April 6th, 2009 - 1066: It’s the most famous date in British history, but how might events have been different if you had been commanding the armies that fought for control of England? In a unique and historically accurate strategy game, accompanying a major Channel 4 series, BAFTA-award winners Preloaded encourage you to take the field with the Saxons, the Normans and the Vikings to fight out the visceral, dynamic battles which decided England’s fate.
The game puts you into the thick of the action, giving you direct control over every arrow barrage, cavalry charge and defensive stand taken by your armies. On-the-button mini-games add to the tension of issuing commands, and a striking visual style and dramatic animation deliver a distinctive portrayal of medieval warfare. A multiplayer option offers the chance to test your mettle against friends or other 1066 players. Rather than just relying on factual statistics, victory also depends on the morale of your troops, which played a crucial role on the eleventh-century battlefields. Taunts, chants and the presence of a strong leader will all prove key to winning the day.
Working hand-in-hand with the award-winning production company Hardy Pictures, the game accompanies a major new two-part Channel 4 drama which brings the battles of 1066 to life for the first time on film or TV. With direct access to period consultants, every aspect of the game is historically accurate, from the armaments and tactics to the insults that you can hurl across the battlefield. Echoing the exceptional production values of the TV show, the game tells its stories through vivid animations voiced by Oscar-nominated Sir Ian Holm, famous for his roles in Alien and The Lord of the Rings trilogy.
The game balances this factual core with some fresh game design ideas, drawing on such acclaimed and varied titles as Advance Wars, WarioWare and Patapon.“We wanted to make a game that took all the sound and fury of these crucial historical battles, but made them as immediate and irresistible as the best modern games. What we found is that the more we drew on the history, the more we could create rich and dramatic gaming experience,” says Preloaded’s creative director Phil Stuart.
Filmed entirely on location in Yorkshire and Sussex, the Channel 4 Specialist Factual commission 1066 stars an international cast, including Mike Bailey (Skins), Francis Magee (Layer Cake), Søren Byder (Foyle's War) and Anthony Debaeck (Wolfman) and is written by Peter Harness (City of Vice, Is There Anybody There?). Director Justin Hardy has previously directed the award-winning The Great Plague, Trafalgar Battle Surgeon, Heist, and A Harlot’s Progress, as well as the genre-defining City of Vice and the BAFTA-nominated The Relief of Belsen.
Phil Stuart, Creative Director
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Multi-award winning Preloaded are an independent creative agency operating in the digital sector. Their output covers branded entertainment and interactive experiences; casual and serious gaming, communities and social media as well as traditional site design and build. With a focus on user-experience that is coupled with creative and technical excellence, Preloaded work with a number of broadcasters and production companies, including Channel 4, BBC, MTV, UKTV, Hat Trick and Renegade.
Key recent award wins include a BAFTA for their community site for CBBC children's programme 'Level-UP', and Cannes Lion and Royal Television Society awards for their interactive gaming experience 'CDX', also for the BBC. They have also collected the Grand Prix at the 2007 BIMA Awards (British Interactive and Multimedia Association) for Channel 4's 4oD video on demand application and Best in Show for Launchball at the 2008 SXSW Interactive Festival.
Preloaded has been named‘Design agency of the Year’ by digital industry title .net.
About Channel 4
Channel 4 is a public service broadcaster funded solely from commercial revenues. It receives free spectrum in return for fulfilling its public service obligations as set out in the 1990 and 1996 Broadcasting Acts and its licence, issued by Ofcom, which was last updated in December 2004.
The channel’s licence obligations include annual quotas on original, independent and regional production and weekly quotas governing news and current affairs and schools programmes. Year-to-date in 2009, Channel 4 has a 8.2% share of the total TV audience.
Channel 4’s portfolio of digital channels (E4, More4, Film4, and 4Music) are distributed on the UK’s main digital TV platforms. Channel 4 also offers time-shifted +1 services for its TV channels.
Channel 4 offers a free catch-up service for its commissioned output and some acquired programmes via 4oD Catch Up which is accessible via channel4.com and to Virgin Media subscribers.