In The Brigade, players are various fire chiefs within the rather combustible town of Tinderbox thanks to the nearby activities of the Pyromancer’s University. Throughout the course of the game your goal is to put out fires, upgrade your crew’s firefighting capabilities, and earn the loyalty of the town’s citizens, all in the hopes of becoming the town’s new head fire chief. It’s a daunting, challenging job to be sure, and most of your time in the game is understandably spent focusing on ensuring that the whole place doesn’t reach a municipal sized flash point.
You may not have time during all of your heroic deeds to ponder, for instance, why the town of Tinderbox has a Pyromancer University in the middle of it. How long has that been there, exactly? Who allowed such a thing? And why would they choose that location of all places to set up shop to explicitly work with untested and unskilled fire mages?
You may also not have time to reflect on the name of the town itself. Tinderbox? Really? Is that just a terrible coincidence, or is there an actual etymology behind the town’s naming? Was it always called that? Was it once something else but changed when things inexplicably started catching on fire on a regular basis? In short, was Tinderbox always place associated with explosive activity?
And in all of your running throughout the town’s important districts saving one building after another, you probably never had a chance to wonder how you got to this point in the first place. Why did you decide to become a fire chief? Is that what brought you to Tinderbox, or did you arrive for some other purpose and the need suddenly arose, forcing you to step into a career you hadn’t originally planned for? Were you always from Tinderbox, or did you come from somewhere else? If it’s the latter, where did you come from? What other places exist in the world beyond this small, flammable town? Surely it must have neighbors. Or did they burn down too? If something were to go catastrophically wrong with Tinderbox and you had to evacuate, where would you and your coworkers be headed?
The pressing needs of the now sort of precluded you from trying to ascertain those thoughts during the hottest points in The Brigade, but the moment things cool off you may find yourself asking these kinds of questions. Questions that may not have had an answer…until now.
Yes, while The Brigade takes you first into this fantasy realm, Red Genie Games intends to take you much further than a handful of flame-riddled city squares. As they alluded to in our interview with the designers, they wish to invite you to further explore The Vague World and the lore around it. Stopping a few fires was just the beginning. The intent with The Vague World is to have you explore Tinderbox in ways other than simply dousing flames, bringing you beyond the city walls and into the larger world beyond. Beyond the gates lay a other lands, other towns, and other challenges to face, and through a series of different games, Red Genie seeks to craft rich, vibrant world for you to visit time and again.
To that end, they’re happy to report their next few efforts. The first of these is the Firewatch Pack, a minor expansion / supplementary pack for The Brigade. Firewatch adds a handful of new crew and locations to the game that will be swapped into the retail version in exchange for some of its Kickstarter exclusive content. However, for backers / buyers of the Kickstarter edition, Firewatch will be available as a purchasable mini expansion as early as Essen 2018.
Additionally, Red Genie is also debuting the first expansion for The Brigade with The Way of the Wardens. In addition to even more content, Wardens opens up new gameplay options for The Brigades, including modes for co-op, soloing, all versus one, and even a mini-campaign, all of which should flesh out the sentiment that Tinderbox is more than just a series of capitalistic firefighting opportunities to take advantage of.
But wait – there’s more! After that The Vague World will expand further with the upcoming new Kickstarter for Tinderbox Tales on October 9th. Tinderbox Tales is not one but a series of three small box games that each focus on different aspects of the world before you. You will be able to purchase each of the three games separately or as part of a Vague World boxed set – the choice is yours.
The three games included are:
- The Damsel’s Tale: This is an asymmetric two player strategy game where one player is a sneaky knight who has infiltrated a dragon’s treasure lair and is trying to get a special crown, whereas the other player is a baby dragon protecting it while trying to get the attention of its parents.
- The Barmaid’s Tale: In this lightweight social game, set within Tinderbox’s infamous Rat Catcher’s Rest, a group of players are left to debate why a recent quest you all had attempted failed rather spectacularly. In a humorous game of passing the buck and deflecting blame, each player is an adventurer who must elaborate to the rest of the group why it’s not their fault that the quest failed the way it did.
- The Trader’s Tale: Centered in Tinderbox’s Merchant District, this game is a re-imagining of the town’s famous Ruby Tuesday event, where the town’s heroic do-gooders for hire were whipped into a frenzy over news that the famous Ruby Hoard of a local king needed to be recovered. And, naturally, they flooded to merchants seeking equipment and goods to gear up for the prospect of a highly profitable adventure. In this ‘player displacement’ game, players are wizards dealing with said merchants in town to find the best adventuring party they can for this all-important quest while also trying to out-maneuver fellow wizards seeking to do the same.
The Vague World has many secrets and stories that are yet to be told, but it’s evident that Red Genie Games has extensive plans on sharing it with you, one game at a time. If all goes well, it would seem that the town of Tinderbox is just the beginning…
Photo Credits: The Brigade cover and photos by Red Genie Games.