Burlington, Vermont resident Blackwell Hird has just launched his first kickstarter campaign to build and release a dedicated tablet game of interstellar war. A recent graduate from the Vancouver Film School for Game design, he’s been let down by the current offerings when it comes to space-based strategy games in the digital age: the stories lacked the exploration qualities that he grew up with: “Many of [the games] simply laid out the galaxy as a known quantity which to me, does a diservice for the medium.” Conquest looks to bring the same principles of the space war games into the future that they depict.
Conquest is inspired by many of space based strategy games, that Hird grew up with, such as Twilight Imperium and Warhammer 40K, as well as other strategy games such as Risk and Diplomacy, and will bring the action to an interactive, digital setting. One frustration was the time and effort required to set up the games: “I loved the principles behind [the games], but the time involved to even set them up and get into them were far to inaccessible for many of my friends: we wanted to spend the time playing the games.” Conquest allows players to get right into the action, while still retaining the face to face and social aspects that are trademarks and attractions of board games.
You can visit the Kickstarter campaign here:
ABOUT THIS PROJECT
Conquest; my empire’s bigger than yours.
Welcome… To space! At least a small, fiercely contested corner of it. Grab your tablet of choice and revel in gleefully conquering your rivals in this turn-based strategy extravaganza with a twist. The giant space monster is not the twist. It’s just part of the scenery.
How many times have you gone to bust out one of your favorite board games, only to be fended off by long set up times, not being able to get everyone to sit still for long enough to play, and not entirely remembering the rules? The answer is too many times.
Conquest will help alleviate these problems, hopefully proving the balm for your itching board game desires. Setting up a game is as fast as pushing the big red button, the gameplay is easy to put down and pick up again at your leisure, and the rules are simple enough to figure out, while engaging enough to encourage strategy (especially if the strategy is “go forth and blow things up”).
Conquest tasks you with building your very own galactic empire and blasting your opponents into their constituent bits. Use your vast and (mostly) awe-inspiring fleet to explore a galaxy randomly generated by the game or lovingly hand-crafted by you. Discover, explore, and mercilessly conquer planets that you discover in said galaxy, all while hoping that you don’t land your fleet in the middle of a black hole. Then fight the good fight both in space and planet side until you are finally able to plant your flag on your opponent’s home world and then laugh at them.
This kickstarter project is looking to raise $41,000, which will be used to hire a programer and support team to deliver the game by November 2012, and to create an LLC to support the game and its deployment.
Pledge $10: Colonial Private: Become a soldier in the game.Your name will become one of the ground troops you command to conquer planets. Goes with all subsequent rewards.
Pledge $25: Warrant Officer: Draft notice from the world of Conquest, printed on translucent stock, containing one free access code for the game and a trial code for a friend. Includes all previous packages.
Pledge $45: Ensign: Graduate to an officer in the fleet with a T-shirt uniform in the pattern of a bridge officer with your rank insignia on the left breast.
Pledge $65: Junior Lieutenant: Gain a limited edition home world skin.
Pledge $85 Lieutenant: Replace your standard issue frigate model with this limited edition prototype to show your support.
Pledge $130: Major: Custom ID card and news article from the world of Conquest, printed on translucent paper.
Pledge $170: Commander: Signed and numbered concept art piece from Conquest’s development.
Pledge $210 Admiral: Identify yourself as a ranking member of the fleet with a limited edition fleet model. Each ship and troop is replaced with a new model.
Pledge $250: Senior Admiral: Digital 3D print of the in game battle-cruiser, on a base inscribed with your name.
Pledge $300: Rear Admiral: Be a voice of the fleet. Get a voice work credit and record the voice of ship captains as they are given orders in the game.
Pledge $500: Vice Admiral: Custom Handmade edition of the Conquest board game, Signed and numbered. Includes all previous reward packages.
Pledge $1,500: Fleet Admiral: Custom Ipad 2, painted with a scene from conquest by the games artist. Comes with custom background and game preloaded along with all production art and documents for insight into how we made the game.
Pledge $5,000: Chief of Operations: Be an executive producer on Conquest. Get involved with the process and have your creative say in its development and implementation. We still maintain creative control but you get to be a member of the team and the credit that comes with it.
About Blackwell Hird:
Blackwell always dreamed of designing visual interactive narratives and has spent the past 10 years learning how. Prior to the Games Industry, Hird spent 4 years in the Entertainment and Film Industry in New York City, where he worked as Lead Story Board Artist on feature film Perkins 14 for Lionsgate, Creative Designer/Writer with transmedia company Starlight Runner, and professional Prop Designer at NYC Prop Art. In 2010 he attended the Vancouver Film School for the Game Design Diploma Program where he pursued his passion for Narrative and Level Design while learning the mystic arts of game production. He fused his prior skills in visual communication with newly honed skills in writing and cinematics to produce an award nominated machinima. Hird also applied his Degree from Pratt Institute’s Industrial design program to the new skills of Game Production and Design to help create Eyegore, nominated for best in show from his class.
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