Meet the Army and Strategy: the Crusades in BIC Fest!

BIC_Fest Logo

Army and Strategy: the Crusades will going to Busan Indie Connect Festival 2015(BIC Festival 2015) in Busan, South Korea! You can play AnS and meet developers in BIC Festival 2015.

  • Date: Sept. 10. 2015 ~ Sept. 12. 2015
  • Location: Busan Cultural Content Complex, Busan si, South Korea

More information about BIC Festival 2015, please see these links below. Thanks!

Development Status – Dec. 2014

Hello Everyone!

Since getting Greenlit, Army and Strategy: The Crusades has been getting documents processed for registration as Steam Developers, and that has finally been taken care of – although there is still a bit of a journey left before we’re ready to release.

Currently we are continuing our work from last month, debugging and adding scenario content. Work on integrating with Steamworks is still in preparatory stages, but we hope to introduce you to the Steam version of AnS soon.

This is pretty much it for dev news, but we would like to talk about an issue which is currently significant for Korean game developers, and may be of interest to Indie Game Developers in the rest of the world.

Remember, No Korean.

Among the laws of the Republic of Korea, there is one called the ‘Game Industry Promotion Act.’ You might say ‘wow, this country promotes video game development on a national governmental level!’ from looking at the name alone. But this law is highly detested by Korean game devs and gamer alike. The reasons for this can be a really long story, but I’ll try to make it short.

  • In South Korea, all games must receive Game Ratings through a review board.
  • Creating or releasing games which haven’t gone through this review is a legally punishable offense.
  • When I said “all games,” that means exactly that – even something an amateur game developer makes as a hobby has to be reviewed before they can so much as have their friends legally playtest it.
  • But the organization in charge of Game Ratings (The Korean Game Rating and Administration Committee) has neither the ability nor the infrastructure in position to be able to rate “all games.”
  • As a result, the survival of Korean amateur and indie game developers is in danger at the hands of the government.

It’s clearly an absurd law, but we’ve managed so far without problems – Korea’s indie game developers have either tacitly created and released games, or been active in areas like mobile application markets (ex. Apple App Store) where there is no requirement for legal ratings.

However, at the National Assembly on October of 2014 criticized games accessible through Steam as “operating in Korea while breaking Korean law” on the basis of this law. And the department office contacted Valve with the request to “block off all games with Korean-language support while not having received Korean game ratings.”

The problem here is that the rating board has no infrastructure in place to review games created by foreign developers. Currently, non-Korean game developers cannot even apply to have their games reviewed – the only way to do that is to come to Korea personally, fill out a form which is only available in Korean, then make your way to the relevant department and submitting it (again, in person).

As a result, indie games which have been offering Korean language support (Mini Metro, for example) have been deleting their Korean language data after receiving communications from Valve. Korean gamer and developers are angry at these events and demanding a solution from the government – and the government has publically declared that it will solve this problem.

To offer a few tips about dealing with Korean language support and Korean game ratings

  • There are currently no direct methods for non-Korean game developers to receive Korean ratings.
  • If you happened to have a partner within Korea (such as a publisher) it would be possible to do so through them – except there are as of yet no publishers in Korea which specialize in indie games.
  • The Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Korean National Assembly is aware of this problem, and moving towards a solution. However, if there’s anything we all have in common, it’s the snail’s pace of bureaucracy – when the solution will come is a big question mark.

In certain respects, games are not accepted as cultural or artistic in Korea. But a multitude of game lovers are working hard to bring about that acceptance. I ask you to root for us gamer and game devs in Korea. Thank you!

Development Status – Nov. 2014

Hello gamers of the world! It’s already been about half a year since Army and Strategy: The Crusades by us (Pied Pipers Entertainment) has been Greenlit.

AnS Paper

We are still continuing with development. After we made it to the finalist list at 2012 IGF China, our dev team thought things over, looked at some criticisms and feedback, and ultimately decided we needed to redesign the game system. That particular endeavor has been going on for a while now and is currently still in progress.
At this point in November of 2014, there have been many changes made to the original system, and you will be seeing some major differences from the gameplay videos and screenshots that were revealed on Greelight.

Here’s a list of what’s new since the last Greenlight update.

  • Players can now directly manage and control the historical figures in their kingdom through improved character and troops Development Systems.
  • More Locations to Visit – We’ve added more variety in challenges and side missions you can undertake during gameplay with the addition of a Monastery, Tavern and Barracks. You can now try to woo a General to join your forces with a special feast, engage in tournaments, explore ruins and discover hidden holy relics, which can be useful for effective diplomacy.
  • With the addition of a Concilium (religious conference), players can now engage in diplomatic maneuvers in relation to religion.
  • Overall User Interface overhaul for more efficient and intuitive game controls compared to previous dev version.

In addition to improvements in the overall systems design, we are currently in the process of creating additions to the Scenario Mode for your gaming enjoyment. Scenario Mode is where you play the role of ruler in an historical nation and strive to create a prosperous kingdom. We hope you will be able to test your strategic ability to govern within a game scenario spiced with humor and parodies.

We will make every effort to bring changes in development to your attention as quickly as they happen. Thank you very much for all your support.

Pied Pipers Entertainment is an indie game development team.