Spire of Sorcery - From Russia with Love

Yes, that is my impression. Continuous action where you set up a schedule for your characters and they follow it (study in the morning, craft in the afternoon, etc.) pausing often to send groups on various missions such as exploring, and to address messages/events such a prospective disciple has arrived at the gate, and taking specific actions of your own such as casting a particular spell or deciding to add a particular room to the spire.

I would have imagined the flow to be somewhat like CKII, but the decisions you make more similar to those in King of Dragon Pass. There is a map, but you yourself do not travel on it, you send groups out on missions to explore, bring back resources, etc. It seems to me that, like Dragon Pass, there is a lot of attention to artwork representing these distant places, but it is static, not walking through the lands.

Many updates since May, but today’s struck me as particularly interesting – some information on the magic system.

Spire of Sorcery #36 – Magic

Really, really liking what I am hearing. Not only is this not a typical game fitting neatly into an established genre, but their portrayal of magic is considerably more refined and subtle, as well.

No firm dates yet for the closed beta nor for early access, but it does not sound too far off, they are listing specific features to include and not include in the initial early access release. Early winter would be my guess.

Reading through their updates has me drooling.

Long rambling video about development:

Lots of details about iterations of artwork, some looks at the way the map is shaping up, discussion of gameplay, quite a bit of silliness and off topic chatter. My guess is that only the middle section will be of interest to most people. (Although of course I did appreciate footage of Daisy, their dog.)

For those who may want to get involved in their closed beta, this from their Discord:

Mep The Map MakerLast Saturday at 12:49 AM
We still haven’t hit offical launch of the beta yet right?

theAgamer11Last Saturday at 12:50 AM
Nope. Late July is the last I’ve heard. Is that still the plan, devs?

sergei_klimovLast Saturday at 10:22 AM
That is still the plan!

So how does one get involved?

Spire of Sorcery looks very interesting.

This post on Steam has directions and links for their Discord and forum, and it sounds like that is where they will sign people on for the beta.


Maybe it is my Ukrainian heritage, more likely the current political situation, but I am leary of loading anything that comes from Russia onto my computer.

Am I being irrational?

I try to be open minded but I’m erring on the side of caution and passing on this.

Well, if you’ve played the Eador games or Grimlins, Inc. it’s too late. All of them are by the same guy, Alexey Bokulev.

… and Aleksey was born and still lives in Kiev. So, orald, you have to buy 2 copies.

Well in that case Ukes unite!

Well, if any of you get into the beta I’m interested in hearing your impressions.

Having watched one of the recent developer’s let’s play episodes, I now have some serious reservations about just how fun this game is going to be. A lot of it seems to be watching little dots representing your parties moving around on a world map and stuff happening to them. The impression that I was left with is that game play is rather passive. It seems like watching a sim with no input. I could be wrong, we’ll see. My enthusiasm has been tempered though.

The 15 minutes of video I watched were mostly about art, which looks like a very busy boardgame. I like the premise of the game, but whether or not the execution will be interesting is another matter.

@Coldsteel As best as I have been able to follow, the player is this mighty mage who can never leave the spire. You do a lot of things there – interview prospective recruits, teach, study, build rooms, cast spells, tell your people what to work on. But as to the wild lands around you, it’s all a matter of setting up parties to go out and explore, gather materials and info, etc. So yeah, the map shows dots representing their progress.

Hopefully, this will not feel overly passive. But I think of a game like Majesty, which never felt passive to me. However, it strikes me more as a management sim with almost no elements of a conquest sim, so from that perspective it will be passive.

Yeah, I’ve been following it pretty closely and understand how the game works and I knew it was going to be more of a sim. None of what they showed was surprising to me. What surprised me was just how ‘meh’ it felt watching it. It’s still very early on so I’m sure they’ll tweak stuff. It may also be the type of game that’s more fun to play than to watch someone else play.

This has been released into “limited” EA, because it is still has a lot of cooking, let alone baking to do. I’m probably going to pick it up this evening if I have time. They are hoping to hit Q1 2020 for a normal EA release.

Yes, I bought it this afternoon.

It is not available through the regular Steam website, you have to get the special Steam link from the Spire discord, because the devs do not feel the game is ready for the general public and are actively discouraging anyone from buying it for entertainment at this point. But they are looking for feedback. Basically, it is beta testing, and not close-to-release beta testing either. I ran into quite a few issues during my initial session, although the game does look very interesting.

So how much are they charging for the “privilege” of testing their game?

20 bucks

In their defense, a substantial number of their followers were begging them to take their money and let them try it out, knowing that it is far from finished.

They have actually asked people not to give them any publicity yet.