I’ve gone a bit dark over 2023 and haven’t talked a lot about Auto Fire lately. I do throw time into it as I can, but there’s been another project that has consumed my attention more and more over the past three years I’ve been on it. That is The Lamplighters League and the Tower at the End of the World, the game I’ve been working on as my day job at Harebrained Schemes, the good folks that made Battletech the recent run of Shadowrun RPG’s.
LLatTatEotW is a mouthful of a name, no? This game is a classic turn-based tactical game with a real-time infiltration component, set in an alternate 1930’s where dark occult forces are on the rise. You recruit and control a roster of agents in an attempt to rebuild a secret society that combats these sorts of threats… except they all died around World War I. Your best bet is to recruit the Best of the Worst.
This one has been really fun to work on… There’s realtime infiltration, which opens a lot of interesting presentation and play options. There’s a rich turn-based combat experience, the meat of where the game takes place with a lot of abilities and environmental elements interacting. There are tactical maps with procedural generation that plugs in content, enemies, and so on in key locations to add variety to missions… totally the stuff I groove on.
There’s a metagame experience where the campaign takes place over a series of weeks, charting the ascension of three competing houses of a shadowy cult called the Banished Court. Agents have upgrades, gear loadouts, health and sanity states that was fun to work on… and they also can accrue these tarot-like cards on their characters from a fate-sealing deck called the Undrawn Hand. Normally I don’t dig card mechanics in my RPG’s, but this one really allows for a pretty rich combination of power curve and special abilities… it makes for a huge variety in how each player experiences the game.
There is a pretty serious roster of agents you can choose from and each of them has a very unique playstyle, from sneaky snipers to dashing swordsmen to tanky displacers to mind controllers to incredibly potent support healers and so on. The teleporting agent is mad fun… All the things scratched that design itch: potent combos, overwatch actions, stress breaks, world spreadables, chaining passives… yeah! It was a total blast to work in this space.
Yeah it’ll be on Gamepass but I’ll be playing it on Steam… It’s pretty damn good on the Deck.
After a rest I’ll get back on some Auto Fire and other fun stuff.