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Ever wanted to conquer a galaxy? In Conquest, a hot seat strategy board game for the iPad and Android tablets, you’ll get exactly that.
Ever wanted to conquer a galaxy? In Conquest, a hot seat strategy board game for the iPad and Android tablets, you’ll get exactly that.
114 backers pledged $41,291 to help bring this project to life.

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Home is behind you… The world is ahead


Hello again everyone. It’s been a fare few months since last I spoke here about Conquest and you all deserve a candid explanation and accounting of where we’ve been, where we are and where we are going.

Where we've been

When I started, I had a team of three. The programmer was a student at a local college for game programming and the graphic artist/ apple expert is a long term friend of mine. Soon after we started, we were contacted by a very well-known publisher about publishing our game.

This was too good of an opportunity to pass up. We tried to hammer out an agreement on production and distribution of the game, but the talks stalled our development by about 2.5 months, by which time our programmer had to go back to school. We then hired him back and two of his friends but they were unable to complete the project. I was then forced to resort to another programmer who agreed to take on the project in exchange for royalties. He also fell through.

This was 8 months ago... During this period, I exhausted the remainder of the kickstarter funds and I had to take a job out in Colorado with the same publisher whom I was originally in talks with. I did try to contact other industry professionals, but no one was willing to take on the project.

Where we are

Right now, I am working for a game developer/publishing company in Colorado in order to maintain my proximity to game production and gain access to their resources. As of right now, I am pitching the game to my superiors in the hopes of getting it made under their name with their resources, but I have to shift my priorities to the job at hand.

Where we're going

The future still holds the very real possibility of Conquest, now Onwards, being made. My company has reached out to several reputable teams in and out of the United States and all have expressed interest in the project now that it has a stable backing and fairly large name behind it. It is being re-worked to better reflect the core values and strengths of the company’s brand but it remains, at the heart, the game I pitched all those months ago.

This period has also allowed me to continue to develop previously cut features, finish the score, and create/ acquire all the SFX needed for production. I won’t go on the record with a date for the restarting of production, but I do see a light on the horizon. This project has not been easy, by any stretch of the imagination. We have failed to ship, failed to complete and even failed to stabilize.

It’s a risk inherent to all such endeavors, but this one in particular seems to have attracted the lot. That said I still believe I can pull something positive from this, but it will take time. I have learned a great deal from this experience and continue to do so as we push forward on all available fronts.

I want to thank you for your good will, your patience, and your faith. I will be trying to fill those last rewards that I am able to: those of you who were on the line to receive iPads filled with content from this project will receive them in January of next year as we ramp up production again.

Thank you again, and by the good grace of whichever gods you worship, I will see this done.



     Greetings loyal contributors! It’s been a hectic few months on our end with lots of challenges and a barrage of events. So many that we’ve only now been able to sit down and categorize them for an update.

     First, the reason for our excellent invisible man impersonation: We’ve had a changing of the guard here at Zone Studios. Our three programmers, who have been tirelessly making this dream a reality, came face to face with sad reality early in January.

     For those not in the know, they attend the excellent Champlain College in Game Design and Programming. Thus they've been balancing school work with Conquest; and in early January their schedule were too much for them to keep pace and had to step down.

     Fortuitously a good friend, Charles Sullivan, became available at the same time and agreed to take over. In order to explain what a stroke of luck this was I need to use a metaphor. Charles is a senior Software Engineer with 15 years of programming experience which in our world is akin to watching a wizard at work in his tower.

     He is stepping in and helping us finish things up and improve our existing systems. The best part about that is that he has been itching to get into games for a long time, and wants to continue the partnership past Conquest into even more complex and compelling games. Great future, this is the beginning.

     Second, and very exciting, Conquest is due for a gallery exhibition in NYC, on Midtown 5th Avenue… Let us repeat that


… and breath. Now that we’ve got that out of our system, we can tell you that the exhibition is scheduled to take place between April 30th and May 1st and will feature the drawings, concepts, models and programs used to make the game a reality. 

     If you’ve ever wanted to see exactly how your money was being spent, this is the place and time to see just that. We will have more details for you as we move into next month.

     Lastly, our publisher (who still has to remain nameless… seriously, the ninjas are right outside) has decided that Zone Studios would make an excellent fit for their upcoming game and have asked Blackwell to come down to Colorado while Charles remains in Vermont to continue production.

     Thank you for your patience and with a “little energon and a lot of luck” we should be crossing the finish line by the end of the month and be ready to unveil our creation with the show on 5th avenue at the end of April.


I can see a light...

Happy Thanksgiving contributors!

The Conquest team is back to enlighten you with updates about our game, our company and our lives.

First things first! The game is nearing a finished alpha version. For those in the audience with a more casual knowledge of video games and the lingo that describe them, this means that we have a working version of our game but one with a lot of rough edges that need to be polished away. It’s like a Lamborghini made of balsa wood. It’s still a Lamborghini but it’ll break apart if you try to drive it more than twenty feet. Suffice it say we’ve made some great progress, but we still have a ways to go!

The Lamborghini as it looks now:

Here's what the Lamborghini looks like with its face on:

One of our hero planets (not quite finished):

Another big piece of news; we are in talks with an as of yet nameless publishing entity interested in Conquest. While we aren’t liberty to reveal anything (ninjas may be involved), once we have information we can share we’ll let you all know.

On that life front, there have been big changes for the Conquest team! Most notably, Stew Shearer, dark lord of writing and public relations, became a father. His daughter, Audrey Ruth Shearer, was born the morning of August 3rd. Stew has already been hard at work educating her in all the important things in life.

Suffice it say the little youngling will ready for Episode VII in 2015.

To end, I just wanted to thank you all again for coming with us on this journey and share with you two of my favorite words ever:



Bring out your dead...

Greetings loyal backers!

First we must offer our sincerest apologies. It's been three months since our last update and we haven't done the job we should have at keeping you, the people who made this possible, in the loop. We hope you'll trust us when we say that it's been a productive few months with some pleasant developments, detailed below.

New Staff

Recent months have seen our team bolstered by new resources and better yet, new programmers to assist in the development of Conquest. We are happy to introduce Kyle Marchev and Adam Reed. Both come from Champlain Game Programming School and we should see their bios up on Zone-Studios team page very soon.

An Updated Website

We recently revamped the Zone Studios website! Gone is the dull thing we had going before and its place we now have a snazzy site that highlights the ongoing production of Conquest! Feel free to swing by:

A New Release Window

While we had originally intended to release Conquest before the end of 2012, recent developments have led us to evaluate our schedule and make some changes. Unfortunately, this means that we are shifting the game's release to February of 2013. While we regret having to delay Conquest we feel that the extra time will help us make better use of our resources and new personnel to make the best game we possibly can. As many of our rewards tie into the game itself, we will be adjusting and releasing a new rewards schedule to go along with this delay. The best things come to those who wait, as they say.

A New Name

We recently discovered that the name Conquest is actually already owned by Eidos. And while we love the name and would gladly fight to the death for the right to use it, we made a commitment to all of you to make sure this game gets made. We can't do that if we're dead (or if we spend our money on legal fees). Sadly, this means we'll be in the market for a new name. When we've come up with one we're happy with, we'll let you know. In the mean time if any of our backers have any ideas, feel free to send them to stewshearer at gmail dot com ( We reserve final say, but we'd love to hear your ideas. Bonus points if you DON'T use this as an opportunity to send us something dirty.

New Visuals

Here is the concept for the fourth fleet we're modeling and texturing.

Also we have some planet and space hazard assets to show you. Keep in mind these are still prototypes, and subject to changes. First up is a Black Hole, be afraid if you uncover this during your explorations.

This is a wormhole; allowing you to traverse your galaxy instantly, but never in the same direction twice.

And now some planets:

We have different options on cloud cover, land mass, moons, space stations, rings. Here is the broken moon option.

The idea being each planet you uncover will look different in every game. 

I'd love to show you everything we've done up to this point, but most of it is all design changes and coding, which is very hard to make look interesting. Much of the time we are looking at the game like this:

The small white dots are ships, the large white dot is a planet, and the disk object on the right is the black hole. Isn't game development glamorous!

To conclude this update, I would like to thank you all again for sticking with us as we continue the journey toward total galactic domination. We will continue with another update this time next month, by which time we will have some in game screen shots to show off.

Until then, as usual... ONWARDS!

Meanwhile at the Legion of Doom...

Greetings contributors and curious folk in general! Time is moving forward and so is Conquest! Among our recent bits of news is our acquisition of a shiny new intern! The search for said intern was, suffice it to say, interesting:

We’re happy to welcome Justin Ryder, a student of the Champlain College Game Design program, to the team. To take a peak at his portfolio, head over to his website And yes, this link is safe.

We’d like to announce that those contributors in line for the Conquest t-shirt reward won’t be waiting much longer. While we have yet to hear from everyone who’s earned a shirt, we’ve placed an order to properly reward those who have had a chance to send us their information. If you’re one of those who haven’t yet gotten in touch, feel free to shoot your personal information stewshearer (at) gmail dotcom.

Along those same lines, we would ask any contributors set to receive 3D ship models from Conquest (Senior Admiral rank or higher) to please forward their information so we can begin making those and sending them out.

In the mean time we have some new art assets to share with you all. Behold! The OSA Carrier and Frigates.

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