Civ 5 Lead Designer Jon Shafer Opens New Studio, Launches Kickstarter Campaign

Announces Jon Shafer’s At The Gates, an empire building title.

Game designer Jon Shafer has today announced the formation of Conifer Studios, a new venture created with the aim of focusing on indie strategy games. Shafer, perhaps best known for rising through the Firaxis ranks to later become the lead designer on Civilization V, has also revealed the studio's first project, a game entitled At The Gates, now on Kickstarter with a modest $40,000 goal.

Based on the historical aftermath of the fall of the Roman Empire, Jon Shafer's At The Gates will challenge the classic empire-building formula by incorporating features that will keep the player strategizing throughout the course of the game. Environmental factors like seasons and depleting resources create an ever-changing scenario that act to counterbalance the mid-game slump that most RTS titles suffer from.

Jon Shafer's At The Gates already has a working prototype, and his team are planning for an early 2014 release. The first fifteen minutes of the game can be seen in the video posted below. To back the project financially, visit their Kickstarter campaign page.