Game of Glens is a fun and frantic game of skill and tactics that provides a genuinely new and unique blend of action and strategy. You manage your Highland Clan and compete in the original, ancient Scottish highland games known as the Game of Glens. The game combines resource management, physical structure building and projectile based combat, featuring a variety of single and multiplayer gameplay modes.
The game celebrates the character and setting of ancient Scottish folklore and presents them in a fun, light hearted and artistic style.
The player takes control of their Clan in a variety of ways, from building giant Towers to riding cows, flying balloons, gathering resources, firing catapults, kicking pigs and much more, all in the spirit of sporting competition to win one of the Game of Glens’ three coveted prizes – the Golden Haggis, the Silver Thistle or the Bronze Bagpipes.
Ancient Highland Games
In the single player game you must lead your Clan to victory in the age-old highland games. The Game of Glens were the ancient equivalent of a Scottish Olympic meeting, where Clan faced Clan in spirited sportsmanship to see which Clan would be victorious and hold aloft the greatest sporting honour in the glens.
In Game of Glens you’ll be building gigantic Towers in one event, booting a pig the furthest distance in another, bombing villages from the skies in hot air balloons made from cow-hide in yet another, plus lots more that will be revealed in the coming weeks.
- Stramash – Challenge an opposing Clan to a game of Stramash, when the 30-minute time limit runs out, the Clan with the highest Tower standing is the victor.
- Help Ma Coo – Your Cows are stranded on the wrong side of a Glen. You must safely get them home by using the least amount of resources possible to build a bridge that can bare their load across the glen.
- Tog A Túr – Your Clan has to build a Tower with limited resources. The Tower must reach a target height and not collapse under its own weight. Sounds simple, but the constant barrage of incoming projectiles makes it more of a challenge…
- Hoof The Haggis in the Hole – The ancient Scottish game of golf originated when Highlanders had to drive their misbehaving herds of haggis to new pastures by hitting them with sticks. Getting them home in the fewest shots wins.
- Dinnae Drink The Whisky – A barrel of whisky is left on the outskirts of the village and marauding and thirsty Highlanders will do their best to steal it. Stop them and protect the whisky by firing your catapults to hold off the thirsty Highlanders until the time limit runs its course.
- Punt the Pig – Who can kick the pig the furthest and with the best accuracy to knock over all the irate wee birds sitting on the Tower? The javelin throw owes its origins to this ancient sport of men.
- And more!
Key Game Mechanics
Structure Building Physics
Using a freeform and highly physical girder based system, the player is able to create giant structures that bend, stretch, sway and wobble under their own stress and weight.
Structures can be built from both wooden beams and iron girders, which the Clan must amass by mining for iron and harvesting trees in the glens.
The wooden beams and iron girders can be upgraded to provide greater strength against structural stress and projectile based impacts. They are more costly and add more weight to the structure, but used in the right places they are invaluable.
The player can choose to focus only on building their Tower, but they can also create structures that will protect their buildings and Highlanders and also to bridge gaps to previously inaccessible, yet highly valuable resources. The type of structure that can be built is limited only by the player’s imagination and their construction skills.
Spread throughout every Glen are groups of trees, mountains of stone and pockets of iron deposits in the ground, which can all be gathered and transformed into the raw materials used to create buildings, structures and weapons by your Clan.
With more resources come bigger and better opportunities to create more elaborate structures, more powerful weapons and to expand your Clan.
Game of Glens has 3 types of building that the player uses to expand their Clan and store their materials – Wood, Stone and Iron Lodges.
Each building has a number of Highlanders who gather the resource linked to the Lodge, so the more Lodges the player builds, the more Highlanders they will have to gather resources and the more storage space to house all the resources they gather.
Attacking your opponents in Game of Glens is simple, but it still requires skill to hit the target spot on, which creates a fantastic sense of reward when you land the perfect shot.
Most weapons come in the form of catapults and trebuchets that fire various types of projectile – huge rocks, wooden beams that shatter and splinter, spiked iron balls, explosive barrels of whisky, flaming hairy highland cows – don’t worry, no cows are hurt during the games, the flames on the cows go out on impact and they always land safely on their feet, highland cows are more catlike than the cattiest of cats – and there’s even the occasional nutter Highlander – wearing his protective spiked helmet of course.
Weapons are fired like a sling shot, you pull back on the projectile and it will be fired along the line you create as you pull back. Release the button and the projectile flies off and arcs towards its unfortunate and unsuspecting target.
Aiming and firing are only one part of Combat in Game of Glens. The player must also get their weapons into the best possible position to bring their opponent to their knees. Each time a weapon is ready to be used the player has the choice to aim and fire or move the weapon to a new position, with a limited distance for each move. After the player uses a weapon it has a cool down period where it is either reloaded or the Highlanders catch their breath after pushing it across the glen.
This cool down period means the player will need to build and position as many weapons as they can in order to keep a constant flow of projectiles flying at the enemy during a match to help them win the battle.
Most of the game’s buildings and weapons are locked at the start of each game. The player must unlock them using Game Points before they can actually start building them and expanding their Clan.
Game Points are awarded for two things, sustained Tower height and damage to the opponent. The higher your Tower the more Game Points you will earn over time, and the more damage you inflict the more Game Points you will earn with each crushing blow.
Game Points can also be used to upgrade buildings and weapons, providing more capable Highlanders – faster movement and resource gathering speed – and more powerful weapons – new projectile types, multi projectiles, reduced cool down times, increased movement distances, greater armour, etc.
The single player game modes are fantastic fun in their own right, and each of them teach a different set of skills that the player will ultimately bring to bear when they take on another human player in an online Multiplayer match.
Multiplayer is what will put hairs on the player’s chest. It’s where all of the skills they’ve learned and mastered are put to the ultimate test as they pit their wits against another player to see who has the best strategy for balancing their focus and time on resource gathering, construction or combat; where to put their buildings for the most efficient gathering and construction tasks, what types of structure they should build and where they should be built, deciding to spend their Game Points on new unlocks or upgrades to existing buildings or weapons, which weapons should they create, where should they place them, what should they be aiming at and who has the best aim.
There are many, many plates to spin in a Multiplayer match of Game of Glens, and it’s the inability to perfectly keep all of these plates spinning at all times that pushes the player to keep trying new tactics and strategies in each game that keeps each Multiplayer match feeling varied tense and fresh.
The objective in the Multiplayer game is to beat your opponent by having the highest Tower at the end of the 30-minute game. It sounds simple but with all of those plates to spin it can end up feeling like you’re playing multiple games at once, we sometimes think of it as being like a game of Lemmings meets Command & Conquer meets Angry Birds, where each of the unlikely partners work seamlessly together.
The prototype game we have already made – which can be seen in our videos – is a bare bones version of this Multiplayer game mode and we’ve already had a lot of fun playing it. We have had many tense battles and already have a lot of stories to tell about encounters between team rivals. We’re constantly surprised by how quickly a 30 minute game session flies by. The initial flurry to expand your Clan, gather resources and build a strong Tower is followed by the inevitable siren of incoming projectiles and from that point it’s a constant battle of wits and skill to the very last second. Many games have been decided in the final 90 second Sudden Death stage, which is great to experience both as a player and as a spectator.
During our time developing Game of Glens we’ve explored quite a few different Art Styles, we’ve tried a playful kids against kids on the street, sentient droids on an alien planet, and ancient tribes from a parallel universe. We liked all of them, but none of them felt quite right to us.
We then decided to try out a theme closer and dearer to our hearts at Ruffian. A Scottish theme where we could take a light hearted view of our Scottish heritage and maybe have a little fun with some of the stereotypes people tend to have about us Scots. Who would be better to poke fun at the Scottish than a bunch of Scottish game developers?
We wanted a style that we felt represented the beauty of our Scottish landscapes and Clans. Tartans, heather, pine trees, kilts and enormous bushy beards are a big inspiration for us and when we first saw the concept art for this new setting, we were so impressed that we wanted to use the style exactly as is, with everything in game being hand drawn 2D images rather than textured 3D models.
We think the final result is a unique and distinct art style for a game – which mirrors the unique gameplay we’ve created – and one that has wide appeal as its often simply lovely to look at, mixing charm and humour in equal measures.
Simply put, it’s a fantastic idea. We want gamers to see the games they will eventually play, evolve from early concepts through to the final release. One of the things we’ve always found most rewarding about making games is inspiring others to get involved too. We think Collective is going to open doors to a lot of people with great ideas and we want to be here at the start to help make it a success.
We know that some people are going to think, “Hey, you guys have loads of money from all those console games.” Well, we wish it were so, but the reality is it’s incredibly difficult to get a publisher to sign you up to make a game that they actually own, so you can imagine how hard it is to get the funding to develop your own game.
So due to this funding issue we had been tempted to take the crowd-funding route for Game of Glens for some time, but we were hesitant as the time never felt quite right. Then out of nowhere Square Enix announced Collective for launch and it felt like the perfect timing and fit for Game of Glens.
Collective is a really interesting and different opportunity for us to see if we can reach the giddy heights of our aspirations for Game of Glens, but to do that we’ll need your help.
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We really genuinely appreciate the time you’ve taken to get this far, and we would be even more grateful, if you could help us in any way to make this game a reality.
We look forward to the day where we can all race to build the highest Towers in Game of Glens.
A walkthough of an early alpha 1v1 Stramash match, featuring a defence/tower building demoRead more
Ruffian Games is an independent developer based in Dundee, Scotland, at the very heart of Scotland’s game development community.
Our studio employs a team of highly experienced developers who have worked on titles spanning three decades of the games industry, including: Nike+ Kinect Training, Star Wars Kinect, Quarrel, Crackdown & Crackdown2, Fable 2, Project Gotham Racing 3, Manhunt, Grand Theft Auto, Body Harvest, Mortal Kombat and many, many more. In fact, you may not have known it, but whether it was on a C64 or an XBox 360, you’re more than likely to have played one of our games in the past.
As you can see, we work on a wide variety of games, some big and others not so. Game of Glens is a new venture for us, we want to independently develop the game ourselves. We really believe in it being something special and unique that’s unlike most other games out there. With your help we can make it a reality.