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A member registered Apr 03, 2017 · View creator page →

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Thanks, appreciate it.

Many of the versions were all kinds of messed up, I just had so many things I wanted to try, and was having far too much fun just implementing all the ideas people suggested, rather than actually focus on a single core gameplay idea. Made the project fun to work on, which was my main aim, but as a result it's sometimes a bit of a mess. The code certainly is.

I'd like to keep working on it, but really don't have the time right now. Actual academic work must come first. Maybe one day. If not, I'd definitely love to see someone else take up the idea (I left the source code available in case it helps someone get something started). There was a project I was following: But I've not had time to check in and see how it's doing.


Sorry, been very busy recently, and will be for the rest of the month, so haven't had time to fully test everything.

The tag system is a good change, it definitely adds to the characters. It's nice that every NPC is somewhat unique, and different from the others. Perhaps this could expanded by allowing you to use different powers against different people? Possibly you'd have some powers which were useful against people who had weak wills, while others were physical challenges, so would do better against other NPCs, so the player had to pay attention to which tags an NPC had.

I'd also be interested in expanding the city-building-ownership system. I took control of an NPC, who then took over half the city buildings, but it didn't seem to advantage me. It would be nice to be able to spend power to increase the wealth and power of a particular NPC, then have that NPC's new success be a benefit to me later on. It would make the player invest themselves in particular characters, and perhaps then need to spend power to attack that NPC's enemies, to ensure that their preferred NPC wins any future conflicts.

One thing I noted, bug-wise or possibly UI-wise, was that the message log said that characters involved in a guild war were too busy to be attacked using my powers, but I was still able to. I assume this is just some text-message issue.

Those are my comments on this version, keep up the good work.

I think the UI is definitely a very important part of this genre of game. There's just so much information to get to the player, I always found it to be the hardest part of my work. I never felt I was communicating enough. But you seem to be aware of all this, so you should be okay.

One thing I noticed in your version is that it starts "at the beginning". The NPCs haven't yet claimed anything or taken any actions. In my game the NPCs played 100 turns during world-gen, so that they'd already have a "history", and things would look like the world had existed for a long time. The advantage is that it makes the world feel more living, the downside is that it makes it harder for the player to learn the world, because it already starts very complicated, while your approach allows the player to learn it as it develops. Neither approach is right, I think, it's just an option to consider.


Firstly, I'm really glad you're making this game, the genre of "evil being infiltrating a living world of interconnected NPCs" has huge scope and excellent potential. I look forwards to seeing how this game progresses.

Some thoughts and things I noticed from my first playthrough (I didn't win, but did get to 5 influence. Maybe I missed an event or something?):

-I like how complex the background simulation already is. It's nice to see the NPCs get involved with buying various places around the cities, and starting wars between guilds. 

-I'd like to see more focus on slowly splitting the world between "owned NPCs", those you control, and "hostile/investigator/forces-of-good NPCs". I mostly just tried to convert as many as possible as fast as possible. In my approach to this game I was considering having some just be naturally immune to corruption, so you have to oppose them using your other NPCs, maybe sacrificing someone under your control to kill off an NPC who's causing trouble.

-The message system would be better, I think, if it colour-coded the messages, or allowed you to expand it to a full-screen window. I had trouble shifting through the reports about people paying 2 to gain influence in order to find the messages relating to my actions.

-The NPCs seemed to be involved in quests, but these were just names. To add flavour to the game, I'd suggest having some "quest log", similar to the events system, which gives a few lines of text about what occurred and which NPCs were involved, especially if they're an NPC who is under your control or who is opposing you (a character of relevance). Even if this is just to add fluff, it would add to the immersion.

-Similarly, the cities could be described, so you could have "Rich, safe and happy city, a jewel of human civilisation", or "This city is ready to fall into anarchy and rebellion, the citizens gather in the streets in angry mobs", and the descriptions change based on the city's stats. Again, this could add to the feeling of a living world, rather than a set of numbers.

Anyway, feel free to ignore any of these suggestions if they don't appeal to you, you've probably got a load of good ideas of your own.

Best of luck in the future, look forwards to seeing how this project develops.


Names for cities, locations and people are all handled by the class "Text Store". It has a set of methods which are called by any other class which needs to find a name, as well as keeping a list of names which are already used, to avoid duplication. It loads from file, so you could just swap the mechanism it uses to return a name, and give it a list of names you want.

Internally, it uses a 2nd order Markov Model to generate new names, using the statistical properties of the words in the files it loads. It then checks against "Verboten" words, those which are swear words or offensive terms, to avoid giving someone an unfortunate name.

The two files it uses are names of Chinese and French cities. I tried American cities, but didn't like the results, the names it produced were weird. You could possibly just give it a list of British town names, and it would generate names which sound more "English".

Hope this helps.

Hi, and thanks.

I've uploaded the source code, as well as prefab assets. They should be available to download. This is my first ever Unity game, and I wasn't really expecting to share the code with anyone, so it's not very well documented, and the structure is a bit confusing in places. Hopefully it'll still be of use to you, but there's a good chance that other people's code is better structured and more efficient.

And don't worry, your English was perfectly fine.

Thanks for the feedback. Sadly I don't have much time to work on the game anymore, but I might be able to get a V23 out soonish. I wanted the game to be pretty chaotic, but it shouldn't collapse quite so quickly. V22 was very dark-focused, and the forces of good have difficulty even against NPC darkness spawns, compared to V21 and earlier. I'll try to fix that a bit. Maybe an option on game-start, as well as a bit more bias towards human nations invading exile camps.

I E-mailed you. Not sure if you got it, that E-mail address is behaving oddly, apparently.

Don't worry, I'm well aware of university-related disorganisation. I think on my end I said I was going to include the source code in the release builds but then never did, because I was using third-party stuff I wasn't allowed to distribute, but I've now removed those parts of the code, so can actually make good on that promise.

Hit me up on to discuss further, e-mail's a bit easier to work with than twitter messages or comment fields.

It's a shame, yes, but such is life. I'm probably not going to completely stop work, but the work will go slower than it would have before.

It's a good idea. I considered it a few months ago, to gain access to a collection of Lovecraftian images for backgrounds/spell depictions. I might go down this path, depending on how things work out. It would mean that I can't use Unity Asset store code, though, which I am currently using for graphs, so there would be advantages and disadvantages.


Version 20 should be released rather soon, so I'll wait till then to build the Linux version. It still doesn't have the ability to load files (both data and save/loading) in Linux, so it can't just be quickly compiled, there's still a bit of stuff to do.

Hey, sorry for the slow reply. As I feared, I have become very busy, and have almost no time to spend on this project at the moment.

1) Tribes are a first attempt at "Minor Factions". They were intended to be less complex than a full human society, but introduce an interesting new element to some parts of the map. For now, they don't do much at all, but your agents can cause them to attack the nearest human settlement if you can find a "tribal gathering point" settlement, and use its power.

2)Prestige is mostly earnt through activities. Host gains an amount determined by the cost of the activity, and everyone gains some based on the prestige of other guests (so it's valuable to be able to invite high-prestige nobles). You can then gain bonus prestige through a mask at an event, and one of the agents can affect noble prestige as well.

3)You can't change your city's production aims at the moment. I wanted it to be a way to force you to ally with certain others (those who share your industry) and oppose others.

If I get time, I want to definitely allow the player to build their own settlements. They'd own a city, but around it would have various dark buildings. This could include sea-based things, such as fishman cities.

I do actually make them myself. I'm not exactly an artist, but I bought myself a cheap graphics tablet a while back, so figured I'd do a first pass on the art. This is also why the characters have no faces, because I'm not good enough an artist to draw faces, so chose to go for a simpler design.

Cover screen is the only art I didn't do. The throne with the crown is done by an actual professional artist, by the name of Derek Restivo.

Hey, sorry for the slow reply. I became very busy with real-world stuff, so this game project has been delayed a bit. Thanks for playing the game and taking the time to comment, though. Appreciate it.

Your bug seems to be related to the loyalty-detection system in the dark forces. That was a messy piece of code which I had issues with. I never really got a good structure for it, so it's no surprise it behaves unpredictably. Luckily, my new game version is going to redo all that code, so hopefully the bug will completely disappear.

The new version intends to be the same as the old one, but better in every way. It features both the lords you're using now (city-enthralled) and units you can control on the world map, who sneak around and try to avoid being caught (agent-enthralled). The version available for download right now only has a single agent-enthralled, to test that system, but when I release the full v20 version it will have both.

As to your offer of art, I'll need to get back to you. After the end of October I'll have a much better idea of what kind of free time I've got to dedicate to this project, so will be able to plan better. Thanks for the offer, in any case.

See for yourself: I've uploaded the work-in-progress version. Loads of stuff still to do before it's complete, but it's now playable. Massive changes from previous versions have lead to the removal of most features, but they'll be back, and better.

I'll have to re-install Stellaris to check these new mechanics out. Not played it for a few months, nor tried any of the DLC.

This city bug again. Irritating. I've been unable to replicate it. Are you on Linux? Did you save/load?

I agree the buildings in cities are a bit poorly handled. For the next version I was thinking of removing them completely and just having an option to turn your city into a fishman city. It would then be able to be levelled up by you spending gold on it, each level gaining a new power it can deploy. A simpler mechanic, but the individual building slots never really worked out how I wanted, and it would let me tailor the powers unlocked a bit better, if they've got a proper progression to them.

Exploits of non-enthralled lords: Honestly your suggestion sounds pretty decent, and not too hard to implement. If they had a series of "events" they could trigger, based on their personalities. Maybe giving you a few options to exploit this, but mostly there for flavour. I'll have to look into it.

UI is being overhauled in the new version, so maybe the bits you dislike will be fixed. Scrolling menus are completely redone, because they were very bad, and most of the rest got a bit of fixing.

Anyway, thanks for the feedback and support.

Thanks for the links. I'll have to check them out. The game is partially based on Crusader Kings II, but I've not played EU4, so will have to read about how it does diplomacy. There's no shame in learning from the best, and I'm told EU4 is the best at what it does.

Don't worry too much about the results of this experiment. I'm keeping only a few bits of it, and working on a new direction. I'm prepared to accept it didn't work how I wanted, and my new approach is showing far more promise. I should have stuff to show in a couple of weeks at most. Already got some good stuff, but want a bit more before I do a post and maybe release an early playable version.

I've not encountered that problem before, and it seems to download and uncompress fine for me. V13 was compressed in .zip format for Windows, so I've uploaded it as a .rar, so you can try downloading that version to see if that works any better. Hope that fixes it.

Yes, sorry, been a bit busy. Had to do some uni stuff of my own (applying for possible PhD). Will reply properly soonish.

Okay, I'm afraid I literally can't reproduce the bug. I can play fine for an arbitrary number of turns with no issues at all. Maybe it is something to do with your version of Ubuntu. I'll look around a bit more, but this might be a Unity thing which is beyond my control.

I don't yet have anything, but I'm getting there. I should, hopefully, get something testable in the next couple of weeks. It'll just be the politics/intrigue part, not the world map, so you can have a look at it and comment, so it can be improved and polished before the world map is connected up.

Oh, neat, if you did stuff for More Events, I might have already seen some of your work.

I don't know about any PM system. Maybe there is, but I've not seen one. Try

The wine version doesn't really work, if memory serves (I seem to remember it didn't load fonts so no text appeared). I'll throw together a testing build and try to track down this issue tonight.

I wasn't currently, but there are some parts which a writer might be helpful for. Certain screens of the game have "flavour text" which I thought of like the quotes in the civilisation series, not gameplay dialogue but flavourful bits of text to improve the player's immersion in the world and flesh out some of the backstory. For example when a fishman raid concludes you can get a short piece of text from the perspective of a captain of the guard whose town was raided by the fishmen.

If that's the kind of stuff you were interested in we could discuss further. It was designed so more text could be easily added in, so it shouldn't be too much hassle.

You're entirely right about your worries, and I genuinely do feel there's a decent chance this approach to the game won't be fun, or won't be playable due to the information load required. I consider this new direction to be an experiment. I can't tell what it'll play like, it's too different from what I've seen or tried before for me to judge. On the other hand, it may succeed, and could be great if it does. I had a bunch of ideas which came about from Shadows, so wanted to try them out to see how they played.

If it succeeds I'll continue, and move over stuff from the older approach to this one, to create a better whole. If it fails I'll take the ideas which seemed to work from the experiment and continue with the previous version.

As to the UI, I assure you I don't deliberately ignore the UI aspect. In fact, I'd say that at least 75% of the current experimental build has been UI work. The AI and internal systems were relatively easy to design and implement and were done a couple of weeks ago, while the UI is still being assembled. The issue may simply be that I'm not a very good UI designer, and that this project is difficult to design UI for. That said, the Shadows UI has slowly been improved over time, as I realised issues with it from testing gameplay and fixed them, so there's still hope even if the first version is a bit difficult to use.

I'm afraid I can't seem to narrow down your bug. From what you say it would seem that the city's stopped performing its update per turn, but I couldn't find anywhere in the code paths which would allow that to happen without crashing the entire program. It's probably not to do with Ubuntu, but I'll admit I've only tested it on Linux Mint, so that might be the cause(but it seems near impossible to be the real reason). I'll do some more digging,  see if I can't find anything before the next version.

Thanks for the report, though.

Thanks, nice to hear it's appreciated.

I'll post a bit about the sequel some time soon, once I've got some idea of exactly what it'll be like and how its gameplay with handle.

Ah yes, of course. The people's republic is default allied with rebels and the game has no "rebelled against the rebels themselves" faction. Thanks for spotting it, I'll look into fixing this for the next version.

I've realised there's an issue, in that I'm using the Unity package Graph Maker, and it's not open source, so you wouldn't be able to compile and run the code.

If you want, I can send the code (without Graph Maker) in an E-mail, or I'll just include it in the next released version. That said, bear in mind that this is literally my first Unity project, so it may not be the industry-recommended way of doing stuff.

Thanks, glad you enjoyed it.

Don't worry about the kickstarter. It was for buying graphics, and the game can still be continued without professional level art, it'll just be in my somewhat crude art style for the moment, till I can find a better solution. As for preseverence, I've been working on a new thing which I might be able to show shortly (or possibly not so shortly, depending on how it turns out. It's rather experimental and untested right now)

You're probably right. I've changed it a bit so the Lord of the Broken gains evidence whenever they invade another nation, 10% per other lord they break, and only break half the nation's lords, so there's still opposition. Hopefully that'll fix things. These changes will be in the next version, which should be out soon-ish.

Yeah, the Kickstarter's probably sunk. It's my fault, I'm terrible at marketing.

Assuming the kickstarter fails, I intend to roughly continue as usual, just with no artwork. I've been working on this part-time, mostly, so there's no major reason for me to change. What this means mostly is that the game will be in the same art-style it's always been in. I don't see any reason it can't be completed to the level described in the design aims document, though.

Once that's done (probably around October), I'll see what's what. Maybe start a new game, maybe write a new design document and do more work on this one. Might open-source this game, if anyone wants to continue development, or investigate if it's possible to make mods work in the way Rimworld and Kerbal Space Program do, with loading .dlls which execute Unity MonoBehaviours.

It is a good idea. I want to get the peasants to be a bit more interesting, so will be looking to add a set of buildings based around manipulating them. Peasants actually have their own politics and stuff, which can be spread from city to city, but it's very under-developed for now, so needs working on.

Having them escape from civilisation to set up brand new cities could indeed be neat. I like the idea of you inviting the peasants into your lands to offer them safety, in order to allow them to grow and build into a stronger and more capable fighting force. Maybe you could provide them with weapons and stuff, to make them stronger (currently they're only 25% as strong as a normal army, per person). I'll look into it, to see what works and what can be done.

Just in time. Added a fix to the new version which is out now.

Wow, thanks for the offer. As of yet, though, I'm not current taking money from any non-kickstarter sources, because I was fiddling around with some legal stuff (maybe setting up a company to process kickstarter funds to avoid income taxes). At some point I'll change the game to accept donations.

You're right, thanks. Fixed for the next version.

(Actually the Corpseheart WAS being removed, but it was being replaced with a new identical one instantly, due to a typo in my code.)

Popup bug: Fixed

I was thinking maybe allowing the kingdom of light, and only the kingdom of light itself, to activate a "Doom Clock". For every city they had it would tick up by one, and you'd lose on reaching full. That would mean that you could have a direct enemy, and anything you could do to remove even a single city from the kingdom of light is helpful. Would definitely cement them as the primary enemy. Should work in both game modes.

One solution could be to allow investigators to discover they were wrong, and that a given target isn't enthralled after all. Should be easy enough to implement the mechanics, but getting the UI to work could be trickier. Lots of different information can be carried by messengers, and it all needs to be easily spotted from the map view without selecting individual units.

That makes sense. Might change it so it's not a necropolis, if it's automatic, make it more natural-like, such as having the corpseweeds grow over the entire city. Would prefer to avoid it connecting to the corpseweed network, though, to make it a more distinct type of resource.

Deconverting corpsehearts can be added, no problem there.

I prefer keeping units separate, to make it more "undead hoard"-like, and less organised. I'll just add in a small random factor.

Dislike allies gains 25 dislike to everyone in their social circle. It might just be underpowered. All you need for a civil war is more military to be controlled by lords who dislike the societal leader than by those still loyal + the leader themselves.

As to your other message:

There actually IS an entourage ability which causes peasant uprisings. It works by making the peasant politics oppose the lord's, thus increasing unhappiness. Peasant politics is something I really want to get working, because it's neat and spreads from city to caravan to city and adds a global dynamic to the political landscape, but for now it's very invisible and few things work with it.

I've got a friend who has assured me that "Wheel of Time" is the greatest literary achievement of mankind. I'll have to give it a look.

I like the idea of entourage acting as defenses for particular lords, preventing certain actions or increasing their costs. I'll have to see what works and what doesn't, and add in the inverse, some lords being particularly weak due to have ineffective entourages. Some of these bonuses would probably then pass over to the player, for example if a captain of the guard were effective they would slow the rate of population uprisings, provided they were still loyal to the lord.

Adding buildings which increase power regen at the cost of world evidence would probably also be a good idea. Those certainly shouldn't be too hard to implement. Might make one which is ritual based, so you can choose when you're okay with gaining some suspicion/evidence/world-evidence and when you feel the heat's on and you gotta lie low for a while.

In regards to some of the other stuff:

Back in the day, in the very first concepts I did in late January over the course of a week or so, the game was very different. All lords could plot at all times, not just the player. Every action available to the player was available to everyone else. To add to this you could only interact with people you had a direct connection to, but could persuade others to become loyal to you, so use them as gateways to others. For example you could try to gain access to the king by first convincing the queen's chambermaid to support you, then use the chambermaid to convince the queen, then the queen to convince the king. The reason the game is so radically different from this idea is due to the insane amount of chaos it produced. It was almost impossible to keep track of anything, with many plots ending every single turn, which would mean that your own plot was now completely useless or impossible, and the giant network of people was a nightmare to get on the screen.

As a result, I'm unsure I want to try making all other NPCs have their own plots, or have a "discovery" mechanic for information. I've no doubt it would make for a good game if it were implemented, but I'm personally not sure I know how to do so successfully. I've actually got a document for "ideas for a sequel" which are ideas which I don't think I can risk spending the time on, in case they completely don't work and just harm the project as a whole. I'll add the infiltration and discovery mechanics to the list, and maybe someday they'll see the light.