Cole Wehrle is taking another crack at the 2016 political and strategy game An Infamous Traffic which follows the conflict around the opium trade in 19th century Qing China. Wehrle, who is a known history buff and has created masterly board games such as Root, Oath, Pax Amir, and John Company, is now rolling up his sleeves for another attempt to bring around a more vivid revamped version of the original.
Relive the Opium Wars in An Infamous Traffic
Wehrle and his brother Denis are confident that they can bring around a number of positive changes in an updated version of the game, just like they did for Pax Amir and John Company Second Edition. The news came as part of a broader Twitch announcement which outlined their immediate plans for Wehrlegig Games, which was set up in 2018.
Both feel confident in the arrival of a new copy, with Cole noting on stream that he had a very good idea of how to reimagine the game itself in a physical copy, but suggesting that “it’s too brittle” at the core.
Regardless, An Infamous Traffic remake definitely sounds fun. There are several reasons for optimism. For starters, a lot has changed in the way Cole designs games since 2016, when the original game was released.
He has not only learnt new lessons, but he has also taken them up in re-releases of other franchises, demonstrating that he has the poise and commitment to make old games work, adding more than just a veneer or polish.
Nothing Good Happens in a Hurry
But while a second edition of the game has been announced, a release date – has not. Cole is expecting the rework to take around two years, which means that the earliest people can hope to see the game is late in 2024 at the earliest, unless something changes in his current plans.
One thing that Cole has to worry about and anticipate is production. With most production centers based in China, a concern remains whether the country would be happy to manufacture a product that depicts a sensitive point of its history.
While such concerns may seem a little much, they are factored in by the designer who is keen to get a beautiful copy to people’s tables and on time. The setting pits China against colonial powers who seek to gain access to the highly addictive opium drug for profit. The conflict spirals into violence with the French and British defeating the Chinese military in both.
Cole though does not seek to recreate the military might of Western powers of bygone ages, but rather – craft a beautiful tableau that teachers gamers about historic events.