One of the most interesting ideas I saw at MIGS 2015 came from Red Meat Games. While developing a strategy empire building game that takes advantage of Microsoft Azure, a cloud computing system, the team discovered a different method for user engagement that doesn’t rely on the typical freemium model of forcing players to pay to speed up build times in order for them to keep playing.
Instead, they’ve integrated a trivia metagame. Using this method, players can answer trivia questions to gain resources and currency at any time, this allowing them to speed up build times and purchase upgrades by continuously engaging with the game, as opposed to turning it off for 12 hours while a timer ticks down. The trivia is optional, and a bonus way to earn currency and resources on top of simply playing the main game. Those who really get behind the idea can also submit their own questions for review.
The role Microsoft Azure plays in Wits & Warfare is a pivotal one. Using the cloud-based computing power of Azure, the game can learn which trivia players prefer, and begin to personal their experience. The end result is that players are continuously provided with questions they are more likely to answer correctly, as the system will recognize the percentage of correct responses per category. (i.e. Sports fans will get more sports-related trivia, while video game fans will receive gamer-centric questions.)
On the gamplay side, Wits & Warfare should feel familiar to most fans of empire building games. There is asynchronous battling, an assortment of leaders to choose from (each with their own ability), resource harvesting for constructing units and buildings, and a daily challenge/reward system. Strategy enthusiasts will likely appreciate the ability to save both offensive and defensive replays, to better analyze an opponent’s tactics. Between battles, players can visit their home base to upgrade buildings, build new units for future combat, or reinforce their current units to replenish their numbers.
Wits & Warfare is available now for iOS. It is free to download, and will receive continuous updates for bug fixes and feature improvements. To hear about updates as they happen, visit the game’s page on Facebook.