14 March 2018
Shem Phillips teams up with first-time designer S J Macdonald
The designer behind the acclaimed North Sea series – Shipwrights, Raiders and Explorers – has revealed he is working on a brand new gaming trilogy.
This time, Shem Phillips is headed to the West Kingdom, and he’s bringing along first-time designer S J Macdonald for the opening worker-placement chapter in the planned triptych, Architects of the West Kingdom.
Set during the final years of the Carolingian Empire, around 850 AD, Architects casts players as royal builders constructing landmarks and the Archbishop’s Cathedral to please their ruler.
There’s resource collecting, of course, combined with the recruiting and management of apprentices to fend off competition from rivals, who in an interesting twist can capture other players’ workers by tempting them with money.
A virtue system allows players to stick to the straight and narrow or choose to employ the services of thieves and black market sellers to try and outpace their opponents – but too many morally dodgy deals can punish players when it’s time to add up their victory points after a set number of buildings have been constructed, presenting a variety of different ways to win.
Architects includes a solo mode, or plays with up to five people in around an hour. Over 30 buildings and apprentices can be combined with differing player powers, so there should be a good amount of replayability.
Returning North Sea illustrator Mihajlo Dimitrievski is providing the entire trilogy’s artwork – there are plenty of visual similarities between the games, despite the fresh theme.
Architects of the West Kingdom is currently up on Kickstarter, where it’s breezed past its initial £18,000 goal and is now at close to £100,000, with the campaign set to run until April 5th.
The game will be out this December – we’ll hopefully hear more about the next instalment in the series not long after.