Solium Infernum - from the creator of Armageddon Empires

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IMAGE(http://www.crypticcomet.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/balphegor500.jpg)

I expect this to be for a fairly niche audience, but Vic Davis is just about to release his followup to the fantastic Armageddon Empires. Where AE was a single player affair set in a post-apocalyptic environment and married turned based strategy with a collectible card game, Solium Infernum is set in Hell where your goal is to take over and be the top demon. The game is still turn based with a CCG aspect, but Vic took the time to develop a multiplayer portion this time around. He is looking at Dominions 3 as the sort of mp experience he wants people to have (simultaneous turns) and a basic description of how the game plays is as a "grand strategy board game on a computer." See, limited appeal.

Bill Harris and Tom Chick are already giving the game praise and I can't wait to get my hands on it.

For more information I recommend checking out Vic's blog, this recent interview by RPGWatch or Rock, Paper, Shotgun's interview from last January. Tom, Troy and Bruce (of Three Moves Ahead and . . . if you don't know who I'm talking about, how did you ever hear about this game?) have been "liveblogging" a match they've been playing over at the QT3 forums.

A visual walkthrough some basic concepts: http://img691.imageshack.us/slidesho...

7inchsplit created his own cheat sheets for the game, which are super handy. See his post to download and print them out.

The game is out now and a demo is also available here (right click and save as).

3/15 - Bill Harris has finally started posting up his beginner's guide. You can get the different parts at his blog:
Part One: Creating an Avatar
Part Two: Creating a Game
Part Three: Understanding Frames
Part Four: Orders
Part Five: More Orders
Part Six: Last Orders

11/21 - Solium Infernum Wiki

Screenshots for tbs aren't usually very good to look at, but Vic's games have good artwork, so here are a few shots.

IMAGE(http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/images/07/jan/solinf1.jpg.jpg)

IMAGE(http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/images/07/jan/solinf2.jpg.jpg)

IMAGE(http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/images/07/jan/solinf3.jpg.jpg)

IMAGE(http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/images/07/jan/solinf4.jpg.jpg)

IMAGE(http://www.crypticcomet.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/combatdeception.jpg)

CCG and Hex titles? There's a line between calamity and insanity and that man has Evel Knievel'ed it.

Spoiler:
Oh, and the game looks good for what it's worth.

This warrants an immediate purchase. Armageddon Empires is one of the best turn-based strategy games I've ever played. I just hope the Mac version of SI doesn't suffer from such dreadful performance as the Mac AE. (Vic has stated that the Mac AE performance problems are due to Adobe's awful Mac-side tools.)

Watching this for a loooong time, cannot wait. Bill Harris is really making me salivate with his posts about the game.

Yep, throw me in with the drooling fanboy crowd too. We should really get some MP going once its out!

Is it sad that I'm in part looking forward to this game because I can make a character named Beelzebozo and actually have it be in context? (Admittedly not one of my favorite jokes, but it's what I think of whenever I hear Beelzebub. Anyway.)

For anyone interested in some further info, here are a couple scattered threads I found:

1. A fairly detailed and certainly insightful discussion on the main forums about the different "meta-strategies" to approach the game with. I certainly enjoyed it.

2. Tom Chick, Bruce Geryk, and Troy Goodfellow (of Three Moves Ahead) have a "liveblogging" thread up on QT3 detailing a game they're going through right now. Again, well worth your time if you're interested in seeing how a real game develops. Additionally, for the podcast after next they're going to have Vic on the show and presumably will have lots of good discussions on this game.

Beat me to it. I was just going to post up about the live blog thread. Bruce made a comment that has me positively salivating:

Solium Infernum really does have a lot in common with Diplomacy, in that while the mechanics are relatively straightforward, the interaction of those mechanics is very involved. I'm really digging it.

I hope this one is a bit more streamlined that AE was. I loved the game, and experimenting with different decks. But having to click "okay" five times and watch a dice roll each time for every minor action really wore thin after awhile.

Is this MP only, or does it have a single player campaign?

LeapingGnome wrote:
Is this MP only, or does it have a single player campaign?

It has sp, but I don't think it'll have an actual campaign, just skirmishes, really.

Looking like Wednesday for the release. Think I can get Dragon Age polished off by then?

Vic Davis wrote:
Sorry to say but it's going to be Wednesday. I can't say when but I should have everything uploaded and a website update done that day. I'll have a demo available that you can try out that day as well.

garion333 wrote:
LeapingGnome wrote:
Is this MP only, or does it have a single player campaign?

It has sp, but I don't think it'll have an actual campaign, just skirmishes, really.

Boo!

adam.greenbrier wrote:
garion333 wrote:
LeapingGnome wrote:
Is this MP only, or does it have a single player campaign?

It has sp, but I don't think it'll have an actual campaign, just skirmishes, really.

Boo!


This and Armageddon Empires are both much more like board games or true strategy games in that you're playing a game system, not a crafted narrative experience. Would be like getting angry at Chess, Risk, or Civ4 for not having a "campaign" included. Civ4 for me at least is an eminently sp game, so nothing to worry about if that type of thing is up your alley.

That said, some type of campaign style game in this setting might be awesome

Gunner wrote:
adam.greenbrier wrote:
garion333 wrote:
LeapingGnome wrote:
Is this MP only, or does it have a single player campaign?

It has sp, but I don't think it'll have an actual campaign, just skirmishes, really.

Boo!


This and Armageddon Empires are both much more like board games or true strategy games in that you're playing a game system, not a crafted narrative experience. Would be like getting angry at Chess, Risk, or Civ4 for not having a "campaign" included.

That said, some type of campaign style game in this setting might be awesome :D

I took garion's comment to mean that the single-player would be a paired-down version of the multiplayer. If it's the complete game against AI opponents, I'm okay with it.

I have been watching it for awhile and am looking forward to it. I played the demo for AE and liked it a lot, but at the time I didn't really have the spending cash to justify the purchase. Since this one is multiplayer I'll probably pick it up if the Hive Mind likes it and there is some activity on it online.

It's a day one for me. So... Many... Good... Games... What to play, what to play...?

I'm on this train.

Edit: looks like demo and full game hit tomorrow, price is 29.99.

Kieron Gillen has a hands on report over at RPS.

A diplomatic war game set in Hell definitely has the potential to be something meaty. Looking forward to the demo.

Anyone find a deal on the game?

Game goes live tonight a 9pm EST.

And just for you, Adam:

I designed the game to be multi-player compatible but I didn’t skimp on the single player aspect. In fact I put a lot of time and effort into developing a solid and competent AI for the game to give players like myself an enjoyable solo experience.

If you ever wanted to play a grand strategy board game on the computer by yourself I think I can claim that this is a great opportunity to do it.

Doesn't he usually sell them himself, through his own website? I doubt he'd discount from his own pocket lol.

Interesting that he cites Dominions as an inspiration. Dom III is still a worthwhile, very deep game.

Yeah, don't expect the game to ever go on sale. He only sells through his site and I don't recall Armageddon Empires ever being on sale, but it may have happened, I just never saw it.

garion333 wrote:
And just for you, Adam:

I designed the game to be multi-player compatible but I didn’t skimp on the single player aspect. In fact I put a lot of time and effort into developing a solid and competent AI for the game to give players like myself an enjoyable solo experience.

If you ever wanted to play a grand strategy board game on the computer by yourself I think I can claim that this is a great opportunity to do it.

Sounds great. Play by email is also a nice feature to have included; one of the biggest drawbacks to multiplayer gaming is that it's very difficult for me to schedule, and this helps to get around that. Any word on a Mac version, or is this PC-only for now?

Don't all Macs run Windows anymore?

AE has a Mac version, so I wouldn't be surprised if this one does, but I can't recall if it's happening at launch or not.

Okay, so the faq shows Mac sys requirements:

Mac OS X 10.4 or better
- 256 MB RAM
- 1024x768 minimum display resolution Setting
- Right Click capable mouse required

Again, don't quote me as saying it'll be available at launch.

garion333 wrote:
Don't all Macs run Windows anymore? :P

Yes, but it's nice to not have to leave my walled garden.

garion333 wrote:
Okay, so the faq shows Mac sys requirements:

Mac OS X 10.4 or better
- 256 MB RAM
- 1024x768 minimum display resolution Setting
- Right Click capable mouse required

Again, don't quote me as saying it'll be available at launch.

Sounds good. I'm not sure I'll have the scratch for this any time near launch, anyway.

Yes, but it's nice to not have to leave my walled garden.

If you can easily leave, it's not walled. It's just a garden.

I imagine I'll pick this one up; I enjoyed AE, though I never got heavily into it, and this looks really good.

Malor wrote:
Yes, but it's nice to not have to leave my walled garden.

If you can easily leave, it's not walled. It's just a garden. :)

Walls aren't just for keeping people in, Malor.


At least I can stop the compulsive refresh game now.

I kinda like how refreshingly old school Vic is about distribution and sales. No preorder option, no outside distributors like Steam or Impulse. Its not that I wouldn't rather have this game tied to one of my accounts, I just like the idea that there are some developers out there who are able to think for themselves and not completely follow the newest trends.

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