Brian Reynolds is a name you’ve probably never heard of, but he’s easily one of the most important designers in the gaming industry. I even met him at E3 and asked him a question. I can’t remember the question or the answer, but it happened! Reynolds doesn’t quite get the attention that Molyneux or Miyamoto do, but his games are some of the finest to ever be crafted. When Civilization II is one of your first credits, you know you’re going places. Nearly four years ago, Brian was snapped up by Zynga after he left Big Huge Games, which was snapped up by 38 Studios (and we know how that went) and he went to work on Frontierville and Empires & Allies for Facebook. To pile on Zynga’s woes, he’s now leaving.
Of course, everyone knows I pine for a new Rise of Nations game. Reynolds may be super talented, but submitting himself to Zynga was a flag saying “hey guys, I’m taking a break for a while”. Zynga’s canned gameplay loop, designed to manipulate your currency and friends list, is simply no place for a talent like him. I can’t stress enough the necessity that Reynolds begin work on another Rise of Nations (or something similar, I’m not picky) immediately. Y’see, Brian knows how to make a good strategy game, something that this universe has been missing for a while. SimCity is fantastic, but can I launch an army to crush my neighbors? Obviously not. He doesn’t need to iterate on old ideas, no sense in joining the reboot generation of everything, he just needs to be given a large budget to create the next great game.
I wish Reynolds the best in his new route by posting my love letter to the best real-time strategy game ever made.
Rise of Nations. That’s the game I’m referring to.