This past year has been pretty busy for me; unemployment, employment that has caused me to close the blog, the job search. It means that I haven’t been following games over this past year. It is nice to see that Towns is still being worked on, and that it’s still improving. If you like Minecraft and or Dwarf Fortress this is a game to keep your eyes on!
Towns was a very different game a year ago. It was an RTS/Town Management game almost exclusively. It was the foundation and framework for something compelling. Dwarven Fortress like, but not a clone. It could, very easily, have gone the way of a hack and slash RPG.
Instead the developer is going in a direction that I like very much. Telling the tale of the unsung hero’s of the gaming world. The Towns. The shopkeepers and blacksmiths that supply great adventures. The economy that exists around the ‘Hero’. A focus on what is classically a ‘side story’ in most games.
This is a great idea, and it is really excited to see the implementation. The game seems popular on Steam Greenlight, go and give them a plus. But don’t stop there. Go directly to the Towns website and support the developer! Buy a copy of the game, play through the tutorials. They have pledged that anyone who buys the game now will get a free steam key. So there is very little downside to giving the early version a try.
On the business side they appear to be taking a page from the Book of Mojang. Purchasing now means owning the game forever at a reduced price. This is a great strategy that gets early adopters a price break, funds the development of the game, and builds a player base. Then as polish to the game is added, Beta players have to pay a bit more. Late adopters pay the full retail price. It worked well for Mojang, will it work for Towns?