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Stoic: The Banner Saga is 'far, far larger' than originally planned

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Posted by: Matt Liebl

Stoic Studio's turn-based strategy game, The Banner Saga, is set to release next week on January 14th, but the game that you'll be playing then is much different than the one that was pitched back when it was just a mere Kickstarter project.

"I'd have to say there's almost nothing left of the original concept, especially in terms of scope and design, and I mean that in a good way," said Stoic's Alex Thomas in a "Ask Me Anything" on Reddit today. Touching on a few of the changes that took place of "at least" five major revisions, Alex noted "the combat and usability has had major changes over a dozen times. Travel gameplay has changed significantly."

"I guess the important thing is that design is a pretty iterative process," Thomas went on to say. "If you sit down and write a design doc for the game and think you're done, you're going to have a crappy game. It's a good start, then you implement the systems, play them, and change them over and over until they all work together harmoniously. In that regard the most valuable thing Kickstarter allowed us to do was a ton of iterations, instead of having to settle on the first thing we thought of."

In the end, The Banner Saga went from a five to six hour game with a maximum of eight characters to a 12-plus hour game with over 25 characters, each with "a lot of character development and branching decisions."

Stoic's Arnie Jorgensen added that the game is "far, far larger than what we originally planned." 

"The game that will soon be in your hands is worlds larger/more polished/better than what we pitched on the KS video. In fact, go watch that video, look at the combat shots, then go look at what we have now. Night and day," he said. "I must add, none of this would have been possible without the backers and we've always felt the pressure to raise the bar to match the level of support we received."

The Banner Saga Kickstarter launched with an initial goal of $100,000; it finished with over $720,000 pledged -- all of which went into the development of the game you are about to play. The Banner Saga will merge role-playing with turn-based strategy as you travel through hand-painted landscapes on a story -- well, more of an "adventure mini-series" -- about Vikings. Perhaps the most impressive feature is that each of your decisions will have consequences that affect the story.

The Banner Saga will launch on January 14th and you can pre-purchase it on Steam. A DRM-free copy will also be available shortly after (yes!) for PC and Mac. If you weren't an original backer for the game, you can pre-order it here on their official site, or on Steam for 20% off.

Tags: The Banner Saga

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