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Designer for Kingdom Two Crowns talks inspiration and future goals.

Hello! I’m Gordon Van Dyke, Game Director and Designer of Kingdom Two Crowns and co-founder of the publisher Raw Fury. I’ve been part of the Kingdom series since the inception back in 2015. We recently purchased the entire series from the original creator Thomas van den Berg, as he wanted to create new games and felt confident that Kingdom are in good hands with Raw Fury. I’m still very much in love with Kingdom and have so many ideas to explore and build upon.

For those not familiar with Kingdom, it’s a micro strategy game where the basics are simple. In the role of the monarch atop of a steed, the player gives coins to recruit, build and execute orders. The deeper strategy is learned through discovery, encouraging the player to explore the surroundings and expanding their kingdom.

Kingdom Two Crowns is the latest game in the series. Besides adding a campaign and co-op mode, we intend to add updates that will venture to new exotic locations across the world. At launch, we introduced Shogun, a setting inspired by feudal Japan. For me personally, this setting is very close to my heart. I grew up in Hawaii which is a melting pot of Polynesian, American, and Japanese cultures. Growing up, I was particularly mesmerized by Japanese culture. During the development, I looked back for inspiration and it made sense to bring the feudal Japanese setting to Kingdom Two Crowns. The aesthetics and gameplay, plus my desire to make a game in this colorful period, felt like a perfect match.

Thomas and I travelled to Japan for inspiration to make sure we not only captured the landscape and architecture, but also the feeling and atmosphere. From the stone walls of Tokyo’s Imperial Palace to the scenic hike around Kyoto’s Fushimi-Inari Shrine, we pulled elements hoping to respectfully mirror some of the country’s aesthetics. We also thought it would be interesting to add mythological elements, such as the Kirin, which the monarch can ride. Besides immersion, using this setting also meant alterations to the gameplay. With the inclusion of dense bamboo forests, your strategy immediately changes as you try to expand your Kingdom—builders must hack through dense woods, making expansion more cumbersome.

What’s next? With Raw Fury being located in Sweden, I would definitively like to take inspiration from Vikings and Norse mythology, so maybe that’ll end up being a new setting… So, stay tuned! We’ll post more info regarding updates in our Kingdom Two Crowns News channel.

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