Master of Magic is a very, really cool 4X—at least if you’re part of its cult following, which I am. MuHa Games, the Polish indie firm behind the upcoming Master of Magic remake, has issued the first developer diary detailing everything they’re retaining and altering from the original. Slitherine bought Master of Magic in 2019, and it was re-released on Steam alongside its amazing fan-made expansion in early 2020.
The turn-based 4X from 1994 is from the early days of PC strategy, but it has some genuinely brilliant design centered on combining a fantastical civilization with a custom-made player Wizard. The strong Wizard then oversees the conquering of that civilization while attempting to perform the Spell of Mastery, which will make them, well, the master of magic.
Almost everything from the old, core game appears to be returning for the new Master of Magic. The dev diary covers all of the original game’s factions and wizards, as well as the dual game worlds of Arcanus and Myrror, even down to the mana system. “Our design strategy is to try to reproduce the mechanics and gameplay of MoM as closely as possible,” writes MuHa Writer & Lead Quest Designer Mila Undro in the journal. It appears that there are some minor changes in fundamental unit numbers, but nothing major.
The biggest changes are in the map’s shape, which has shifted from squares to hexes, as well as in the quality of life enhancements such as adjustable difficulty levels, tooltips, and auto-resolve for tactical combat. As you’d expect from a recreation of a 90s game, there’s also a lot of work to be done on the game AI. MuHa also plans to include comprehensive modding tools.