowess is robust -- the guy's even written a book about game design. But he's worth watching: once it suffered through its teething problems, 100 Rogues turned out to be one of the better roguelikes on the App Store, and its successfully Kickstarted followup Auro looks very promising as well.

With Auro's release projected for the end of May, Burgun has started talking about his next design -- the aforementioned Empire. From what he's revealed, Burgun is looking to inject a sense of urgency into the 4X. Because your cities will drain resources from the land, you have to be constantly expanding to stay ahead of the desolation you're causing, lest your people starve. It sounds leading the Huns, or shepherding a swarm of locusts. "Eventually, your civilization will fall, so it is a matter of surviving for as long as you can and winning as many battles as you can to achieve the highest score possible," Burgun says in his blog post. If that already doesn't sound intriguing -- there's a card-based combat system with deck-building gameplay, too.

I love this idea. I want to play it right now. The only thing that gives me pause is that Burgun doesn't have much of a track record to assess: 100 Rogues was as stable as a seasick giraffe at launch (though it was patched up in time) and we haven't actually played Auro yet. I'll be keeping a close watch on Empire. Dinofarm games is on Twitter and Facebook if you want to join my stakeout.
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