What is Freeblade, the Imperial Knights game?
If you haven’t yet heard, a mobile game developer by the name of Pixel Toys announced a new game based on Imperial Knights. Entitled Warhammer 40,000: Freeblade, the game puts you in command of a customizable Knight suit to battle the forces of chaos and orks. It looks like a freaking blast, to be honest. From the first moment watching a Knight suit striding towards the camera, my pulse quickened and my breath became shallow.
If you don’t yet share my enthusiasm, watch this trailer.
Okay, now wipe the drool off your chin and help me fantasize about something real quick. Pixel Toys has a list of features on their site, including this little gem:
FORGE, UPGRADE AND CUSTOMISE
Design the look of your own Freeblade, forge and equip powerful weapons including the Avenger Gatling Cannon and Melta Gun to purge Ork scum and Chaos heretics alike.
As if I wasn’t excited enough, after reading that blurb I was immediately filled with visions of the customization options, where I might gleefully spend hours painstakingly recreating the halved gold and black color scheme of Queen Bee. Even if it’s not perfect, I couldn’t pass up the chance to watch her actually walking out into the world, unleashing hell from her battle cannon and Mordent, the reaper chainsword that’s served her well for so long.
Once my dreamlike fugue state subsided I read everything I could about the game, as the developer had retweeted several websites that offered early previews. One in particular caught my attention. Pocket Gamer claimed to have some playtime with the game and they said:
When you’re customising your armour, the colours on offer are all the exact shades you can buy in little paint pots from Games Workshop.
That’s so awesome… I won’t be able to upload skins or her logo, I’m sure, but at least I can get the colors right. Hopefully they’ll let me halve the major components.
How popular is the Queen Bee, anyway?
Well, that depends how you look at it. The project started on Bolter and Chainsword, with a simple WIP thread (go read it!), brainstorming ideas before the kit even came out. The first post was on Feb 27th, 2014. That makes it about a year and a half old. It’s garnered almost 115,000 views, 47 followers, and 829 replies (including my own posts, of course) over that time. It’s up to 34 pages right now. All that info is current as of August 14, 2015.
Again, that might not sound like that much, but in B&C terms it’s a hot thread, for sure. The amount of feedback and support I’ve gotten over that time has led me to pick her back up from the brink of disaster several times, change the way I thought about certain aspects of her (most notably the unique pin-up artwork on her heraldic shield) and push me to always go harder and never take the easy way out. I would never have been able to achieve these results without the love and support of my community of friends. I feel the way authors do about their characters: I’m just a conduit, the Queen and her pilot had a story that wanted to be told.
But I need your help
That’s right, reader. I need your help with something really, really important to me. After I read through everything I could and noodled on the idea of it, I got to thinking that it would be really cool to ACTUALLY see her in the game. As I’ve mentioned before, the Queen Bee has quite a following on Bolter & Chainsword and I consider her something of a community project. She’s taken on a life of her own, with a well-fleshed-out back story and a unique heraldry.
I decided to contact Pixel Toys and see if I could intrigue them with this tweet:
— Jeff Tibbetts (@linguartisan) August 14, 2015
One of my Twitter pals replied with this:
— Scott Ferguson (@ryglore) August 14, 2015
That got me thinking even more. I decided to see if I could drum up a little Twitter campaign to get some other #warmongers in on it. I posted this one shortly thereafter:
— Jeff Tibbetts (@linguartisan) August 14, 2015
And that’s where I left off last night. Now I want to set up a hashtag to let other people show their support for getting the Queen in the game as a bonus skin. I’d be happy to work with the developers to get the right textures and markings in there. Because seriously, how much dedication would that show to the community if they did something like this? From reading the articles, it’s clear the developers really care about the license and IP they’re working with. That’s encouraging on many levels.
So, do me a favor? Would you be so kind as to RT my plea to the developers, or tweet your own version using the hashtag #ilovequeenbees (thoughtfully suggested by Kraut Scientist (of Khorne’s Eternal Hunt fame and one of the biggest Queen supporters on Bolter & Chainsword), whilst the quote itself is an obscure video game reference)? They also have a contact form on their website and a Facebook page, if you prefer to use those. I want to overwhelm these guys and show them how much love people have for the Queen.
I would be deeply honored if everyone who enjoyed this project could come together and show their support. I think there are a lot of us who’d love to watch the Queen striding confidently towards the camera. I think I would die…
UPDATE: I think we might have done it!
On Monday, Pixel Toys sent me this response on Twitter:
— PixelToys (@PixelToysLtd) August 17, 2015
It’s a very encouraging response. I’m still not 100% sure what that means, but at least our pleas have been heard. Now, here’s to hoping they step up and put something into action. I’m sure they’re busy right now, so obviously I don’t want to bother them. I’ll keep an ear out, and if we don’t hear anything soon maybe we’ll toss out another round of tweets to keep the idea in mind.
I want to thank everyone who helped me spread the word on Twitter (especially my fellow #warmongers), Facebook, and in direct messages on the Pixel Toys website. This crazy thing just might happen, and if it does it speaks volumes about how deep this developer is with the community at large.