Anyway. Today, the new idea?
This game was inspired primarily by Majesty: The Fantasy Kingdom Sim (and some of the better elements from the hypothetically-if-one-did-exist-sequel which is a shame that they never made. What's that you're saying? Sorry, can't hear you over my lamenting that Majesty never was given a sequel game, you'll have to speak up louder)...
...But throwing in STRONG elements of Nemesis of the Roman Empire (a game literally nobody seems to know anything about existing pretty much; even MAJESTY is less obscure apparently), with fair amounts of Age of Empires II (plus a little from Age of Empires 1 I guess) thrown in for good measure. (Not really Age of Mythology and certainly not Age of Empires III, but the monsters in this game can I suppose take cues from Age of Mythology.) I suppose you can say Starcraft holds some influence, too.
Yes, that would mean that it'd have a bunch of mechanics which are RTS in nature and take from some more traditional RPG styled games, so this isn't "Me imagining Majesty's sequel as it should be"; this is a new game, with inspiration from Majesty. Inspiration, nothing more. You can see the aesthetic of Majesty in the game I envisioned, but you can also clearly tell that this is a separate game, not intended to be identical in any way.
Where do I begin?
I literally gave up my morning shaving/hair brushing/teeth brushing and critically nap in order to write down notes, and I wrote down three full pages worth of notes at work not to mention a fourth mini-page (mini mini page, half of a sheet which is I estimate 1/4th of a normal page, so 1/8th extra) continuing, and these pages were pretty cramped, so I got a LOT of work done on this idea; it was a borderline obsession and I am positive my performance at work was notably suffering (bad because my bosses were both present, but oh well for this I consider it worth it).
Hmm...I suppose I'll start with some of the mechanics.
So this is a game featuring a zoomable map: able to zoom in fairly closely, but also to zoom way out until the units are basically dots, and this zoom is designed to be functional and sane with every zoom in-between, a way to view as much as the kingdom as necessary. (And yes I call it a kingdom, because of the games I listed, Majesty still is the strongest influence on the game.)
Said map can be ROTATED, too. It can be rotated 360 degrees, viewable from any angle at any zoom. It has four "preset" rotations found on buttons, with the default being north (okay so this I took from Zeus: Master of Olympus/Poseidon: Master of Atlantis).
There is a minimap always visible, which has various different options toggled for how/what is viewed.
There is a tracking window below the minimap, to track something the player designates, including the option to rotate through things/places.
The commander would have various different flags (you'll get more about this later on why these are necessary): "Attack this target"; "Don't get near this target"; "Don't go near this area" (for things in the unexplored area which you know are there); "Go to this location"; "Defend this".
The game would have VARIOUS different speed options. Everything from 10% to 1000%; moving in slow motion to moving absurdly fast, faster than a human can realistically follow. The game would also feature the ability to PAUSE. The player can't issue commands when paused (no spells, no commands, no recruits, no upgrades, etc.), but the ability to pause allows for much faster translations between commands for the micromanager especially when paired with the slow game speed.
The game would feature hotkeys, easily set, to allow for fast tracking of specific units/formations/buildings, along with a command to zoom to the selected.
The only REAL resource would be gold--stored both in the treasury (max: 99,999,999), and in various buildings. Gold stored in a building can be used for any purchase IN THAT BUILDING (for instance, a hero building with gold can use gold to recruit a hero without depleting the treasury) and does so by default, BUT, purchases can also be made using the treasury.
In other words, there's a universal source which is used when there's nothing else to use, but you can use locally if you don't want to deplete the universal source. Said local sources feed back into the main source via the economy, anyway, but more on that later.
Said gold is generated over time--automatically a small amount deposited in the treasury as a 'daily income', some from certain items, and collected both from units/buildings (many buildings generate gold, other buildings have gold deposited in them, and both can have it collected; think tax collector from Majesty) and from harvesting gold deposits on the map or from trading. (Resources on the map aside from buildings are destructible; you can destroy them in order to build, but it's a bit wasteful since there's a limited amount you can harvest.)
Thus, it's never possible to run out of gold even though with careless spending it is possible to find yourself a bit short on gold for an inconvenient duration of time.
Every unit within the game would have an AI--every unit. Even units who, under normal circumstances, should never need to be artificially controlled. (Due to a specific level with the quirk of zero obedience, which you'll learn about below.) Each AI would be unique to that unit, but following a pattern. This is the Majesty coming out, you might be able to tell.
Even Peasants and Tax Collectors had their little quirks to them which made them act in weird ways. (Often stupid, but that's beside the point.) This would be that. All units have an AI setting which works on autopilot, and all units with that AI setting follow patterns which, at least theoretically, are optimal usage of their abilities. Non-heroes travel together in groups, for instance.
In spite of said AIs, the majority of units can be ordered. Henchmen and heroes tend not to really respond to direct orders (though henchmen can be ordered to follow directives, basically, differing behaviors IN their AI), but even they can do so and if not, that's what flags and spells are for. (Still more on that below.)
Most buildings are constructed and thus destroyable, but some buildings aren't destroyed, just demolished/converted. These buildings can't be permanently destroyed, simply rendered currently-unusable by their current owner by whatever method (including being converted into having a different owner).
Heroes can always capture/convert structures; some units also can. Alternatively, demolishing and then rebuilding can be done if not capturing/converting them. Obviously, there are a predefined set number of these per level. They are structures of importance. Settlements are the most important (as they are basically the equivalent of a Palace in Majesty), which often (but not always) are surrounded by permanent (rather than temporary) walls and usually have prebuild (rather than built) towers.
Yet others would exist to serve numerous different functions, including Outposts acting as mini-settlements giving some, but not all, of the abilities of a settlement and acting as a combination of other buildings as well including a trading post (something which there can be an unlimited number of, but it gets costly to build, so finding an outpost helps).
As mentioned, most buildings are built--when building buildings, a ring (let's call it the green ring because Majesty) surrounds all existing buildings to let you know where they are in relationship to the new building (which has its shape phantom-overlaid onto where it'd be) that has a circle around it so you know how to get things as exactly distanced as you want them to be.
Furthering that, the game would also feature the option to turn on a grid function, which would give a fair idea of where things are and thus allow for optimal building placement ease, among numerous other factors.
There would be MANY buildings both built and constructed (found then built/converted) that would contain items--some automatically handed out, some for sale. And similarly, there would be various different magical items littered throughout the map which have various different effects. These items are mostly for heroes, but units can have some of them in limited quantities. (Heroes have unlimited capacity for items so long as there's no redundancy. The only redundant item they can have unlimited of is a healing potion.)
Some items are deposited in buildings for passive effects, e.g. passive gold regeneration. Items picked up not for buildings' usage can be either passive (provide a continuous bonus of some sort) or active (used and then the item is depleted by the amount indicated). Some items can even be manually triggered by the player, albeit mostly in those who have higher obedience.
EVERY unit levels up, regardless of type or task, getting better at their primary function and gaining health.
Upgrades for equipment, items, units, buildings, and even heroes exist; many upgrades are automatically given to NEW units of the type and older units can pay to have them (heroes, they pay from their personal pocket; non-heroes, the player pays from the treasury). Heroes can do this automatically or in some cases be ordered to; non-heroes will never do it on their own because it would take from the treasury so they need the input.
Upgrades are also global--no researching the same thing twenty different times. Research it once, and it doesn't need to be researched again.
But back to the AI...
...Every unit has an "act independently" setting. For many, this can be disabled--sometimes temporarily, other times permanently--in order to have them act in specific ways determined by the player. This is usually for units rather than henchmen or heroes.
Units have the ability to move in formation. (Heroes do not. Henchmen also do not, but peasants are classified as units so peasants can.) These formations can take...well, various different formations. Tightly clustered, spread out, single file line, double file line, you get the idea. They move at the speed of the slowest unit, together, acting as one.
Units have the ability to "attach" themselves to a hero (which automatically makes them a formation moving with the hero; heroes have the option of 'move at default speed' or 'move at formation speed' so you don't slow heroes down unless you intend to), which makes all the units assigned to the hero have +(hero's levels) levels for the duration of the time they are attached to the hero.
The units attached also get increases to all their stats proportional to the hero's stats, including accelerated XP gain rate. Formations attached to a hero can also be larger than formations with no attachment to a hero, allowing for a larger army to exist. These units will always move with the hero (to the best of their ability) and do what the hero is doing (to the best of their ability).
Almost every unit and the VAST majority of heroes has AT LEAST one upgraded form. (Heroes don't have more than one.) They usually have more than one.
ALL units have passive health regeneration. Heroes regenerate HP faster, with attached units getting that bonus regeneration speed to a lesser extent. Units (which include henchmen and heroes) can garrison--garrisoned units heal faster, among other benefits.
Certain buildings heal MUCH faster than other buildings when garrisoned within. And yes, this does stack so having units attached to a hero garrisoned inside a rapid-healing building can swiftly regenerate an army which was moments before almost all dead.
Permanent buildings never increase in cost (if they have a cost at all), and of built buildings...some buildings (towers, economic buildings, hero buildings) increase in cost whereas others (unit buildings, upgrade buildings, various defensive structures, etc.) don't.
Units/heroes never increase in cost to recruit, nor is there a cap on how many can be recruited (other than whatever game engine limitations I'd encounter). Maps could be of varying different sizes. Small, medium, large, huge, gigantic, etc.
In spite of what I said earlier, there are other resources...which are, completely, totally, 100% optional: they enhance things (especially playing as certain civilizations), but are never needed for anything.
Food can be consumed to increase unit regeneration, or in the civilization with organic buildings, be used to repair/upgrade an organic building. It is NEVER used to create units/buildings...except, of course. A "food caravan" unit, which transports food from one location to another.
You can also trade food for gold. (And, yes, vice versa, too, but this is something the game recommends against.)
Stone can be consumed to repair buildings at an accelerated rate. In the civilization specializing in it, stone can also be used to provide a passive regeneration to said building if said building has a garrison, no need for a repair unit to be on site. This also applies to upgrades. It is NEVER used to create units/buildings...except, of course. A "stone caravan" unit, which transports stone from one location to another.
You can also trade stone for gold. (And, yes, vice versa, too, but this is something the game recommends against.) In fact, this is the primary purpose of it, to be harvested for extra cash.
Wood can be consumed to repair buildings at an accelerated rate. In the civilization specializing in it, it can also be used to repair/upgrade a wooden building. It is NEVER used to create units/buildings...except, of course. A "wood caravan" unit, which transports wood from one location to another.
You can also trade wood for gold. (And, yes, vice versa, too, but this is something the game recommends against.) In fact, this is the primary purpose of it, to be harvested for extra cash.
Among other traits, heroes have unique names, FAR more independent AI, can carry more items, USE said items automatically, gather items on their own, among numerous other traits; they are the elites which make up the core gameplay, with all non-hero units (be it henchmen or regular units) essentially as cannon fodder to help support them/provide the backbone of the economy and military force such that heroes are placed in less danger.
Like units, heroes come in numerous different types. I've got 25 (maybe 29; maybe 34; maybe 30) heroes with associations (4 tied to one thing which if they have upgrades is instead 8, 12 tied to another, the four base heroes associated with the 12 which are their upgraded forms, five civilization-specific heroes which if they have upgrades is instead 10), and the plan is to have APPROXIMATELY one hero per basic unit type (plus upgrade to said hero) plus any "quirky" hero I want that's not a unit type, so if I had to estimate, I'd say I'm looking at somewhere in the range of 60 unique hero types as a fairly conservative number.
Why is it so conservative? Well, you'll be able to check my math on this later when you see how I got this figure, but by my calculation, when you tally civilization choice (five civs) with the other mutually exclusive choices, my mental math said that was 240 unique combinations. (5 * 4 = 20, * 2 = 40, * 2 = 60, * 2 = 120, * 2 = 240; five civs, and you'll see what the *4 and the four *2s are below.)
As I mentioned. There are different civilizations. These civilizations are not simply "one or two small differences but basically interchangeable". This isn't quite as extreme as, say, Terran vs. Zerg vs. Protoss would be (or more accurately, Roman vs. Carthaginian vs. Gaul vs. the fourth civ I can never remember the name of but which is my favorite to play as); you do use basically the same things.
It's more in the middle. Think more like Age of Empires (at least Age of Empires II Conqueror's Expansion, don't quite remember if the original had civ traits), but slightly more extreme than Age of Empires. All five civilizations have specialties, all five civilizations have quirks, all five civilizations have unique units/traits (PLURAL), but not really much in the way of penalties and absolutely nothing "off-limits" aside from the uniques of other civs, obv.
The player can and is pitted against both an enemy civilization and monsters. (There are various victory conditions. You could theoretically have a level with no monsters even though none exists; you could theoretically have a level with no enemy civilization and some do exist because there are plenty of monsters to challenge your kingdom.)
Monsters spawn from lairs which follow many building rules. They are not all destructible, but many (especially ones which appear after the map was created) are. They can be the entirety of the enemy for a level, because they present a formidable threat.
Monsters have "roaming" mode, "destroy building" mode, "Attack units" mode, "Attack everything" mode, "Specialized" mode for some, and "defend thing" mode. Kinda like the flags, except you don't get to see it in them; you just have to observe which mode they are in from their actions. (Making a beeline for your settlement? Probably destroy building. Chase hero? Probably attack unit. Engage on sight/when attacked and wander around? Roam. And so on.)
Non-hero units have various different "directives" they can be given. Directives aren't orders, per se. They aren't things which say "do this", so much as they are: determining which type of AI path the unit will use. Among these settings:
"Never attack, ever"; "Don't attack unless in self-defense"; "Attack only explicit threats nearby"; "Attack any threat, but do not pursue"; "Attack any threat and pursue".
Henchmen in particular have VERY strong usage of these directives. These directives, unlike for other units, can actually be globally set. (But can still be given on an individual basis.) "Value life over duty" (flee), versus "value duty over life" (ignore danger) would be an example, albeit not quite the best way to word it.
A better way to say it would be: "Flee if danger nearby"; "Flee if attacked"; "Never flee". The first on line of sight; if an enemy is spotted, RUN AWAY to the nearest garrison. The second when an attack is sensed; if registering that they have been attacked, RUN AWAY to avoid being killed.
Units, especially heroes, may flee from battle, especially when low on HP. They have threat assessment; the accuracy of this assessment is based on stats, and accounts for their situation with all the information they have in their line of sight versus the situation of the enemy for as long as they can see in their line of sight. Enemy too strong, they will run for their lives.
Units fleeing seek to garrison themselves in the nearest building, ideally high-healing garrisons, but they'll take anything they can get. This is more specifically "seek best garrison to garrison", but 'best' is often just 'nearest'. It's MEANT to function as 'gets unit functioning at fastest rate', though.
The game would have various different cheats (with a witty dialog for the cheat) easily used by control-C and with a quick method of entering them...say, by hitting. Well. Enter. I've thought up a little over half a dozen; the completed list would be probably closer to two dozen. I'll post them at the end because they're on page three and four of my notes and I'm not even onto page one of my notes (though I'm close).
The game would feature player spells: cast from the treasury, depleting gold reserves, to have numerous different effects. Some of these spells come from buildings which are mutually exclusive, showing that Majesty influence some more, and yes there is a high level of redundancy in them, great overlap even when choosing the other side.
Some units would have special abilities, but mostly, the realm of spellcasting is reserved for heroes, who have NUMEROUS spells/abilities they have access to; it is one of their main defining characteristics, their unique abilities that their hero class possesses which no other hero class has.
That being said, because all units follow some basic classifications, heroes follow some of these same classifications. It's not quite as simple as "magic melee range", but it's along those veins at the very least in that they take the same penalties/bonuses that units do when facing specific types of opponents.
Another benefit of heroes is (okay so this one is from Age of Mythology) that they do bonus damage against monsters--the main foe in the game, frankly, because while doing battle against an enemy is all fun and good and all, the main threat other than incompetent friendly AI is going to be competent unfriendly monster AI.
Now, that's just what I covered this morning.
This is a very long-ass ramble (sorry, language) as-is even to me right now as I'm writing it. But. Small confession to you as you are going to be reading it. I will be editing in content from the four pieces of paper above into the sections appropriate, such that related topics are, loosely, categorized together.
Meaning that from your perspective, there's going to be a LOT more in the above than from my perspective as I am writing this because from my perspective, that content is "below", down here, where I am writing right now except not yet written, even though to your perspective that content is in the above.
Hmm...lemme take a screenshot of the scroll bar. (This is an imperfect method, but oh well.)
All units have a "home" building. When garrisoned in their "home" building, units have accelerated healing even if this home building doesn't normally offer accelerated healing when garrisoned. Hero homes have a limit to the number of recruits they can have--I'm just gonna plagiarize and say that's four, in most cases.
All other unit recruitment buildings have no limits; you can have hundreds of henchmen and thousands (god forbid if the game engine could take it) of units and they could theoretically all spawn from a single location.
I want to do some research into Age of Empires and Age of Empires II to plagiarize units from them (I'm not gonna pretend otherwise), but some unit types I was able to come up with off the top of my head were:
Converter(*)/Healer/Buffer/Debuffer (probably not all as one unit but probably not all as four separate units)
Armored Transport (one form which is easy to think about: a siege tower)
Armored Ram (battering ram)
Unit Siege (pierce) (Ballistae)
Unit Siege (spread) (catapults)
Building Siege (distance)
...And most, aside from some siege weapons, would have heroes of them.
*Heroes can't be converted and only some henchmen can be; conversion is mostly a function for units and some buildings.
When I designed the game, I designed the game to, like my inspiration, have four "Ages".
And get ready for this, because this is where things get important. You're about to get some rather important namedrops.
The first age: Dawn of Harmony. This is the age where civilization comes to fruition, where life begins to inhabit an area which was previously uninhabited. It is the birth of, in the current location, all that is to unfold.
The second age: Dawn of Magic. While magic is ever-present at all times, both in Harmony (before) and in all ages after, the Dawn of Magic represents the time where the existing civilization has established the roots necessary for branching into magic; magic is something best done with the support of a thriving economic settlement.
The third age: Dawn of Religion. While religion is ever-present at all times, both before its dawn (Magic/Harmony) and in the stage after, the Dawn of Religion represents the establishment of structure and continuity in the civilization. People strive to live for something "grander", and now have the resources necessary to accomplish it.
The fourth age: Dawn of Technology. While technology is ever-present at all times, in all the ages before its dawn, for technology to thrive, it requires harmony, magic, and religion to be established first. Because in order to be at the forefront of technology, you need to have the people, the roots, the support, the structure, the continuity, of everything else already there.
And from this...you get the game title.
WOW this far in an only now I'm namedropping it?
This is a pretty good title. What that means is that there's like an 80% chance that a game by this title already exists. If it doesn't, then there's like a 98% chance that a game with this subtitle exists (e.g. "GAME TITLE: Dawn of Order"). Butstill. IN SPITE OF THAT.
The working title of this game that I invented today?
Dawn of Order.
The idea of that should be self-evident. You, as the player, are hoping to become the master over the kingdom, to establish order where before there was none. Conquer any rival kingdoms, and conquer any monstrous threats lurking in the wild, to establish an era of eternal order where civilization's laws reign supreme. Your goal, the goal of the player, is to bring about this utopia, to bring about the Dawn of an era of Order.
This can be done in any of the for "ages", obviously, but in terms of lore it would be a kind of "fifth age", coming after the other four, when a kingdom has achieved everything there is for a kingdom to achieve.
The victory screen for any level is thus, "Order Obtained!", a white and blue screen with glistening buildings; the defeat screen for any level is thus, "Chaos Consumes..."; it is red and black flames and ashes. While we're on the subject though, this game features unique introductions to every level with voice narration (same as Majesty and Zeus/Poseidon), and has unique ending screens with voice narration for everything except for freestyle; similarly, every level's defeat screen (while featuring no voice) has a unique narration outlying the horrible fate you just suffered and what will happen next.
By the way, units when they die are, mostly, gone for good. They die, they're dead. An exception: heroes, when dieing, produce a gravestone to be resurrected within a window of time. Deaths are announced with a loud narration from the hero. (All units have dialog for doing every action in the game--hero dialog is unique to the hero type, thus each hero death can be identified as belonging to that specific type of hero, and their name displays on screen so you know WHICH hero it was.) You know. Just like Majesty.
Generals, when they die, also don't die for good. They can be resummoned. What are generals? Generals are heroes carried across levels. At the end of a level, one of each hero type you possess can be promoted to become a General. The maximum number of Generals you can have is (number of settlements you control) * (number of the age/"dawn" you are currently in), e.g. three settlements in the Dawn of Religion age = 9 generals.
Generals in freestyle are for freestyle quests only, but Generals are shared between Quests and Campaigns (including the bonus level).
Speaking of which! There's three types of levels: Freestyle levels are...well, freestyle. They're random matches, basically a single game with no story. Just complete the objective of the level which you set before generating the level. (I'd want to look up those victory conditions both in Majesty and also Age of Empires to see what they offer.)
Quests are exactly what they are in Majesty: isolated self-contained stories, with very little relation to one another. Some quests are unlocked by completing others, and you can carry generals from one quest to another, but otherwise they have no tie with one another; they are each almost their own freestyle game, except there IS narrative for the level, and there's unique quirks not found in freestyle for every quest.
Campaign contains missions. Each mission unlocks at least one other mission; all missions require at least one other mission to unlock save the first one of course. For the most part, this is linear; complete one, do the next. The order is flexible in some cases, in that sometimes, say, three different levels will open up, but just as often as levels open up, they close up with the next level unlocking only after all the others are completed.
There are five campaigns (plus the bonus level). They can be done in any order, but the RECOMMENDED order is the order they happen in the story, because these being campaigns, there is a continuous narrative to them and they take the Starcraft route of "this campaign happens after the conclusion of the last campaign, and before the next campaign". Each campaign covers a race.
The first campaign doubles as a gradual tutorial (though, Quests offer tutorials on gameplay mechanics in much the same way Majesty quests do), and thus is the longest, at 25 episodes; the other 4 campaigns are 13 episodes each. Which is 77 + bonus level episodes/levels in the campaign mode.
Let's see...for henchmen, they are "Collectors" (collect from buildings), "Caravans" (transport goods to other buildings, usually gold), Gatherers (special units which must be manually recruited; can be converted; gather gold/wood/stone/food from the land and deposit it in buildings which can take those resources), Guards (self-explanatory; generated from specific towers mostly but also important government buildings), Builders, and Peasants (can do any of these tasks and also has a weak pitiful attack they can use; is a jack of all trades, which is manually recruited, has different AI, and can be converted).
Buildings change aesthetic with the four ages. Many (but not all) buildings also have upgrades. Some from the building itself, others from other buildings. (Imagine having to try and upgrade every single link in a wall--not viable; that's an upgrade done from another building. But there are plenty of buildings where sometimes you want the lower-level; that's an upgrade done from the building itself.)
There are never more than four levels to a building, which means there's 4-16 aesthetics for a building. (One each age for level 1, level 2, level 3, and level 4. Each level adds four possible aesthetics.)
As can be expected, some buildings/units are only available after other buildings/building levels/research are completed. Furthermore, some buildings/units/upgrades (both unit/building upgrades) only when reaching a certain age/dawn, also as can be expected.
And, true to Majesty: Some Hero Buildings are mutually exclusive with one another. There are twelve total such buildings.
Four of such buildings are the Buildings of the Orders. There are for "Orders". These are people who follow a set way, and refuse to settle in a kingdom which has set in a different way than theirs.
The Order of Harmony focuses on resources. They emphasize the importance of living in harmony with nature, and see magic/technology/religion as serving only one use: to further that end; any magic/technology/faith not serving this agenda they think to be an abomination standing in the way of their goal, thus their hatred of the other three orders.
In other words, they do not ban such things, but they live in the natural world, bringing out the most from it and allowing for a plentiful fulfilling existence. It is the oldest of the Orders, but also the smallest. It's certainly not the weakest though!
The Order of Magic focuses on Items. They emphasize the importance of pure thaumatic energies, harvesting the mystic arts in numerous enchantments, items, and spells to further civilization. They feel that nature should be harvested for its resources, technology should serve to simply further understanding of the mystic arts, and that religion is good only for instilling the learning process of magic.
Thus, any usage of those not following that agenda, they abhor, and the other three Orders have ways mutually exclusive with their own. It is both the second oldest and second largest of the Orders, but no mere second in power.
The Order of Religion focuses on Units, instilling within all a sense of inner strength from divine protection. They believe that faith in the higher powers allows for an enrichment of life, and feel that all resources should be used as offerings to this lifestyle. Nature should be harvested for sacrifices and for sustenance, magic should be uses by the faithful to inspire miracles, and technology should be used to spread the word to the masses.
Thus, if those things are not being used in the way the order deems appropriate, they are banned. It is the largest of the orders currently.
The Order of Technology focuses on Buildings, representing the march of industry to create a powerful economy in the modern world. They believe that the resources of nature exist only as fuel for their machines, that magic serves only as a source of power for new, interesting, innovating technology, and that religion serves as a fine way of providing divine inspiration, nothing more.
They don't see those ideals as outdated, but they do hold about them a certain level of arrogance in thinking all those things should serve them. So the thought of them existing independently, and even of them operating under the ideals they are superior, is taboo.
Orders can be thought of as loosely akin and equivalent to Races (Gnome/Elves/Dwarves) in Majesty: Pick one, exclude the others, and get some significant changes to the kingdom's functionality based on your choice. (More on that below.)
Good news, just passed page number one.
Bad news, just passed hour number three on writing this ramble.
Oh well, continuing on.
Now would be a good time to talk about the races. Races are, explicitly, the "civilizations" of the game. Human/Zerg/Protoss, Roman/Gaul/Carthaginian/The one I forget the name of, the NUMEROUS different choices in Age of Empires from Huns to Britains to Franks and so on and so forth there.
Each race has MANY unique buildings, units, items, and upgrades. Each race has AT LEAST one unique hero and AT LEAST one unique spell. So there's not just aesthetical changes; there's actual serious differences between them.
Humans are the default player race. The majority of quests use them, they are the first/longest/tutorial campaign, and generally the metric by which all other races are compared to. So, yes, stereotypical as it may sound, they have no real strengths nor any true weaknesses.
Elves have an affinity for the resource of Wood; some of their buildings are wooden, grown from the ground. (Wooden buildings do not require wood to build, because once more, the resource of Wood is OPTIONAL.) As a general rule, their buildings tend to be cheaper, but more fragile.
Fae (think insectoids meets zerg) have an affinity for the resource of Food; some of their buildings are organic, birthed, and consume food like any living creature would. (I'm not gonna stress this every time, but yes, NO FOOD REQUIRED TO BUILD; FOOD IS OPTIONAL.) As a rule, their units are cheaper, but much weaker.
Orcs have an affinity for the resource of Stone. As a rule, their buildings are sturdier, but also more expensive.
Dwarves have an affinity for Gold; as a rule, their units are stronger, but more expensive.
Again. THESE ARE NOT THE ONLY DIFFERENCES. These are not superficial changes. But before I can go into the details of changes more intimately I'd need to research various games to more or less lay out what those exact changes actually would be.
So yes. There are extensive differences beyond the ones listed; each have significant gameplay separation from one another.
Next on the agenda for this game is the rest of the mutually exclusives.
I call these the "Divides". Each Divide can loosely be thought of as "Open"(Selfless) or "Closed"(Selfish).
Harmony Divide: Gathering of Protectors (Open) vs. Gathering of Masters (Closed).
The divide in Harmony comes from Harmony not being a unified concept. You can understand the idea of "live with nature" well enough, but these opposing Gatherings have entirely different ideas of what that means. The Gathering of Protectors believes that it is the duty of all who accept Harmony to not only live in nature, but protect it from outside harm.
In contrast, the Gathering of Masters believes that to live in nature means to be the masters of nature. They still believe that nature should be preserved, but it should also be directed and controlled to the benefit of all who accept the way of Harmony.
Magic Divide: Council of Elements (Open) vs. Council of Enhancements (Closed). This can actually be thought of in another term, "elemental magic versus non-elemental magic", or "elemental magic versus pure magical energy". The Council of Elements believes that magic should be used to harvest the power of the elements. The Council of Enhancements believe such things to be superfluous and wasteful, and that the pursuit of pure mystic energy produces a more "pure" form of magic they feel should be taught to all who embrace Magic.
Religion Divide: Temple of Love (Open) vs. Temple of Wrath (Closed). I need not explain why there would be a divide in religion, but to explain those concepts, it is simply the thought of "God(s) is Love" versus "The Wrath of God(s)". Both feature prominently in all religions pretty much, and yet they are at odds with one another. Divine acceptance, versus Divine retribution. Caring for others, versus empowerment.
And this is thus the divide; the Temple of Love believes in protecting all who accept religion into their lives, whereas the Temple of Wrath believes in punishing all who stand in the way of those who accept religion in their lives.
Technology Divide: Company of Progress (Open) vs. Company of Profit (Closed). This is simply a choice between being idealistic and being pragmatic. The Company of Progress believes that technology should be used for the progression of all aspects of life. The Company of Profit believes that technology serves to make money.
Harmony/Magic/Religion/Tech Divides are akin to Temples from Majesty, BUT: Choosing one "open"/"closed" only locks out the corresponding "closed"/"open". Choosing one open does NOT make you choose all-open; choosing all closed does NOT make you choose all-closed; the only times you have all-open/closed are either if a level dictates so or because you the player specifically desired it for whatever reason (probably thematic).
Also, you can probably guess this, but:
SAID DIVIDES ARE UNTIED TO ORDERS.
It's NOT "Pick Order, then pick Divide" (e.g. Order of Harmony-->Harmony Divide); that'd exclude basically half the hero roster and like 75, 80+% of the more "specialized hero" list. The two choices are entirely unrelated to one another, just like the choices between races and temples are unrelated in Majesty. You can and will have an order of technology and then choose either a council of elements or a council of enhancements.
So the good news is, I'm through two pages; the bad news is, the third got so cluttered I needed a fourth mini page so it's the longest. Also, I need a break to eat because I start fasting for bloodwork tomorrow. So small pause, invisible to you but not to me, as I eat.
...Okay, fifteen minute break over. Coming up on four hours now, but loosely speaking you could say this is the home stretch. So ANYWAY. Continuing on.
Order selecting gives one unique hero and has the mentioned alteration to the game: Harmony gives greatly enhanced resource gathering, building an economy; Magic gives a bunch of exclusive items which are useful for units especially heroes; Religion gives a bunch of exclusive upgrades that buff units; Technology gives a bunch of upgrades which modify buildings.
However, they grant no spells and aren't fundamentally altering the very nature of the game like race selection does.
Four heroes have three upgrades: Purely an upgrade to their hero class, and then two choices between the two divides associated with that hero. (One hero has a Harmony divide between upgrading into a Protectorate and upgrading into a Master in addition to that hero's pure upgrade, a second hero has a Magic divide between upgrading into an Elemental or an Enhancement in addition to their third pure upgrade, and so on.)
The choice between Divides is thus fairly minor. Divides do provide some minor miscellaneous kingdom influences, but nothing as extensive as the choice between Orders. Mostly, it comes down to the two heroes they offer (one as an exclusive for their Gathering/Council/Temple/Company, the other as an upgrade to one hero) and the spells they provide.
We're nearing the end of the content I have.
One unique building is the Embassy--you can build only one and when you know what it does you can understand why; the Embassy allows for the recruitment of one hero from each of the four races the player is not playing as. So as a human, it allows the recruitment of 1 elf, 1 fae, 1 dwarf, and 1 orc.
Guards have numerous different commands to them, but among them are "Flee when low in health" (can leave units/buildings vulnerable without their meat shield) vs. "Attack to death" (can lose the meat shield altogether until the replacement generated arrives); "Pursue enemies" (can get Guard to go further away than you want) vs. "Stay close to radius" (can allow guard to be sniped); "Attack strongest" vs. "Attack weakest" vs. "Attack nearest" vs. "Attack furthest away" for targeting.
Peasants have the same commands as henchmen do: Flee if danger nearby; Flee if attacked; never flee, but in addition to that, have two unique ones: "if attacked, attack the attacker" and "if threat nearby, attack nearby danger". (The former leads to them soloing the problem; the latter, a swarm of peasants deals with the issue.)
I have two things left to talk about.
The first on the list is Obedience.
Obedience is a stat every unit--henchmen, peasant, hero, whatever--has in two values: "Base obedience stat" (what the unit's default obedience value is) and "current obedience stat" (what the unit's current obedience is and thus the pertinent information to have when dealing with a unit).
Everything leads up to this, because this is the most critical game mechanic of all.
Obedience dictates how responsive units are to both direct orders and to directives (indirect orders, the "sets AI behavior to do this instead of that").
At 100% obedience, a unit ceases all action and starts to do ONLY actions the player directly orders them to do. This is almost never used; only specific units can have it, that or the use of a spell I dubbed "Mind Control" (to control the actions of a unit you control entirely...for about ten ingame seconds. With a cooldown at least 3-6 times that length).
At 80% obedience, a unit will always follow directives to the best of their ability and will often respond to direct orders given: "attack this"; "go here"; "garrison this"; "join that"; "pick up this". Pretty much those commands only though. This is the level many units tend to be at, but not nearly as many as you'd prefer. At this level, a unit will always for FREE obey the commands of flags. This level of obedience is incredibly rare among heroes.
At 60% obedience, a unit will try to follow directives, but will do so sometimes a little unreliably. A unit won't really respond to direct orders of "attack this"; "go here", etc., but orders to do those things will initiate their reevaluation process, making them more open to the suggestion if nothing else. At this level, a unit will always obey command flags; they'll need to be paid to attack something, defend something, or go somewhere, but they'll stay away from something for free. This level of obedience is where the rest of units are for the most part and is the base level for heroes.
At 40% obedience, directives given they will try to uphold, but they still use their own AI judgement to do what they think is the best thing for them to do now, a judgement which will often run counter to the player's intention. No direct orders can be given. At this level, a unit will always obey command flags...if they are appropriately priced high enough. They still will stay away from things for free though. This is the level of many heroes.
At 20% obedience, directives are more like guidelines...loose ones, at that. They basically do whatever they want to, irregardless of what's best for them to do. No direct orders can be given. At this level, a unit will almost always obey command flags; the higher the price, the higher the chance. They need to be paid to obey stay away flags. This is the level of the lowlife heroes more or less.
At 0% obedience, no input from the player can be given whatsoever, though they will still acknowledge flags most of the time especially if the price is high enough. This is occasionally seen from heroes, but mostly is a special curse from hell to be inflicted with.
This obedience system is where the heart and soul of the gameplay lies. The cannon fodder units have higher obedience; they act on their own but mostly act on the players' directives. Henchmen have medium obedience because they have a higher level of independence; they act on their own primarily but take heavy input from the player.
And Heroes have lower obedience because they are potentially fully self-automated; they act almost exclusively on their own and only rarely do they take some input from the player.
This obedience factor is where the hybrid between the RTS elements of games like Age of Empires meets the fantasy sim elements of Majesty. Low Obedience = acts like Majesty characters, in that you can't do anything to really force them to do something. High obedience = acts like RTS units, in that you can tell them what to do.
And yes, these units will do things like raid lairs, attack enemy settlements, and the like all on their own.
This is what I feel makes my game I invented truly unique. I don't think anything like this has been done before, and yet I think that if it could be pulled off it would be absolutely amazing to see.
So what do you get for sticking with me to the end? (Or skimming four hours' of worth and just skipping to the bottom.) Why, cheat codes, of course!
woodent ya know displays the message, "My bark is worse than my bite!" and has the effect of causing every building which can store Wood to have maximum Wood stored (999).
have a meating displays the message, "I'm sick of the bare bone necessities!" and has the effect of causing every building which can store Food to have maximum Food stored.
stone cold killer displays the message, "I'm off to a rocky start!" and has the effect of causing every building which can store Stone to have maximum Stone stored.
a golden opportunity displays the message, "All the Shinies are MINE! My own. My preciousesss." and has the effect of maxing the treasury out to 99,999,999 gold.
ranger guild displays the message, "I'm a cartographer! Who knew?" and reveals the whole map.
order of operations displays the message, "The chain of command whips you until you obey.", and has the effect of allowing for all normally mutually exclusive buildings to be built: all four Order buildings, and both halves of the four Divides (so instead of having five, you can have all twelve).
dawn of fun times displays the message, "Time flies when you're having fun!", and has the effect of everything being done instantly. Buildings insta-constructed; upgrades insta-done, units insta-recruited. Entering once enables it; entering it a second time disables it.
go away displays the message, "Shoo, fly, don't bother me!" and has the effect if instantly killing/destroying/dismantling the selected unit/building.
lets roll displays the message, "Never gonna give you up, never gonna level you down, or desert you." and has the effect of leveling the selected unit up five levels.
I would also need cheats for Instant Win, Instant Loss, Kill Monsters, Kill all other Kingdoms, Kill specific Kingdom, All Spells, and no cooldown on spells which have cooldown.
But then comes the fun ones:
this is a terrible idea displays the message, "Aaahhh!!! Monsters! MONSTERS EVERYWHERE! WHOSE IDEA WAS THIS?!?", and spawns monsters across the whole map.
trouble is coming (cheat name was something else that I forgot originally) displays the message, "Well...that's not good." and spawns monsters across all four edges of the map.
doh you wanna die displays the message, "Uh-oh..." and spawns the strongest monsters in the game LITERALLY EVERYWHERE.
So that is everything I have on Dawn of Order.
I hope you think the game idea is as interesting as I do.
Otherwise I just wasted four and a half hours of my life on nothing.