Jon Shafer's At The Gates


I have complete sympathy for Jon. At the same time, it appears to me like publishing his ordeal (something I’m very glad he did) was in some way an apology for a game that isn’t where he wanted it to be.

The implementation of everything missing will now depend on sales figures, and given how niche this game is, you can probably assume it won’t happen. Especially considering that the missing pieces are AI and diplomacy, 2 very tough nuts to crack.


He spoke candidly about adding in those very features and more post-release. I don’t think he will let low sales stop him, because fixing these issues would net him additional sales.


Unless he has a serious cash cushion, I don’t see how that’s realistic. These aren’t minor tweaks.


Looks like it might be live now.


Wow, it’s $10 cheaper than I had assumed. I have some Steam credit coming in from a game return, once I have said credit, this is an easy day 1 buy for me.


19% off @Humble Store for monthly subscribers.


Based on everything I’ve heard about the missing pieces, I’m wondering if I shouldn’t just go back to Ancient Aggressors:Rome instead and wait for a sale and/or game completion.


I’m so freaking happy for @Jon_Shafer. One of the genuinely nicest humans I’ve had the pleasure to meet. When I was at my darkest, he was literally on my doorstep with coffee and bagels and a hug. And it’s not like we are years-long close friends or anything. He’s just a good person.

Anyway, hopefully the game is worth a shit ;)


My kid is home due to a snow day, I put on a tv show and am trying to hide away and learn how to play. First lesson is that the interface is too small and there isn’t an option to change it directly that I can find so changing the settings.xml in the settings folder in the game to downshift from 4k to 1080p.

edit - didn’t really help. The info popups are shockingly tiny.




Just tried the final launch version and I’m sad that the caravan food exploit still exists.

Hopefully in the future the bugs & exploits will be fixed and the AI gets some loving as well.


That review would bother me if I had any respect for the writers at RPS. Then again, I suppose I should be happy they didn’t call the game an explore-em-up or something equally dopey and childish.


That review reads like a letter of admiration from an enemy.


While I don’t share Fraser Brown’s tastes in general, his account in his review for PC Gamer speaks a lot to me, when he shares an experience that reminded me of my own disappointment playing Heroes of Might & Magic IV. I’ll wait a bit before buying this (and getting out of the Euro-zone by the probable time of the purchase means it probably will be less expensive than the current discount even at full price).


I thought I was the only person on the planet who learned to despise the RPS style.


I didn’t have to learn. It just came naturally.


I mean, they call their reviews “Wot I think…” and that told me everything I needed to know right there. :)


A handful of Steam reviews are up and they are mixed with even the recommended reviews stating that the AI is missing. Here is an example from a favorable review, “The environment provides the strongest foe, as the AI is very passive and easy to defeat with a strong economy. At the Gates is a truly unique 4X game that is a couple of minor improvements (interface, diplomacy, AI) away from being phenomenal.”

How minor of an improvement is including a functional AI? So at this point winning the game is accomplishing a strong economy and dealing with some bandit harassment, oui?


I liked RPS at first but then it was like I felt when I ate too much cotton candy as a kid and I never ate it again.


I am wondering if I still need to grab a new key… I have had the game in my Steam library for a few years now and just assumed it would update and I could play. I guess I will see…