If you’ve been hot on the forums eagerly awaiting the release of Expeditions: Conquistador, then you already know that we introduced a multiplayer skirmish mode this week to the community.  Some of you might be interested to know how this came about.

While testing the game in the office, we were looking for new and interesting ways to challenge our players. After playing hundreds and hundreds of combat scenarios while testing our extensive singleplayer campaigns, many of us started looking at our turn based combat as being much like a chess match. Straightforward shock and awe started giving way to much more mischievous tactics, and clever manoeuvring began to prevail over raw damage.

To match these more refined tactics, we developed new AI principles to keep the player guessing, and a deep dark itch became so unbearable we needed to scratch it: competition.  Our combat system is painfully unforgiving, and brilliantly rewarding! There is a relief one feels when a musket shot whizzes by, a sense of retribution rings true with the clang of steel when landing critical hits, and an incomparable taste for revenge when a keystone unit falls in battle.

Most of these emotions, we directed towards Casper (our AI guy). He would hover over us as we fought against his minions, grinning when they crushed us, and scowling when we dropped one of his Frankenstein’s monsters to the jungle floor. Imagine Kasparov vs. Deep Blue, the Rematch. Except this time Kasparov throws the chess-timer on the floor, jumps on the table, and calls out the IBM engineers to a street fight to settle the score. The gauntlet was cast. And now we have multiplayer.

There is no question that the Hot Seat experience (inspired by games like Heroes of Might & Magic) will have you obnoxiously breathing over your opponent’s shoulder, cackling at their failures and cringing at their success.

We hope you enjoy it.