What's the latest on Crate's town builder game? Now entitled Farthest Frontier

Looks like a Age of Empire vs Anno kind of RTS.

I am down for that!

What if it turns out that the game is actually GD2 when it reveals? That would be one of the greatest dev trolls of all-time.

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then we’ll be starting something else soon"

Should this be the spotlight of all the responses!

GD2??

Unlikely. We more or less know that’s likely to be several years down the line if Crate decide to make it.

14th September 2018 stream:

"apouche_: how do you split your workload? do you work exclusively on GD? you probably have other projects going on as well. How many Crate employees currently working on GD?

I work exclusively on Grim Dawn. I have at times stepped out to assist with our other project, but those are like a little temporary thing to help out on a specific design goal. Right now my focus is entirely on Grim Dawn Forgotten Gods, post release of Forgotten Gods. In terms of other projects we do have a project that Medierra is spearheading, he’ll let you know about that when he’s ready. It is pretty cool, visually looks awesome and the mechanics are almost getting to that release state. I’ll let him talk to you about what it is exactly and whether I work on that more later we’ll see, but we do have some other projects in mind that we’ll probably start ramping up in the future. And we’ll talk about those when they exist, because right now they don’t."

7th Decembe 2018 stream:
"Syphin3 : but…what if the city builder game fails

That would be very unfortunate. But we are in a financial position where, if it fails, we’re not going to go under. We’re actually looking into ramping up other projects in the future to kind of have a cascading progression of project releases. So we’re always working on something, even though something is ramping up. So even if the town builder doesn’t do too well, which hopefully it does not, then we’ll still be okay."

I’m not sure that an optional combat city builder is quite aligned with the current fanbase.

Reaching out to a new set of people, with a new IP, is a really gutsy move.

I hope it pans out. Not up my ally, but there are a lot of people who dig those things I’m sure.

Well, Medierra outlined his reasoning way back in November 2016

"We do plan to keep working on Grim Dawn. How many expansions we produce just depends on how well the first expansion sells and how well GD itself continues to sell.

There is also a good a chance we’ll do GD2 at some point but, due to the age of the current engine, we either need to undertake some massive update work on it or start from scratch with a licensed engine, which would mean a massive amount of work writing all new gameplay code.

Given that we’re working on an expansion now, might do a second one and I’ve been working on ARPGs for 14 years now, I feel like I could use a bit of break before jumping right into GD2. Imagining exciting new features, systems and a whole new story arc take a lot of energy and passion. I’m happy continuing to work on and oversee content for GD but I feel like I need to recharge before I can give a whole new ARPG my all.

There are other genres of games I love and have always wanted to work on. I’d also like to work on something lower scope next, that requires less building of content and which won’t take too long to finish. I expect to be releasing this new project 12-18 months from now. Then after that, who knows, maybe it will be time for GD2. I won’t know until I get there. One thing I can say though is, I’d be a lot more excited to work on GD2 if we could get to a point where we had a lot more money to throw at it.

Someone mentioned that Banished / Anno town-builders were overcrowded but that looks like a wide open market compared to ARPG. Not only are there a lot of ARPGs coming out recently but players commit to a single one for much longer than games in other genres and it requires a ton of content and features to be competitive - more than almost any other genre of games. Then think about the fact that the ARPG genre has a franchise that is widely seen as “king” and is developed by one of the biggest, most well funded and widely respected companies in the industry. Everything is compared against Diablo and it’s hard to compete with a team that has virtually unlimited resources. Then Grinding Gear has around 5x the people we do and I doubt competing against a free-to-play game has helped our sales. Then there’s Torchlight (although it looks like their next game isn’t an ARPG), Marvel Heroes, Van Helsing, Victor Vran, maybe a TQ expansion or sequel from Nordic, Lineage Eternal (if that ever finishes), Wolcen and too many others to remember. Since the huge sales of D3, everyone and their mom seems to be making an ARPG these days. About the only thing worse would be deciding to make a MOBA.

Even with all that going on, I wouldn’t say it would prevent us from making GD2 but it certainly makes the level of competition in most other genres look a lot less daunting.

A big factor for working on something else though is that I don’t think it is good to keep all our eggs in one basket, as a studio. Our primary goal is to keep the company alive so we can keep being independent and making games. While it’s certainly possible to focus on one franchise and stay alive for a long time doing it, it’s riskier having all your future dependent on the continued success of one game property in one genre. Diversifying the types of games we can make and the IPs we own is a good way for us to better secure out future.

Beyond just branching out to work on other genres, it has always been a goal of mine to be able to work on concurrent projects. Not only do we not want to be pigeon-holed into one genre but I think it’s important for us to be able to work on multiple projects at time. That way, we’re not just counting on the success of a single big release to keep us alive, where if it under-performs, it could take years to course-correct and finish another project (years we likely wouldn’t have). This also helps to increase the efficiency of the studio, as we can shift people around based on the needs of a project at any give time, instead of having lulls at the beginning and end of a single project, where not everyone is needed at full capacity. Another factor is that people get burnt out working on one thing for too many years. When people get burnt out, they leave and look for something new. I feel like we have a great team and I want to keep them engaged with fresh new projects and not solely grinding away on ARPGs for the next 20 years.

Since we would like to keep making content for GD, we’ve brought on some new people for that, to keep up the level of energy and enthusiasm (or new old people in the case of Grava, aka Josh Glavine). We’ll keep making content for GD as long as it’s financially viable. GD2 is a definite possibility but whether / when that happens depends on how things progress in the ARPG genre and internally for us at Crate over the next year or two. We also have some ideas for GD related games that are set in that universe and will share some mechanics but are not quite ARPGs.

You’ll also be hearing about at least one totally new project in the next year though."

I suspect that’s the point. I don’t imagine any game developer wants to be locked into only ever doing one thing, the same thing over and over again, nothing more than a one trick pony.

And it isn’t like all arpg players only like arpgs and nothing else. I like builders as well so I’m quite interested to see what they come up with.

Me too. I was a town builder long before I got into ARPG’s. :slightly_smiling_face: Looking forward to Crate’s spin on this genre.

Thanks for that.

Interesting reasoning.

I don’t particularly agree with some of it (relating to how he believe ARPG players commit to a single game - I don’t think that’s true at all from an ownership perspective), and also think that this is possibly a much bigger risk than he thinks in terms of wanting to keep his team together - that will only happen if the money continues to flow.

And I hope it doesn’t end in disaster, and that the new project is really successful, because its always good to see when someone can follow their dreams and desires. GD has some industry leading attributes (like crafting and itemisation), and I love it, so perhaps his new game will do the same for that genre.

Look at it this way. They started GD with next to no money. They’ve sold over 3 million copies (Base game @2+ million copies + DLC). You can do a rough count of the math of how much that works out to in USD (not discounting steams cut and taxes and various sales and regional pricing etc). I think they’ll survive even if the city builder doesn’t do well.

Im itching for a townbuilder/survival game, any recommmedations? other genres like rts and turn base rpgs arent making me so happy and with Grim Dawn becoming so boring, only Crate’s other project could probably cure this emptiness :expressionless:

Depends since there are so many different kinds in that genre.

Maybe Factorio… I’ve played it a little, others think it’s insanely addictive:

Banished is well liked:

Cities Skylines:

Then you got your usual Civ games and so on.

Zantai has said as much in a dev stream. Obviously if the town builder doesn’t do too well they’ll be disappointed, but they’re not going to go under because of it. 7th December 2018 stream:

"Syphin3 : but…what if the city builder game fails

That would be very unfortunate. But we are in a financial position where, if it fails, we’re not going to go under. We’re actually looking into ramping up other projects in the future to kind of have a cascading progression of project releases. So we’re always working on something, even though something is ramping up. So even if the town builder doesn’t do too well, which hopefully it does not, then we’ll still be okay."

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Or go even further back with Zeus: Master of Olympus, Emperor: Rise of the Middle Kingdom, Port Royale, Patrician series, Children of the Nile. There are plenty out there. One powbam didn’t mention which I saw a while ago that looked interesting is Foundation. And people also recommend FrostPunk.

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thanks @powbam, I have all these games except Factorio, as its still EA. But will check… ARPG’s have ruined me actually, any game thats not action oriented is boring me. games like Divinity original sin 2 which is an amazing game is actually boring the life out of me. I need to reflect and have my brain checked from any damage caused from too much grim dawn.

Town builders are okay since they are also repetition based but any tactical game that requires lots of reading is hurting my cells, but its a shame because i love these types of games before…

@medea I will check Frostpunk seems decent and I have played some of your suggestions already. My personal favorite being Zeus series. That game made me fall in love with TQ actually as they are related somehow :sweat_smile:

Okay i will check Frostpunk, if its darkness overload it should be good :smiling_imp:

I actually love FrostPunks style. I got it… need to get around to playing it more one of these days. Beautifully done game.

You should like this game @el_critico - its got some dark undertones to it.

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The good old Stronghold I and II might be worth looking at as well if you want building plus some combat. It’s campaign style, but you have to build and defend at the same time. My first town builder actually. :smile:

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I never got into strong hold. is it same as AE series? btw Age of Empires 1 is my first townbuilder… Anyone tried the new age of empires? “Definitive” :smirk: editions ?

i hope crate can produce their townbuilder and it will be as good looking as this one.

That is a good way to look at it from a risk standpoint. Thats more than enough cash to forget about everything.

I guess all I can think of is what happened with Markus Persson.

Age of Empires is an RTS. Combat isn’t optional :slight_smile: