Jon Shafer's At The Gates


How come no one told me Jon Shafer formed his own studio (Conifer Games) and is making a new 4X game titled At The Gates? It’s set after the fall of the Roman Empire and you play as one of eight barbarian factions.

RPS has a write-up here. They’ve also started their own Kickstarter campaign with a goal of $40,000. Here’s a blurb from the KS:

Over the course of a single game your tribe will migrate to more lush and bountiful lands, conquer and barter with other clans, work alongside the Romans, learn from them, and finally destroy them. Along the way, you’ll need to master the art of war and craft cunning plans to strengthen your kingdom - all while enduring the worst mother nature can throw at you!

Best of luck, Jon!


oh? Thats news to me! He left Stardock?

Interesting interview though - This in particular strikes a nerve with me, because I often loose interest after playing a while in 4x games - The beginning holds all the fun for me!

think for a lot of 4X games, it’s all about that first half of the game, where you’re exploring and expanding. That’s the fun part for most people…

Anyways, I know Jon is about these forums from time to time, so best of luck with the new endeavor!


Yep, we need info. Jon, are you still on Stardock or left to do your own thing?


He’s on TMA today talking about the game. This may be the first Kickstarter I contribute to.


Well, its the type of game that gets my attention, so I’m in.


I liked the pitch and there are a number of different concepts in the design i really like the sound of, so yeah another KS i’ll have to pitch in for.


Interesting. Best of luck, young man.


Hmm, I may have to contribute just to support the home state! Looks good so far, too.


If Jon Shafer’s at the gates, why didn’t someone open them already?


I love the art style, even though it still needs a lot of polish and improvement. (the mountains all having the same sprite rather than a connection map like other parts has, for example)

I like the idea of having this ability to be a semi-nomadic tribe too.

Best of luck jon, you got my support!


Maybe the maid thought it was his ghost.


He better show his butt here and talk a few words about it, I dig the concept, but do feel I like the sandbox a tad better, but I’m open to new stuff always.


I backed it, because the game sounds good. The idea of diminishing resources and the asymmetrical structure of the sides seems really intriguing. And graphically it doesn’t have to be super fancy to work.


Do you think you can win me over just by making a game in my favorite genre set during a fascinating, underrepresented historical era?

…let me get my wallet.


He left Stardock and started his own company.

Listen to the three moves ahead podcast.


That sounds very cool - it’s great to hear of a 4x that’s trying something new. Truly this is the 4x renaissance!


Thanks for your support guys! Happy to answer any questions you have.

I am indeed now completely on my own.

Good question. It’s cold in February guys!

We’re planning on doing a lot of work with the graphics, so don’t be too concerned about that.

And technically the mountain tiles are slightly different. So there.

Reporting for duty!

Our primary focus is on the sandbox game, so no worries there. We’re including a map of Europe because A) it makes sense, and B) because people will want it, but it’s really a 4X game like any other.

  • Jon


I watched both videos on the KS site. I like what I’m seeing :)

I like the idea of finite resources in a 4x game. It creates a need to keep plowing forward into new areas.

Also I’m a big fan of having support range for units too. I’m glad to see that concept being used also. This game is right up my alley. Good work Jon!


But I was really hoping for a narrative driven campaign with rich characters and unique scenarios and hahaha seriously don’t do that.


You may want to update your wikipedia page, Jon ;)

PS - best of luck with the new studio and game. I know I’ll be picking up a copy.