You Can Dominate The Free Market As A Fantasy Shopkeeper In Merchants Of Rosewall

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Big Blue Sky Games’ debut title has been revealed: Merchants of Rosewall, a shopkeeper simulation game with fun-looking D&D vibes and an online marketplace where you can barter against and buy from other players as you progress through your own story.

“If you want to, you can craft your own items–your own decor items–in line with something like an Animal Crossing-style game,” game director Kevin Hovdestad said during a preview event. “You will have to, to do that, unlock the recipe, have all of the materials. You can also buy them from other players.”

He continued: “So if you, as a player, decide that you’re predominantly excited about the quick turn-around of running multiple cooks in your kitchen, that’s great and the game enables that but that means you will have to source some of the decor items if you want to be able to buy [for example] barrels to place in your kitchen. If you do not have a woodworker, you’re going out to the free market for that. But it will all be available for players through gameplay–it’s the player’s choice what way they want to get to that, whether it’s unlock the recipe and make their own, buy it from another player, earn it as a reward through a component of the story, or otherwise.”

Like a traditional high fantasy setting, Merchants of Rosewall features plenty of non-human characters–like orcs, elves, giants, and gnomes–and each will offer side quests and unlockable perks. So far, Merchants of Rosewall reminds me of Potionomics, one of my favorite games of 2022, both in that the story primarily drives progression and that keeping your business afloat requires you to contend with outside influences (like changing weather patterns or customer behavior).

“At Big Blue Sky Games, we want to create games that feel easy to pick up and play, with narratives that players haven’t seen considered in other games,” Hovdestad wrote in a press release. “With Merchants of Rosewall, we’re challenging stereotypes and conventions in the fantasy genre; we’re inviting players into an imaginative universe that breaks away from cliches and lets players experience real-world issues through nuanced storytelling and complex conversations. We are excited for players to get their hands on the game later this year.”

Merchants of Rosewall is scheduled to launch for PC in Q3 2024.