Mosby’s Confederacy released

Tilted Mill’s Mosby’s Confederacy has been released on Steam for $20.

Man, it’s killing me that I don’t have the time or money to jump right into it. I really enjoyed Tilted Mill’s Hinterland and am currently really enjoying their browser-based Nile Online. Plus they’re a local developer…hard at work about a 5 minute drive from where I am right now.

Mosby’s Confederacy combines turn-based ‘base building’ with RTS tactical battles. From their website:

As John Singleton Mosby, one of the Civil War’s most interesting and dynamic leaders, you are charged not with leading vast armies into battle, but with commanding small bands of skirmishers, scouts and guerilla fighters on opportunistic missions to scout, ambush, steal supplies and harass a larger and better armed force of Union soldiers, in this game of turn based strategy and real time tactical combat for the PC.

I can’t wait to get a chance to play! If anyone does before I do, please share your thoughts.

Tilted Mill pwns my Saturday

After running around in the rain doing errands all day I sat down for some sweet MMO gaming. But I decided, maybe I’d play a bit of Hinterland first, since I haven’t been back to that game lately. Next thing I knew, 4+ hours had gone by!

I won my game, which sprang me from the grasp of its spell, and then…logged in to Nile Online to check the status of my cities. I was almost ready to upgrade my palace to level 5, but I need to ship some goods from my new city to my old. But the new city wouldn’t have a ship ready for about half an hour. So I puttered around, twiddling my thumbs until that was done, then shipped the goods, which would take 18 minutes to arrive. So more thumb twiddling even though it was after midnight and I was beat. Finally got everything where it needed to be and started the 5 hour build.

So I didn’t log in to War, or Wizard 101, or activate my EQ2 account. Because Tilted Mill apparently owns my soul. Dunno what will become of my when Mosby’s Confederacy comes out!!

Totally unrelated and random side note. One of my chores was taking a bunch of change to a Coinstar in the local supermarket. I assume this is a national thing: it’s a machine that you dump all your change into and then get some kind of money out of. I took mine out as an Amazon gift certificate (no charge that way…they take some percentage if you get cash for your coins), but anyway… Much to my surprise, I got a bonus coupon for $10. From now until Dec 7th, if you turn in at least $40 worth of coins, you’ll get $10 extra (after you fill out a coupon and send it in). I had no idea this promotion was going on, and from sheer luck turned in $41 worth of change. Yay me!

Details here. Maybe be worth emptying that change jar of yours.

Random sidebar to random side note. I turned in 147 dimes, 42 nickels, and 2,447 pennies.

Nile Online

And now for something completely different…

Tilted Mill, the folks who made the rather enjoyable Hinterland that I’ve previously posted about, have a broswer-based city-building game now in beta, Nile Online.

I’ve been playing it for a week or so now. At first I thought it was really interesting. Then I got kind of bored with it since it seemed to lack depth. And then I realized there was more depth than I at first saw, so now I’m finding it really interesting again.

The basic idea of the game will be pretty familiar to strategy gamers. You start with a small settlement and need to feed your people and grow your empire via resource management. Every starting plot, as best I can figure, has wheat, clay and reed resources. Also each plot has a 4th resource that varies from area to area. I started with Kohl, used in cosmetics. Huh?

Each city has a finite number of building plots. You’ll erect bakeries, brickworks, basket shops, pottery shops, etc. Then you assign your labor pool to either gathering a resource or working in a shop. There are more products than there are building plots, so you’re not going to be able to make everything you need. Building a Market gives you access to goods that other players are selling. Curiously, the currency of the world is bread, which is also the way you feed your people. Buildings and resource plots can be continually upgraded to become more productive.

Nile Online runs in real time and is kind of low-impact gaming. As an example (I’m writing this on my lunch hour) I started upgrading my Market at the start of the hour, but its going to take about 2 hours for that upgrade to happen. So I’ll check in when I get home tonight, perhaps. Early on, level 1 buildings go up pretty quick… 10 minutes or so. Also low level buildings require pretty basic resources, so they’re easy to get going.

Soon enough things become more complicated. My next palace upgrade (which will give me a larger labor pool) is going to require Bricks, Baskets, Perfume, Pottery, and Jewelry (and 3 hours, 40 minutes of time). I can make the Bricks & Baskets, but I’ll need to buy the other items from the Market. I can grow a lot of wheat and bake a lot of bread to buy them, and I’m doing that, but I’ve also been trying to sell some extra pottery. I have a Cosmetics shop to turn my Kohl into Cosmetics, but I also need Henna, which I can’t produce, so I have to buy that. Hopefully I’ll be able to sell Cosmetics for enough to cover the costs of the Henna and still make a profit. Cosmetics are required to found additional cities, and if someone is rich enough to do that, I figure they can pay me well for my goods.

As far as I can tell, there is no player vs player combat in the game, but you can produce troops. Outside my city are “Monument plots occupied by raiders” and I assume these are what troops are for? Documentation for the game is sparse, to put it nicely (but again, this is beta) so I’m learning by doing, and I don’t have the resources (Bronze and Leather) to produce anything from my Spearmen building.

So, still a lot of questions, and ultimately it might not hold my interest. After the initial building process there’s kind of a dead spot where you’re just waiting to have enough bricks and bread to build a new building. But things get more interesting when you start playing the market and needing resources that you can’t product on your own.

It seems like anyone can join the beta. You do have to apply but getting in is really quick. If, like me, you have a lunch hour to fill every day, this is an interesting way to use up a bit of it. And I do find myself checking in before and after work. I’m looking forward to seeing what else the game holds as I grow my city.

A Brief Sidetrip to the Hinterlands

No, I’m not talking WoW here… 🙂

I’m talking about the new strategy/rpg game from Tilted Mill Entertainment, Hinterland. It came out today, on Steam, for $20. I decided to check it out, partly because I enjoy both strategy and RPGs, but mostly because Tilted Mill’s offices are local, and I gotta support the local game devs, right? Plus, these guys are descended from Impressions, a company whose games I enjoyed for many a year. Anyway…

This is in no way a “review” of the game! I’ve played it for a couple of hours; not even remotely enough time to base a review on. This is just a brief description and some early thoughts.

Worst news first: the game freezes on me, and fairly often. If I’m patient enough, it’ll recover, but it can sit frozen for literally two minutes. Like, check the clock when it freezes, check it again when it starts moving again, and ~120 seconds have passed. Let’s hope for a patch for this soon.

The game is a hybrid, one part hack & slash RPG, one part “city building” sim. You start with a patch of land that is your “town” and a single house. Folks of various professions come to visit: farmers, merchants, craftsmen, etc. You can offer to build them a home, and if you do, they’ll stick around and start doing whatever they do (produce food, goods, money, or whatever). As is typical in this kind of game, you need to make sure everyone is fed, and you can spend gold to upgrade shops. Eventually you can set folks to doing research rather than manufacturing. Some folks won’t be willing to stay unless your town meets certain prerequisites.
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