The Banner Saga is out now; here's our Banner Saga review.
The Banner Saga will have been in development for almost two years when it finally launches this coming January. It was due out much sooner but then it went and raised $700,000 instead of the $100,000 the team needed, tuning the game into something much larger than originally intended.
Well, that’s all done now, the game is aiming for a 14 January release and there’s a new trailer setting that date in stone.
First things first, that gorgeous trailer:
Stoic split their game into two parts so as to give their backers something to get their teeth into while the team carried on working to complete the singleplayer campaign. Banner Saga: Factions was the game’s multiplayer component. It let folk pair up and battle their nordic armies against each other.
Banner Saga: Factions was released in February, meaning almost a year will have passed while Stoic worked on the first chapter of the campaign. It’s now “essentially content complete,” writes designer Alex Thomas. Which means “the game is playable from front to back, the combats are in place, the characters are all hooked up and every conversation throughout the game is ready to go.”
“In essence: we're almost done with the game. This is a huge milestone because we've been working nearly every waking hour since Factions released to get to this point.”
“What we originally envisioned as a 6 hour game is probably closer to 15+ hours on the first playthrough, and all the branching variables and additional systems are time-consuming to test,” Thomas continued. “We'll also be playing through the game a lot to get combat balance in as good a state as we can. Lastly, you may have heard this before, but polish is the difference between a good game and a great game in our minds. Personal touches, transitions and making sure that everything is finely polished is really important to us. For example, we've added procedural snow, random events in travel, items in combat, an interactive world map, every godstone in the game and tons of new characters and classes.”
Back in July Stoic thought they’d have the campaign done “later this year” and that was already after significant delays (the Kickstarter originally aimed for a November 2012 release.) The problem with completing the game kept coming back to the campaign’s huge success. Stoic had seven times as much money as they originally asked for and they had to spend it all on development of The Banner Saga. Them’s the rules of Kickstarter.
In that same July update, Thomas said “When we pitched the game we were hoping for enough money to get extra animations, maybe increase the length of the game. We thought we'd get, like, 2000 backers, not 20,000. A fine problem to have, right? Haha! Except that it's actually a huge problem. The hardest problem I've ever dealt with in my life. Now I know.
“We thought now we could do everything we ever wanted for the game, and got too ambitious.”
What little I’ve played of The Banner Saga: Factions I really enjoyed. I’m really excited for the release of the campaign.