Arcen Games, creators of AI War and A Valley Without Wind, have announced their next game, Skyward Collapse. It's a strategy collision, incorporating elements of turn-based 4X, god games and simulation. Rather than a vengeful deity of elemental destruction, you play a hovering peacekeeper, attempting to persuade the inhabitants of the floating island you watch over to stop smacking each other with sticks.
"Set high in the sky atop a floating landmass that you are actively constructing as the game progresses, you oversee two warring factions (Greeks and Norse)," writes Arcen's Chris Park . "Via solo play or co-op, you play as "The Creator," helping both sides of the conflict -- granting each side buildings, resources, and even new citizens."
Which creates an interesting problem: left to their own devices, each village has its own goals, and one of them is destroying everybody else. "Given the resources and appropriate buildings, your villagers will gear up for war without your direct interaction, and will fight it out to the best of their abilities."
Your job upon this floating island of death and war is to balance the conflict in such a way that no side is wiped out. It's not simply a matter of confiscating their weapons - the island is also home to bands of bandits, meaning each village needs some way to defend itself.
Essentially, you're a disembodied UN, desperately trying to stop everyone from bloodily killing each other. You can build embassies and assign diplomats, but doing so will only affect the two villages participating in the peace process - everyone else remains as bloodthirsty as ever.
It's a fascinating concept, and Park goes into much more detail as to how each game will play out on his blog .
Arcen are also working on Exodus of the Machine , a "strategic journey" game set in the universe of AI War: Fleet Command.
"Vicious predators, clashing armies, and political intrigue stand in your way. None can stand before your modern weapons, but where do you use your limited ammunition? Do you resort to diplomacy, or native weapons? Will you fall to disease or run out of food stores? Can you get to the end in time?"
Both games are due out this year, with Skyward Collapse expected to release as a beta before the end of the month.