I thought I better make another progress update before the holiday season sends everything into chaos for a few weeks. The strategy layer is progressing nicely with new screens produced for assessing your company accounts and researching lore and the early stages of switching the layer over to pauseable real-time has begun. I’ve made a few more of the buildings have actual effects beyond just item production and even spent some time thinking up thematic overall victory conditions.
Right now I’m thinking there will be two initial victory conditions; winning a ‘lore victory’ which will be similar to the science victory in civilization in that you progress to near the end of the technology tree which allows you to unlock some kind of final hard tactical battle which inn turn leads you to the end of the game and the secret of monkey island/why magic has returned to the world. The second type of victory will involve clambering the feudal ranks by attaining or claiming titles and eventually dominating all opposition on the map by declaring yourself ‘king’. Claiming the king rank will require a certain amount of the respect resource, some favours accumulated through contracts, an impressive central castle and of course controlling around 60% of the map through the territory control mechanics (a combination of economic power, and military/political influence).
Perhaps more interesting will be the mechanics of losing. You will also lose the game if a state of secure peace persists between all the main political factions on the map for longer than x months. A mercenary company lives by the sword and peace is death. Hopefully you will be able to use intrigue, assassinations and other manipulations to keep political tensions in a continuously heightened state and thus protect your income stream. At some point in the future I may provide a ‘holy warrior’ path of mercenary company that subverts this failure condition by striving continually for peace but for now there will be only war. The second less pressing failure condition concerns the ‘ruin’ spread by the chaotic magical monsters if you fail to fulfil enough contracts related to suppressing the monstrous threat then it may eventually grow too large and overwhelm the entire realm.
None of that is implemented yet but hopefully when it is it will provide a couple of varying paths through the game, add some all important mercenary flavour and just give the players something to aim for beyond just growing their company’s power.
Have a lovely Christmas, I’ll be back in the new year with more steady progress updates I’m sure. Hopefully some screenshots should resume too once I get back to the more camera friendly tactical portion of the game.