After a slough of mixed reviews for its sequels, developer Firefly Studios says its pulling out all the stops to ensure they can deliver quality with its upcoming RTS-sim Stronghold: Crusader 2. Recently, the team at Firefly demoed the PC game in its pre-alpha state for Joystiq, showcasing improvements made to the mechanics from previous iterations in the series, both in the warfare aspect and on the castle sim side. During the demo, Firefly Senior Producer Paul Harris would not shy away from what sets it apart from other games in a similar genre and his company's direction going forward.

"In 1999, our first game was Stronghold. The idea was to create a mix of RTS plus sim plus castle-builder," Harris told us. "There weren't many castle-building games around then or any, as far as we really knew. It was a surprise hit for publisher Take-Two, and it's gone on to sell six million copies around the world. Stronghold: Crusader is its sequel; it alone sold over two million copies since 2002." Three more sequels have joined the roster in the ensuing years, and now, Firefly has freed itself from publisher restrictions with plans to develop Stronghold: Crusader 2 with some help from the crowdfunding platform Gambitious.