Stoic is an independent game developer based out of Austin, Texas, formed in early 2012 by Alex Thomas, Arnie Jorgensen and John Watson after working together for half a decade on Star Wars: The Old Republic.

For their first project, titled The Banner Saga, a single player turn-based strategy trilogy steeped in viking culture, the studio looked for a $100,000 funding via a Kickstarter campaign that proved extremely successful as Stoic raised 700000 in order to develop the game.

During the Kickstarter campaign of The Banner Saga, Stoic revealed that they will be releasing a free-to-play version of the game, titled Factions, in order to give backers a playable part of the game.

“We’ve put a lot of thought and effort into Factions. It’s not just a mindless one-off from The Banner Saga. Factions takes place in the same world, in a city that is part of the single player game and when events happen in single player they’ll affect the world in Factions. As we create new system for the Saga we’ll be testing them through Factions, so things like playing against the computer will appear in Factions as we work out the code, and the story will all tie together”, stated Alex Thomas Stoic’s creative director.

Factions became available on Steam to backers on 18 February 2013 and to the public on 25 February.The game allows players to pit teams of six combatants, chosen from 16 classes, against each other, and it does that in a very rewarding way.

Sound and Vision

Factions’ visual style draws many influences by Eyvind Earle’s art for the 1959 Disney film Sleeping Beauty, as well as the work of Ralph Bakshi and Don Bluth,and features primarily hand-drawn animation sequences, characters and backgrounds, resulting in some of the most memorable and unique graphics we’ve seen in recent memory. For the game’s great soundtrack Stoic hired the composer, Austin Wintory mostly known for his work for Journey and as result the music and sounds are perfect, and are as good if not better than the artwork.