Solium Infernum was a turn-based strategy phenomenon back in the early 2010s. Instead of taking the fight to the usual strategic arena—historic battlefields, highly fantastical landscapes, interstellar colonies—it has a group of big demons battling for supremacy in a John Milton/Dante-inspired hell. It was developed in Adobe Director by Vic Davis, a tabletop scene legend whose main work was board games, before he quit game development.in an interview game developer (opens in new tab) In 2010, Davis bravely announced that he wanted to “make games that drive 90% of the player base away”.
An extremely noble cause, and one that has seen his legend grow among fans of complex political strategy sims. Now, 12 years later, the Armello Studio Geek Alliance has announced a new “reimagining” of Solium Infernum. In addition to breaking free from the constraints of Adobe Director’s graphics crunch, the Geek Alliance project will “take some liberties” while also adding more modern multiplayer features.
This is how it used to be:
…this is what it looks like now:
The original was played via email, and while the modern version will also be turn-based, it’s much easier to dive in for five minutes a day to cut down on activities that could take up to six hours to complete. These multi-week, simultaneous-moving multiplayer campaigns are still ongoing, but there will also be shorter, simpler 2-4 hour single-player campaigns centered around the story of each of the Great Demons. There are eight playable Big Devils, up from the original five.
The most notable aspect of LoG’s reimagining is of course the graphics, especially the performance of each of the Great Demons. It has some of Armello’s stylistic quirks, but with an unapologetic hellish twist. The map itself — which is random and returns to itself from every direction in a diabolical twist — inherits the doomed barrenness of the original, while adding a real sense of scale and dimension.
“It was a natural progression for us because Solium Infernum was the main inspiration for Armello,” Trent Kusters, co-founder of Geek Union, told me, adding that Davis embraced the idea of rebooting the game with great enthusiasm. idea. “We made a bunch of paper prototypes for Armello, and the actual major version of the prototype that turned it into Armello was when we added some elements from Solium Infernum.”
Starting around turn 10, I saw a game demo of Solium Infernum. For newcomers to the game (like myself!), the prospect of diplomacy in Solium Infernum can be surprising. Yes, it is possible to be a beast of fire and brimstone, but careful manipulation of your opponents, hard bargaining and cunning deceit are often the order of the day.The original game had a 50-page instruction manual, so don’t worry, I’ve simplified things a lot, but Solium Infernum is enduring for a reason: there are a lot of Under the hood.
While the narrative-driven single-player campaign has obvious appeal, Kusters sees Solium Infernum as more of a tool for breaking friendships. It doesn’t get rid of its complexity, but the async approach means the complexity is boiled down to manageable daily rounds. “During the period 2009 to 2022, as technology advances and the accessibility of the Internet and notifications [has improved], there’s some real appeal there. We can deliver a grand political strategy game set in hell, a torturous, friendship-destroying strategy in bite-sized form. “
As fans of older games have come to expect, Solium Infernum will be PC-only when it releases in 2023.you can add it to your wish list steam (opens in new tab). See more screenshots below.
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