Recently I was on a podcast with Craig from the Third Floor War. We talked with Mike and Johnny about the life and death of guild ball. I wanted to post a link to the podcast to promote the episode, but I also wanted to share some of my personal thoughts and memories about the game of Guild ball.
The Good Times
Tournaments and Community Events!
Guild Ball had the best tournament scene by far from any other game that I have played. The thing that made the tournament scene so great for guild ball is that there was a clock that kept the pace of play going, the rules were clean, and the game was very engaging. The game also features a ton of really awesome cinematic moments in every game. I remember epic goal runs, snap shots, tackles, and knock downs. I also remember the close games with great opponents like Mike Klein, Alex Botts, Mike Rhodes, Brandon Lynch, and Ric Fernandez.
The game is based around sports and fighting, so it attracted people that liked both! Medieval brawling soccer was always entertaining to play and watch. I met some great friends while playing Guild Ball! The community events helped foster these friendships and inspire all of us to play games. Union in Chains and the Free Cities Draft were the two events that the community loved while I played Guild Ball. The results of these events would go on to create models that each team could use in the actual game. Having not only strong player agency in gameplay but also player agency in creating models? Sign me up! Steamforged took this to the next level by allowing players to design a model at their SteamCons! This gave birth to models like Skulk.
The Bad…. A lot of Bad
So no matter how great the game was, it died! It died for a lot of reasons. The biggest reason in my opinion is the lack of product. I remember giving demos to new players. They would be jazzed to hop in. They would ask if our LGS had Guild Ball product….. No…. They would ask if they could order it online…… No….. What about from steamforged games’ store…. No… only place you could get teams was on the secondary market like ebay and facebook groups. Totally ridiculous!
There was also production delays with new products like the Navigators, Cooks, and other broken promises. We also saw the removal of the Pundit program. This was the program that supported people that ran tournaments and events. These were the hype men and women for Guild Ball. Stemforged also removed their support for the tournament scene and national and world tournaments. This is the system that Guild Ball was built upon…. now torn down and removed from the players.
The worst part of all of this was when the company started to do the field test to try and rescue the game. Because the Guild Ball community is an amazing group of people. People started testing these rules and gave their feedback to the company. This gave a lot of us hope that the company was looking to improve the game and move forward. This was after months of radio silence from the company. Finally…. after gencon and using the pandemic and the competitive players as an excuse to kill the game…. they did…. RIP Guild Ball, remember the good times my friends!
Moving Forward! I’m not going to talk shit about the games that steamforged makes. The developers are great at what they do! They create fun games that are engaging, clean, and fun. That being said, I’m not interested in supporting Steamforged as a company. They burned the player base and forever will be placed in Pete’s book of grudges. I don’t plan on supporting Godtear, pacman, Darksouls or anything else they put out as a company. This is directly a result of how the Guild Ball Community was treated by the company leadership at Steamforged games.
Check out the podcast from Third Floor Wars where we talked about all of this in great detail. Check out the episode HERE