Post Mortem and What's Next

It's been about a month since I posed Stuck in a Rut, about two months since the last meaningful feature work on Bronze Age, and almost three months since the last public release. I've had some time to think and experiment, and I can decisively say that I don't plan on resuming work on Bronze Age, as much as it pains me to admit.

You may or may not know that I have ADHD, and I can proudly say that the four years I've spent on Bronze Age is the longest I've ever stuck with a project that wasn't my actual job. I've learned a lot, and greatly appreciate the interest shown by all of you lovely folk. Though I've had my ups and downs, I truly believe that Bronze Age has been an incredibly positive experience for me, and I hope it has been for you all as well.

The Last Update

I've just uploaded the last update for Bronze Age. It's been sitting in the beta branch for a couple months, and adds a couple neat features.

  • Added new small map, an island split between grassy forest and steppe.
  • Support for homosexual, bisexual, and asexual characters.
  • Reduced frequency of character marriage events, made AI more likely to refuse marriage events (leaving characters open for marriage treaties)
  • Added "love match" marriage event option.
  • Automatically autoresolve siege assaults when there are no enemy forces.
  • Prevent diplomacy with dead factions, and purge diplomatic notifications from dead factions.
  • Rework of settlement logistics, to make item delivery from warehouses to cell developments easier.

What Went Wrong

Scope Creep

Scope Creep is an insidious creature, and it reared its ugly head repeatedly. Despite my best efforts it kept worming its way in to the project. Tactical Battles is a prime example, I think. While a neat feature, and my first time ever working on something like that, it added significant development time and stress that a one person team just couldn't absorb.


Even when treated, ADHD never truly goes away, and I often find that projects have a shelf life with me. The fact is that Bronze Age simply took too long. This is partially related to Scope Creep, and partially related to me running into technical and design issues and starting over 3 (!!) times.


This was the first major game project I've stuck with long enough for it to become truly viable. As such, I had a lot of learning to do, and made a lot of mistakes. This in itself isn't a bad thing, but contributed to both of the previous problems.

No Engine

While working directly with monogame was a great learning experience, it wasn't great from a productivity standpoint. A lot of the performance and UI issues I ran into are a direct result from how I was using monograme, and needing to do almost everything myself.

Performance Issues

Performance issues and lag have hounded me for pretty much the entire development span of Bronze Age. Each of the re-writes was an attempt to avoid and solve the issues, and each of them worked to an extent. Yet the specter of lag kept re-appearing. A more experienced game developer might have been able to handle it better, but sadly not me, not yet at least.

What Went Right

The Community

The direct contact with the people playing the game, especially on the discord server, has been awesome. I can't express how much it meant to me to have people as interested in one of my projects as I was. 

The Setting

I really like the Bronze Age setting, exploring an underutilized area of history through a fantasy lens. It gives an opportunity to step away from knights and dragons, and explore some new ideas, and some new takes on very, very old ideas.

What's Next

Announcing Bronze Age: Tribes

Bronze Age: Tribes is another take on the Bonze Age concept. However, instead of focusing on cities, structures, and buildings the focus will be on allocating pops on the world map.

The world map is broken into cells, with one "pop" assigned to each one. Pops produce resources each turn based on the cell, and can build improvements on cells. Imagine something like Egypt: Old Kingdom. One great benefit of this more abstract approach is that there can be a lot more options for customizing your tribe. Instead of hard limits to factions like Bronze Age 3, cultures will be more mutable with changes giving different buffs or debuffs to different activities. Like species templates in Stellaris, but for cultures.

Scope Control

Tribes is designed to be a much tighter game, in terms of scope. No detailed city management, no tactical battles. No real-time warbands fighting and moving across the world. Everything focuses on the core mechanic, nothing extra bolted on.

An Engine

I'm using Godot for Tribes, which is a very nice engine to work with and can handle a lot of the problems that plagued me using monogame. The UI, for example, is wonderfully easy by comparison with my hand-coded mess in Bronze Age 1/2/3.

Also, thanks to Godot, there's a linux version already available for download.

Turn Based

A lot of the performance issues in Bronze Age 1/2/3 resulted from the real-time aspect of it. In general I prefer real-time games, but you are greatly constrained by what you can do in 30 milliseconds or less. Having Tribes be turn based gives an easy spot to do any heavy calculation, without affecting the user experience.

Open Source

Bronze Age: Tribes is already publicly visible on GitLab under the MIT License. Feel free to take a look, make a modified copy, or even suggest changes. The issue tracker is also on Gitlab, though the issues may be a little sparse on details. I have a physical notebook with the most detailed notes.

Other Possibilities

The turn based nature of the mechanics opens the door to multiplayer as well. I'm not promising this (see Scope Creep above) but it is far more possible than it was with the Real Time model of Bronze Age 1/2/3.

Current Status

The current status of Bronze Age: Tribes is pretty much the picture above. The world generation is more or less finished, and camera controls to move around the world and look at it. The next major step is laying out the ground work for actual gameplay, with pops on the map, turns, and resource production and accumulation.

You can try it out now by downloading it from It's own Itch page, or by downloading and building it yourself from GitLab. Bronze Age: Tribes also has its own section on the Bronze Age Community Discord.

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its sad that the game couldnt be completed but its understandable and im glad your ADHD allowed you to keep working on it for so long. im interested in the next bronze age, parcialy because and parcialy even tho it sounds to me like a Bronze Age version of civilization. good luck to you with any of your future projects, you totally deserve it for the Good work you have done so far.


Two additional notes. Bronze Age: Deluxe is now free for everyone.

If anyone wants a refund of your donation, let me know and I'll figure out how to do it.

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All good things come to an end sooner or later. I enjoyed playing Bronze Age and snuck in a world conquest one day before the post mortem; now it's time to head over to Bronze Age: Tribes and work on the next world conquest. ;)

Thank you again for giving us a game we like.


You did a amazing job with this and while its sad to hear its ending if you dont have the motivation to continue working on this game then so be it. I wish you luck on any future projects you do and on bronze age tribes