Episodic Strategy Games are an exciting, new style of online strategy game that may be exactly what you –
an adult with a hectic and unpredictable schedule – has been looking for in interactive entertainment.
This is not your son’s or kid brother’s online strategy game! What, then, is Episodic Strategy?
Played in Episodes. Think of a TV series, say “24”, where each show constitutes an episode. A single game
of Fall of Rome is like a season of episodes. Imagine that the actors in the show each have the freedom to
create their own role in the series, and they don’t know what the rest of the cast is planning exactly for
their own parts, other than it must fit the context and situation last revealed in the show. They are free
to discuss possibilities on the upcoming episode with their fellow cast members, but they can’t be sure what
each other will do until all is revealed when the episode airs. Some actors are friends or allies with
certain characters in one episode, and as in any good drama, are in conflict with their enemies.
How an episode is created.
The actors record their roles individually, and then through the magic of technology, the recorded parts come together when the episode airs, and then the actions and intrigue are revealed for the first time. They view the episode, and see that some characters have gained advantage through their cunning and some have been put in difficult circumstances from which they must extricate themselves in the next episode, perhaps by seeking new allies in the cast. Battles have been fought and won, an important character may have died, or an interesting new one introduced into the show. Each episode the plot takes on new twists. Each episode builds on the one before it, each with unpredictable turns of fate, finally culminating in the season finale, or in the case of Fall of Rome – Victory!
Time between epsidodes.
Episodes are presented, on TV or in Fall of Rome, with adequate time between episodes for the actors to prepare
for the next show, or for the players in our game to plan for the next episode. In Fall of Rome, a new episode airs every 72 hours.
Once the new episode has aired, the players absorb what has unfolded. They assess how their plans are progressing, what adjustments are
required, how reliable their allies have been, how diabolical their foes have become, and use all that information together with their
knowledge of their own kingdom’s strength and weaknesses at that point in the campaign (or TV series, to keep the analogy up) to really
play the game, which is to say, to refine their strategy, prioritize objectives, and issue the commands that will achieve these for them, anytime before the next episode airs. Some commands will be expected to pay dividends in the very next episode, and some are strategic - setting the stage for future operations.
Tools to create your episode.
The game screens include maps at various zoom levels, upon which players survey the field and issue
their commands through the graphic user interface, as well as about 20 other screens that either
relate in story form what happened in the episode, or show the player the vital information for his
position – the forces he has at his disposal and their disposition. That is, all the details on his
military, his holdings and economy, his noble court, and his nefarious agents ready to do his bidding.
These “pieces” are also present on the map, as are those of the other players of which the player is
aware through contact or through various intelligences. Players also stay abreast of their score so
far in the campaign, and how close they are to achieving victory through game screens. They may also
access any of the rules from within the game itself at any time, and importantly, they may send
diplomatic messages to the other players, to seek allies, to gain information on their enemies,
or to spread “dis-information” to the unwary.
The episodic metagame. Players may craft ever-shifting arrangements with their co-conspirators,
resulting in changing alliances, the rare betrayal, and clever misdirection or deliberate ambiguity in
their negotiations. While the game itself is the point of playing, there is something beyond the moves ordered in each episode that creates a higher fascination with our players. This concept centers about the creation of your in-game persona. How you behave in any given game will establish a reputation for your persona as chivalrous or diabolical, puppet master or lone wolf, according to the legend your style of play generates in future campaigns. Fall of Rome allows you to develop several different personas, and choose which you will play as in any given campaign, so that you may be chivalrous as one persona, while allowing your darker side to prevail in another persona. This episodic metagame aspect clearly transcends any one campaign, and is one reason why players of our games tend to play for years or even decades.
Infinite Replayability. While a TV show episode, once seen, is done, imagine if each time you
viewed it – everything that transpired the previous time was changed in the current viewing! Most games
are either linear, or suffer when certain “secrets” or techniques, or important locations are discovered.
This is not the case in Fall of Rome! Each game is unpredictable, each kingdom plays differently,
and of course, your strategy and those of your eleven opponents will be different each game as each player
impacts upon the game and tries to change the balance of power for his own benefit.
Low Cost. Most Episodic Strategy games are offered on a subscription basis, with either
little, or as in Fall of Rome, no upfront cost. So you can play Fall of Rome for about six months
before you will spend what you would upfront for the average PC game in a store.
Game Play Over Graphics. We all know that splashy graphics are eye-catching, for awhile, anyway.
Our clients see past the flash, and quickly grow bored with that type of game. Fall of Rome has an
intuitive graphic user interface, attractive art, and easily recognizable icons, unique for each
kingdom in the game. But that is not why you will love Fall of Rome. We are all about game play, specifically,
true strategy game play (NOT “RTS”!). Your reflexes don’t mean squat here. If you are looking to swat a
rat with an axe or hear bombs exploding, this is not a game for you. Fall of Rome is about crafting your
strategy, reacting to your opponents each episode, and making deliciously difficult choices about which
commands you will issue on any given episode that create this unparalleled entertainment experience.
Finally, a game perfect for you! If this sounds like an experience you would like to try,
and may have sought out before, we are sure you will appreciate the lavish attention we have put
into making Fall of Rome the ideal game and diversion for you! (See what the critics think on our
Reviews page.) Go ahead, Rule Your World!