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'Project Postman' is War of the Roses, a medieval multiplayer melee actioner


"The focus initially is gonna be on the PC," Paradox Interactive senior producer Gordon Van Dyke told me in an interview last week about the next title from Lead & Gold devs Fatshark. "Project Postman," now known as War of the Roses, was announced earlier this year by Paradox head Fredrik Wester as a "dream game" for the collaborators, but we knew little else about it. That is, until this afternoon at Gamescom, where the Swedish publisher unveiled the melee-based title.

"Absolutely, it's being thought of as a franchise," Van Dyke continued, though he's not yet sure how that will play out in terms of branding. "We've been looking into franchise names. It's actually really hard to find a name that has anything to do with combat in video games." As the name implies, the game set between 1455 and 1485 -- during the "War of the Roses" era in England -- though it's not necessarily steeped in Medieval politics. Instead, it focuses on the regular battles between English houses jockeying for control of the kingdom.

Gallery: War of the Roses (Gamescom 2011) | 8 Photos

"We picked that era because it's a very exciting time -- it's the death of chivalry, right? They started developing the technology of gunpowder warfare ... it started just to creep in, so it created an interesting dynamic," Van Dyke added. Despite obvious comparisons to other Paradox franchises (Mount & Blade, for instance), Van Dyke said that he's hoping War of the Roses will have a broader, less hardcore appeal. "We really want to bring that to the mainstream, that kind of genre of medieval combat, as far as we can. So that people have a broader set of choices besides current combat and military shooters," Van Dyke added. When asked about the combat itself, he described it as similar to the aforementioned third-person Mount & Blade, albeit a bit more "arcadey."

War of the Roses employs the Bitsquid Engine, a proprietary game building software for the PC, Mac, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, which isn't to say that the game is a lock for consoles just yet. "We're really gonna focus on that with the intent that we can move onto the consoles depending on the success of the game," Van Dyke noted. As of yet, War of the Roses has no launch window, but we'll likely hear more as the year goes on.

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