Celeritas Eos is an open world dark fantasy horror survival role playing game set on a fictional world with a low fantasy setting. Intended to be a four part series, the series starts with Equilibrium of The Night where you will assume the role of a set protagonist although subsequent titles in the series after Equilibrium will feature your own custom characters.
The first module in the series - Equilibrium of The Night - takes place in the land of Eridanus and features a woman named Lucia who journeys to there to stop an evil occurring within Castle Lox Avue. This evil is very powerful and is impacting the whole world by making zombies and other abominations arise all over it prompting knights, warriors and even ordinary people to journey to Eridanus to help fight against the source of where all of the evil is coming from.
Ever feel like you've bitten off more than you can chew? Over the course of this month, I've begun working on a hugely ambitious open-world RPG, been writing a novel for NaNoWriMo, wrapping up this semester of classes before exams, moving to a new apartment, AND working retail on the cusp of the holiday season (This time last month I was playing a major role in a play too). Still I manage to find time to open CE once a day and squeeze in a bit more code. Needless to say sleep has been optional, but missing an update here has not.
In the first Dev Diary, we covered how our unique Procedural Generation system allows us to dynamically populate any city, tavern, forest, dungeon, or circle of Hell with the drop of a single placeable. That's all well and good for a nice Sunday stroll, but the real fun is in giving the player something to fight. Since Celeritas Eos takes place in a world gone to the crapper, our cities should be just as exciting as the wilderness. To create this sense of growing danger and collapsing social order, every area that uses Procedural Generation also has a simulated Crime Rate.
It's difficult for me to sum up how Crime Rate works in one sentence, because it affects so many aspects of the game, and possibly the story depending on what Knight has in mind. Basically, the Crime Rate is a percentage given to each area from a scale of 0-100. This percentage determines how successful criminals are in an area and how chaotic the place gets, as well as how the city guard respond to it.
To illustrate this, let's start talking about our other major city in the game, Muisyle. This is a smaller walled city located southwest of Avue, infamous for its rampant criminal activity, crippling poverty and a red light district that puts the darkest corners of the internet to shame. It is the opposite of Avue in just about every respect, but you'll really start to feel this when you realize how dangerous it is to walk the streets.
Muisyle has a default crime rate of 30% when you enter it for the first time. This means that almost a third of it's citizens are criminals, and some are violent. These thugs and gangsters will wait on street corners, dark alleys, and burst from doors to ambush you and any other hapless citizen who crosses their trap. Sounds a lot like random encounters? In practice, it's a whole different beast. There is no fixed location where these hostiles will spawn, so unlike encounters you will not be able to predict where or when they will run at you. You could be sitting at a bench minding your own business when all of a sudden an urban brawl will break out in front of you.
There are a lot of factors that determine how often you see these thugs. For example, they're much more likely to come about at night than during the day, so you have a good incentive to avoid walking the streets alone at night. The city guard are also on the prowl, so hanging around areas with heavy law enforcement usually makes you safer. The biggest factor, however, is the fact that the city's crime rate can and will change on a daily basis, both with and without your help.
For example, let's say that while scoping out a forgotten corner of the city while on a quest, you discover a secret entrance to the city that bypasses the gate guards. Collapsing this secret entrance could lower the crime rate dramatically, let's say by 2% - 4%. Then later that day a city guard turns up dead. That will increase crime by about 1%. Maybe later that night you decide to sell some precious stolen merchandise to the local black market dealers. Your contribution to the underground economy is going to cause crime to jump by another percentage. Then the next day, an undead army invades the city. People panic, looting occurs, and all of a sudden the crime rate jumps a whopping 20% while social order collapses and riots ensue.
Therefore, our Crime Rate can simulate not just illegal activity in the city, but social unrest. Certain quests can have dramatic effects on the security of your city and how easy it is to live there, while subtle good deeds or petty crimes can fluctuate it modestly. This simultaneously creates real and dynamic consequences to your actions while giving the sense of a world that doesn't entirely revolve around you.
There are some advantages to having a high crime rate, especially if your Lucia likes to operate in a legal gray area. Black market dealers will be able to sell their highly sought goods for cheaper if crime is abundant. You will see stronger guards stationed within the city to combat high unrest as well. Adversely, there are always rewards for players who go all-out Batman and try to clean up the city down to a 0% crime rate, but it won't be easy.
Increments of one or two percent may seem like a meager change, but a crime rate of 30% is already considered high. Anything after 50% is a riot, while 70% - 90% is a war zone. See for yourself!
We're already having a lot of fun just walking down these crazy streets. Wait till you see what we have in store in another two weeks when much more epic quests and unique NPCs start to take shape.