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My Elephant in the Room: An 'Old World' Postmortem

Soren Johnson  (Design Director, Mohawk Games)

Location: Room 2014, West Hall

Date: Wednesday, March 23

Time: 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Core Pass - Get your pass now!

Topic: Design

Format: Session

Viewing Experience: In-Person

Vault Recording: Video

Audience Level: Yes

With Old World, Mohawk Games set out to reinvigorate the historical 4X genre by reducing thematic scope and removing rote decisions to make room for procedural characters and narrative. In the process, Mohawk reexamined and often rejected genre conventions, including the deterministic tech tree, the diplomatic bargaining table, the conventional citizen tile yield model, and moving every unit every turn. In parallel, they built a dynamic story engine that enabled the creation of over 3,000 events, each with their own unique triggers and effects, adding variety, texture, and depth to the game without bloating the design.


Attendees will gain a detailed understanding of how the design team at Mohawk rebuilt the 4X genre with a focus on improving the player experience, by removing rote decisions while adding new depth and content in the right places.

Intended Audience

This session is intended for intermediate to advanced game designers who want an in-depth understanding of how to do innovative work within an established genre.