Jon Shafer's At The Gates


Wednesday (probably at noon CST).


Never thought this day would actually come, at the gates of release.


I’m going to get it on release, and I’m pretty sure I’ll enjoy the early stages of each game, but I worry that the late game isn’t well fleshed our and that the AI players may be even more passive than usual. If so, hopefully this will be improved a bit after release.


Has that been a complaint of people who have played it? (Sorry if this was discussed above and I forgot.)


The late game definitely isn’t the most thought out thing- it’s pretty easy to build a self sustaining economy once you get going and neither the other tribes nor the Romans ever seem to attack.

I found it fairly easy to unlock most of the other factions once I got advanced military units.

The interplay with the other factions is the least developed part of the game.


Thanks, this fits with what I’d heard. Do you like it anyway?


FYI and I am probably the very last to be a person that announces anything. But – Tom has announced --due to some irregular voting – to stream “At the gates” on Wednesday night. Assuming it is a game that actually comes out.

I have no idea what will happen.


Rob from The 4xplorer, who has been doing the recent videos, also recently recorded a podcast with Jon Shafer about the game too.


a) When’s @Jon_Shafer going to start using his QT3 account again?
b) I paid $1 into the kickstarter. Do you think I’ll be able to get $1 off when I buy it on release day?


I enjoy it. I think it’ll come off fairly well to reviewers who play it for a little bit. I think the big thing is that by the time you unlock the other factions, you kinda see the creaks and not want to play it further. It kinda feels like Colonization but with less time in the oven, and I think Colonization’s end game was kinda undeveloped.


The way Civ V was received here, probably never.


It’s really crazy just how hard it is to develop a strategy game. This is a classic example of how you can spend years developing the rules, iterating over and over, and still not nailing the endgame.


He’s posted here long, long after the release of Civ V.


Fair enough, but it’s got to be difficult to post on forums such as this when your work is constantly criticized. That Civ thread would get bumped all the time where people would just kept dumping on it.


Hopefully he will improve on this over time. But for me, who rarely gets to any late game, I would be satisfied if the early and mid games are engrossing. The game is learning the game more often than not.


For many players, there were legit reasons to criticize Civ 5 (what some might call “dumping on it”, as if complaints about how 1UPT were unfair).

You get to be lead designer of a cherished gaming franchise, you’re gonna be a lightning rod. Comes with the territory.


Jon himself wrote an essay dumping on Civ5, so I don’t know why he’d be avoiding Qt3 to avoid the criticism that he shares. In it, he criticizes 1UPT, the AI, diplomacy, etc. Sound familiar?


Jon himself later acknowledged many of the same issues with Civ V.


I often wonder whether there are any strategy games that truly hit all the right targets, across the board. We tend to look back on certain games with rose-colored glasses, but when I go and replay some of the games that get trotted out as exemplars, the experience is rarely as wonderful as the rhetoric.

I think that perhaps our expectations for strategy games are unrealistic, too often. I also suspect that if a game ever does come out that is deemed “perfect” by the hard-core strategy crowd, the universe will implode.


Sure, still doesn’t make it easy to read others saying it. I am not saying whether peoples complaints are justified or not. All I am saying is it’s got to be hard for someone in the industry to post on a forum like this.