Make Cake, Not War

At a round, pub table, two players in feminine dress sit either side of a small, tablet device playing an early prototype of "Dragon Queens". Behind and to the left of the device is a pair of instruction sheets, illustrating various functions and entities within the game world.

For those of us who follow the Gregorian calendar, the past weekend has been widely observed as the start of a new adventures, renewed efforts and many other such optimistic ideals. In that forward-looking spirit, we thought it might be an appropriate time to take a brief look at the utopic world in which Dragon Queens is set.

A slice of delicious sponge cake

 

As you may already have noticed, we’re touting Dragon Queens as a non-military strategy game. This is not a unique proposition, but it is a rare one. Instead of tasking our players with plotting the movements of armies, and domination of the landscape through forcing submission, we instead hang our mechanics around acts of trade and prosperity. The core gameplay is relatively simple:

Bring prosperity to your realm, and return your subjects will pay tribute.

Prosperity – in which a settlement has its material needs met in abundance, and so can produce an excess of whatever it specialises in – can only come about because the world of Dragon Queens is one devoid of scarcity. To put that another way: nobody in the realm starves or wants for basic provisions, and so they are free to enjoy life under the dragons’ benevolent rule. Indeed, if for whatever reason a settlement ceases to prosper, no actual harm is done, except perhaps to the squabbling dragons’ pride.

In short: the world of the dragon queens is one with no negative consequences, and thus less pressure with nothing to lose. The dragon queens are capable of summoning magical creatures in order to do their bidding, but influence of these pawns and spectres is limited to interactions with other such magical constructs, or to conversation with trade delegates from the realm’s settlements.

A screenshot from the early, 2D prototype of "Dragon Queens". The user interface is particularly concerned with a central panel, which lays out unit types (pawn, proxy, envoy) and the magic costs associated with summoning them at the chosen location.

All the strategic actions played out from your tower vantage point affect the realm only superficially, in antithesis to the actions of war. Furthermore, as we’ll see in later blog updates, it will be apparent to the careful observer that your subjects may already know a thing or two about the historical costs of war…

And why are we developing a game with such utopian ideals? The simple answer would be “because we want to”, but Dragon Queens is also Kaludoscope’s first attempt at making an inclusive and welcoming game, which we hope many can enjoy. Although fantasy and trading are of course not to every player’s tastes, we look forward to bringing something different to strategy lineups in mobile app. stores. We’re making Dragon Queens for everyone else who might wish to enjoy spreading some good in 2017.