I'm a simple PC gamer, really. Just drop terms like kingdom management, simulation and Rimworld into a game blurb, and you have a degree of attention from me that borders on obsession. That's precisely what the PR folks behind upcoming kingdom sim Noble Fates did, and now I can't help but ruminate on how far this game will let me go in acting out my feudal fantasies.
Set to enter Steam Early Access on December 14, Noble Fates is "inspired by the depth and fun of Rimworld and the brutal clash of ambition, intrigue, and violence from Game of Thrones." While I've grown numb to name-drops of the insufferably popular TV show, the allusion to the deep colony and people management sim suggests that this is a developer with a taste for systemic story generation—my kind of people!
Noble Fates seems to start out a bit like Rimworld too, giving you control of several outcasts from a procedurally generated nearby kingdom, one of whom you elect to rule over your empty new lands. You then begin to build things out: hunting, farming and building up fortifications.
But each character in Noble Fates has a long memory. So if at some point you execute someone's mother for stealing an egg, save someone in battle, or force them to eat the flesh of their good friend for medieval 'bants', expect word to spread about just what kind of ruler you are.
Interestingly, you can switch between an RTS-style top down perspective for when you're building, planting fields and managing your kingdom to an over-the-shoulder third-person view when you're out hunting or fending off invaders.
At a glance, its flumpy marshmallow art style would seem to position Noble Fates as an even more graphical and accessible offshoot of Dwarf Fortress and its grandchild Rimworld. But looking at some parts of the trailer, I can see that each character has their own hierarchical status (got to appease those Nobles!), jobs, needs, opinions and relationships. There's much more going on here than the cutesy aesthetic would suggest.
Oh, and some point, for some reason, you may find yourself fighting off a giant pig-demon. Damn it, they really got to me...