11/30/15 - 2 Pence Studio has released their first build for their forthcoming game, Feudums. This build, the game’s Map Creator, may be used to create game maps and can be downloaded for free.
Feudums is a 4X, tick-based, strategy/MMO game set in the Medieval Ages. Players assume a role as a Lord or Lady in a land where the high king has died. Between managing your feudum (Latin for fief), consolidating your power and making (and breaking) alliances, you will make your own bid for the crown. Call your vassals; war is upon us!
Created using Unity, Feudums allows players to play in single-player games, with their friends in a multi-player world (even using their own maps) or in giant MMO worlds. Feudums was made to be played on tablets, but can be played on any computer screen – PC, Mac or even if its running Linux. On the run, play on your phone too – Apple and Android phones are supported by companion apps. Feudums is free to play and free to win. No units or changes can be bought which will affect the game’s outcome.
One of the game’s best features is its use of the historical vassal system. By inviting friends and setting them up as vassals, players can give new players immediate protection for their fledging fiefdom. According to game designer Matyas Suranyi, “Becoming a vassal is not a disgrace but an opportunity. Your allegiance to your liege consolidates your position and offers protection at the cost of some authority and freedom. But it’s a bargain price, if you find the right group of players to join.” >
“A good liege,” he continued, “knows there isn’t a stable realm without loyal vassals and there won’t be any loyal vassals without mutual respect and aid. Most lieges will tend to offer a win-win situation so they don’t have to watch their back all the time.”
Even if you don’t have friends to invite you into a game, it will be easy to become a vassal. In game, you can offer an oath of fealty to someone in your vicinity – or to any crowned King, regardless of physical distance.
“I think we’ll see new or casual players offer oaths to more advanced players, for both protection and tutoring,” Suranyi noted. “Having vassals comes with a lot of benefits for a developed dynasty, so no doubt there we’ll see experienced players offer counselling and protection for a player’s loyalty.”
Just as it was in medieval times, there is a price for a liege’s protection. When you sign up as a vassal, you could lose some control over part of your land, depending on your liege’s whims. In addition, your liege will collect part of your regular income as a tax and you would be expected to help out in his military campaigns.
Since a large vassal base can help a player achieve victory, it’s not surprising Suranyi is trying to tie the game into various social and game networks.
“Most players will probably quick-start a game by accepting a knight service request from an active player, probably but not necessarily, a real-life friend,” Suranyi explained. “Such offers can be sent over social and gaming networks or via email. The request will spell out the terms for the player joining in, such as the lands ceded to the new player to establish a base of regular income.”
The flow of new players into the game will not unbalance the game, even if they join late in the game, because their lands come from existing claimed land. In the same way, game play will not be affected if players drop out. Those lands would just revert back to the player’s liege.
“New players appear on inhabited land, on the same side. No balance issues. It also means there won't be servers which start with 40-thousand players and ends with 2000 with an average distance of 100-150 hexes between them like a lot of games do,” he said. “I believe our system will make it easier to maintain a constant flow of players during the whole game session, making late game more interesting and less repetitive.”
The Feudums team is now working on additional builds: economics, diplomacy and warfare. These should completed by mid-January. In the meantime, Feudums will launch a Kickstarter campaign in late December and run a beta test “probably in January,” according to Suranyi. He said the final game should launch in February 2016.