Hello and welcome to another Cantata 101! For this edition, we’ll be discussing the two major ways you’ll be playing Cantata – Campaigns and Skirmishes!
Let’s start with Campaigns! Campaigns are the core of the narrative and story you’ll play through in Cantata and are the primary singleplayer mode of the game. The pluralization of “Campaigns” is intentional: each of Cantata’s nine CO’s will have a Campaign of their own, comprising one chapter of the larger, interwoven story of these people, their expeditions, their factions and their encounters with one another. In keeping with Cantata’s vision of combining turn-based tactics with city-building strategy and logistics, each campaign will take place on a single map. Don’t let that fool you though – these are deep, focused tales wrapped around full gameplay, and we expect each campaign to have a duration of roughly 2-3 hours. For those keeping count, that means we’re looking at having a ~20 hour main campaign.
As you proceed through each Campaign, you’ll build up a base, create units, establish multiple nodes of control with lines of supply between each and confront changing goals. Because these maps will be sizeable, the player will continue to have places to explore and discover right up to the conclusion of the campaign itself. As you play through a campaign, you’ll gain experience, shaping your tactical options while the story and strategic situation develop. Ultimately, these Campaigns should feel less like “missions” from a traditional RTS or TBT game, but instead feel individually like full experiences in their own right.
This same structure carries into our free-play mode: Skirmishes. The Skirmish mode is just what you might expect from a freeplay mode: you can pick a map from a pool we provide and choose any of the various CO’s and play against the AI, your friends or anyone across the internet in head-to-head battles. As you might expect from a turn-based game, Cantata will support both online multiplayer and hotseat (local) multiplayer AND any (hopefully) any combination of the two. Like the Campaigns, Skirmishes will take place over a single map, with players vying for control over regions of the map through troop movements and supply lines, collecting experience along the way and engaging with any other long-term mechanics.
The skirmish maps we provide will be much more focused on traditional combat scenarios and less about trying to forward a narrative. They’ll be significantly shorter than a traditional Campaign map, as we’re aiming for a quick-play that feels like a thorough boardgame session instead of an hours long engagement.
However, the beauty of skirmish mode, and what I personally expect will see the most use, is that this is how you’ll be able to play on modded maps created by either yourself or someone in the community! We can’t speak much yet to how this will work, but we want to make the process of playing on new maps as easy as possible. Want to show the world your amazing 30 hour campaign map? Skirmish mode is the place for you! This extends as well to any modded units/buildings/etc. — our goal is that you can just select a map, download its assets, and start playing!
Thanks for reading this issue of Cantata 101! We’re looking forward to rolling this all out over time, and can’t wait to see what you all think!