The Game Previously Known As MicroWars

More than three long years in the making, and almost the same time since its last public update. You might or (most likely) might not remember MicroWars. Initially devised as a small pet project, the idea started unraveling just as I moved out of the games industry and into a more profane and safer day job in software engineering. As I started to consider genres and flavours for this little game, the only priorities where a) keeping the game in a strict non-commercial state, eventually to be available completely free of charge and b) thematically and creatively free of any constraint other than our creative impulses (mine and those of any potential contributors). Without that, I felt the project would mean nothing to me.

The genre was decided shortly thereafter in a rather unsurprising move given my preferences: a strategy game! The potential size that the project could reach was an issue though, and there was a conscious effort to focus on keeping the game into a manageable scope, trying to ensure completion but also trying to offer a bite-sized alternative to the strategy genre gameplay standard, usually consisting a relatively long amount of time per sitting.

From that point onwards not only I wanted to create a good turn-based strategy game that you could play in short gameplay sessions, but I also wished this thing (which was codenamed “MicroWars”) and its resulting world to be a vehicle to explore unconventional themes from a point of view of the genre. I was very lucky to gather a talented team of friends and colleagues and we started building a dark fantasy world in which immortal minions would serve mortal heroes, with the game dynamics being built around unit stealing and backstabbing rather than the usual rival extermination. This is how MicroWars looked, with placeholder fantasy art (a previous version of this tileset by Jerom and Eiyeron):

Of course, that was only the original idea. Then it’s life, with its insidious way to always screw our beautifully laid plans, and the habit of game projects to grow in its own mysterious scale. Moreover, the amount of effort required was always very difficult to balance against the perceived reward (or lack thereof), especially when it’s been agreed beforehand that there will not be any money waiting for us at the end of the ordeal (and yes, in case you haven’t heard it today, please duly note that making videogames is REALLY HARD). Interests change as well as personal contexts do, and people naturally move on. In these years the project has seen several amazing contributors come and go, with my role as coordinator and main coder as the only constant throughout. We have been silent, yes, but not gone, as you can see in the activity graph below:

Within this period the game changed quite a lot, reflecting the evolution that the team, the games ecosystem and the very world in which we live have been subject to, sometimes in unexpected ways. Mind that MicroWars’s development firstly started in a pre-Trump and pre-Brexit time, which is almost synonymous to say it was a pre-Fake-News zeitgeist. Games-wise, our work started just as the battle royale genre started booming, bringing the eSports codes and paraphernalia to a much more notorious position that captivated a mainstream audience. As a living entity, the game responded to those social and industry developments, morphing from a dark fantasy setting into a dystopian, very political one; all of these realities were further chipping the game as it crystallised, with every contributor leaving their footprint in it, and the game becoming a statement, a message about our position. Eventually, manipulation of the truth become the cornerstone of the game, and the language and conventions of the eSports universe its main backdrop.

On the technical side of things, even if the core concept of quick matches with short gameplay loops remained, it’s become clearer than ever that (as we feared) “Micro” was never a suitable word to describe what we were aiming to achieve, yet we are more determined than ever to finish off what we started, a huge triumph in an of itself. It’s been many years of exploring themes and technology, experimenting with art styles, and adapting design. It’s been many long nights focused on the technical aspects of our game after long days in the office, and many hours snatched from weekends. And as a result, it is not MicroWars but Revolution Will Be Streamed that I’m very, very proud to re-introduce to you.

Revolution Will Be Streamed

Revolution Will Be Streamed is a turn-based strategy game in which players can win by the means of military or propagandistic victories. Unleash the force of your Military upon your rival or use your Warstreamers to change the masses’ perception of your struggle. By the end of the day war is no big deal, as it isn’t truth: you couldn’t crush your enemy? Spin and sell the story with your warstreamers.

Each army is comprised of two kind of units, soldiers of several types (each with their own stats and unique skills) and warstreamers. While soldiers can fight each other, the military incapable Warstreamers can both alter soldiers behaviour in battle and perform propaganda actions of their own. The decision is yours: outfight or outmaneuver!

What’s Next

We can’t wait to show you more! It is our goal to keep working in the game as usual, with the aim to release it later next year (2019). Unlike we’ve done in the past, we want to make sure that Revolution Will Be Streamed is more present online as development continues, with periodical updates covering all aspects of the game across the board.

Also a side note: currently we don’t have a dedicated person working on audio (music and sound design), so if you are or have heard of that person and this sounds interesting we would love to hear from you! Just get in touch with us.

Thanks for reading this, and see you in the next Devlog.

Team

Active Team Members

Beatriz Hermida (@beatriz_hc) – Art.
Eduardo Garabito (@dazedword) – Design, Code, Project Coordination.
Sam Fiunte (@CanetheSutter) – Design, Testing.

Former Team Members and Contributors

Alicia Guardeño (@firenz) – Art, Code.
Eduardo Lozano (@eduardo_LM_) – Code.
Iva Kojadinovic (@ivdza_) – Art.
Paula Ruiz (@thefingerspit) – Sound, Music.
Víctor Ojuel (@VictorOjuel) – Writing, World Building.

Bonus: Enjoy this placeholder “laser cannon” shot from a point in development where rats magically became tanks (unlike the sprite, which is, as you can see, just a poor laser-enabled rat).