Post news RSS Historia Realis: Roma - Dev Diary #2

Hi, my name is Lucas and I’m making Historia Realis: Roma (HR), a game where you are a roman politican. You can start as a minor plebeian and rise through the cursus honorum and Roman society, or start as Julius Caesar and try to do things differently (like not getting murdered).

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INTRODUCTION

Hi, my name is Lucas and I’m making Historia Realis: Roma (HR), a game where you are a roman politican. You can start as a minor plebeian and rise through the cursus honorum and Roman society, or start as Julius Caesar and try to do things differently (like not getting murdered).

Concept art

SUMMARY

My progress this week was:

  • GAME DESIGN: I prototyped the “Long Event” system, which are how characters interact with each other.

  • UI: I made a concept of the “Long Event” window.

  • COMMUNITY: Continued streaming on Twitch and the Discord really came to life.

LONG EVENTS

In Paradox games like CK2 and EU4, there are instant events that pop-up to the player, prompting them to make a choice.

I want to do something different.

In HR, there will be long events. They last a while, allowing characters to pick a side in the event. They keep going until one side wins. To sum it up, this is the difference between instant and long events:

INSTANT EVENTS

  • Have immediate effect.
  • Happen between specific characters.
  • One character (or player) makes the decision.

LONG EVENTS

  • Only take effect after their duration (a minute, for example)
  • Any character can join, provided they fill the requirements.
  • Characters “fight” each other inside the event to see who wins

Another way to put it is this: In HR, events are “fought” like battles. They happen over time and between characters.

Why are long events important? Because the 3 pillars of HR are:

  1. Historical Realism

  2. Deep character-driven simulation

  3. Emergent narrative, stories from mechanics

To get those experiences, I need to create a system that provides them. Long events in the timeline are this system (see Dev Diary #1 – Timeline).

The long events allow characters to interact with each other by either helping or conflicting (Pillar 2). The player can look at these interactions and see stories unfolding: relationships, revenges, alliances, love and hate (Pillar 3). And how about Pillar 1? Sulla’s epitaph was:

s570a4-9 wrote:

No friend ever served me, and no enemy ever wronged me, whom I have not repaid in full.

Being a Roman was about social conflict and cooperation. The long events allow both. You can wrong your enemies and serve your friends. Historical realism achieved.

I prototyped the long event system in this spreadsheet, if you’re into spreadsheets. If you’re into videos, check this outinstead.

UI

So how would one of these long events look? Here’s an image I made:

What’s happening here?

Two characters in the left are conspiring to assassinate the one in the right. They are succeeding so far (330 contribution for the assassins against 96 of the target). But this is a long event, which means there’s still time to fight back before the assassination takes place. The target is putting more effort daily into the event (+20) than the assassins (+14 and +2). So the net result is +4 in favor of the target, who is slowly fighting back the conspiracy.

The stats being used to determine how much effort each character is putting into the event are represented in the upper area, below the “event result” bar. Green is using Intrigue and Stewardship to conspire, while red is using Martial and Auctoritas to defend himself.

Speaking of stats, here are the new icons:

I’m not sure about this clean style, but it works well for resizing them.

All events will take this same shape, with some adaptations. We’ll have elections, debates, passing laws in the senate, religious festivals, feasts, wars, rituals, etc. They will all use different stats and, in the case of elections, have different numbers of “winners”: 2 Consuls, 4 Aediles and so on.

COMMUNITY

You should really join the Discord if you haven’t yet! It has really come to life with an amazing and helpful community. I’m really thankful to whoever is there participating in the conversations, it has been an amazing boon to the development process to talk to you guys.

The Twitch stream is also going well. Streaming 3 times a week felt much better to me, and I’ve been talking about design and getting feedback. The best time to stream turned out to be 6 PM EST, so next week I’ll stream at that time.

You can also follow me on Twitter for more news.

Thanks!

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