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Lyle Lowery Interview: WARMACHINE: Tactics Kickstarter


WARMACHINE: Tactics, the first video game adaptation of the popular miniatures game, was recently announced and went straight to Kickstarter. It is currently doing fairly well for itself, having already reached over 150% funding with 22 days left at the time of writing. Being a fan of the tabletop game, I knew I had to cover this game in some way, so I sat down with Lyle Lowery from Privateer Press to ask a few questions about WARMACHINE: Tactics.      

Lyle Lowery is the marketing manager for Privateer Press. Lowery joined the Privateer Press crew in 2011 after a brief stint practicing law, and he has played WARMACHINE since the game’s infancy. A life-long tabletop gamer and hobbyist, he also loves football, cycling, and giant robots.

Gameverse: Since this is WARMACHINE’s first time venturing into the medium of video games, I’m sure that the Kickstarter might attract the attention of gamers who aren’t really familiar with the game and its setting. How would you pitch WARMACHINE: Tactics, and WARMACHINE in general, to people who don’t know the difference between an Ironclad and a Juggernaut?

Lyle: WARMACHINE is a tabletop miniatures game set in a fantasy world where magic and technology intermingle to shape the nature of warfare. The stars of this setting are the Warcasters—superhuman beings of impressive magical and martial power who have the ability to mentally command hulking steam-powered automatons called Warjacks that bring incredible power to the battlefield.

WARMACHINE: Tactics’ single-player campaign puts you in the shoes of a young Warcaster and a small fighting force under her command in a turn-based, squad-level tactics game that brings to life the action of WARMACHINE like never before possible. The game will also feature extensive multiplayer, so players can play through an engrossing series of battles that tells the story of one Warcaster’s defining moments or build an army to take on another player online!

Gameverse: Could you tell us a little about WhiteMoon Dreams and how Privateer Press chose them to develop a WARMACHINE video game?

Lyle: WhiteMoon Dreams is an indie game developer stocked with a talented group of programmers with experience working on hit titles such as the Fallout series, Myth 3, Flower, the Ratchet & Clank series, and the Medal of Honor series. We’re very excited to be working with them. WhiteMoon Dreams and Privateer Press have a lot in common. We’re both independently minded and fiercely enthusiastic about the WARMACHINE saga, and we share the same vision when it comes to the kind of game we want to make in WARMACHINE: Tactics. It’s really a perfect fit.

Gameverse: WARMACHINE already has a large selection of established characters. How was it decided that the campaigns would follow new, novice Warcasters instead of characters that players of the miniatures game are already familiar with?

Lyle: We wanted WARMACHINE: Tactics to put players in the shoes of a novice Warcaster who is experiencing her first true tests, so this was the perfect opportunity to introduce new characters to the saga. WARMACHINE is chock-full of beloved characters, but in many ways, who they are is already defined. Introducing new characters allows us to let people experience their defining moments in a whole new way.

Gameverse: What about HORDES? If WARMACHINE: Tactics is successful, can we expect HORDES: Tactics in the future as well?

Lyle: We’re absolutely focused on delivering an incredible game experience with WARMACHINE: Tactics, first, but I’d say HORDES: Tactics is the logical next step!

Gameverse: WARMACHINE has an ever-expanding selection of miniatures for the tabletop game. New expansions come out every year that add new models and mechanics to the game. Will WARMACHINE: Tactics do this as well?

Lyle: WARMACHINE: Tactics will indeed get regular expansions for both single-player and multiplayer content! Whether it’s new campaigns from the perspective of different factions in single play, or new units, factions, and maps for multiplayer, there will be lots of content to look forward to. Of course, we’re hoping to deliver some of that extra content right at launch if we hit our stretch goals!

Gameverse: Any word on DRM or distribution services yet? When the game was initially announced, some people on the forums were asking about console releases. Is that something that you guys are considering?

Lyle: I’ll answer the DRM question first. DRM really depends on the distribution platform. So for example, if the game is available on Steam, which we are absolutely planning for, then it will be subject to Steam’s DRM. It’ll also be available DRM-free where that’s applicable. And to answer your second question, our first step is to make the game available on PC and Mac, but the game is being designed to be easily portable to different platforms. So we’re keeping our options open!

Gameverse: Some of the pledge levels mention beta access. Are there any plans for an open beta for non-backers? Or maybe a Steam Early Access release?  

Lyle: Beta access is one of the perks of the Kickstarter campaign, and backing the Kickstarter is definitely the easiest and best way to get access, so I would strongly encourage people interested in having beta access to the game to pledge their support!

Gameverse: Thanks for your time.

WARMACHINE: Tactics is shooting for a release date around August 2014, with an estimated price of $20. You can also support the game by voting on their Steam Greenlight page.