Warmachine Tactics is a Tactical RPG from Privateer Press and WhiteMoon Dreams, based on the popular tabletop strategy game Warmachine. The game is currently seeking funding on Kickstarter, and while it has reached almost double its initial goal, there remains substantial amount of content waiting to be added to the game through Stretch Goals.
Warmachine Tactics is set in the Iron Kingdoms which has been described as Full Metal Fantasy. The nations of the Iron Kingdoms constantly battle with one another and at the center of their armies are the Warjacks and the Warcasters. The Warcaster is a soldier gifted in both arcane and martial combat that possess the ability to telepathically control Warjacks. Warjacks are arcane/mechanical constructs that range from swift mansized machines to towering behemoths capable of massive destruction. Their combined power makes them the equal of an army. Each faction brings their own military methodology to the battlefield, from the liberty and lightning loving Cygnar to hardy and imperialistic Khador. Warmachine Tactics will bring the epic combat of the Iron Kingdoms to life.
I was able to connect with Simon Berman from Privateer Press and Scott Campbell at WhiteMoon Dreams and they were kind enough to answer a few of my questions:
Q: Warmachine has enjoyed great success on the tabletop. What inspired the decision to shift gears and create a Warmachine video game?
A: Deciding to make a video game wasn’t so much a “changing of gears” as it was a “natural fit”. Warmachine’s character driven stories and unique blend of Steampunk and full-metal fantasy, lends perfectly to a video game.
We felt that the turn-based tactics genre was the right vehicle to both introduce gamers to the world of the Iron Kingdoms and showcase the sheer awesomeness of its characters, stories, and history. It was also the right choice to bring in existing Warmachine tabletop players, and the experiences we’re creating always has them in mind. Lastly, a tactics game was something that we could create within a reasonable scope and budget – which was immensely important for the Kickstarter campaign.
Q: The Kickstarter had an explosive launch, reaching it’s funding in under two days, and it continues to receive strong support. But it seems like you’ve had no difficulty providing a steady stream of stretch goals. Did you anticipate this outpouring of enthusiasm?
A: Actually, we were completely surprised by the incredible turn-out of backers! We had spent months in the development of the game, not to mention the Kickstarter planning, physical goods, tier schedule, and video production.
That initial run blew-us all away!
As for the stretch goals, we had a long list of items and enhancements planned after we launch. With this additional money, we’ll be able to create and integrate them much faster. All of us here want to do as much as possible for this game, and the more backers makes this possible.
What we have now is determination. The thought of all the backers counting on us to build an exceptional experience that brings the Warmachine world to life, that’s what’s driving us.
Q: There are no shortage of conflicts in the Iron Kingdoms. What events set the stage for the first campaign of Warmachine Tactics?
A: The first single-player campaign “No Man’s Land” tells the story of Cygnar’s Journeyman Warcaster, Lt. Allison Jakes. The players will guide her through the harrowing missions that define her emergence into a full-fledged warcaster. I get tingly every time I say that!
We’re planning for a 20 mission campaign with around 15 to 20 hours of gameplay. There will be perilous battles, betrayals, ambushes, world-shaking events – everything a good story needs.
Q: Warmachine Tactics will feature additional factions and campaigns as time goes on. Will the campaigns be related or will each stand on its own?
A: It’s a little too early to start discussing future campaigns. However, they will most likely be encapsulated single-player stories centered on a specific warcaster. They will all have an effect on all the characters in them, and the Iron Kingdoms, but we can’t say how interrelated they’ll be to one another – at least not yet!
In working so close with Privateer Press, the single player stories are actually considered “canon” in the world’s story line You’ll definitely be see some things in a video game making an appearance in the tabletop game.
Q: Warmachine Tactics is described as being inspired by Valkyria Chronicles, Final Fantasy Tactics, and XCOM. Will this inspiration be reflected in some aspects of the gameplay?
A: You could probably include the Myth Series, Vandal Hearts, Shining Force, Advanced Wars… We love our tactics games here!
The remake of XCOM proved to the industry that turn-based games were not only still alive, but could draw a large audience. XCOM did a magnificent job of presenting the player’s options and visualizing those actions on the map. As Warmachine is a somewhat deeper tactical experience, we are taking lots of cues from XCOM to simplify and present decisions intelligently and unobtrusively.
In Valkyria Chronicles, we love the dynamic camera. We wanted to be able to get a bird’s eye view of the battle and then zoom in to see a detail on a unit’s shoulder. We want to feel like we are on the battlefield, surrounded by our forces, seeing what they are seeing – and we want to be the general looking at the entire battle strategy. Yeah, we want it all.
Q: A point system and an experience system was mentioned for armies in multiplayer. Will the players be able to choose their armies and direct their growth in the campaigns as well?
A: The short answer is: yes.
In Single-Player, you’ll be able to build out your squads to tackle the hazards of the upcoming mission.
After each mission, you’ll be able to choose upgrades for Jakes, making her more powerful, giving her more battlefield options, and bringing her closer to her full warcaster form.
Q: Warjacks can clearly be towering forces of destruction and no small amount of munitions are being brought to bear in combat. How will the battles affect buildings and terrain?
A: Who doesn’t love Warjacks? Six tons of heavy machinery, steam, and iron that don’t just destroy everything in their path – but do it because they like to!
Warjacks and their aggressive temperament play such a key role in the world, we had to fully respect this in Tactics.
Smashable walls? Check. ‘Jacks throwing ‘Jacks around? Check. ‘Jacks trampling through poor defenseless soldiers? Check.
Trust me, the first time your foe thinks he’s safe behind cover, and you rampage a warjack right through it, you’ll know what I mean. Good times.
Q: What would you say will set Warmachine Tactics apart from other video games in the Tactical RPG genre?
A: Unreal 4, the IP, and love.
We’re using the cutting-edge Unreal 4 for development – and what an impossibly awesome engine it is! The lighting, the effects, the network connectivity! It raises the quality level we are capable of creating to new heights. If you like the screen shots we’ve released in Unreal 3, just wait for the Unreal 4 ones. (Wipes drool…)
The Warmachine table-top is in its 10th year of production, and is stronger than ever. We get the luxury of having an entire catalog of bad-ass characters, settings, and stories instead of trying to create something as epic from scratch. The table-top game has hundreds of thousands of players world-wide, and the rules have benefited from years of comments and polishing – and form the starting point of the rules used in Tactics.
All this, AND we love the game! Seriously, we were all fans of the game before we decided to try to make it into a video game. Heck, we still play the game and read the fiction, not because it’s our collective job, but because we genuinely love the world.
I want to thank Mr. Berman and Mr. Campbell for their time, and their fascinating answers. The passion for this project is clear and the game already sounds fantastic. While Warmachine Tactics has cleared its initial goal, there are many features that they hope to be able to add earlier via stretch goals. It is now not a matter of whether or not the game will be made, but how much content will be available at launch. With four days remaining, additional Warcasters, co-op mode, mission packs, and additional factions are all within reach. So I encourage you, in the strongest terms, to follow the link below. See for yourself the exciting potential of this game. By supporting Warmachine Tactics you will not only secure a copy of this great game but help to ensure that when the game is released that there is more for all to enjoy.
Warmachine Tactics Kickstarter