Rock, Paper, Shotgun cornered Stardock's Brad Wardell earlier this week for a Q&A about their upcoming strategy/RPG hybrid, Elemental: War of Magic. A little something to start you off:
RPS: So essentially a 4X game with more of an RPG heritage? Wow.
Wardell: Yes, it's a 4X strategy game with a little Baldur's Gate in it. The closest game I can think of is Master Of Magic, that's been a bit of an inspiration for us. What we wanted to do with Elemental is to make it more of a personal experience. We really want you to be a presence within the game world, with your dynasty, with the way you design your units. When you go and zoom in and look at a unit you can see them all in the world, and they'll all be a little different. And we want to move away from it being abstract. If I have a village with fifty people I can't just click on it and ask for a legion of people. Those people have to come from somewhere. If spear-men come from a particular village, then there are less people left living there. It's more personal in terms of you not just being this over-arching power, than other games in this genre.
RPS: Right, so what's the sort of scale we're looking at? How big is the game world, for example?
Wardell: Well that largely depends on how large the player wants it to be. Out intention is that in the training levels you should be able to win within an hour, especially if you're playing multiplayer. If you're playing the really epic maps, then we hope for the game to be able to last six months, on a map that is just beyond anything. Actually, we are going to come up with a 64-bit edition that could allow you to have even crazier-sized maps.