June Update - Playtest Finale
First off, I wanted to let you know that starting in July the updates from here on out will mostly focus on the specific changes that have been... Read more
May 2018 Update - Playtest Report 2
Back from a trip to Japan to relax a bit while the weather is improving. This update and the one which follows will continue the playtest report we... Read more
Mid-April 2018 Update - Playtest Thoughts
Hey all, This mid-month update will be dedicated to some of the general thoughts I've had while playtesting. It's more or less a copy of my own notes, and should... Read more
April 2018 Update - Playtest Report
As I'm working on the diplomacy system the next few updates will follow along with my broader playtesting efforts, which I try to spend at least an hour... Read more
March 2018 Update - Diplomacy
Hey all, in this update we'll be taking a quick tour of the design for the new diplomacy system.
In last month's post I talked a lot about high-level design... Read more
February 2018 Update
In this update we'll be focusing on two things: the basic design thinking behind the diplomacy system, along with showing off some new elements of the game from... Read more
January 2018 Update
Happy New Year everyone!
This will be a short post since I've taken the last week off for the holidays and the mid-December update covers the meat of what's been... Read more
Mid-December 2017 Update
From here on out most of the updates will focus on the details of what's been added to the game, though I'll also occasional discuss broader design concepts... Read more
December 2017 Update
This monthly project update will be dedicated to talking about the mid-game, as that's currently the largest challenge remaining.
One of the biggest challenges with AtG is figuring... Read more
Project & Personal Update
You may have heard, you may not have, but recently I've parted ways from Paradox. In the end it really was creative and cultural differences - I can't... Read more
Last time was mostly a design update, this time we're tackling the production side of things.
Here's a few screenshots showing the full, updated tasklist:
... Read more
April 2017 Update
Hey all, sorry for disappearing for a while there, and thanks to those who have reached out. Everything is fine, just hit a burnout point and needed to step away... Read more
August 2016 Update
First off, apologies for the lengthy absence - I was dealing with some health problems earlier in the year and just as I was getting back to work... Read more
The Road To Release
Hello again, and a chilly November's greetings from all of our well-bundled team in 'now-Maryland-based-still-has-that-new-car-smell' Conifer HQ!
As many of you know I've been promising the past several months that... Read more
A Preview of AtG's Revolutionary UI
Hello again from the Conifer team!
At long last, we're finally back with a new edition of 'Jon rambles for too long about some esoteric game design topic (and along... Read more
March Update + New Let's Play Video
Hey all, I'll try make this post short and sweet (by my standards, anyways!), as I just posted another massive "let's play" video which does a better job of showing... Read more
Economics, in Ink
Hello again from the Conifer team!
We've been hunkered down working hard on At The Gates these past winter months, and I figured it was finally a good time to... Read more
Daily Progress Updates
Because it's usually a month or two between major updates (and when they do finally appear they tend to be... a little long) I've started providing daily progress updates via... Read more
First Developer "Let's Play" Video
Hey all, I'll keep the post short because you'll hear me talking plenty more in the video! I've embedded it below, but make sure to watch in HD so that... Read more
Progress, Pacing & People
We meet again, respected ally of the 'At The Gates' tribe!
A couple months ago I hinted at the possibility of some big changes. Well, the big news today in... Read more
Alpha II and Beyond
What's New in Alpha II?
Alright, let's talk about what this milestone means for the game itself!
Seasons & Map Generation
This was actually a bit of a detour... Read more
Welcome to Alpha II!
I'm excited to announce that as of today At The Gates is now in Alpha II! Hooray!
So, uh... what the heck is "Alpha II", anyway?
"Alpha II" is the... Read more
A Winding Road - Diplomacy in At the Gates
Late last year I talked about how I was gearing up for a head-first dive into diplomacy. I'm still in that pool, but happy to report I've finally made my... Read more
February 2014 Update: Art
Why, hello there! I know, I know... it's been a little while since we've last spoken. Sorry about that!
Make no mistake, the At the Gatesteam has been busy with... Read more
Hey all, it's been a couple months so I figured it was time again to let you know where we're at with AtG.
Alpha testing started up in October and... Read more
Alpha Testing... We Are Go!
The first playable alpha version of At the Gatesis now available! For those of you who generously contributed $80 or more, a download link for the alpha version of... Read more
The Strategy of Playtesting
Hey all, just a short update on recent goings-on, plus a special a peek behind the curtain regarding how developers decide when to pull backsaid curtain. I know many of... Read more
July 2013 Update - Alpha Testing & Resource Appearance
Hey all, fairly short update this time - news I'm sure many of you are rejoicing over!
The plan is to kick things off in late August... Read more
AI Design Breakdown
The AI is one of every strategy game's most important features. The bread and butter of the genre is offering difficult decisions in a replayable environment where success requires constant adaptation.... Read more
June 2013 Update + Download Instructions
Hey all! Just wanted to provide you with a quick update regarding recent news and progress. Most of our updates have skewed heavily on the design and theory side, so... Read more
New Thoughts on Victory
At times I’ve been “accused” of being a theme-first designer. While this is true to some extent, it’s not the whole story. My philosophy is that (most) games need to... Read more
Game Distribution, Preorders & Victory
Hi everyone, I have some more news regarding how the game will be available!
At the Gates will be delivered to those who have contributed through Kickstarter and PayPal with... Read more
At the Gates on Steam
I’m very excited to officially announce that AtG will be available on Steam! Everyone who contributes at least $25 through Kickstarter or PayPal will receive a Steam key, along with... Read more
Design Docs News & Economics Brainstorming
Good evening all. First, an exciting bit of news! Access to the AtG design documents has been granted to those of you who contributed $125 or more. I've sent a... Read more
AI Mini Update
Woohoooo, the first update! This is going to be a fairly short one, but I wanted to let you guys know what I've been up to, lest you worry that... Read more
The Road Ahead
Well, we’ve finally reached the end of this amazing journey everyone! If you'd be so kind as to help spread the word in these final few hours you'll have my... Read more
Social Classes - AtG’s Design Dead End
We've just about reached the end everyone! We have two more great articles to send you off with.
Today I'll be sharing the story behind social classes, among AtG'smost... Read more
A few people have asked me why At the Gatesdoesn't actually have “Rome” somewhere in the title. Wouldn't that help inform people of what the game is about? I... Read more
Growing a Game Company
We're down to the last few days everyone! I'll be posting an update every day this week as a thank you for your amazing support.
Many people have... Read more
The Pen is Mightier Than the Axe
We're entering the final stretch everyone! In just over 5 days the campaign will be ending, so please help spread the word and let's see if we can get those... Read more
While At the Gatesis an empire builder at heart, there's no denying that late antiquity was a time when you were far more likely to die by the sword... Read more
AtG on Mac, Linux and iOS! Plus: Playable Romans!
At long last, the update many of you have been waiting for!
After a couple of weeks of work, Jonathan and I have successfully run At the Gates on both... Read more
Design Doc Preview: Game Pacing
First, a quick note. As part of the "Alive and Kicking" event I'll be talking about At the Gatesthis coming Sunday, February 24th at 12pm EST. It should be... Read more
The Enemy in the Mirror
Before diving into the meat of what I'd like to talk about in this update, I'll first mention that thanks to popular demand, we've added a new $30 tier where... Read more
The Reason for the Seasons
One of the most exciting features we've incorporated into At the Gatesis seasonal map change. But what actually happens? How random are the effects? What design risks do seasons... Read more
Now Available: Boxed Edition!
We’ve heard from a fair number of people who are interested in a boxed edition of At the Gates,and our team has made the decision to go ahead and... Read more
Building an Empire Builder
Empire builders (aka "4X turn-based strategy games") are a beloved genre. Unfortunately, they're also somewhat of a rare breed, particularly when compared with the deep yearly lineup of first-person shooters... Read more
Revisiting the Design of 'Civ 5'
Upon first telling people about At the Gates I'm often asked, "How does it compare to Civ 5, the last game you designed?"Well, in this article I'll be... Read more
Trials & Tribulations of Kickstarter
This post originally began its life as a humble comment on the ATGKickstarter page, but after writing for a bit I realized it would be even better as a... Read more
Boxed Special Edition?
Okay, when I said that there was no way ATG would have any physical rewards maybe I kinda sorta lied. But not on purpose. I suppose this is why they... Read more
Why At the Gates?
So some of you might be wondering about the story behind At the Gates' creation. Let’s turn back the clock a bit and take look at the origins of the... Read more
Thanks for your generous support everyone! Needless to the say, the first 24 hours of the campaign have blown well past what we were hoping for. Several people have started... Read more