Prehistory is very trendy right now in games. With ARK hitting Steam Early Access, caveman/dinosaur stomping can continue where, erm, Stomping Grounds left off. Now there’s a new game just hitting Kickstarter, that puts you in the hands of an all-powerful being, guiding your chosen race from savage to civilisation. Enter Lithic, a game that lets you tame the wilds as your tribe progresses and competes with rivals.
Lithic is a Prehistoric Fantasy Real-Time Strategy game for the PC much in the vein as God-games such as Populous and Black and White. Players will be able to build the origins of a society in a universe where magic is abound yet untamed, and the environment is as much the enemy as other creatures are.
Lithic is the work of maverick North Yorkshire based indie games developers Flintlock Studios, and is their first game, hoping to build on their own universe in the future. Players take charge of one of five unique races, each with their own distinctive personalities and traits, and have to race up skill and tech trees: the short, fast reproducing Hob-Aan, human-like Hu-Aan, fey-like Lit-Aan, gentle-giant Ur-Aan and mindless lizard-like Ix-Aan.
“Unlike other RTS games, the skill and tech trees are not for the tribe as a whole” said Lead Designer Jon Hughes. “Each individual tribe member will have their own individual tech tree, and will have the ability to pass on their knowledge to other members of the tribe.”
Since each member of your tribe carries their own personally skillset, the more they learn, the more valuable they are. If you lose someone, you lose their knowledge, unless they’ve passed it down. This certainly adds a depth to the strategy that most RTS games miss, causing a lot of disposable units that you can’t afford in this game.
The final version of Lithic will have the following features:
- Expansive single player story campaign
- Randomly generated Skirmish Mode – Procedurally generated skirmishes give the player infinite replay value.
- A new dark fantasy world to explore – with 3 different playable environments, each with it’s own unique challenges
- Five Races to Play – Each one a unique experience and visual design. Four races will be available initially, the Ix-Aan can be unlocked during gameplay.
- Intelligent technology advancement, new technology is learned when related tools are used or relevant tasks are performed.
- Cultural development – Art, traditions and ritual all evolve depending on in-game occurrences.
- Procedural language system -Your tribe develops language as needed, evolving better communication and allowing for more complex tactics to be employed.
- Influence system – control your tribe through subtle compulsion or through direct possession.
I have really fond memories of the Black & White games, and if Flintlock Studios can capture some of that spirit along with their ideas in Lithic, they’ll have an interesting game to show. It’s always hard to know what the final art will be like based on such early footage, but the Kickstarter page is very comprehensive, and certainly one of the more refined campaigns out there, which is always a good sign. The team have thought deeply about the concepts underpinning the game, both from the mechanics and philosophically, which I love.
We’ll be keeping an eye on the progress of this game, but I do hope that as the art comes together more, and things get polished up further, we will see much more of the influences of earlier god games. The fact that the developers are local Yorkshiremen and Yorkshirewomen is just an added bonus. Good Luck to you, Flintlock Studios!
What do you think of Lithic? Do you remember the old god games like Black & White?