World of Waaaghships: Inside Man O' War: Corsair

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PCG: What drew Evil Twin to the Warhammer world and how did you come to work with the Man O’ War licence?

Carroll: My brother Mark and I founded Evil Twin Artworks through our love of games of all types: we have always loved video games, war games and board games. We have always been massive fans of Games Workshop and own a lot of their stuff. In fact, we started playing the Warhammer Fantasy Battle second edition game in the '80s. That actually came with cardboard characters you cut out so you could start your army off! Today we still play Fantasy Battle, Blood Bowl, Man O’ War other GW board games—when we get time!

Contacting Games Workshop has been something we have been looking at for a long, long while. We hadn’t released Victory At Sea (our previous game) on Steam when we began discussions with them. As that was a naval battle game it made sense we pitch Man O’ War: Corsair, and luckily a couple of the Games Workshop people had played Victory At Sea and had been clocking up a good few hours on it, which definitely worked in our favour! You get to realise that actually they are like us and just want to make games, so it wasn’t long before we all got very excited about the possibilities.

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PCG: Would it be fair to say that this is a much larger project than Evil Twin has handled previously? How has it changed how the studio works?

Carroll: It certainly is. The development time shows this and the number of people involved is much larger—we have been lucky to work with a very enthusiastic team. We are grassroots developers who really believe in looking at home-grown talent and we have tried to encourage that, the downside is we have got so good at encouraging young people in our area we get a lot of requests and we just can’t support them all. At the very least we hope that they are inspired enough to want to go on to make games. Most of our team have come through the courses we have run in the past.

I think looking at the way the studio works, my brother and I have had the biggest change in responsibility. On smaller projects we wore so many hats, we realised on this one it just wouldn’t be possible, so there has been a lot more delegating!

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PCG: There's been a surge in Warhammer games lately, and some, like Vermintide, have been excellent. What do you hope will distinguish Corsair?

Carroll: What is exciting is we have our own unique part of the Warhammer world to play with. Games Workshop said it’s one of the things they were quite excited about—it was new territory for them too. They made this game with small abstract ship models that weren’t really realised beyond the Man O’ War ruleset. We had to visualise what this world would actually look like beyond the ships battling on a table. To bring an Orc Hulk (a giant patchwork ship, part Mad Max, part Middle Earth) into the real world has been a fun challenge. The whole world of Man O’ War is set in a different time to the other Warhammer games out there, so for us we are always reminded that in some ways this is historical Warhammer. The world is a different place to the later Warhammer Fantasy Battle world and is certainly a huge difference to the world we now see in Age Of Sigmar.

PCG: When can we expect to see this old-fangled Warhammer on our screens, then?

Carroll: We are aiming for Q1 for Early Access and will be able to say more soon!