The last time we checked in with Team Colorblind's Aztez was in 2013, and the hybrid strategy board game/beat-em-up was slated for a 2014 release. Three years later the game is set for a winter release. No really, there's a Steam page and everything.
What took so long? When I played an early build of Aztez back in 2012, it was little more than a combat proof-of-concept, with none of the strategic board game elements that were to make up a substantial portion of the game. Those are the bits the two-man team of Ben Ruiz and Matthew Wegner have been honing since.
As Ruiz told me in an email yesterday, continuing a thread we'd last visited over four years ago, "The biggest thing is that we had to design, build, and glue in the turn-based game structure. One half of the game is essentially board game of the Aztec empire, where you take over cities and get cool items, and address emergencies, and throw festivals, and the other is the combat. Marrying the two (a couple different times) was our Everest. But we did it!"
Not only did Ruiz, Megner and the occasional contractor get the two halves put together, Ruiz also had time to greatly expand the combat section of the game, building eight weapons systems, creating a ton of enemies and over 50 battle environments.
You can see how well it's all coming together in the new announcement trailer below. Looks like it will be worth the wait.