Last time we talked about character creation, which is what you’ll see right after starting a New Game from the main menu. Today we’re going to talk about what comes moments later, which is the starting point of the player’s character.
We will also answer questions such as what the player will find at the beginning of the game, in which region the game will start and we will mention another historical game changer.
Hundred Years’ War
The whole game will take place during the Hundred Year’s War, this is not new and we mentioned this time and time again. However, the player’s character, together with their armed retinue, takes part in it and at some point they receive information that their demesne has been invaded. Then, having received permission and a little support from their senior they rush back to their lands, and this is where the background of the story ends.
For the game begins when a noble created by the player approaches the capital of their small dominion. It quickly turns out that their demesne has been cruelly plundered, many of their subjects are dead, many villages have been burned down and the main town has suffered heavy losses.
What is a tragedy story-wise, mechanically is supposed to allow for a multitude of possibilities. Indeed, the first part of the game will be devoted to the rebirth of your own lands (hence the game’s subtitle). Through the vastness of destruction, the player will face many difficult choices, but will also have considerable freedom in imposing reconstruction priorities, determining the size and composition of their troops, shaping the structure of their, initially modest, court, establishing alliances, investments, engaging in trade, etc. This will also allow us to introduce, step by step, the numerous mechanics that we plan for the strategic part of the game.
Equally as important will be finding out what happened, who exactly is responsible, but also preparing for a possible next attack.
Place of action
We have been thinking long and hard about the place of action and considered many possibilities. Eventually we decided on south-eastern France, and to be more precise, terrain that is not far from the border with, at that time English, Gascony.
One of the main sources of inspiration for us is the county of Périgord, and not only because of the beautiful landscape. It was one of the main battlefields of the Hundred Years’ War, a place where the situation changed very dynamically, which gives us a wide range of possibilities.
I’m stressing said place is just an inspiration right now, because the lands of the player’s noble and their direct neighbors won’t be a strict replica of historically existing lands, but something designed specifically for the purpose of the game.
The main reason for this decision is simple - in order to maximize interesting events, choices and opportunities we need to have full control over the player’s immediate surroundings. This does not mean that the place will be unreal. Historical sources often serve us as a basis for designing buildings, rooms, costumes, but also the dilemmas that the nobility faced at that time.
An example of what I’m writing about - polychromes we’re preparing for the interior of a city church. On the left inspiration, on the right our sketch. We’re trying to take care of such details to maintain the atmosphere of the era.
So in search of inspiration for interesting events, we reach for all sorts of local events from all over the European region from the late Middle Ages (also because the sources talk a lot about kings and much less about minor nobility). All this, of course, while taking care to make it plausible. For example, visitors from distant lands (like those described in Dev Diary #5 - Foreigners) may appear in the player’s demesne, but it will be something unusual and rare, rather than something that happens almost every month.
On the other hand, the local situation which will be the player’s focus most of the time, will be affected by national, international or even global events.
If you want to read more about it and see a map showing the changes in the Gascony region, please visit our Steam page where you can find the second part of Dev Diary.
And if anyone is interested in what that is:
Then join our Discord server!