They Are Billions: Plot, campaign and more!

They Are Billion Numantian Games Steampunk

Greetings! We’d like to share with you today a little bit more about They Are Billions. We will talk about all these topics much more in detail later, but for now, we hope it can be an interesting read.

Plot and Characters

They Are Billions is set in the 22nd century when only a few thousand remaining humans live in the entire world. The game begins just at the turning point when the surviving humans start to rebuild civilization by developing colonies that can defend themselves from the infected threat. All technology has gone backward at this point, similar to the 19th century.

The leader of the survivors is General Quintus Crane, which rules the resistance. A very charismatic leader, it is his will to create a new human empire and restore civilization, but always, under their leadership. And you, the player, will be one of their commanders under his orders. Dealing with Quintus won’t be an easy task…

During the campaign, there will be several new characters. Some of these characters are crazy and tormented, but the player should still listen to them because they know very dark secrets and worthy information about the infection.

The Campaign

The goal of the campaign in They Are Billions is to reconquest a larger territory by building successful and well-defended colonies that are all connected to a railway network. But for the railways to reach a new location to build a new colony, sometimes you will encounter swarms of infected. In the campaign, the player will have a growing personal army to destroy the swarms and free the paths. Those swarms will be dynamic. They will move, they can combine, and they will grow. Because of this, you have to be very careful and strategic on how you expand your colonies.

Also, apart from the building colonies and “destroy the swarm” missions, there will be several tactic missions. In these missions, you will only control some units and have to accomplish specific goals like obtaining technology advances from the ruins of the old human fortress and cities, escort a colonist group, destroy infected villages, and many other things.

Units & Colonists

They Are Billions Numantian Games Gameplay colonists

Army units can be controlled manually by the player like in others RTS games with the common commands like travel, attack, patrol, hold… Also, they have some special commands like the Chase command in which the unit will use their AI to explore and chase the infected in the surroundings without the player interaction.

About the colonists, the player cannot control them directly because it would be a huge task. Imagine taking care of hundreds of them in real time. Instead, they behave autonomously. They work, gather resources, travel to buildings, and transport goods. When the infected are close, they run away and hide in the nearby buildings.

There is a lot to do in They Are Billions: controlling the army, building structures, manage resources, and making lots of strategic decisions. Because the game can be paused, all of this can be done at the player’s pace and not the game’s pace. This is something we have always missed from other RTS games. We understand that in multiplayer games pausing isn’t possible. But in single player campaigns…why not? The levels and missions can be much more challenging and deep if the player can pause the game and give orders to their units or decide what and where to build structures without having to react in milliseconds to all the game events.

The Infected

They Are Billions Numantian Games zombie horde

The infected are just sick humans that were infected by a disease similar to rabies. At least, is what the survivors believe now. Because the infection started many years ago, very few people know anything beyond that. During the campaign, the story of the collapse of civilization will unravel little by little. Some special characters will reveal what they know about the infection. By the end of the campaign, the player will know about the origin of the infection. Since we don’t want to spoil anything here, you will have to play They Are Billions and win the campaign! We promise the end will be worth it.

About the zombies, there are several different types. There are weaker ones that are damaged and walk slow and clumsy. The “fresh” ones are the zombies that have been infected recently and are much more dangerous. They are more active, with the ability to see further and run faster. When the colonists are infected, they turn into fresh zombies.

There are also uncommon and special types of zombies: Butchers that are very fat and hard to kill, poisonous ones that can spit their saliva and infect the colony buildings from a distance, and Harpies that are very fast and lethal that can jump over the colony walls…. There are more unique zombies like the gas giant and the mutant that the player will find during the campaign…

And that’s all for now. Looking forward to your comments and thoughts.

See you soon and have a great week!

  • Posted by Julie
  • On July 1, 2017
Tags: numantian games, they are billions


So this is the Lords of Xulima engine? Looks fascinating that you made a game of such a different genre with the same engine. From the structure the game looks like it will be single-player only. No competitive multiplayer, but how about cooperative? Doesn´t need to be there at launch since it is much work, but games like Stardew Valley are also trying to do it.
    Yes, it is the same engine. Working on TAB has helped us improve the engine, which will make LOX II even better. :) Right not we are focusing on single player. If there is enough interest and the game is doing well we will consider adding a multiplayer mode.
      I am very interested in playing and supporting a multiplayer mode in They Are Billions. I'd definitely like to see some features added to both modes (that you're hopefully planning on already), like shift-queuing unit actions as well as keyboard re-map/re-binding. But I'd probably be super excited to play either competitive MP, co-op, or both even without those features. Thanks for what has been a great game so far!
This is sounding great and love the graphics style, will follow with much interest.
I need this now in my life. When is it out?
just suggestion, if you guys plan working on multiplayer, think of its as a tower defense games not rts... since this game has not factions or any other races, ppls still can play competitive by how long survivors can take every zombie waves attack. Add more challenging progress, use different maps each players since the other player can copy the others town layout if the other player streaming the game through or any others streaming sources.. just suggestion for multiplayer, I know you guys have better plans.
This is an amazing game that has breathed some fresh life into the RTS Genre. While I understand that SP and Campaign is your primary focus right now a multiplayer mode would definitely be amazing. My suggestion would be for both Co-Op and Competitive modes, with players having to control resources as separate cololonies and each resource you take is one less for the enemy, I could see it leading to some fun games, the debate between going and attempting to take control of some resources from the enemy or to shore up your defenses against the hordes, it will lead to some great gameplay with friends. Taking away the pause function (or having a certain limit on pause time eg. each player starts with 1 minute of pause time.) would also ramp of the difficulty a bit with having so much going on.
This is truly unique what you've done here. As far as I'm concerned, forget about multiplayer - I'm eagerly awaiting campaign mode. I'm not aware of any other game where the strategic use of the pause button is such a crucial aspect of success. Even on the easiest setting, it takes real skill and practice in the game's mechanics. Ramping up the difficulty is a gradual hard-won process. Even professional RTS players will have their share of losses before getting to end-game. What I think might be cool to add is some kind of map creation tool for survival mode. This would allow people to test different techniques without having to do the scramble and build that we usually do. You could also then ramp up the difficulty and get those massive waves of zombies we see in the screenshots without losing too early to get to that point. I'm also curious as to whether we'll see any new units. There's something rather elegant about only having a few units available - it forces you to use those units intelligently and really get to know their strengths and weaknesses.

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