At the Gates Alpha fun!

By on October 8, 2013 7:06:53 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums


Join Date 03/2001


Jon Shafer has a new game brewing called At the Gates and I’m in love.

Let me preface all this by saying that if you’re a gamer, you live in a golden age. I say that because thanks to digital distribution, all kinds of games can now be made that wouldn’t have been economically possibly to develop just 5 years ago.  At the Gates is a game designed for people who love history.

It’s not commonly known that when the Roman Empire fell, the world didn’t just fast-forward to black death and knights. There was a period in which “barbarian” kingdoms (who weren’t really that barbaric) vied to fill in the vacuum left behind by the late Western Roman Empire.  That is the world that you enter in At the Gates.

At the Gates is currently in alpha. Jon Shafer is best known for his design of Civilization V. Having worked with him a great deal over the past few years, I can tell you that Jon is really one of the few people who have really mastered the art of integrating gameplay into the UI.  Being able to present visual information cleanly and intuitively is no small task and Jon has done an amazing job at this.

As an indie, I really appreciate that Jon has been able to create this with a team of 3. Himself, a programmer and an artist (who is also Stardock’s lead artist on a different, unannounced game project).  If you’re an indie developer, At the Gates is something you should definitely check out.

The object of the game is to build an empire out of the ashes of the Roman Empire.  This early alpha is still just that, an alpha. But it is exciting to see where Jon’s going to take it next.

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October 8, 2013 7:54:50 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I just got this Kickstarter update in my email.  Have to admit, seeing the alpha had gone live I am tempted to upgrade from my lower tier to get in.  

There's just something fun about being involved at that early stage.  I love a good argument about gameplay systems. 


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October 11, 2013 3:46:36 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'm pretty excited about this game, really looking forward to it.  I wasn't in the tier to get into the alpha, but it's looking good so far.

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October 16, 2013 5:03:08 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Thanks guys, and thanks Brad for the shout-out! Also, a congrats to my friends at Stardock on the GC3 announcement! Can't wait to give it a spin.

As Brad noted, we're still early in the process but I'm very happy with the state of the game given how much time we have left. Our team has spent the first week of the alpha knocking out bugs, and we're now getting ready to shift back over to high-level gameplay issues. We've already received a ton of great feedback from our test group, and anyone interested in joining can do so by pre-ordering the "Early Access" version for $80 (if you already pledged or pre-ordered we can refund you via PayPal if you'd like to upgrade).

A word of warning though. Like Brad said, this is a real alpha. Lots of bugs, things changing constantly, art and features missing, etc. Still, being part of our test group is a great opportunity to help shape the game.

Anyways, if anyone has questions relating to the game or what we're up to generally, feel free to fire me a PM here or an email (

- Jon

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October 16, 2013 5:06:15 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

I am so glad TBSes and PC gaming are far from the dead state so many media outlets reporting on gaming claim them to be.


I just can't really see a TBS working well on a console.  Viva la TBS!

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