Jon Shafer, lead designer of Firaxis Games “Civilization V,” has formed the Michigan-based indie studio, Conifer Games and has kickstarted their first empire building game At the Gates.

Become the master of Europe.

Become the master of Europe.

Aiming for a modest goal of $40k, Shafer hopes to “provide gamers a fresh experience that is challenging from beginning to end set atop a constantly evolving landscape.”

Jon Shafer’s “At the Gates” casts you as the leader of a barbarian tribe, ready to fill a void left by a great power in decline. Not only will you’ll be competing with other nations for supremacy but also against the environment, where your resources are constantly depleting. Seasons like winter will prove ravaging with resource scarcity forcing your tribe to move in search of better land, and conflict with neighboring tribes.

If funded, At the Gates is expected for a 2014 release on PC.