Why Not Games




Syphilisation Update - 2020-12-06

You can buy a very early version of Syphilisation here. You can read about what Syphilisation is here and the manifesto for the game here. You can subscribe to the mailing list here.

Work Done

I took some time over the previous week to take stock of the features that I added to the game over the past couple of months. It's a mixed bag of results, with more that is lacking than features that I am happy with. However, there is only feature that completely misses the mark and I should be able to massage the rest of them into shape.

The features look like this right now:
  • Designed biomes:
    • This works well. I am completely happy with it.
  • District Adjacency:
    • I think this is good and it plays well so far.
    • I still need to try pushing against the feature though. I am not sure how much the bonuses actually matter.
    • I also still have not been able to test out the eXploitation economy. I may need to restructure the game flow before I can get a feel for that.
  • Storyline:
    • This is a very promising feature in how it plays already. It humanizes the players and greatly smoothens the game flow.
    • It does not yet have the moment that really sells the feature to the player though.
    • It also is not fully integrated yet. It needs to become a part of the core loop. The event deck works, but is too barebones to really matter.
    • I would like it if meeting other players added a bunch of cards to the event deck as that would both fill up the deck a bit and help push player interaction
  • Biome Culture:
    • This is a really promising feature. I really like how the system works and what it can do.
    • The way that it keeps favor relevant is very nice.
    • It is an effective way to guarantee a floor on the currency produced in each city, which allows me to manage the scaling currencies of the game much better.
    • I think that there is a bug in how it calculated though. It does not update as I would expect.
    • The flow is very unclear to the player right now. I need to surface the feature better.
    • I do not like how the player culture is separate from the biome culture right now. It is too convoluted.
    • I need to integrate combat with this. I want the dynamic of war coming from war.
  • Quest System:
    • This system is definitely more elegant than the one before it. It is much more direct and much clearer.
    • It currently generates far too few quests though. I need to tweak the quest rate up.
    • I also want to add in quests from events.
    • I think the game would be better for some epic win-condition quests as well.
  • Campaigns:
    • The talking point feature that I put in to push players into more interaction just does not do much. It is not an acceptable solution.
    • The war score is still a bad system and should be replaced.
    • I still cannot represent satyagraha at all.
    • I need the decisions here to become active and not passive.

Besides that, the last week saw a lot of playtesting. You can get pretty deep into the game right now, but there is a lot of game right now. I managed two different sessions of about 12 hours each and got about 60% of the way through the game each time. One of my big goals this month is to drastically streamline the game. I want to cut the number of turns in half and also cut the amount of time each turn takes. There is some busy work that I can cut from the play experience and I want to plot out the game structure from the top-down and speed the whole thing up.

Interesting Fact

For this week, I want to put in a quote from Hitler agreeing with the Tory party - "If ever we allowed a country conquered by us to have its own Army, that would be the end of our rights over that country - for autonomy is the way to independence. It's not possible to retain by democratic methods what one has conquered by force. In that respect, I share the point of view of the English Tories. To subjugate an independent country, with the idea of later giving it back its freedom, that's not logical. The blood that has been shed confers a right of ownership. If the English give India back her liberty, within twenty years India will have lost her liberty again. There are Englishmen who reproach themselves with having governed thecountry badly. Why? Because the Indians show no enthusiasm for their rule. I claim that the English have governed India very well, but their error is to expect enthusiasm from the people they administer. If it's true that the English have exploited India, it's also true that India has drawn a profit from English domination. Without the English, India would certainly not have a population of three hundred and eighty million inhabitants."

- @murthynikhil

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Written for Why Not Games.