Seems like new DLC for Catan has been discovered hanging out right out in the open on the official Catan Live site.
It appears that there will be a Generals Picture Pack 2 (featuring Caesar, Hannibal, Isabella, Joan of Arc, Lenin, & Tokugawa) for 100 MS Points and also a Mayfair Skin Pack which applies the visual style of the original Mayfair Games version of Catan to the board and pieces, also for 100 MS Points. No word on when save the typical "coming soon".
What's interesting is I have yet to see any of the Generals in this upcoming picture pack in the game (maybe I haven't been paying close enough attention?). Does that mean that there will be new AI profiles coming to Catan Live too? And could they be part of a free update? Guess we have to wait to find that out.
[Thanks, Whet Wurm!]
[Update]: According to Major Nelson, the content is now live. They weren't kidding when they said "coming soon". I am loving this "reveal, then quickly release" trend. [Thanks, Measure]
[Update 2]: Apparently the Mayfair Skin Pack is coming in at 150 MS Points and not the previously mentioned (and website featured) 100 MS Points.
For you board game enthusiast out there, Big Huge Games has recently update the official Catan site specifying that we will be seeing the title hit the XBLA service this May.
Another piece of info that was added to the site was this quote from Klaus Teuber (the creator of the original Settlers of Catan):
"I had no doubts that Brian Reynolds would do a great job, and the first version of the game exceeded my highest expectations. The AI is so clever that I even lost several games in a row! Hands down, this game for the Xbox Live Arcade is an amazing achievement."
While this certainly speaks wonders of the AI programing to be found in the game, I for one, as a newbie to title, hope that he had the difficulty cranked to 11 when playing :)
Looking at the screenshots, one thing that jumps out almost immediately is the minimal presence of the HUD elements. Online Catan games have always been plagued with a ridiculous amount of overhead, based solely on the amount of information being presented in Settlers at any one time. How did Big Huge Games reconcile that to create such a subtle interface? It's the magic of the console controller, baby! Something which became very quickly apparent when we started creating our XBLA game is that this game is made to be played with a console controller. It's so much easier to snap a new settlement or road into the right position using the joystick and then press (A) to build it than it could ever be to find "the right pixel" to click on with a mouse. And likewise the triggers and bumpers on the controller perform great service in making the information you want available (but only when you need it). For example, pulling the right trigger always shows you the uncluttered map (even if you're on the trading screen for example) and shows you the players current score totals; pulling the left trigger shows you the prices of the things you can build (again, this is accessible from anywhere in the game). The bumpers bring up charts about how many resources are in play, scoring breakdowns, and so forth. And there are all sorts of fun "advanced player" charts available with combinations of bumpers and triggers – like if you want to see how the die rolls so far are mapping to the "bell curve" (I call this the "whining about the dice screen"), or if you'd like an overlay of where all the best settlement locations are!