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BobbyTwoHands

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

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I'd definitely like some agents (maybe 1 to 3) to be under the player's direct control. Give the player something to click and move each turn, to reduce the number of "just hit end turn" turns.

I agree it would be very reasonable to have all agents already exist on the map, and the player to corrupt/take-control-of the agents they want, like they do with enthralling nobles. It may allow agents to have some pre-existing histories (connection to societies, likings and disliking with established nobles).

As I mentioned to nyotas, things will take a bit, and I'll need to see what works for a first version. Hopefully many versions can expand on this, and allow the noble-enthralled and the agent-enthralled to work together to make both as exciting to play with as possible.

Thanks to both of you for your suggestions though, and feedback on what the playerbase would like to see. Good to have a direction to follow.

I like the idea of neutral agents, but would still want the player to have their own.

A core part of the agents is just giving the players more to do, more stuff while waiting for power to accumulate or for the next key election to arrive. I think there's a lot of room for agents to do stuff which the enthralled noble couldn't (wandering off into the wilderness to dig up artefacts, escaping from pursuing investigators, getting involved in a nation's politics in a weak but temporary way and then moving on once the necessary damage is done...).

That said, neutral merchants sound like a good idea. I like the idea of the world being very alive, and having stuff going on all the time, regardless of whether the player is involved or not. Gotta keep the numbers low enough that it looks alive, but still understandable. Shouldn't look like an ant colony with a million units moving across every location every turn. Neutrals could then be manipulated to serve the player's interest, such as by infecting them with a disease and allowing them to spread it, or by planting evidence on them and having the investigators chase them instead of the player's agents.

I'll see what we can get for this version. There needs to be a lot of code changes to allow agents, so it may take a while. I've been working on the voting since then, adding a whole new screen to allow the player to negotiate for vote switching using liking (possibly liking of an agent) or power. Should allow voting to be smoother for the player to follow, allow agents to get involved in politics in a small way, and speed up the voting. Voting was taking so long that societies couldn't do anything because they were holding elections nearly 60% of the time.

But yes. Agents are a good idea we'll try to get in, and neutral agents sound like an interesting idea to explore.

I think we all have more time right now, things being as they are in the world. Just trying to put my quarantine time to good use.

Yeah, I definitely see the appeal of the agents. Their ability to reduce your range of options would make the game easier to follow and give the player a better ability to plan their future actions. We'll keep it in mind, and see if we can either bring some agents back (possibly with a Name which uses agents) or try to give a geographical side to some of the powers, so you need to focus down on one part of the map.

Maybe it would be useful to see who would like you voting in a given way in some popup you could click to see. "View voting liking outcomes" and then you'd pick an option and it would say "These people would like you more, these people would hate you more if you voted this way". Sounds like it's information the player should have access to, and wouldn't be too hard to implement.

Just released a new bugfixed version, so download that one before you play V3. Fixes a bug allowing 0 cost powers, along with a few other things that were pointed out by the community.

I'm probably never going to develop this full time, sadly. My real job (AI researcher in self-adaptive systems) is what I want to do with my life. Game dev is a fun hobby, but I fear it would be far less fun if I made it my main career. That's part of the reason why the project is open source, so if someone wants to develop it full time they can take it over and make it a full scale project.

0 power thing was caused, I believe, by using powers from the social view, as opposed to main view. That's been fixed, in the new bugfixed version now available. I'd prefer not to leave any major bugs in the game at any point, or they'll get forgotten, and the gameplay will be weird due to their presence. Plus, I've got a bunch of free time now, because the entire world is being told to stay home for the next couple of months.

Anyway, thanks for the heads-up, let me know if you spot anything else.

Hey,

Just to note,

I have left the weather/climate change as temporary, because I realised that if it was permanent you could win the game just by clicking "end turn" repeatedly, waiting for wars to occur by themselves, and exploiting them. It would take thousands of turns, but would be a guaranteed win, and I don't want that to be a valid strategy.

If we implement some way for the humans to fight the effects, and return life to the sun, we'll make it permanent, probably.

Hey,

Glad you enjoyed it.

1) Yes, it probably should. The idea was that it would keep the world alive, so if you stopped taking action it would return back to normal. For the bugfixed version of V3 the world-wide changes will be made permanent, I think.

2) Maybe in version 4. I think the best approach would be to use the province system. Each province could have a duke assigned, promoted from one of the nobles in the province. Each provincial ruler would report to the king/queen, and you'd have to first be promoted to leader of your province before you'd be allowed to become leader of your nation. It ties into the current setup, where people in provinces are naturally allied to each other, because of shared industrial concerns, and how civil wars occur by splitting off provinces into their own nations. 

We've not touched it yet because it would make the game more complicated, and we wanted to get quality of life and understandable gameplay at least somewhat handled before adding complexity to the system.

3)That's a very good suggestion, which makes a lot of sense. The nobles are supposed to be enshadowing their entire cities, so it wouldn't make sense to have new nobles arriving which are somehow unaffected. We'll try to get that added in as soon as possible.

Age) We were discussing this, actually. "How long do you think a turn is?" I figured it was maybe a season, but my co-author reckoned it was about a week. If we decide to implement some actual time system, we'd need to work out population growth speeds and suchlike. The main reason characters don't die of old age is because I wanted the system to be easier to understand and follow, and having characters randomly die would possibly confuse players, or force them to read huge numbers of messages about character deaths. We'll look into it.

Dark Unity) This makes sense, having enshadowed characters prefer each other as rulers. We wanted the dark empire to still have politics, but it would make sense that you could influence the enshadowed to hate those who are still light. Maybe just a power, which you could use to make all enshadowed dislike all light people a little bit?

Thanks for the feedback, we'll get to work on a bugfix version for V3, then on V4. 

Hey,

Thanks for the bug reports. Obviously we playtest, but don't have the time to do exhaustive analysis like a real game studio would, so it's great to receive feedback from the players.

We've recently changed how data is read (it's now read from a text file, so the players can alter values if they want to fiddle with stuff) so this may be causing issues. Unsure why it would have cost 0 power, we've never seen that, but we'll look into it.

Information blackout needs to be reworked, along with the information system being rebalanced. It's got a set of minimum values, which information spread can't drop below, but it hits those minimum values a bit early, so the ability doesn't do as much as it should.

The military strength threat multiplier is comparing your nation's military to the other nation's, so it'll remain the same for everyone in a given nation. It should be taking into account their current military and also their maximum military capacity.

We'll try to get a bugfix out as soon as possible, to correct these issues, before we start looking at Version 4.

The game's code can't be updated to the latest Unity version purely because of the save/load system. We are using a library which hasn't been updated for a few years, and so doesn't work with modern Unity. The other library option we tried, which has been updated, doesn't work for our project, and doesn't give sufficient error messages to allow us to understand why. We simply don't have the time to write our own fully recursive serialiser to replace the libraries, so were forced to use the old version.

If you were to remove the save/load feature, the game should be able to be updated to the latest Unity version. Certainly all the code would still be valid.

I assure you, I wish we could use a more up-to-date Unity version, but this was the only way we could get a save/load system working, and we considered that to be critical.

Thanks for the kind words and support.

Obviously the game is very complex, and also fairly different from any other game I've played, since it really focuses on political NPCs and their interactions, so in many cases I'm just trying stuff to see how it works. There was a previous version of this game which I released a few years ago, which varied massively over its year-long development cycle, and tried out a number of the things you've mentioned. As a rule, the game is trying to balance complexity and understandability. Too complex a game leads to the player rapidly becoming overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information to follow, but there's always the urge to add more, and always gameplay areas which feel lacking.

1) I've dug up my old graphics tablet, so more art can be drawn up. As a programmer, I can't draw faces (hence the characters having none), but I can put more flowers on heads.

2) Multiple noble enthralled lead to an incredibly complicated UI system at times, and make it very hard to inform people of which votes are available where. Even with only three enthralled, it was a mess of "vote options now available". It makes it harder for the player to follow their society's political structure, including the nobles' interpersonal relationships, which I'd like to see play an important role.

On-the-map agents were tried, with some success, but I didn't particularly like how they played out. The game's main mechanics are political, and the agents were outside of this system for the most part, they couldn't interact with it in a way which I felt 'worked' as a mechanic. Instead, they're replaced by powers and buildable colonies.

In terms of expanding the amount of stuff to do, I would probably expand the amount of actions you can take on colonies, to make them more involved, and city-builder-like, rather than add any new agents and complicate things further.

3) I'm not sure I agree. The nations here are entirely political driven. They all start as independent cities, and can merge and split arbitrarily, entirely based on politics. Having them forced to exist in certain ways would go against the organic growing process which shapes the map. Partly answering 6 already: The game is NPC-driven, and nations grow and split based on their decisions (which are based on circumstance and some random chance). If you leave the game running, it will slowly stabilise into large empires after a few hundred turns, but if the player disrupts these then entirely new political landscapes will form. With very minor changes (such as random character death from old age) the map would remain permanently dynamic, and constantly generating new nations as civil wars tear apart old empires.

4) This is true, and we should fix this. We'll add it to the list of tasks.

5) We intend to release a new version on Thursday, which introduces "names". These are somewhat similar to "gods" in That Which Sleeps, in that they are groups of powers which fit together thematically, except you pick two per game, rather than just one. One of these is designed to be more straightforward, with more obvious strategies for the player. In our own playtesting we found that often there is no obvious way forward, and that you'd have to just cause chaos and hope the situation improves. This is not how we wanted the game to be played, so we introduced this new way to spend power directly to achieve political aims. The more efficiently you can do so, the more power left over you'd have to spend on your second group of abilities.

6) The old version had "world panic" and "lightbringers". World panic was generated by you expending power or spreading shadow, with different levels unlocking different behaviours the nobles could take to oppose you. The lightbringers were the ultimate result of this, as nobles could turn themselves into glowing yellow people, who were immune to shadow. They would then form an alliance to oppose you, and start the "defeat timer". The more lightbringers were created, the faster the timer increased. As a result you could muck around for the first part of the game, but had to race against time to achieve victory, once you'd progressed far enough.
We intend to re-introduce a version of these mechanics, sometime soon (with game options allowing you to turn them off, if the player wants a more calm and relaxing apocalypse).

Overall, this game is hard to make, and I don't claim to be correct all the time. Which is why we're very grateful for the feedback, and why it is open source. There's all manner of different ways the game could be taken, many of them just as valid as one another, so I wouldn't want to stand in someone's way if they took what we've done, cloned it, then took their copy of the project in another direction. Would be great to one day see all kinds of That Which Sleeps games out there, all with different styles and concepts.

Hope this clears some things up, and hope the new changes are to your liking, once we can get them out the door (we've got a lot of work of our own, so game dev is slower than we'd like)

Thanks for playing, glad you enjoy it so far. In response to your questions:

1) Yes, nobles will spread shadow to all others in their society who have a lower prestige than they do. They can't spread more shadow than they have, so if they have 26% shadow they can't infect anyone else with more than 26% shadow.

2) Worms do, in this version, have a random chance to spawn. They're there to give a threat for the nobles to care about, in case that is useful for political stuff. They may be removed or changed in future versions, although we have no plans as of yet.

3) Flesh and Fish need time to grow their forces (and the Fishmen/Deep Ones need to gather forces from the human nations).  They'd need to have at least as much military strength as the nation they are attacking in order to stand a good enough chance to invade. Cities they take can be turned into 'Ruins', if they can't hold them (the worms do the same, if a human nation loses a war against the worms).

The humans are able to colonise ruins and some empty locations. For gameplay reasons, the human nations will only colonise certain regions, so the player can still build flesh colonies and so worms can spawn. The game is made so that if a single human city is placed at the start of the game they will colonise surrounding locations, then break apart due to political disagreements and form a continent-wide set of nations. Sadly they can't currently colonise across the sea, so if all humans on an island are killed there won't ever be any more.

Hope this clears things up

"All I want for Christmas is a save/load feature"

You have no idea how many times I've said this over the last month. I'll do a devlog real quick to update people about progress on this front.

Sadly it does seem that That Which Sleeps isn't arriving.

The game should share a range of properties with it, but also differ in a number of ways. I tried to introduce agents in a previous version, but they didn't work with existing mechanics. I think the voting system is too interesting (in my opinion) to give up, as it allows the player to directly interact with the major mechanics of the game. As such, agents are somewhat abstracted away as just "actions" you can take. 

Ideally we'll salvage what seems like a good idea, try stuff out, and produce the best game we can.

Remember there's no actual guarantee that the mechanics of That Which Sleeps would produce an interesting or balanced game, as we never got to play it, so we don't know if it worked together.

We would like to re-introduce the different types of evil, but there's a few different ways of going about it, and we'd like to pick the one which is best. I personally like the idea of being able to mix and match different ability "sets", such as "Deep Ones" or "Undead", as well as sets such as "Advanced Politics" or "Madnesses".

The two core issues are balance and complexity. Don't want to allow overpowered ability combinations (or at least not have them as a default option, perhaps the player could enter into a sandbox mode to use them). We also don't want to have the game simply throw all the abilities into a giant pile which are impossible for new players to navigate.

As such, a basic start could well be having different Gods/Evils/Factions..., each of which has a special set of abilities, and shares a few basic ones (politics, external influence, enthrallment shadows...). If the ability set is powerful by itself (such as the undead) we could then introduce the limitations (the undead couldn't enthrall because it was just too easy if you could use both). We'll have to see.

Different government types would be interesting to play with, and would also come under the issue of being too complex for new players. We were thinking of toggle-able complexity options. For example the base game would have all governments be feudal monarchies, but you could click an option to allow them to become republics, theocracies, dictatorships...

We've no current plans for the worms. We may think of something at some point, but for now there's nothing on the board.

You're ahead of the game, in fact. It was fully intended to be a second victory condition (so the player could pick which one the wanted), but it's not yet implemented, and was intended to be added in the next major update.

For now, my congratulations, you can consider that a complete and glorious victory.

We're using the Unity 2D framework, version 2019.1.3f1. The language is fully C# (a.k.a. Microsoft Java).

Be aware the latest build (commit description "SAVE BROKEN CANT WORK WONT WORK GAME BAD DELETE REPO THEN SELF") is broken. The 20th of November commit a1987a02acbafd78a71b36fe0a9091ea3dfecab9 is the latest stable version (I believe).

The code hopefully makes some form of sense, but the game has gone through many changes, so some bits of old code are still present (some of them because we intend to bring them back at some point). Params.cs is a good file to look at for minor changes, as it contains all ability costs/effects and AI behaviour values. If you've got any questions, just ask.

Good luck, hopefully you'll make something great.

I assure you, I'm not easily discouraged.

As mentioned in the devLog, the game still focuses primarly on the "dark empire" side of things, revolving around politics and suchlike. The ideal is for the systems in that approach to be sufficiently complex that you can remove half of them and play exclusively from the "outside", manipulating foreign empires without the enthralled being present in them. As such, any improvements to the Fishmen and Flesh side of the game will mean improvements to the "classic" form of the game, with the enthralled playing politics.

Nobles actually could do a lot more in some unreleased prototype versions of the game, they would have their own plots and objectives. It turns out that this was nearly impossible for a human to follow, due to the sheer combinatorial complexity of having every single noble taking complex actions. The game is designed to be very transparent about why a noble is doing, and what they are doing, to allow the player to be the main actor in the game, rather than needing a week plotting graphs and reading logs to understand how each and every noble is acting and what their motives are. It may return in a later version, possible as an optional additional feature, for people who think the main game is too simple.

You're correct that societies have changed, and are currently simpler. The reason was the most of the heirarchy was invisible most of the time (you never cared about the counts vassalised under a different Duchess), and therefore the player either was unaware of important characters, or that most of the characters would have to be irrelevant. With the new system, every noble is present in every decision and the player gets to know all of them. No-one is 'hidden'. If your enthralled exists in a society then they'll need to learn all that society's nobles, and interact with them throughout the game, or find ways to have them removed.

I really like some of the advantages of the heirarchy system, especially some gameplay which hasn't been explored in any version (such as pulling strings in court to get a useful noble added to your pool of vassals, or trying to get one of your loyal spies into a rival Duke's vassalage). As such, in future versions we intend to re-introduce unlanded titles, such as command over a province, or special roles, giving special actions, such as inquisitor or spymaster. This would give better progression to the game, as you would need to slowly progress your enthralled up the ranks, as you did previously.

In regard to your first point, that That Which Sleeps allows for evil empires while Shadows does not, I hope to correct for this, and allow both.

Internal vs external actions

I believe there are two core ways of interacting with the political system (Shadows' core): From inside and from outside. I'd like, ideally, for both to be fully polished, and for the game to be playable with exclusively one or the other. Currently implemented is the 'classic' approach. You first act from inside a society, by managing political favour, evidence, suspicion and shadow. Eventually you win, and the evidence, suspicion and shadow mechanics become irrelevant for this society. Your fellow nobles are now mad, and so you no longer need to hide evidence from them (nor do you have anyone to give evidence to, as they are all at 100% themselves). At that point, your gaze turns outwards, and you begin to command your society to slowly expand into others. In order to do so, and in order to avoid a Last Alliance type scenario, you must use powers on societies without having an agent inside them.

Ideally, there would be a rather clear distinction between 'powers to use to help your enthralled on their political journey' and 'powers to use to destabilise other nations'. Finding dissidents and arming them to cause civil wars, getting hated rulers elected, causing potential allies to fear each other, distracting nations with your Unholy Flesh...

If a player then chose to only play the inside game, they should be able to kill off their enthralled, and start again in a new society, working their way up, while leaving the old society in a state of darkness. In this way, the player has chosen to only interact with half the mechanics: the powers from the inside. With future expansions, I'd like for the outside-interference powers to become sufficiently developed that they can stand alone, and a player could just start a small evil empire in the wastelands/frozen north/scorching south, and use their powers to cause enough civil wars and infighting that they can progressively invade the whole map. This mode would never have the player take an enthralled agent at all, and never vote once. In service of this planned flexibility, the map already deliberately leaves spaces for the player to work with. The cold and hot areas are empty, and the map generation will reserve locations for non-human societies if the climate map doesn't provide enough uninhabitable spaces.

Since both types of power are needed for the 'classic' game, it should be fairly easy to give a bit of a buff to the 'interact with a society from the outside' powers and package it up alongside an evil-empire type set of powers, where you can invest in expanding your forces and give them basic commands (as you already can with the Deep Ones).

Wedge Issues

As to your culture/religion/nationalism, I hope, possibly optimistically, to make the situation a bit more emergent and situational. I consider these as 'wedge issues', political points which you can bring up in order to divide voters and set them against each other (see gun rights in the US, Brexit in the UK, very polarising topics which can always be trusted to start an argument). Initially there are the economic differences, caused by provinces, which are designed to make large empires hard to manage, but I'd like to allow the clever player to find their own. Voting in an unpopular sovreign, for instance, can shatter a nation, and so a player should be able to find an unpopular noble and slowly bring them to a position of power in a foreign nation. Fears, I also hoped, would be wedge issues. A person near the Unholy Flesh could fear it, but the nobles far away would fear their neighbouring socities more. You could then cause them to argue over who is the major threat, until their society collapses due to inability to work together. Make wedge issues a thing the player creates, rather than just a set of default conflicts.

The rest

With regards to the rest, though, I agree. The clue system is different, and plays completely differently. This is simply a change in how I felt the game would best be played. This said, in previous versions there used to be "world panic", which allowed nobles to feel fear on a global scale, and respond collectively, unlocking new abilities in response to the growing threat. I believe I'll probably re-implement that capability at some point, bringing in some of the desirable features of That Which Sleeps.

And yes, the Lovecraftian aspect of the game is not really reflected in the mechanics. Madness and fascination, forbidden knowledge and dread realisation, I would love to have these in game, but must justify them in terms of how fun and balanced they would actually be. I'd like to push a bit harder in favour of it being Dark vs Neutral. I never intended the nobles to be in any way good people, they are politicians who argue constantly about their own petty concerns, and the fact that they occasionally accuse political rivals of witchcraft despite zero evidence is an intended feature.

Anyway, thanks for taking the time to comment, it was an interesting insight into the game, and it's flattering you took the time to consider it in such depth.

And, like you, I'd very very much like to play That Which Sleeps one day, if only it were possible. Who knows, possibly someone will take the Shadows repository and completely re-work it into playing like That Which Sleeps might have. One of my hopes by making it Open Source is that these gameplay avenues I'm not taking could be explored by someone else.

Thanks for the link, I've read it and found it pretty interesting. I played the game itself, but never saw this post about it.

You're right that we need to ensure that the core element of the game is concrete and functional before expanding. I'd say that is the political system, and the player's interactions with it.

We've done a vast amount of stability testing for the system itself, to see if the AI is able to respond correctly to threats (identifying dark agents and removing them before the shadow spreads too far by itself), and to converge towards a semi-stable map state (no giant blob nations, but still unifying together). 

Now we need to expand the options a little bit, then do a vast amount of testing of the player's actions (make sure no action is overpowered or underpowered) and general UI polish.

Not as of yet, sorry. We were planning on one, but time is hard to come by, and the save/load code is being an utter pain to work with, so progress is slow.

Yeah, I completely agree. The game really lost its way towards the later versions. I think V13 may be the best. I'll write up something about what I think the successes and the failures of the first game were, and how I hope we can get this new one to keep the good and avoid the mistakes

Thanks man. Hope to get this version to fix all the issues the first one had, and polish it up into a complete package

Linux version up. Seems to work on my Mint laptop, except the tutorial isn't visible, for some absurd reason, presumably relating to Unity encodings. I'll fix it, but in the meantime I've added the tutorial images as just a folder alongside it.

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: https://gornova.itch.io/infiltration But I've not had time to check in and see how it's doing.

Hey,

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.

Hey,

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.

Hey,

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 fallen.oak.games@gmail.com 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.

Hey,

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.