Chris Picone - CSH Picone
Ilja Varha - Grand Tactician
Interview by Chris Picone, 06 August 2020
There must be countless grognards out there like myself who grew up during the “golden age” of strategy games and have been enjoying watching the genre grow and evolve over the last couple of decades. Joining me today are three of what I consider to be among some of the greatest up-and-coming pioneers of the field from all around the world. Developers whose games cover a range of design choices including 4X, tactical, kingdom-builder, turn-based and real-time, as well as a variety of themes. With such talent in the room, I decided to skip most of the usual fluffy questions so we could delve right into some nitty-gritty design discussion, making this interview a small but quality trove of game design wisdom.
Please note, I’ve compiled any links mentioned through the interview as well as links to each of the developers’ games and studio websites at the bottom of the interview for your convenience.
CSH: Before we get started, in case anyone out there is unfamiliar with you or your work, give us a quick run-down on who you are and tell us a bit about your game.
Grand Tactician: My name is Ilja Varha, I am 36 years old and from Finland. I am the designer of Grand Tactician: The Civil War (1861-1865). I work in the Finnish military as a day job and game development is a hobby, or another job, so to say. The rest of our team can be found in Austria and Germany and of course we would never have been able to make a game like this without the help of a number of volunteers from the USA.
You can find more information about our dev team here:
The Civil War (1861-1865) is a real-time strategy game that combines a strategic campaign with tactical battle game-play. Run your nation, muster, manage and support great armies, and manoeuvre them to defeat the enemy. Once the opposing armies meet, you must command your troops to victory in battles fought on historical battlefields.
Kube Games: Kube Games is a small studio based in the Czech Republic. 2 enthusiasts make up the core team but there are a number of dedicated volunteers who help, support and motivate us.
Imperiums: Greek Wars is a historical turn-based 4X grand strategy game set in the time of Philip II of Macedon. The first prototype of the game was made a decade ago as a hobby project and it drew inspiration from the big titles, such as Civilization and Heroes of Might and Magic, but with the desire to take a new tack on the genre.
Resistance Games: Resistance Games is a young but experienced game development studio from Northern Finland. Even though Company of Crime is Resistance Games' first project, the people behind it have made a number of games elsewhere. The 13-person team has on average 13 years of industry experience each. We all love strategy games and therefore any future projects will focus exclusively on the strategy genre.
Company of Crime is a turn-based tactical strategy game in the spirit of X-COM. But unlike other games in the genre, Company of Crime focuses heavily on melee combat. In the game you follow in the footsteps of real-world criminal legends like the Kray brothers and build a criminal empire. Or you join Scotland Yard's finest, the Flying Squad, and tear down organised crime. The other star of the game is Swinging London in the 1960s. Mods, rude boys, rockers, lemon heads and others join the criminal families of the game while you're dedicated to gouge their eyes, kick their nuts or throw them to the wall to get done what you came to do.
CSH: The question begs to be asked how we ended up with one Finnish developer creating a game about the American Civil War, another basing their game on the 1960s London crime scene, and a Czech developer exploring Ancient Greece. However, we’ll have to leave that for another day. We have a lot to cover already so let’s get straight to business.
I’m an old strategy gamer from way back; Sid Meier’s Civilization, Dune 2, Warcraft, Command & Conquer, KKND… I poured what must have been hundreds of hours of my childhood into such games and consider it time well spent. They’re very difficult to go back to, however. I recently re-downloaded some of them to play on DOSBox, and while I found the graphics surprisingly tolerable, I was quickly turned off by clunky UI and controls. While I feel the 90s were probably the golden era for strategy games in terms of innovation, I have to admit gameplay has improved significantly over the decades. As such, since you have all been influenced in some way by the classics, I’m curious about your approaches to creating new strategy games for the modern gamer?
Grand Tactician: Funnily enough, our taste in strategy games is rooted in the 1990s, when strategy games were difficult – not to play, at least for the grognards, but to win – and had a lot of depth. We wanted to play such a game about the American Civil War. But there weren’t any so we decided to create one ourselves.
We look at modernisation in two ways: First, we want our game to embody a spiritual return to the great 1990s titles where the game did not help the player to win all the time. The player must invest time in learning the nuances of the game. Our game is NOT “beer and pretzels”. However, we wanted to make the gameplay easier with a somewhat simple UI and it had to look a bit more modern than the 1990s titles – though here we must admit that without resources, that’s not an easy job.
Resistance Games: I think modernisation starts with the basic design, not just the user experience and user interface development. For us, the predominant quality-of-life improvements were made a decade ago when the X-COM series was rebooted and the mechanics modernised. And they perfected a lot with their two latest games and expansions. Just to be clear, we’re not a clone warrior, our main point of difference being our concentration on melee combat. But as we were developing our own game, we actually got in to “fights” with one another about how things should work and would often refer to X-COM to see how they had managed something as we usually found their methods could support what we were trying to achieve and were very intuitive. However, since flanking works totally different in Company of Crime and we have to make sure the player doesn’t perform unnecessary clicks nor misclicks, we often had to do the complete opposite of what X-COM had done. For example, X-COM has actions selected with left click while right click selects movement. For us, left click is selection and right click is cancel. We started using a zoom feature when players select their actions to help communicate different effects; this was a small addition but a huge improvement.
Kube Games: I agree with Resistance Games in that it all starts with basic design. Whatever we call modernization is really evolution. As a designer, you always want to be creative, innovative, unique, but the key is to listen to your players. Bringing fresh ideas is good as long as you test them and your players find them intuitive and fun but trying to force “modernization” is useless. Any changes, new mechanics or rules have to fit the audience.
For example, we went through a similar process with the game controls. We introduced left click for selecting units and also for confirming action. We thought that this is only natural as the same mouse control is used in browser and other programs. However, it is quite a standard in strategy games to use right click to execute an action.
So, what started with the best intention turned out to be confusing for the players. To remedy the situation, we introduced an alternative mouse control so that players can choose whichever works better for them. Funnily enough, those players who tested the game and the left-click idea got so used to this “new” mouse control during the testing phase that they use it even now when there is an option to go back to the “standard” setting.
Grand Tactician: Maybe another point here is the importance of making a strategy game that feels authentic and true to the period portrayed, which for us is the American Civil War. As a small indie team without the resources of bigger studios, we tried to make the atmosphere unique in our game with the choice of music, period art, colorized authentic photos and cutscenes taking inspiration from Ken Burns’ documentary about the Civil War.
So, maybe in our case we tried the “less is more” approach, and we’re interested to see how that is received by the players. No stunning 3D animations and such; instead a rather minimalistic, but carefully thought out approach.
Resistance Games: For a small team of 13 people competing with budgets and teams ten times bigger, a lot of our decisions were based on what we could achieve economically. I’m pretty sure Company of Crime looks twice its actual production scope and that is because our art lead understands that mechanics always trumps art. What art communicates is more important than how pretty it looks.
Kube Games: The point about mechanics trumping art is one for longer debate. Players nowadays expect a lot also from the way the game looks, knowing the possibilities today. The visuals play a more prominent role than ever before. Even in the traditional 4X genre where usually it is the mechanics that determine the quality of the game, this trend is clear.
CSH: As a gamer, I can see both sides here. Mechanics is far more important than graphics to me but a game should still look appealing, whichever approach is taken. Having said that, I grew up with text parsers, so my opinion might not count these days. Before we get too side-tracked – the art debate is a rabbit hole we could lose ourselves down for hours – lets go back to game mechanics. I’ve often read that pacing is considered possibly the greatest bugbear of the strategy genre. How have you tackled the issue?
Grand Tactician: Our game is real-time strategy – but not a click-fest like they’re usually described. Instead, we use order delay mechanics and quite a lot of AI controls, so the player should not be overwhelmed by events at any time during the game.
That being said, we have not included any “mini-games” for killing time. If there are no manoeuvres taking place by either side, the game will drag on. Of course, the player can accelerate time, but we are not artificially creating busywork. In our opinion, as history buffs and grognards, this is all well and realistic, but we also understand not all gamers will enjoy the slow-paced sandbox world we’ve created.
Resistance Games: With turn-based games I think this is somewhat easier than purely action oriented games. For us, pacing’s biggest challenges lie in making sure everything stays meaningful. Tactical missions need to be fun but also impactful and the same goes with the strategy layer between missions. What you do there needs to be meaningful and impact the tactical side. If we achieve this, the pacing is easy, because then it’s a matter of controlling the rate of progression – the rate at which things get more difficult, how quickly player will unlock stuff, and so on. How do we avoid grinding that is no longer meaningful? For us the biggest challenge is the fact that all of our units can perform tasks. What we want to avoid is that when you have only 4 units progression goes fast, but in the end game if you have 16 or even 20 units, we need to make sure there are enough time sinks for the units to perform. One method is automatic success of certain tasks; another, fatigue, which limits the use of units; and third, forcing some missions to auto-resolve. We don’t want the player to have the option to auto-resolve missions because some players would never use it and they’d get bored grinding basic missions while others would over-use it and would receive punishments they might feel to be unfair. Therefore, auto-resolve occurs during busy times, when lots of missions would take place. We have a system that dictates which missions are the least meaningful ones. What we want to achieve is that 1 month in a game takes almost the same amount of time in the end game as it did in the early game. Sure it will grow a bit, but the main thing is managing how often the player manually completes missions against forced auto-resolution for some missions, allowing us to keep the pace the same.
Kube Games: Finding the right pacing is the holy grail of game development. However fancy that might sound, finding the right balance often boils down to a matter of tweaking numbers. If the game is too fast and challenging at the beginning, you need to tune it down a notch, but if it then gets boring too soon, you need to adjust the AI and related mechanics. This is a process that takes months.
Resistance Games: We faced a similar issue. In Company of Crime, both the strategic and tactical sides of the game are about creating different challenges for the player. The tactical side is ultimately about how to overcome the foe and there are tons of minor challenges that come with that. How do I create a local superiority? How do I position my units so that they do most damage while preventing enemies from flanking them? How do I save a unit that is low on stamina? Et cetera. At the beginning of the project, we had a paper prototype that we could use to simulate the challenges quite nicely without having a line of code. The strategy layer is of course more about resource and time management challenges, but also of course choices with rewards which player will want to go after faster. This is the element, however, where our second campaign – the police campaign – will be worse off than criminal campaign since it provides a more railroaded experience.
Kube Games: There is a whole science behind this. Especially in strategy games that usually take tens of hours to finish. The body produces various hormones that affect how the player feels. Adrenalin occurs when he is heavily invested in a military campaign and every turn needs to re-assess the situation and deal with losses. Serotonin occurs when he explores, builds cities and improves the economic infrastructure, therefore creating a “home” for his people, etc. When you keep the player too long in the adrenalin phase, he gets exhausted faster. When he is stuck in the building phase too long, he might get bored, and so on. There are many studies made about how to pace the game to switch between these phases to keep the player entertained, active, and constantly feeling the “one more turn” sensation.
CSH: Aah, the “one more turn” sensation - the “holy grail,” indeed. On the topic, while the strategy genre is an action-based genre, I find it hard to believe that any game could capture a player’s attention for any great length of time – tens of hours, as you said – without a story, or at least the sensation of such, to help carry the action. And historical games naturally lend themselves to story, so how did you go about it?
Resistance Games: Even though all of us at Resistance Games love good stories, strategy games are of course a very mechanics-driven genre. Therefore, when talking about strategy games, I like to talk about narrative instead of story. Narrative in strategy game is super important – story, not so much. We think of this divide as “player’s story” versus “designer’s story.” When the genre is heavy on game mechanics, it is equally important that you feel like your decisions matter. Therefore, a linear story can feel like a letdown without adequate variation, alternative paths or freedom to progress how one pleases.
Take X-COM for example. Its story doesn’t win any prizes but its narrative is really great and it delivers a “player’s story” quite well; it doesn’t really need any better “designer’s story.” As a comparison Paradox’s Crusader Kings series is filled with “player’s stories” created by events and emergent narrative. I would say it is as rich in narrative as any story-driven game. For us this type of system-driven story or narrative is also a matter of budget – but it is something we may consider in our future games. Creating a rich system-driven narrative full of meaningful content is time consuming to make and time consuming to balance and since it’s not a key feature in Company of Crime, we opted for a more traditional story-telling style which may not be as perfect a fit for a strategy game as it would be for another genre. In the tactical missions we provide tools for the mechanics to create interesting player-driven mini stories than traditional developer driven stories but in the larger context we still ended up telling a story about Allie & Nate Clearwater with relatively traditional methods.
Kube Games: That fits with what we do. Historical games build upon a known story but in the game itself, you as a player drive the “story” and create an alternative history.
Still, onboarding is extremely important here. We need to create an environment where the player feels like he is the leader and supreme commander; to do that, he needs to experience the power and responsibility that goes with it. Initial immersion in this “story” is essential. We use introduction videos, scenario and faction intros to reinforce this feeling right at the beginning.
In our game, we use so-called “objectives,” which are short- to mid-term economic, social, political and military goals, that the faction should strive to achieve. The objectives are systematic, based on a mixture of historical research and, to an extent, the player’s decisions. Completing these objectives increases immersion as you feel as if you are fulfilling your destiny through guided decision-making rather than forced action.
Grand Tactician: In our game, the story is basically pre-written for us: The story is the Civil War. We chose to portray the War itself as the “main character,” if one wants to use that term. The Civil War and realities of that period in time set the boundaries on what the player can do; otherwise, the game is a sandbox: The player is not forced to follow any pre-defined tasks other than winning the war – or at least not losing it.
To breathe some life into our sandbox war, we added some elements where the player’s actions are used to create the story: First, all the main events are recorded and presented as “official records.” This is the story of this particular American Civil War. Also, all battles leave “monuments” on the campaign map that the player can view with the results of the engagement. Monuments from major engagements are permanent while minor skirmishes will fade (to prevent cluttering) with time. In addition, the commanders and military units’ actions are also recorded during the game. So for each commander you can see their promotion history, battles he has taken part in, and so on.
For more visual story-telling, we divided the historical Civil War events into 4 “chapters” from the road to war, to raising the armies, all the way to 4 different endings. These chapters are presented as videos, with re-enactment footage, historical colorized photographs from the war, maps, music and narration. Trying to write these videos was of course rather tricky, as the game will not follow historical events 99% of the time. So instead of concentrating on the historic battles like Vicksburg or Gettysburg, we instead draw a picture of different phases in the war: from eager amateurs to determined veterans and then to national exhaustion as the war drags on, including the political main events like union elections as the mood of the citizens wane. The last visual story-telling element is the newspapers, that cover both the events that happened in reality, and unaffected by players’ choices, and also those player-drive events.
Hopefully this blend of story-telling mechanisms, along with generous use of quotes from the people of that time, will bring the period to life in a way that has not been done before.
CSH: Since you’re sticking so close to reality, how have you tackled potentially sensitive real-world issues while remaining true to the spirit of the time being represented and also maintaining some creative licence?
Grand Tactician: Oh, this is a tough one! There would be so much to cover here, from the strategic side, politics and economy to operational level to tactical level battles and the use of AI. But to sum up the main talking points, I’ll pick one topic only – slavery – and hope I won’t step on a landmine in the process.
First of all, even as the game is a sandbox, we do enforce historical boundaries. One of them is the fact that slavery existed in many states when the war started. So, as the Confederate player you cannot choose to “abolish slavery before firing at Fort Sumter” as Longstreet puts it in the movie Gettysburg. The simple reason is that then the fundamentals of the war would have changed so much that it would have been impossible to portray the alternative history in a believable manner. Now, how to portray slavery in a game without shooting yourself in the foot, but at the same time not moralizing the player, and remaining true to history? After some long discussions we decided we would portray slavery as the strategic layer of the Civil War without it would be hypocritical. We of course show it as a morally impossible, an evil thing – that’s what it was, however one wants to bend it. But it existed and was one of the main driving forces in American politics. We try to portray slavery in the context of the America of mid-19th Century, not that of today. This is of course a difficult task, because we all live in the world of today and many do not know the history well enough. But we do believe most strategy gamers who are willing to touch such a complex game as ours, will also be willing to dive in to this time period – with all the good and the bad – and can understand the difference between a computer game and the real world.
Now, coming back to game design choices and challenges, one of them is definitely how to approach slavery. Our choice was history-driven. We allowed the player to not emancipate the slaves – even to expand the institution, or to abolish slavery as the North as well as the South. The Confederacy can win the war with the institution of slavery intact. We did not include a historically inaccurate but politically correct reward system. If the Confederacy does abolish slavery, it will come at a great cost, as the wealthiest part of the population, the plantation owners, would not support such a move. In the game, victory is based on morale and support of the citizens: you can win the game without any conquest, by destroying the enemy’s economy and causing such casualties that war exhaustions sets in and the backbone of the will to fight on is cracked. The Confederate player will lose a lot of support by abolishing slavery. On the other hand, this move will remove one of the main barriers for the European nations to not intervene in the conflict against the United States. So we do not force the player’s hand or demonize his/her actions, nor the people of that time. In the news and quotes we deliver during the game, we let the people of that time have the floor. I think we’ve done quite a good job of it, but this of course is for the players to decide. We really hope most players (you cannot please all) will appreciate this approach and will not try to bend our game into a political statement – as it is not one.
CSH: I had not anticipated such a thorough answer, but you are exactly right; slavery was absolutely woven into every layer of life during the war – economy, morale, political, military… Coincidentally, this is a nice segway into my next point: While strategy games’ UI and gameplay might have evolved to become more intuitive over the decades, the games themselves are far more complex. As I mentioned earlier, I grew up playing the original Civilization as a child. Each sequel has added more and more features, which is fantastic for long-time returning players like me, but I can only imagine this must make more recent CIVs seem overwhelming and inaccessible for new players. So, how much is too much?
Resistance: This is a topic I have taught a lot of young designers on university courses. Lacking the proper term in English, I refer to it as reflective mechanics. If player has 20 buttons to press or 20 things to do in a game, that will always be overwhelming for players and will lead to very high learning curve and high churn rate. But if a designer utilises reflective mechanics, that doesn’t have to mean dumb games. Reflective mechanics means that there may be only 3 buttons to press, but you can achieve 20 things with them. This will ultimately lead to easier landing and faster sense of mastery without sacrificing depth at all. Take the board game Carcassonne for example. Apart from counting points, there are only two things the player does and both are super easy to learn, leading to anyone being able to pick up the game and play. Take a tile and place it to expand a map, and place your meeple on that tile as long as there isn’t anyone else on whatever you’re building – that same castle, for example, if you’re expanding a castle. Anyone can learn that immediately. And then players will quickly learn that you can conquer other peoples’ areas, you can merge existing structures, you can block others off, you can play nasty to block others from finishing what they’re building and so forth. The depth of the game is huge. Same with video games; consider the gravity gun from Half Life 2, or portal making in Portal. You can achieve a lot with just one thing you’ve learned.
I also grew up with Civilization and I remember writing essays about my Civilization 1 sessions at comprehensive school. And the Civilization series does relatively okay with this, but could do better as well. Endless Legend, for example, does a better job with making the city management simple and complex at the same time, and its district system is far superior to Civilization 6’s. If Endless Legend was based on history, like Humankind will be, I think Firaxis will be super worried – as they should be – and which New Frontier Pass is, to me at least, evidence of. Sadly, Endless Legend makes other stuff unnecessarily complex such as needlessly time consuming combat, but comparing the two games overall, I believe Amplitude has done a better job.
Kube Games: It’s all a matter of good structure. If mechanics and features interact in a way that the player finds logical and intuitive, he is not overwhelmed. 4X games are complex but instead of reducing the number of features, we disabled some of them on lower difficulty levels. For example, when planning a military conquest, you need to keep your supply routes in mind. Go too far and you will be stranded with no food or armaments. However, this particular feature is disabled on lower difficulty so the player does not become overwhelmed and can learn step-by-step. Once you understand the cause and effect between your actions and the consequences, you can get to grips with the mechanics quickly.
As a historical strategy, we strive to create a game as close to reality as possible and so every action has its consequences. There are many mechanics in the game all working together, interacting, so making a decision sends ripples through your whole state structure, foreign politics, economy and society. For this reason, it is extremely important to make the interaction of various mechanics logical. For example, supporting population growth means you will have more workers and men to serve in your army but there will be economical consequences as it that support costs the government in terms of building materials and food. The player should never feel like something is happening out of the blue. There should be no deus ex machina.
Giving the player as many options as possible is good. I believe that introducing caps would feel artificial in the game. A much better approach is to balance the mechanics in a way that curbs the player’s behaviour naturally. For example, the game offers a great number of unit improvements. Yes, you can create a superman unit with all improvements but we want the player to think strategically and plan where he is going to use his units and how. Each new improvement the unit gets is more expensive than the one before. This means we don’t need to cap it and say only 3 improvements per unit are allowed because the increasing costs will lead the player naturally to a decision that the additional improvement is just not worth it.
Likewise, whenever the player finds himself in a crisis, there will usually be more than one way out. If there is only one solution to a problem, making a mistake would be fatal. Perhaps trying one way might not bring the expected result, so he will have to try another approach ... sometimes very painful decisions are needed, but that’s reality.
Grand Tactician: Here we took a few very valuable lessons from the feedback to Oliver’s - our coder’s - previous game The Seven Years War: 1756-1763 (TSYW). Too much is too much if the player does not feel the need to do something, but still is forced to do it.
As an example, let me discuss TSYW’s economic system. To make the economy serve the war effort, the player must really micromanage it, from building industries, to setting prices and priorities, and so on. If you know what you’re doing, the very elaborate system will reap you the benefits you’re looking for. But most players really wanted only to step in the shoes of the military commanders, without worrying about loam and bricks as Frederick the Great. So, while we did include a full economy system once again, in Grand Tactician the player has no direct control over it. The economy serves as a driving force and a target for military operations. Without supplies, you cannot operate. Denying the enemy these supplies will make military operations difficult for him. Of course, the problem is now how to visualize this cause and effect to the player. Here, we are not yet fully happy and will need to improve further.
CSH: Three very different approaches! It will be interesting to see how they all unfold in-game. I want to tie this interview up now, with a question I always like to sign off with. I firmly believe game development is a process of learning as much as it is creation. What’s your golden rule, the one main takeaway from your time as a game developer, that you would like to pass on?
Resistance Games: The golden rule for me is that gameplay is king in everything, even in story. If you’re delivering a story via cinematics instead of whatever choices the player makes, the player will not care unless you have the AAA budget to polish everything to the maximum level. And if you’re trying to develop your characters into real personalities but there’s no tangible gameplay impact, the player will not care. Your units won’t feel real just because of well-written fluff. The story doesn’t matter if it doesn’t have an impact on the gameplay. On the contrary – if the fluff actually has a gameplay impact, that is what will make the world and characters feel alive. A unit that refuses to shoot because an enemy has low health will make the earlier fluff that unit has spoken meaningful, not the other way around. In other words, the game can take control away from the player, but that’s still gameplay and game mechanics.
Grand Tactician: What have we learned? In our case, a small team of indie developers creating a game in our free time and basically without resources, I can say that passion is a big thing. So far, we’ve stumbled into many very creative and generous people, who have volunteered to create content for our game just because they liked our passion-driven project. Without this passion, I believe we would have fallen a lot shorter with the atmosphere of the game, for example. The soundtrack, the documentary-style films, the beautiful hand-drawn maps… all of this was added later to the project as we met people who wanted to help us out for very little or no compensation. It really humbles you, and at the same time it makes you feel you’re doing something right.
And our golden rule? If you can simplify it, you should. Just like writing a story – I am a freelance writer on my spare time – you may start by writing everything in detail, but it makes the story heavy to read. In most cases, you can provide the same amount of information in a much shorter story. This goes with game design as well: if you can deliver the story without drowning the player in unnecessary details, then you should. As the story develops inside the player’s head, sometimes less is more.
Kube Games: You should never think you are smarter than the players. Their feedback should be your main guidance on the direction the game is taking.
CSH: That seems like an auspicious note an end this interview on. Scooter Braun said this of the music industry: “If we remain in competition, then we die. We have to understand that we're all in this together. Collaboration and synergy, it's one of the most important things out there.” I believe that sentiment absolutely applies to the indie gaming industry, and hope that some budding young hopefuls out there can benefit from the wisdom you have all shared today. Thank you all for your time.
Kube Games’ Imperiums was officially released on the 30th July; you can purchase it on Steam now or directly from their website for a discount. Resistance Games’ Company of Crime’ release is fast approaching on the 8th August. Grand Tactician’s Civil War is a little further away, with an Early Access release set for the 21st August. What a time to be alive! If you’re interested, why not add them to your wishlist now so you don’t miss the release dates?
As promised, please find below a compilation of links and recommendations mentioned throughout the video, and links for each of the developers’ games and websites.
Links from the interview:
Grand Tactician’s dev team page:
Links to developer/game websites:
Resistance Games’ website:
Company of Crime Steam page:
Imperiums: Greek Wars website:
Imperiums: Greek Wars Steam page:
Grand Tactician’s website:
Grand Tactician Steam page: