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November 6, 2011

Delving into Castleville – new trailer and interview with Kotaku

Earlier this week Zynga Dallas published the first trailer for their upcoming Facebook game adventure “Castleville”. The game follows Zynga’s existing “ville” series of games such as Farmville, Frontierville and Cityville. Looking at the below trailer it can clearly be seen the game will be taking forward similar game mechanics ans art style of previous games in the series. Lets take a look at that trailer now:

Ok, so aside from the amusing video there isn’t much gameplay footage there until a sneak peak at the end. However from what we can see it certainly looks like very familiar territory with striking similarity to previous games in the “ville” series. So what do we have here? Well, Castleville is going to be Zynga’s biggest “ville” game yet. After all with Ex Ensemble guys behind the project that is to be expected! Zynga Dallas’ Creative Director, Bill Jackson took part in an interview with Kotaku which helps explain everything.

Firstly, Bill makes note that while the game may have a frilly Zynga like art style, the game will have a whole lot of depth inspired by some of the depth of an Age of Empires title.The goal of the game is for the player to build up their own unique kingdom. In order to build your kingdom you’ll need resources so you’ll need to create things like farms to generate those resources. Players can also embark on quests in order to get further resources and increase the kingdoms experience level. This is starting to sound a little bit like Age of Empires Online but in Facebook form.

You’ll also explore a vast game board that initially looks mostly like a forest shrouded in mist. The game board is bigger than that of FarmVille or CityVille, Jackson told me, and it will be full of new characters and quests to discover.

The game even seems to sport the “Fog of War” making the similarity between Castleville and Age of Empires gameplay mechanics quite prominent. This isn’t a bad thing of course, the more depth the Zynga Dallas team can bring to the game the better  – and they certainly have the experience and track record to do so. Overall it sounds like Castleville will be a big step forward in terms of depth for Facebook games and this game will no doubt be a very exciting release for fans of social gaming on Facebook. It’s great to see the talent at Zynga Dallas pushing the boundaries with this title.

Payment for the game will take the form of allowing players to “buy” extra energy  or resources. Alternatively players can wait for a few hours and continue playing when their energy is replenished. Zynga fans will know the drill here. It’s not a particular payment method I like but its the standard way for most social games on Facebook these days.

More good news is that legendary ex Ensemble music composer Stephen Rippy will be providing players with over 15 minutes of music. In typical Stephen Rippy fashion this music is composed with no less than a 75-piece orchestra and choir.

The release date for Castleville is currently un-announced. With the game being free to pick up and play be sure to check it out on release. Stand by for further updates in the coming weeks as we find out more information about Castleville! Meanwhile I would recommend checking out the full Kotaku article below which can tell you heaps more about the game and also includes some interesting screenshots:


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