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Jon Shafer's At the Gates's video poster

Lead a barbarian kingdom to glory during the final days of the Roman Empire. An empire builder by Jon Shafer, designer of Civ 5. Read more

pledged of $40,000 goal
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This project was successfully funded on March 8, 2013.

Lead a barbarian kingdom to glory during the final days of the Roman Empire. An empire builder by Jon Shafer, designer of Civ 5.

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    1. Creator Arthur Cormode on February 1

      The newest video was very entertaining. This game is looking better and better. :)

    2. Creator Jon Shafer on November 22

      We do indeed. The AtG pre-order/purchase page can be found here:

      Thanks much sir! Every little bit helps, and gives us the security of knowing we can take our time polishing the game.

      - Jon

    3. Creator Andy Davidson on November 22

      Jon , just out of interest , I notice that quite a few of the other KS projects I support are able to keep a steady stream of revenue rolling after the successful completion of the funding , have you been able to do this (apologies if you have already discussed this somewhere ) , is there anywhere I can point my friends and colleagues at as I have unearthed a few surprise CIV5 stalwarts who I am sure would like to support ATG

    4. Creator Jon Shafer on October 26

      Thanks guys!

      @ quagmire

      We're aiming for late 2015. I know that's still a long way off, but we're not going to the same mistake as many other strategy developers and release AtG before it's balanced, polished, and features a truly competitive AI. We COULD release a game like that in just a few months, but I feel like most people would prefer an amazing game in a year to a mediocre game now.

      As always, thanks everyone for your continued support and patience. I promise it will be rewarded!

      - Jon

    5. Creator quagmire on October 26

      I've gotten half a million updates, but I'd really like just one: Game ready, enjoy.
      What's the ETA on final release?

    6. Creator Andy Davidson on October 20

      Really enjoyed the video, the game play looks great and the graphic art is really nice , in a weird way the figure art has a feel of the cover art for Airfix models (e.g. Airfix Ancient Britons) I sure that is not deliberate but it has a nice historic feel to it

      Keep up the good work , the time you are investing is reaping rewards

    7. Creator krist2 - Weresheepherder of Original Sin on October 18

      Great LONG gameplay video!

    8. Creator Niels on October 15

      Mid October now, any update on that video?

    9. Creator Jon Shafer on September 18

      A new 15+ minute gameplay video should be up in early-to-mid October. That's a bit later than I was initially hoping, but some 'real life' stuff ate up last week and the early part of this week. No worries though - aside from that small delay everything is back on track again.

      - Jon

    10. Creator nik zahn on September 18

      ...yawn... :)

    11. Creator Jon Shafer on August 14, 2014

      Actually putting the finishing touches on a new update that will be posted later today!

      - Jon

    12. Creator Brian K. on August 14, 2014

      Anything new happening?

    13. Creator Jon Shafer on May 14, 2014

      An update (and a big milestone!) Are actually coming up in only a few days. Just putting the finishing touches on things...

      - Jon

    14. Creator Pesticide on May 14, 2014

      a may update would be cool :) maybe some footage of early gameplay or perhaps a little broadcast on

    15. Creator Jon Shafer on January 27, 2014

      Afraid not, but I'll be posting a update regarding diplomacy in February.

      - Jon

    16. Creator Niels on January 27, 2014

      Is there a January update coming?

    17. Creator Jon Shafer on November 27, 2013

      Sorry for the wait - I'll be posting a new update next week.

      - Jon

    18. Creator Pesticide on November 26, 2013

      how is the alpha testing going fellas :) anyone streaming, or do we have an NDA in play :(

    19. Creator Pesticide on October 6, 2013

      thx for the update, i guess it just showed up in the app as its part of humble network then. Glad to hear it will all work out, humble is a great site. Good choice! Hope the play testing is coming along nicely! Im getting a bit bored of beta testing rome2 atm hrhr :D

    20. Creator Jon Shafer on October 3, 2013

      I worked with Humble a few months ago to import our database of AtG Kickstarter and PayPal backers. Steam keys will be added to the Humble page, but you won't see them up there yet. I have no idea why it would show up for Android though, I'll ask about that.

      - Jon

    21. Creator Pesticide on October 2, 2013

      well curiosity got the best of me, now in my humble account i checked on my pc , it shows the following : This page is claimed by you. Thanks for purchasing Jon Shafer's At the Gates ($25 Tier)! Thanks for pre-ordering! When At the Gates is ready, you'll be able to get it right here on your download page. Pretty impressive humble bundle knows i backed, i dont recall linking accounts or anything

      Does this mean i cant claim it on steam anymore ? Hope not :(

    22. Creator Pesticide on October 2, 2013

      something very strange, in my humble bundle android app i downloaded due to a mobile bundle i bought, at the gates showed up to claim in the humble app for android in the claim games tab. No idea what claiming does, don't own the app that long, just fyi.

    23. Creator Jon Shafer on April 18, 2013


      The plan is actually to give out access to the design docs later today - we'll see if I can get all of the moving parts to act together though!

      - Jon

    24. Creator Jon Shafer on April 18, 2013

      Woops, missed your comment Casey, sorry. Yes, you still get a digital copy with the boxed version.

      - Jon

    25. Creator Steven on April 17, 2013

      When can we expect to have access to the design docs?


    26. Creator Casey Blair (deleted) on March 30, 2013

      Assuming I did find some extra money and decide to increase my tier higher to receive a physical copy for collection purposes, would I still get a digital copy of the game in addition to that?

    27. Creator Casey Blair (deleted) on March 29, 2013

      I agree the whole idea is ridiculously cool. While I have no current intentions of being a game designer, I've always found it fascinating to know how a game goes from an idea to a set of cohesive mechanics. I want to see this type of thing for a lot of older games, particularly Super Metroid. What was going on inside their heads when they made such a brilliant game? There are countless other games that need this treatment, though. Both player and designer could benefit from the info.

    28. Creator Jon Shafer on March 29, 2013

      Hahaha! Yeah, yeah, I know what it looks like, but I'm just trying to lay things down as I see them. As much as I'd love you to go even higher I'm not sure I'm that kind of magician.

      In all seriousness, the design doc tier is really, really cool. I was really excited when I first came up with the idea, since I don't think it's something any other Kickstarter has done before. It seemed like a natural extension of the writing I've already done.

      - Jon

    29. Creator Casey Blair (deleted) on March 28, 2013

      Damn you, Jon Shafer. Thanks to your expert manipulation and my weak spirit, you've talked me into going for $125 instead of $80. I bet you'd be able to talk me into $200+ if I weren't so firmly against physical boxes in this era, but I do need to draw the line eventually. I'm not rich. :P

    30. Creator Jon Shafer on March 28, 2013

      Glad to hear you're excited about the testing Casey! The focus is definitely more on making a better game than just getting an early sneak peek, but I rely very heavily on community feedback so anyone involved in the alpha or beta testing will absolutely have a voice in how the final game turns out.

      I will be drawing upon the design docs when putting together the designer notes, but the two are on a completely different scale. I'd say that roughly 30 to 40 pages of the manual/strategy guide/notes will be dedicated to explaining the design. While that's no small number, that total is roughly the same as ONE of my 50+ design docs. If you've enjoyed my articles thus far and really want something to sink your teeth into, I don't think you'd be disappointed with the $125 tier. I'm obviously biased, but I would have killed for something like this back when I was younger and looking to get into game design!

      - Jon

    31. Creator Casey Blair (deleted) on March 28, 2013

      OK will the 100 page digital manual be a little like a collection of the best design docs? I'm assuming that's what the design notes will be. I think as long as the manual has a similar scope on a smaller sfale then I'm fine with the $80 tier. Either way I'm excited for alpha/beta. I've never participated in testing before and now I go from zero to three: At the Gates, Net Gain, and Battle Worlds Kronos. A little intimidating to juggle three, but i'll try. :D

    32. Creator Jon Shafer on March 28, 2013

      Haha, no problem!

      There are no images in the design docs. Since they are, in fact, primarily for my use in building the game I won't be spending an extra effort on sexying them up. For better and worse, you get exactly what I'm using.

      All you have to pledge via PayPal is the difference between your current pledge and what you're upgrading to. I keep track of everything on my end and make sure you end up with what you're supposed to!

      - Jon

    33. Creator Casey Blair (deleted) on March 27, 2013

      Oh... sorry, I'm a completely forgetful dumbass. I end up remembering small and insignificant things from the distant past, but can't remember sometimes what happened in the past few weeks. :P

      So I've got two more questions, then. Number one, will the design docs include screenshots in order to illustrate or highlight a concept, similar to that blog post? Number two, how do I increase my pledge via PayPal? For example, my current Kickstarter pledge is $30. Do I need to pledge the full $125 for the design docs or is $95 going to cover it as long as I tell you that's for an existing pledge?

    34. Creator Jon Shafer on March 27, 2013

      1) There's very little tech/math stuff. It's a mix of me outlining what I want from the gameplay and me doing pie-in-the-sky brainstorming to see if I can come up with ways to improve various aspects of the game. The design doc preview I posted during the campaign should give you a pretty good idea of what we're talking about:
      2) You did in fact ask that! ;) Check out my reply here on this page from March 9th.

      - Jon

    35. Creator Casey Blair (deleted) on March 26, 2013

      I've considered increasing my pledge amount via PayPal so I can get alpha access, but I've got some questions.

      1. What is included in the design docs? I'm not techy/mathy, but such a thing would still interest me in some way if it were more about concepts and ideas as opposed to numbers.
      2. I feel like I've asked this before but I forget the answer. Will PayPal contribute to stretch goals? And if so, are there any chances we'll reach the next one? :P

    36. Creator Jon Shafer on March 19, 2013

      Hmmm... Sorry you've had trouble with it Pol. I've adjusted the security settings, so try again. There's also an option to listen to the letters and enter them that way - have you tried that?

      - Jon

    37. Creator Pol Stafford on March 19, 2013

      Hey, guys, I'd love to claim my beta rewards, but there's no way to get the captcha right. I tried on windows and mac, in Safari, Chrome and IE.
      Is there any other way I can register?
      Very frustrating. :(

    38. Creator White Titan Games on March 18, 2013

      Good luck with the game! Hoping our Strategy game gets funded too, 16 days left! (C&C style TD) looking forward to seeing this though we're big fans here.

    39. Creator Jon Shafer on March 18, 2013

      Thanks S.D.! I've used Desura as well and it is definitely an option for us. We won't be worrying about it too much until we're closer to release, but it is something we'll have filed away for when the time comes!

      - Jon

    40. Creator S.D. on March 18, 2013

      @Jon: For DRM-free distribution on Linux (in addition to, of course, Windows and Mac), I strongly suggest doing distribution through Desura, as well as whomever else (Steam, GOG, etc). Their site has two modes in which games can be downloaded and updates; a GOG-like mode where purchased game installers can be retrieved directly off of the website, or a Desura desktop client, similar to Steam, which can keep an installation up-to-date with incremental patches (and has no more DRM than simply having to log in, unless you use offline-mode). I've been buying Linux games on Desura since late 2011, and it has worked well for me :-)

    41. Creator Casey Blair (deleted) on March 14, 2013

      I suppose my problem on some level is the micromanagement of research trees. Beyond that, I'm not sure how to explain what's bothering me. Perhaps it's something you've mentioned before, that there are very few historically based 4X/turn-based strategy games. Those sound potentially awesome to me. And I guess in the case of Civ, I wish the map wasn't randomly generated. I know there are mods to fix that, so maybe I'll try that one day.

      I think I'll stick to HoMM2 for now until I can figure out what I'd like to see in the genre.

    42. Creator Jon Shafer on March 13, 2013

      @Casey Blair:

      There are obviously several options out there. What specifically appeals to you about the concept, and what didn't work for you in Civ 4 and 5?

      - Jon

    43. Creator Rob C Wilson on March 13, 2013

      Civilisation II was in my opinion the greatest game of its ilk ever. If you can dig that game out, give it a go. I have spent many a day playing that game, simply one of the best ever.

    44. Creator Casey Blair (deleted) on March 12, 2013

      I'm asking this to no one in particular, so anyone who would like to answer...

      If I'm a newbie to this whole kinda genre outside of Heroes of Might and Magic and disliked what little I've played of Civilization 4 and 5 but am still very interested in the *concept*, what games should I play as a "beginner's guide" to turn-based strategy and 4X?

    45. Creator Pierrick Bignet on March 11, 2013

      @Jon Shafer

      Okay ! I can't wait ! Your articles are in my top list for game design.

    46. Creator Jon Shafer on March 11, 2013

      @Pierrick Bignet:

      I'm aiming for sometime in mid-April. I won't be changing the content, but I do want to spend some time organizing them so that they're easier to navigate and all formatted the same way. Sorry for the wait! :)

      - Jon

    47. Creator Pierrick Bignet on March 11, 2013

      Hey !
      Congrats for your project, I'm really glad you managed to get that much money !

      Little question ; when do you plan to release the design docs ? Would be really interested to take a look at them asap :D

      - Pierrick

    48. Creator Jon Shafer on March 9, 2013

      @Casey Blair:

      Not officially. The advantage of Kickstarter is that you raise the funds for your project and you know exactly what your scope will be. If we were to hit a stretch goal via PayPal with three months to go that would either throw a big monkey wrench in our plans, or require us to go back on what we promised.

      That having been said, we'll do our best to squeeze more into the game where it makes sense. Adding in the map options for the 125k goal might be feasible, but I can't make any promises.

      - Jon

    49. Creator Casey Blair (deleted) on March 8, 2013

      Will Paypal contributions add to the stretch goals?

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