The RogueWare Project

"Game Recklessly"

My Dear Friends, We Are Greenlit!

Hello one and all! 

RogueWare has returned from the shadows with exciting news - we have been Greenlit by Steam, thanks to the support of the community, i.e. all of you. You were willing to come and vote for us, or mention us to a friend, or even just send a kind thought our way - and that means all the world to us here at RogueWare. Some of you were even so thrilled with the game or just plain compassionate that you were willing to pledge your money up front, in the case of our Patreon subscribers.

Well, the belief that we all had in this game has now manifested. We can start an early access alpha of our game on Steam, once a number of significant steps have been taken, mostly involving coding and quality assurance. It is now our intention, over the course of the next few weeks, to prepare the game for press review and an official alpha release on Steam.

To our Patreon subscribers, we humbly thank you for your willingness to support not only our game, but the development of independent games in general. You are leading a wandering industry back to its roots when you lead game development out of the hands of executive boards and back into the hands of small teams of passionate and original developers. We are sad to say that we will be closing our Patreon page, as it didn’t offer enough visibility to reach our funding goals. All Patrons who pledged were not charged as we never met this minimum requirement for production.  You’ll still be able to provide us your support when we release for Early Access on Steam some time in Q2 of this year.  

We can’t thank everyone enough for their support and good will towards the fruit of our work of many years. Our commitment to bringing you games of the highest quality and replay value shall now be redoubled in the face of this good news. You have made this happen, and we at RogueWare acknowledge that all we can achieve is thanks to you. Without you, FreeHolder may have remained a dream unrealized. But no longer.

Our humblest gratitude and best wishes.


Let The Die Be Cast: FreeHolder Patreon Launch!

It's been a long, hard, and strange road, but RogueWare is finally ready to rest the fate of FreeHolder squarely in the hands of the community. This was our plan from the beginning, and through a number of permutations including Greenlight and Kickstarter we have finally settled on Patreon as the ideal crowdsourcing option. The incremental nature and fee-for-service model that they use fits more or less perfectly with the early alpha access model we had originally planned. 

We believe without question that the game is now far along enough that anyone who plays it can actually get a feel for the immense possibilities and compelling genre blend it represents, and in our opinion that should be enough to get someone to go about investing a few of their gaming dollars in something this unique. That has been our belief from the beginning, and it is now time to test that belief.

We are pleased to announce our Early Access Alpha launch on Patreon has begun! Our Patreon page includes everything you need to be easily convinced that investing in RogueWare is investing in quality gaming. If that sounds like something you'd be interested in, or, if you have too much money and have no idea what to do with it, visit our Patreon page without delay. Your support can turn an idea into reality, and what is this but the alchemical dream?

Unending thanks to all our early investors, supporters, testers, allies and others that have made this incredible journey possible. The long-awaited day has arrived. Excelsior!

Chris and Matt Crooks

Visit our Patreon page, where you can watch our video and download the game demo, at:

FreeHolder - The Original Farming Roguelike
 Enters Alpha Development!

We've officially entered the alpha stage of development for FreeHolder!  We managed to obtain only some of the funding that will be necessary to bring the game to 1.0, but we have plans to push for early access via Steam Greenlight and a Kickstarter campaign to close that gap and complete this ambitious project!  In the meantime you can support us by visiting our Steam Greenlight concept page and giving us a vote and some feedback:

In this turn-based roguelike strategy game, you are an escaped Roman slave in Northern Gaul who stumbles across an abandoned farm.  When a corrupt census-taker agrees to let you stay in exchange for a hefty bribe, you must work the land, feed your people, level up your skills, and make the yearly wheat quota before winter falls.  As you fend off roving bandits and forge alliances with local tribes, you can choose your final path to freedom: Roman Citizen or Rebel Leader. 

Who knew farming was this epic?

The Story of FreeHolder

You and two comrades are escaped slaves who while fleeing Roman territory, stumble across a recently-raided farm, and although almost everything of value has been taken a small amount of wheat, a few tools and a couple silver denari might allow you to eke out a stealthy existence on the fringe of Roman lands. Unfortunately, you agree to run the farm together just as the Roman census-taker is knocking on the small home's door.

Only slightly terrified of being found out, you are unable to convince the Roman that you are anything other than escaped slaves. However, this particular census taker is, 'flexible' and offers the fugitives a deal: if they run the farm and produce enough wheat to fulfill the wheat quota demanded by Rome, and toss a bribe on top for himself, they can go on running the farm instead of being sent back to face their master. With no other options, and no way out, you and your compatriots agree hastily.

This state of affairs does not have to last, however. A slave you may have been but you can choose to resist the Romans by stealth, subterfuge, or brute force, and by allying with the northern tribes. Or you can purchase freedom for yourself and your friends and buy your way into Roman high society. With ten different classes from agronomist to ranger, engineer, rancher, witch, and gladiator, with multiple different upgrade paths and special actions, you can play exactly the way you want to.

Mission Statement

We are two brothers on a singular mission.  To create the next great gaming sensation that adds something unique to the gaming world.  How we get there?  We're not quite sure yet, but we hope you'll help us.

We've come to understand that there are many people like us out there; gamers who, can't for the life of them just give up this life-absorbing hobby.  And why should they?  Each of us is in pursuit of the perfect game, whatever form it might be in.  We crave tactical challenge, captivating stories, gritty thrill or historical knowledge.  Games are an important part of our society, whether it be football, Dungeons & Dragons, Settlers of Catan, Pacman, Halo, or friggen' laser tag, it doesn't matter.  Playing is a fundamental part of being human.

Our intention with this site, is threefold:

-To create a development journal of our game prototypes for public input and scrutiny.

-Share our thoughts about games, the industry, design etc..

-Foster a community of like-minded gamers, developers, and artists to contribute to the creative process. 

Play the FreeHolder Prototype

We used Construct 2 from Scirra to create the prototype for FreeHolder. The game runs inside your browser using HTML5. At this time the demo functions best on Mozilla Firefox (You can get Firefox here).  You must be logged in to try the prototype.

Once you're signed in, you can click here to get to the Demo Portal page.

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