This news means Shafer is no longer at Stardock, where in 2011 he signed on to help with Elemental: Fallen Enchantress and an unannounced project. Shafer founded Conifer Games a few months ago, according to his blog, and At the Gates already has a fully playable prototype.
"Our first project is At the Gates, a 4X turn-based strategy game which takes place during the fall of the Roman Empire," Shafer writes. "Players take the reigns of a fledgling barbarian tribe trying to forge a place for itself within the new order."
If all goes as planned with the Kickstarter, At the Gates will launch in the first half of 2014.