WarBonds: Battle For Vitoria – Interview with Jonny Juste
WarBonds: Battle For Vitoria is now live on Kickstarter! This is an interview with Jonny Juste the designer of the game!
Hello Jonny! Please tell us a few things about yourself!
- Hello everyone! I’m Jonny, president of a small indie entertainment development company called Punk This Studios ( www.punkthisstudios.com ). I founded Punk This Studios because of my life-long passion and love for gaming. I live life according to my interpretation of the punk rock counter-culture. Through that perspective, I aim to excite the world with innovative bits of entertainment, like WarBonds: Battle For Vitoria. Through my creative works, like WarBonds, I can deliver enlightening experiences, which others may find absolutely revelatory.
How did the idea of making WarBonds: Battle for Vitoria come up?
- I wanted to design a different kind of war game. I wanted to incorporate the concept of an individual’s “ideology” as an important factor that players must consider as part of their overall strategic planning and tactical execution.
- I wanted players to engage in high-level competitive gaming sessions where their ability to win was tied to their understanding of the game. More importantly, I wanted players to have the tools available to execute endless creative strategies to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
- Another goal was to create a grand strategy war game where players did not take long turns controlling multiple units at once. Instead, I designed a unique initiative system that has units taking their turns rather than players.
Please give us some info about WarBonds: Battle for Vitoria. What is the game about?
- WarBonds: Battle For Vitoria is a strategy war game where players deploy and mobilize a medieval fantasy army in an effort to reign supreme amidst the war torn lands of Vitoria. Players start with a unique warlord that’ll serve as the leader of their army, and the first unit deployed onto the Battle Map. Each warlord is vying for control and ideological dominance. All units, warlords included, have an ideological alignment that will be tried by the brutalities of war. Players will make nuanced decisions that will affect the leadership of their warlord, and the loyalty of their units.
- One such decision involves influencing the public to incite revolt or enforce order across the land. Inciting a revolt is looked upon favorably by all chaos alignment units, but unfavorable to all law alignment units. Such a decision will cause these units to gain or lose loyalty. Units without loyalty are susceptible to leaving your army; or worse, be persuaded by the leadership of an opponent’s warlord to join their army. There is no randomness; players must out-think their opponents to achieve victory.
What was the greatest challenge that you faced during the designing and development of the game?
- The greatest challenge in designing and developing WarBonds was simplifying and streamlining the gameplay without sacrificing strategic depth & tactical complexity. More than 5 years of development went into refinement of the game’s terminology, iconography, visual presentation, and player aiding components.
- WarBonds has an amazing player aid, known as the player guide, which organizes the game’s critical information into an easily digestible booklet. It is useful to both experienced, and beginner players. It offers useful tips and guidance to ensure that beginner players can hit the ground running.
Would you like to share some key elements that make the game stand out?
- For WarBonds, the various units that make up your army can have their loyalty manipulated during play. This adds nuance to a unit’s allegiance, that must be considered by players. Without loyalty, units are susceptible to leaving their army; or worse, be persuaded to join the enemy. This layer of loyalty nuance is added on top of an excellent tactical combat system foundation.
- The no randomness gameplay design for WarBonds makes it a rather unique experience. Despite having deterministic combat, the chaos of war is still felt by the unpredictability brought by each player’s impactful decisions.
- The initiative system of WarBonds is an entirely unique experience. It allows for dynamic player manipulation of turn orders, while remaining intuitive for new player’s to understand. It is designed to both guide and assist players in the formulation of adapting strategies.
What is your favorite aspect of the game?
- My favorite part of WarBonds is the ability to build an army right from the very start of the game. Each new unit that I decide to deploy into my army takes up a turn, which adds nuance to the unit selection. Building up an army is spaced out over multiple turns and game rounds, such that its pacing doesn’t overwhelm players with making too many decisions at the start of the game. The flexibility of the deployment system allows me to swap out units within my army that are no longer useful, with others that can better suit my adapting strategy.
What kind of gaming experience does Warbonds: Battle for Vitoria create?
- WarBonds provides an epic large-scale fantasy warfare experience filled with undead abominations, mythical beasts, begotten witches, and wild dragons. The game immerses players as they move their armies across a fully illustrated battle map, engage in army management, and interact with vividly detailed fantasy artwork. When playing out the actions of various units, it evokes the imagination of how those characters would interact in a typical tabletop fantasy RPG-like world.
What kind of players are going to enjoy the game?
- WarBonds is a game made by a strategy, tactics, and DnD gaming fan.
- Tabletop gaming fans of Dune Imperium, Twilight Imperium, Warhammer, and War of the Ring will find a lot to love in WarBonds.
- People who enjoy turn-based strategy games like Civilization, Fire Emblem, or Heroes of Might and Magic will greatly appreciate what WarBonds has to offer.
- Additionally, fans of RTS (real-time strategy) games like WarCraft, StarCraft, Age of Empires, DotA, or League of Legends will get a similar feeling of quick and intense strategy and tactical combat when playing WarBonds.
Describe the game in 3 words!
- World War DnD
What are the plans of Punk This Studios for the future?
- Our goal is to successfully deliver to the Kickstarter backers of WarBonds: Battle For Vitoria. Once we have satisfied our kickstarter backers, we will look into other potential opportunities like a WarBonds card game, or digital adaptation of WarBonds: Battle For Vitoria.