About this project
On behalf of all six of us at the Shenandoah Studio, we want to thank you all for your support and interest in our project to bring real wargames to the iPad. Your support has far surpassed our goal and your comments and notes have been incorporated into our project plans. We will be in touch soon.
Founder & CEO, on behalf of Nick, Miguel, Jeff, David, and Pat
Battle of the Bulge: Crisis In Command Volume 1
Battle of the Bulge is the first game by Shenandoah Studio, a group of veteran game designers and developers who have come together to publish top quality strategy games on the iPad, in the spirit of classic board games. Collectively, we have over 160 years of game design and development experience. See our video above for more about the game and the Studio's vision for gaming on the iPad.
Battle of the Bulge is a serious historical simulation game about the famous World War Two battle. John Butterfield, one of the most accomplished game designers ever, has created Bulge from the start for the iPad. It is turn-based and you can:
- Play by yourself, as either the Germans or Allies, or
- Face-to-face by passing the iPad, or
- Face-to-face using two iPads, or
- Over the Internet, asynchronously.
You can play as many games simultaneously as you would like, “Wars with Friends” if you will. The touch screen totally changes the experience of simulation games, making them faster to play, more interactive, and more fun.
This informal video, recorded in our offices by producer Jeff Dougherty, shows the player activating a unit, moving it, and the updating of the page. It is two minutes long (and shows our debugging lines and circles), enjoy.
Why this Game Matters
Battle of the Bulge matters for a variety of reasons: one, it is a fun game in its own right!; two, it is a serious simulation game, a memorable educational experience; and three, it begins the process of bringing these types of games to a new generation of players. Because it is an iPad game, it is simple to learn, fast to play, yet deep in its value both as fun and education.
Battle of the Bulge is a kind of living history.
Battle of the Bulge Game Details
Battle of the Bulge is a classic gaming situation, with a surprise attack, desperate defense, and bold counterattack. The Germans rush to exploit their initial strength, while the Allies struggle to hold on and then counterattack. The game play is quick and the strategy deep.
The illustration below shows a prototype map with the battle underway and three American divisions cut off in Bastogne. Likewise, a German panzer division has broken through and gotten to the Meuse River, but is cut-off and out of supply.
The Battle of the Bulge was fought in December 1944 and the graphic design conveys the cold, snowing conditions.
Zooming in is a simple matter of using your fingers to pinch the screen. Here’s a mockup of a closer look at the ongoing battle in Bastogne:
When you are thinking of making an attack you can view the Combat Preview panel to gain important information, such as the strength of both sides, factors influencing the battle, and an estimate of the number of hits likely to occur and whether or not a forced retreat is probable. The Combat Preview below shows a German attack: notice the number of hits the American are expected to take, almost enough to wipe them out!
Battle of the Bulge is in development and we are still working on presentation concepts. The illustration below shows some of our animation ideas: fog blowing across the battlefield for instance, the Combat Resolution panel, and aircraft – high resolution or symbolic? We have not decided yet!
Announcing "El Alamein by Mark Herman
We are pleased to announce the first sequel to Battle of the Bulge, Mark Herman's El Alamein. Mark is a veteran game designer with many game designs to his credit and he is a member of the Game Design Hall of Fame. Mark's game takes the new Crisis in Command series of games to North Africa and one of the great turning points of World War Two: El Alamein. Mark will be writing a Design Diary on the game as he designs it this summer, so check our website for his updates. Here's the splash screen:
Get Battle of the Bulge and El Alamein!
We have added El Alamein to the rewards list and thus every level of $20 or more will now receive El Alamein too. We are doing this to enrich the rewards to make the levels more attractive and to add new levels. Our first new level is at $20, which gets you both games and both wallpaper sets. Our second new $40 level has been created specially to create an "all electronic reward" for our non-North American friends - but it should appeal to many of you - it adds Player's and Designer's Guides for both games. See the rewards for details.
About Our Kickstarter Campaign
But why Kickstarter? Two reasons:
- We would like to provide features and production values that, as a startup on a shoestring, Shenandoah can’t otherwise afford; and,
- We want to give the community (YOU) a voice in choosing the feel and features that will deliver the most value and best possible play experience.
By supporting this project you will show that gamers want serious simulations on the iPad. You’ll also ensure that the game has the features that matter the most to you.
As the campaign proceeds we will report on what people are telling us and announce additional rewards and surprises, so stay tuned. We will use BoardGameGeek.com to keep in touch too.
The reward dates are when we expect to finish sending you all the rewards items. We will send electronic-delivered items as they are completed and physical items will be mailed all at once, so depending on the reward, you will receive a stream of items. The game is on the iPad so you'll get it first! We expect to publish the game in late August. We will keep updated!
We will have three t-shirts and the votes from backers for our Battle of the Bulge t-shirt have been tallied and the t-shirt below won the vote for one design.
We are working on the design for the Shenandoah Studio t-shirt and haven't started the El Alamein version yet. The Shenandoah shirt will be two-color and will have a much smaller image, more business-like; El Alamein will be designed in the spirit of the Bulge t-shirt.
Starting at $60 rewards require shipping. Shipping is free to the US and Canada, but for delivery elsewhere please add the indicated supplement to your pledge.
Thanks for Your Help!
The game is scheduled for launch in late summer. We hope you will tell your friends about this campaign too and we look forward to keeping you informed about the progress of the campaign.
Eric Lee Smith
Shenandoah Studio (stop by and visit!)
Yes we will, in fact Battle of the Bulge was designed for the iPhone first. That said, we are not sure of the timing of the iPhone release other than it will be after the initial release.
Good question. We will purchase our own App from the App Store and gift it to you. Apple takes their percentage and the balance comes back to us. Kickstarter is not a way of avoiding Apple's distribution system.
Yes, please add the indicated increment for rewards at the $60 level and above. Depending on the destination country you may also be responsible for customs duties.
At present we are focusing on optimizing interface and performance for the iPad. While we'd love to make the game available to players on other platforms there is no timetable for doing so.
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