Feudal Wars is a medieval realtime strategy game, styled after the great RTS titles of the 90s. The game will be free and easily accessible from the browser, with an emphasis on multiplayer and online community.
The game has been in active development since January of 2015. Many of the core features are already complete and the game is in a playable state. A mini game and access to the map editor are available as kickstarter rewards. The full game with online multiplayer is set to release in December of 2016.
What makes this game different from other RTS games?
- It features old-school isometric graphics but in a modern and brand new, custom-built engine. Isometric game engines are considered a thing of the past. We want to bring them back.
- It's built with emerging browser technologies (Phaser.io and Webgl). The game engine utilizes your graphics card unlike the low-tech Flash games you are used to seeing in the browser.
- It's geared toward competitive online play. We intend to create a single player with skirmish mode as well.
- Lots of fun, historical elements like accurate tabard designs, playable civilizations and a planned single-player campaign mode featuring real historical battles.
- The game mechanics are macro-oriented and encourage more laid-back kingdom-building and long-term economic/military strategy over quick micro-oriented games (like Starcraft 2).
- You can add your own unit, buildings, textures and trees to the game simply by filling out a web form and uploading the necessary files.
Advance through a three-tiered feudal system: from Baron to Earl to Duke. Each tier has a different set of available buildings, military units and technology that are useful depending on the circumstances. Maintain a careful balance of economy and military, form alliances, establish trade routes and research the right techs to overcome your opponents!
** Please note that many of the unit graphics in the above image are placeholders.
**Please note, all starting CIVS are free and will always be free. However, we may choose to sell premium CIVs later on and want to make that clear. Feudal Wars will never be pay to win and we will make every effort to assure all civilizations - paid and unpaid - are balanced.
We will begin with Europe. However, we intend to expand this list to include kingdoms in Asia and the Middle-east, namely the Japanese, Mongols, Chinese, Turks and Ottoman Empire.
Special Unit: Longbow
Welsh Yeomen trained for many years in the use of longbows, and were employed regularly by the English in domestic garrisons and expeditionary forces. Their arrows could penetrate most armor of the period, relying on volley fire to bombard foes from a long distance away rather than picking out individual targets.
Special Unit: Paladin
Named for the twelve Paladins of Charlemagne made famous in such works as the Song of Roland, this title was only bestowed upon the most famous and skilled of French knights. These elites were famed for shock-tactics, charging into enemy formations with great zeal.
Special Unit: Landsknecht
The Deutsch Landsknechte were the most famous mercenaries of the Late Middle Ages, flamboyant daredevils with great skill and fortitude. They were skilled in the most advanced close-combat techniques of the day, part of the famed German schools of longswordsmanship and grappling, and loved nothing more than being in the midst of lopsided war where they could test their mettle against seemingly insurmountable odds.
Special Unit: Ritterbrüder
The Ritterbrüder made up the knightly force of the Teutonic Order. The order was formed to aid Christians on their pilgrimages to the Holy Land and to establish hospitals.
Special Unit: Condotierri
Condotierri lead “military free companies,” mercenary forces especially skilled in the most brutal and subversive methods of war. Though the first were German, the most famous were Italians, and they plied their trade with great skill across the peninsula and into mainland Europe under the employ of church and state alike.
Special Unit: Almogavars
According to the Chronicle of Ramon Muntaner, the Almogavars were a fierce multi-ethnic population of mountain dwellers who “live for naught save only warfare.” They were effective raiders who survived by pillaging lowland dwellers, and were hired as mercenaries by Aragon.
There's a certain quality to 2.5D art (or faux 3D) that is lost in realtime 3D rendering. All of the artwork in Feudal Wars will be hand-crafted 2.5D isometric, like the great RTS games of old! Note that many of the graphics below are not at the actual scale you will see them in-game.
Pre-rendered 3D can not only result in a better aesthetic, but better performance and scalability. Pre-rendered 3D artwork means bigger map sizes and more units.
Powered by Phaser and webgl, the game engine is capable of rendering maps of up to 1 billion pixels squared and thousands of animating units.. All in a single browser tab. Imagine the possibilities!
The goal is maximum educational and historical content at a minimal expense to gameplay. We intend to take full advantage of the scores of medieval paintings in the public domain, integrating artwork from that time into the UI and load screens.
Feudal Wars will take place in the mid to late middle ages, the 12th to 15th centuries. All of the artists working on Feudal Wars have an intimate knowledge of Medieval architecture. We regularly consult historians to advise on every aspect of the game, from planning the civilizations and tech trees to designing every unit and building.
Historically accurate crests and coat of arms, historically accurate tabard designs and colors, historically accurate military units, technologies and civilization strengths/weaknesses. Historical accuracy is a huge priority!
Let’s face it, the genre has become more about keyboard-mashing and mental reflex than actual strategy. Feudal Wars differs from popular RTS games like Starcraft 2 in that the emphasis is strongly on macro over micro gameplay. The game mechanics reward Kingdom-building and long term economic and military strategy. Micro will still be a big part of gameplay but the game will lean more heavily towards macro than typical modern RTS games.
Play 1v1, 2v2, 3v3 and 4v4 online multiplayer matches.
Play against other players in a local community of 50 players. Play with other players in your community, or “Kingdom” to compete against other kingdoms. You achieve a rank inside your kingdom and your kingdom achieves a rank in the world.
The system is designed to foster community-building. Rather than playing in completely arbitrary divisions of leagues and against completely random people, you have the opportunity to play against and alongside members of your community in ranked matches.
Each kingdom will have a logo, private forum, and lobby with public chat. Certain roles and privileges exist within the kingdom and are given based on two factors: merit and seniority. The player with the highest seniority (i.e. has been in the kingdom longest) will have the power to do things like changing the logo or name of the kingdom. Players with high merit (e.g. highest rank in the kingdom) will have special privileges as well.
You can leave your kingdom at anytime if you want to, say, join another kingdom to be with your friend.
The map editor uses an innovative blending system to create terrains. No more ugly square-shaped tiles! You can start editing maps and playing them right away by pledging to the Earl tier or higher!
From the ground up, Feudal Wars is built with the intention of being easy to mod and contribute to. The goal is to have every last pixel in the game customizable: units, trees, textures, buildings, everything. Currently, uploading your own artwork is as easy as filling out a web form.
You can choose wether you want other people to have access to your custom asset (via the map editor) or you can keep your assets private.
In addition to allowing players to upload their own units, trees, buildings and maps, players will be able to upload:
- Campaigns which will be composed of a series of maps and screens to tie the maps together
- Custom games. A public-facing API is in the works to allow people to create their own custom games. There will also be a visual version of the API for non-programmers.
- AI scripts. We plan to run tournaments in which AI scripted by contributors fight each other. The best AI scripts will be added to the full game.
If you’re a graphic artist, animated or 3D modeler, you can begin contributing to the game right away! Earn rewards and reputation for publishing assets that become popular.
Original music by Contour Chromatic, a collaboration between British composers Robert Sword and Giles Thomas. Listen to original tracks created for Feudal Wars below.
The current plan is to give each unit type (infantry ranged, infantry melee, cavalry melee, etc) a unique set of voices for each command (select, move, attack, etc). Unit voices will be mostly in English, with phrases from native tongues mixed in and accents based on geography. Below are some prototypes for English voices:
The goal is not to over-innovate classic RTS mechanics but instead fine-tune and improve upon them.
Feudal wars is going back to the roots of what made RTS a genre: unit counters, balanced races, technology trees and a complex resource and economy system (4 resources to collect). No changes for the sake of change.
We want to progress vertically, not horizontally and deliver on the promise of free, easily-accessible rock solid classic RTS gameplay.
We're not setting out to make an FPS-RTS, an RPG-RTS or any other bastardized form of RTS. Just good-old-fashioned RTS. The way they used to make em'!
Who's making the game?
We're a team of RTS enthusiasts from all around the world!
Chris Scott | Programmer/Creator
An HTML5/Webgl enthusiast, Chris Scott is a professional web developer with 10 years of experience working on both the front and backend. In the past, he’s done mostly government websites and DOM-based games. He started Feudal Wars in January 2015 as an exploration in the capabilities of browsers and it evolved into what it is today: full-blown classic RTS gameplay in the browser. Favorite games: Age of Empires 2, Starcraft 2, Chivalry: Medieval Warfare.
Jorgito Ageitos | Lead Artist, unit/building design
Jorgito "aqua_27" Ageitos was the lead artist in the latest incarnation of Age of Empires 2: The African Kingdoms expansion. He participated in the biggest mods for age of empires like Tales of middle Earth based on Tolkien world, the new unit and terrain reskin mod and Age of Chivalry: Hegemony, a mod which focuses heavily on historical battles. Favorite games: Age of empires 2, The witcher series, The elder scrolls series.
Chris Mortin | 3D Artist, building design
Chris “Moppo” Morton learned 3D modeling at college and later studied Games Software Development at the University of Sunderland. Deciding he was better suited to 3D graphics than coding, he worked on his personal projects such as the Indian architecture mod for Age of Empires 2, and dabbled with weapon modding in Skyrim. Favorite games: The Age of Empires series, the Elder Scrolls series, Onimusha.
Rubén Pesqueira | 2D Artist, environment design
Rubén Pesqueira is the kind of antsy pants guy who did some of this and that, including working as a roady. He studied Art at college, then illustration, then stonework, then Fine Arts, and to never finish none of those careers. He started moding Age of Empires HD and somehow managed to work on both expansions as a freelancer. Favorite games: The Age of Empires series, the Elder Scrolls series, Hexen/Heretic.
Troy Hetzler | Community Manager, balancing, tech tree design
Troy “Resonance22” Hetzler is well known for his YouTube and Twitch TV channels where he makes gameplay videos for competitive games such as Age of Empires 2. He has followed competitive gaming for several years and has used his experience working on the balance team for Age of Empires II: African Kingdoms. Favorite games: The Age of Empires series, Hearthstone and Guild Wars 2.
Bennett Lloyd | Historian
Bennett “Kondrikthus” Lloyd is the Coordinator of the Seminole County History Museum in Sanford, Florida. In the past he has worked as a concept artist and consulting historian on Age of Empires II: the Forgotten, Age of Empires II: African Kingdoms, and Age of Mythology: Tale of the Dragon. Favorite games: the Age of Empires series, the Age of Mythology series, the Battle for Middle Earth series, the Red Alert series, and Aquaria.
Where's the money going?
If we are funded, most of the money will go towards art. Chris Scott (developer/creator) is fortunate enough to have saved in preparation for making the game, so development costs (usually the biggest expense) won't be an expense for at least the first year. Art will always be a big expense because Feudal Wars is a very art-centric game (as you can see from the screenshots).
Server costs will be another large expense. Feudal Wars is built in the cloud with Amazon Web Services for scalability. All of the files are served with a CDN to assure everyone from anywhere around the world can access the game. It is a highly scalable architecture but can also be costly if the player base reaches a critical mass.
We also want to hire a UI person because we, as a team, are particularly lacking in that area. Other expenses include the cost of producing original music, voice acting, kickstarter fees, credit card fees, legal fees and taxes.
Gone are the days you could simply plug your super nintendo in and play. Nowadays you have to update the console, update the game, sign into Xbox live, go through 15 UI screens before actually getting into a game. There's something seriously wrong with the lack of accessibility in modern gaming.
Accessing a browser game is as simple as entering a web address. You don't have to put in your credit card. You don't have to download the latest patch. Just enter the address, hit enter, and play.
There's a certain simplicity to this that you won't find on other platforms. But for most of the internet's history, browser technology wasn't advanced enough to handle serious gaming. Except ...
- Browsers are now technologically equipped to handle the performance requirements of classic RTS gameplay. Play any of pre-launch Feudal Wars mini games (available as rewards) and see for yourself.
- The HTML5 canvas and webgl is a game-changer because it provides a standardized, cross-platform and practical 2D and 3D rendering engine. Webgl gives browsers a pipeline to the GPU - in other words, webgl games can utilize your graphics card for a better gaming experience.
- The recently standardized WebSocket protocol allows for instant communication between web servers and clients. It is an ideal communication protocol for multiplayer browser games.
- Games built for browsers are more easily accessible than any existing platform for Windows, Mac or Linux. Browser-games are OS-agnostic.
We want to capture everything great about classic RTS games, put it into the browser and make it free for everyone!
The "Invasion" Mini-game ($30 pledge)
Defend your castle against oncoming waves of enemy troops in the Invasion single-player mini game! The mini game has 10 difficulty levels (10 being the hardest) which means lots of replay value.
The mini-game also includes boss fights, new music and an intricate map with lots of eye candy to show off our new graphics. You'll get to play as and fight a lot of the new units we've designed, including the German Ritterbruder, the Landschneckt from the Holy Roman Empire and the British Longbow.
Watch a gameplay video for "Invasion" below!
The CBA mini-game ($20 pledge, get it May-June)
CBA stands for Castle Blood Auto. The player starts with 1 (or multiple) castles which automatically spawns unique units after a set amount of time (depending on your choice). Use your units to attack enemy units and castles. The barebones version is that simple! However, we will probably add extras like the ability to upgrade your units, or spawn more powerful units, after you get enough money from kills. The CBA mini-game is a multiplayer game.
Don't forget to follow us on social media:
Risks and challenges
The biggest challenge we face is overcoming the bias people have towards browser games. People tend to think the browser is extremely limited as a gaming platform and isn't suited for "serious" gaming. What they neglect to take into account is that browser technology is changing rapidly and for the better. Webgl and HTML5 change the game completely. Feudal Wars is meant to demonstrate that.
Our hope is that with all the screenshots, gameplay videos and early access demos, people will realize that IT IS possible to have highly performant, classic RTS gameplay in the browser.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)