August 11, 2015 10:00 AM | John Bridgman
I've discussed at length before the benefits of combining genres to innovate gameplay. Some of the most enjoyable experiences I can recommend come from unusual combinations of gameplay elements. Often they may seem overwhelming or confusing, but it's still intriguing to me seeing how two or more genres can come together to create new experiences. CivCraft, which has recently launched on Kickstarter, is a combination FPS, RTS, and sandbox RPG from Larkon Studios. It's ambitious, but still very fascinating conceptually.
CivCraft is an empire building RTS, where you build cities and conquer other kingdoms across the map. It's also a first-person RPG where you go down to the individual level in the world, completing quests and assigning skills and abilities to your character as you progress through its narrative. Claiming to be able to decide for yourself how much of each aspect you choose to engage with. You should be able to stay in FPS mode if you want to immerse yourself in the world, leaving your advisors to manage the kingdom, or stay in the RTS to expand and conquer with your mighty armies. Alternatively, you can switch between the two whenever you wish.
Each character in the massive world has a name and personality. They will react to your presence, give you quests, or join with you as you progress. On top of this, all the buildings, both pre-existing in the game and placed by you in the RTS mode are fully explorable with a realized interior, as well as loot and items you can gather.
In addition to the usual day/night cycles and seasons that are expected of an open world RPG, the environments will be affected by the political landscape of the world. Times of peace will have safe roads to travel, and greenery abounding. During war, the forests will be dark and foreboding, and bandits will lurk the paths you take.
CivCraft is a Kickstarter title looking to make money to finalize its development. With three years of work already behind it, the fundraising target is to help polish the game up and make the presentation its best. The various stretch goals are set to add more to the already near complete game. Already over half-way to its funding goal, the stretch goals looks to be attainable in order to add deeper functionality to the game when it does launch.
Ambition can often be a worrisome thing in Kickstarter campaigns, but it seems like Larkon have kept things under control. By spending a long time in advance working on the game, they've made it so their crowdfunding goals are reasonable and attainable, while not sacrificing their vision for the game. It's shaping up to be interesting if nothing else, and I recommend keeping an eye on it if you're a fan of fantasy settings or sandbox games in general. It may very well have a lot to offer to RTS fans as well, so definitely give CivCraft a chance.