Way back in early 2016 we first learned about Exiles of Embermark, an ambitious mobile-centric combat RPG. Originally announced as a project from Industrial Toys, the makers of the Midnight Star series of mobile first-person shooters, the developers actually spun out into a brand new studio called Gunslinger which better represented what they were trying to accomplish with Exiles of Embermark: A game where you can have meaningful and strategic duels with real-life opponents, all in the span of a minute or two that fits into the style of bite-sized mobile gaming. Literally like digital gunslingers. Since that initial announcement more than three years ago, we’ve covered Exiles of Embermark a ton, posting new info when it came out and seeing the game in various stages of development at conferences. It always felt like the game was right there at the finish line, but with Gunslinger always adding in new features and systems and then trying to balance everything to be fun, that finish line always seemed to be moving further and further into the future. And, well, unfortunately that has finally caught up with them as today they’ve announced that “the game’s production is currently on ice."
So, what does that mean? Well, the short answer is that they just flat out ran out of money to keep development going. They had previously scaled up their staff and expanded the scope of the game, but when some expected financial funding didn’t come through, they reached the end of their rope pretty quickly. Unfortunately that means that the entire Gunslinger staff save for the two co-founders has been laid off, and currently Exiles of Embermark development is on hold. The game is roughly 75% complete, and if there are any sugar daddy types out there, Gunslinger would love for a financial backer to appear on the scene to help them with funding to finish up and release the game. If that describes you, you can find out more details and contact information on the Exiles of Embermark tumblr.
If a money angel doesn’t swoop in and save the game though? Well, Gunslinger still wants to finish the game by self-funding it. One of the ways they’re hoping to do that is with the revenue from a brand new game called Dungeoning which they’ve just publicly announced today. This will be an incremental game that breaks down the upgrade hooks and loot collection of dungeon crawlers and RPGs and stuffs it into a mobile-friendly clicker. But calling it just a clicker doesn’t do Dungeoning justice as there appear to be some pretty deep systems in play here.
You can see some very early mockup screens as well as find out how to take part in a very early alpha test over at the Dungeoning tumblr page, or you can join their new Discord server or check out the game’s Twitter page to keep up with its progress. I’m very sad to see Exiles of Embermark on hiatus as I love what I’ve seen of it over the years and I know an amazing game is in there somewhere, but I’m confident we haven’t heard the last of it and in the meantime I’m really excited to see what this Dungeoning game ends up being all about.