Dark Sun: Shattered Lands, Silent Hunter, Al-Qadim: The Genie's Curse and of course, Warlords Battlecry. These are just a few of the fantastic games developer Strategic Simulations Inc crafted back in the 80s and 90s. Sadly, deep, engrossing games like these are far and few between these days... if only the guys behind SSI could get back on the horse. That, or start a new company with a very similar name.
This week, SSI stalwarts Paul Murray and David Shelley announced Tactical Simulations Interactive. While the name's a bit different, the focus on "old school RPG sensibilities" remains, according to the company's first press release:
Drawing on their experience at SSI, the team at TSI aims to provide the next step in meaningful player experiences in the same way that SSI's 'Gold Box' titles did during the 1980s and 1990s. David Shelley takes on the role of Producer/Lead Designer, while Paul Murray serves as Technical Designer at TSI. The team was integral to the international success of Strategic Simulations Inc.'s genre-defining RPGs, such as Curse of the Azure Bonds, Pool of Radiance, and Wizard's Crown.
David Shelley, Producer/Lead Designer, TSI said: "Tactical Simulations Interactive is a return to providing the player full control of their party, with a focus on creating immersive and unforgettable story experiences, exciting exploration, meaningful social/political choices, and robust tactical combat."
As always, the sentiment is right, but the devil is in the details (and execution). Right now, all the company has to show is a website featuring a countdown clock, set to tick over on 18 August. No idea what it's counting down to, but I'm still rather excited.