Besiege: Building Epic Contraptions for Fun and Profit

Besiege is an indie Early Access title created by Spiderling Games, a small video game company based in southern England. In Besiege, you create a siege engine from a variety of parts, and have a series of campaign levels to unleash your ingenious contraptions on, appealing to those of us with grand schemes of evil-geniusing. The challenge comes in when you realize that most of your contraption will have to be made of wood or other very flimsy materials, and the locals are not too happy with your monstrous contraption rolling into town as though it owns the joint. (I assume that building an evil lair in the now vacant and slightly burned area will be coming in a later content patch.)

Features, man! Features!
Features, man! Features!

When you first start the game, you are treated to a beautiful start menu unlike any other I have seen. This menu is in the shape of a world, and the continents are the various levels of the game. A moon circles the world, where I assume the physics will be different once it is unlocked for the player to explore.

This world... WILL BE MINE
This world… WILL BE MINE

Another great feature that has already been implemented is a sandbox mode, with various obstacles and enemies for you to test your insane designs. The photos below showcase some of my tamer inventions.

Creation, Sublime Creation
Creation, Sublime Creation
What a lovely cottage!
What a lovely cottage!
Shame if Fred got to it.
Shame if Fred got to it.
Fred got overexcited.
Fred got overexcited.

And from this point on, the problem solving gets progressively more ridiculous. Certain blocks can only be destroyed by bombs, which create an explosion that would make Michael Bay happy.

Oh no! Archers!
Oh no! Archers!
MICHAEL BAYYYY
MICHAEL BAYYYY
Was there a wall here?
Was there a wall here?

As you can see from the middle image, there are proper physics in place. This is a lovingly modeled game, with beautiful art, made in Unity. With the different kinds of springs, hinges, wings and weapons, the possibilities for building horrifying monstrosities really are endless. There is a given area in which you are allowed to build your machine, but currently that is the only restriction.

However, some blocks are called “Powered Blocks,”  which implies the addition of power sources later on. The most recent patch added cogs, which can be used to make your machines more complex and destructive. Including self destructive, if you do not fully think through your designs. Spiritually, this game feels like a Medieval-style Kerbal Space Program with combat instead of exploration. But to those of you who wanted to create mechanical machines to mince those meatbags, this is the menacing, movie-quality destruction engine for you.

Furthermore, the game is being updated weekly. When I first began writing my pitches for Giants From The North, it was in version .01. Currently, it is in version .03, and has 50% more parts to play with as it did originally. Bear in mind that this is an early access title, so features and new levels will be added constantly.

And now, a question to the readers. This game went on Steam as an Early Access title. What do you think of Early Access games? Are they a good way for such gems as this to be produced, or a good way for a game to get stuck in development hell and never finished? What mechanisms could be used to help the gems and make sure game development moved towards a finished product? Thanks for reading, and I await your ideas!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I see a nice area for my secret lab which has a few too many sheep. Onwards! To glory!

Personal Game Scoring System:

(Scale of 1-5, one being a hot mess and 5 being amazingly well done)

Fun:5

Polish:5

Update Schedule: 5

Crushing Insolent Fools Who Dare Stand In Your Path: 5

Hi! I am Eugene Shenderov, and I am a starting game designer. You can find my website at www.thisandthatgames.com. Send me a message if you have any questions!

Have a great day!

Eugene Shenderov

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