Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Pride of Nations - Developer Diary 8 - The Colonial Game

A new update on the Pride of Nations forum has a developer diary that covers aspects of the Colonial game in AGEOD's upcoming Victorian exploration romp.

You can find out some good information on how they plan to carry out the various ideas of expansion and colonization so prevalent in the 19th century.

For the colonial game, we decided to focus on two key concepts: colonial penetration and spheres of influence. As we worked on the world map, we carved out quite a few areas that we shall call, for the sake of simplifying explanation, "colonies." These areas are present almost everywhere on the world, save for those regions where civilized, stable nations are present. Each active major nation has a Sphere of Influence (SOI) for each colony, as well as a Colonial Penetration rating.

The main reason for the presence of SOI is for helping players (and the AI) to 'invest' in colonies of interest. Colonies are rated between -5 and +5 in terms of SOI, and this is the amount of prestige that the nation will gain (or lose) each turn while holding control of the colony. In game terms, this will lead to a scramble in order to get the juiciest colonies before someone else grabs them. Of course, the various colonies' SOI are not equivalent between nations; for instance, Britain will have a high SOI in Canada while most others will have negative ones. In Africa, the Congo will probably end up with high-level SOI for most nations. This is an arbitrary representation of the interest a given region had for the various nations. Nations that did not go after colonies will have negative SOI almost everywhere; thus, they can partake in the colonial game if they wish, but this would just end up costing them prestige and their efforts would probably be best used elsewhere…but it’s still possible to get colonies if you just want one. Also, for people who would prefer a more open game, there is always the possibility to check the 'No SOI penalty' option. This is our way to please both types of players.

All I can say about this game, despite the fact that I want it, is it better have the documentation and tutorials to back up all this stuff. It looks very deep and complex so let us hope we don't have to struggle with the game before we learn to use it.