Imagine it’s 2006. You’re Kyle Gabler, and you’ve just built Tower of Goo - a simple game of structural engineering and inevitable collapse. Of course, you go on to create World of Goo, the glorious puzzle game built on the same principles.
But if Gabler were, say, a team of GTA and Crackdown veterans based in Dundee, it might just have easily turned into Game of Glens - a smartly-paced real-time strategy game in which gravity isn’t your tower’s only enemy.
Glens is a game of resource-gathering, tower-building, clan-expanding and trebuchet-firing - glued together by the rough-and-tumble tribal vibe and aesthetic of Asterix.
It’ll feature a single player campaign made up of varied objectives. You’ll build a particularly high tower, or take down an opponent’s, or compete in angus cow jousting. In the process, you’ll be taught a set of mechanics which all play a part in the 1v1 multiplayer mode at the game’s heart.
Game of Glens is Ruffian’s bid for independence and creative control, after an existence spent building competent console games to spec.
“We have been very focussed on console in recent years but we love the PC too,” explained producer James Cope. “We have worked hard to be able to dedicate some of our resources away from console development and onto projects that we wholly own and can self publish. Game of Glens is only the first title that we want to launch like this.”
For a look at its prototype, watch its pitch video - in which a skinny bloke with an English accent stands in a kilt in Dundee and sells the game’s inherent Scottishness:
In a few months, Ruffian will launch an IndieGoGo campaign. Presently, they’re involved in Square Enix’s Collective initiative - in which the publishers promise to “support” the developers through crowdfunding, if interest is sufficient, and open up their wardrobe of ancient Eidos intellectual property. It’s a weird thing, in all honesty: one that we haven't had a chance to see play out yet.
But Game of Glens in itself looks new and characterful enough, don’t you think?