Atana Chronicles: The Great Lords is a unique blending of different traditional mobile and console/desktop genres brought to mobile platforms. In its core, Atana Chronicles: The Great Lords is traditional 4X strategy game, with inclusion of such genres like grand strategy, turn-based tactics, role-play game (RPG), political card-based simulator. In addition, an important part of AC:GL is its online multiplayer and story narrative. The unique element of the game is monetization scheme: the game is distributed with Free-To-Play model with zero conventional core-loop-based monetization.
Easy in understanding, complex in action
The game should have deep and diverse gameplay mechanics that, at the same time, are easy to learn and use.
Beautiful does not mean costly
Game graphics, sound and UX should have the feeling of AAA quality, but also be well-optimized to run smoothly even on low-tier devices.
Freedom with real consequences
Players should have the opportunity to play the game in their own way and see the consequences of their actions.
Skill is everything
Player’s progress should be defined by how well he/she understands and uses game mechanics. No monetization schemes should affect core game loops.
The world of AC:GL is represented by 3 levels of detail: Chunk – playable map consisting of 50x50 hexagonal cells that is generated procedurally. This is where the player builds his settlement. Region – procedurally generated hexagonal map, each cell of which has reference to particular chunk and potentially containing around 18.4x1018 cells, which may be perceived as close to infinity. World – fixed predefined map of game world, divided into faction territories, kingdoms and counties that reference to regions. As a result, considering the size of chunk cell as 100x100 meters, the total size of game world may exceed 46x10^21 km2, which is 9x10^16 times larger than the surface of Earth.
AC:GL will require players to build not just buildings, but sequential production chains. Based on real macroeconomy laws, resource system thanks to its agility will allow to build any type of economy: agricultural, extractive, industrial, service, war, which will greatly contribute to role-play element of the game. In addition, due to its logical coherence, the system will be easy to learn, while its connection to real macro- and microeconomy laws will educate players how economy works in reality. Currently, there are more than 40 resource in place with 44 buildings scalable to 20 levels of development. Global technology development chain will be also implemented.
Flat low poly graphics has become very popular in the last years and became the symbol of “indie” development. Flat shading style in 3d graphics was initially implemented on console/desktop (Firewatch, Sea of Thieves, Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild) and only recently reached mobile (The Trail, Eden). In addition to unique look and feel of flat shaded graphics, it provides great opportunities for game performance optimization due to low meshes vertices numbers and palette materials. Since graphics processing is one of the most costly operations, low poly style will allow to target wider range of devices.
Player will have tighter bonds with game if he has an avatar he is able to associate himself to. AC:GL allows to take control over not just one character, but the whole dynasty. By developing their lords, players will be able to play a game in a way the want to play it: whether by being a bloodlust warlord and living on raids, mighty landlord, sneaky trader or mischievous moneylender – the game will adapt itself to every role. In addition to actionable role-play, AC:GL will provide extensive opportunities for customization of characters, soldiers and buildings, creating really unique look to stand out.
Successful reign is closely tied to building relations. The economy system of AC:GL is connected with certain power groups: peasants, workers, bureaucracy, merchants and soldiers. Each group has a certain loyalty level towards the character, which affects the performance of relevant economy sector. The loyalty can be affected by conducting power groups specific economical developments, through the story quests and by answering to request in a form of card. All power groups have different needs; as a result, every decision made regarding one group will immediately affect all others. Player will need to either balance, or support only several groups – the last will affect gameplay greatly.
Traditionally, 4X and grand strategies do not include direct combat control with winner determined by army size and technological advancement. AC:GL incorporates battling mechanics from turn-based tactics games with turn timing constraints. The resulting combat system will allow players to use various tactical capabilities against their opponents, while time constraint will bring more dynamics into gameplay.
The world of AC:GL is divided among 5 factions – superpowers that control particular region. In the beginning of the game players are able to choose 1 of them as a home faction, which will define several basic economical and combat characteristics for the whole game. Each faction has a real prototype culture (Nordic/Slavic, Anglo-Franco-German, Spanish/Arabian, Roman/Byzantine, Oriental) with distinctive economical, architectural, style, combat, political and story features, which will greatly affect gameplay.
Multiplayer is a great way to keep interest in the game and grow player’s base. Endless opportunities for open-game, socializing and competition, coupled with online accessibility at mobile devices create great prospects for turning simple game into entertainment experience that follows so popular today “game-as-a-service” concept.
While gameplay needs time to develop a taste for, intriguing story can hook player from the very beginning. AC:GL is set up in a fantasy medieval world and follows the story of a nation escaping its doom into another world called Ásulos with the help of local god-like creatures, who aim to fill abandoned land with new life. “Atána” is “wandering” in Sanskrit, and players are encouraged to make their own way on this wandering. Every decision made by players will be taken into account in global story development, while environmental storytelling will motivate players to explore the new world.
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