Eador: Masters of the Broken World Interview

We had the opportunity to sit down with Russia-based Snowbird Game Studios. The topic of discussion? Eador: Masters of the Broken World. Although we previewed the game a while back, we simply couldn’t resist the opportunity to ask more questions about what could possibly be our most anticipated Greenlight release.

When I talk to people about Eador, they always ask me what kind of game it is. The problem is that I never know what to say because it’s a mix of pretty much everything!

Snowbird Game Studios logo

SGS: Indeed, you can’t just describe it in one word. Simply naming it a TBS seems like an understatement, there are bits of so many things in there!

Obviously, Eador is inspired by many classic strategy games such as HOMM, Civilization, Age of Wonders and Total Wars series. Of course, it’s not only limited to its inspirations and has its own unique side as well.

The game consists of three different gameplay layers. The first one is the global astral level where you get to choose direction of your empire’s progress. As one of Eador’s Masters (demigods) you can attack any shard that you are interested in to get needed resources and technologies.

After choosing a shard you then appear on a randomly generated strategic map of it where you play the role of a fantasy ruler. This is where the majority of the game happens. Here you manage your provinces, negotiate with other masters on the shard, develop your economy and take decisions each turn during various random events.

In Eador each shard is a thoroughly simulated world that has different types of population, regions and political systems. And it really adds up to strategic and roleplay depth of the game.

In order to capture a shard you’ll need to capture all its provinces.

When you meet an enemy on the strategic map you then appear on the last game “layer” which is tactical battles. Every unit you hire is a single one, not an army. They have many attributes including stamina and morale which, along with different terrain types, have a drastic impact on the battlefield.

Eador is an interesting blend of global strategy, RPG elements and turn-based strategy where you really have to think through your strategy carefully. Even on the easiest difficulty you won’t succeed much by just rushing with your decisions. Sit back, take your time, look at your options and then take action. The game is the most rewarding when you play it that way 🙂

Eador Shards

How does the roleplaying element of Eador work? How does Karma affect the player?

SGS: It’s all about the many decisions you’ll have to make during your playthrough.

The basic principle of karma is that anything you do has its effect. Whether you select an answer in a game event, construct a building, make a spell, or hire a particular unit… The game keeps track of that. Roleplay in Eador is the way you make your decisions. You choose your way of development and how you will govern your people, whether you make them work till they drop or help them as much as you can. And there is no right way and no wrong way, any way you choose may lead to victory or defeat.

People of Eador think of you depending on where your karma balance leans. The kind races are prone to entering into alliance with a kind ruler, warriors with sinful souls are happy to serve the dark lord and so on. Besides, karma defines your relationships with other Masters as each has their own karma and their own views.

What effect do heroes have on the tactical element of the game?

SGS: One of the most important differences from other turn-based strategies is that your hero is also taking part in battles with his army. And in case a hero dies game won’t be over and you’ll be able to resurrect him in a few turns in your capital.

There are four heroes you can hire and you’ll have to choose what kind of strategy and tactics is the most suitable for you. For example, it’s difficult to start off with Wizard as your first chosen hero but Scout will suit for this role much better as he’s better at exploring provinces and can help you seize strong position early in the game.

Basically, Scout, Wizard, Warrior and Commander differ in how many units they can lead, what kind of armor they can wear, magic they can use and some other stats. As they get experience, changes are more noticeable with different skills and perks they acquire.

Eador Battle

Battles fought will often be over territories and provinces managed in the strategic view. How do these provinces affect gameplay? Are some provinces more valuable than others?

SGS: Depending on your chosen strategy — yes. Provinces provide you with basic and some rare resources (some of which require additional buildings to be acquired) so it’s case of managing of what exactly you need more. Only having a large number of provinces under your control won’t do you much good in the long run.

It’s more important to explore available provinces to the fullest (as that will grant you extra money and some rewards) and watch over citizens’ mood in certain provinces. As the game progresses and you have more provinces under you reign, that last part becomes very challenging. People react to any choices you make: which race you helped, how you dealt with tricky situations and who you made business with.

Is it fair to say that there’s more than one way to win in Eador?

SGS: The game offers countless options for economy and provinces development, ways of constructing your strategy, managing heroes and units skills and so on. It’s painful to even think of how much time would go into the manual writing later 🙂

The single player campaign is mostly dictated by you as a player. You decide what your next ally or opponent will be and what destiny Eador’s world awaits. Eventually it will lead you to one of the dozen endings. If you wish, you can even win by simply destroying all your competitors. Choosing this means disregarding most dialogs and secrets Eador has to offer – but it might be even nice if you don’t like games with a lot of text.

And as all the shards in the game are randomly generated, each play becomes unique. Some little differences can make you stray from your time-proved favorite strategies 🙂

How does the multiplayer work in Eador?

SGS: At the moment we’re planning a full implementation of the strategic level with tactical battles that you’ll see in campaign.

Players will also be able to fight only tactical battles in a special multiplayer mode. They would choose a set of units they want and dive right into battle. It’s kind of like a card game.

The astral level won’t be present in multiplayer, otherwise the game would become a full-on MMO 🙂

When can we play it!

SGS: We’re aiming for February-March 2013 release and hopefully by that time Valve will pick us up through Greenlight as well. We’re very close to Top-10 in the rating so there’s a pretty good chance that sooner or later we’ll make it. Players’ reactions to our game have been very motivating so big thanks to everybody who voted for us!

Thank you!

  1. Must say i am disapointed that the astral level will not be available in multiplayer i realy dont understand this trend of multiplayer being a cut down verson of the game wish more companys would make campaign fully multiplayer.

    MMO i dont think this would be the case if you limited it to 8 players like most strategys.

    glad i checked now i wont waste my money on half a game. as i always buy games in view of multiplayer abilty

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