All posts tagged with "bureaucramancy"

To the Foreign Office!

Our event framework has been in need of enhancement for a while. It is a fantastic framework, but as we add more content we realized that there are a few things we are using it for that are better implemented using some additional systems. Specifically, how players are allowed to interact with different factions and giving the player tools to change their standing with those factions. We wanted to give players a physical control point for all of this (rather than having to use randomly timed events as a control point) so we’ve implemented the Foreign Office.

From a 3x Foreign Office diplo rush attempt: installing cots for more efficient bureaucracy crunch-time.

From a 3x Foreign Office diplo rush attempt: installing cots for more efficient bureaucracy crunch-time.

The Foreign Office is where the player can actually change how other (human) factions feel about them by employing work crews who toil away filling out forms for various requisitions, award applications, and bureaucratic minutiae in order to generate large enough volumes of paperwork to complete diplomatic missions. Just like in real life. With the Bandits, this might be requesting/forging official papers, intercepting trade convoy information and giving it to them in exchange for improved standing, or setting up an uneasy truce. For dealing with the Empire, we already have the prestige system which was intended to be used like this in the first place, so we’re pushing the prestige/favour content into one filing cabinet of the Foreign Office.

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Posted in Clockwork Empires | Tagged , , , , ,

States of Things: Abstract Resources & The Metagame

Our current iteration of the Clockwork Empires meta-game follows you, a bureaucrat of The Empire, on your (in)famous career.  In game terms, preceding every instance of the city-building game, you will be presented with the choice of a number of objectives to attempt to complete during the game. Completing these will generate prestige points, which is currently designed to be a voucher system that can be spent to “break the rules”, from something as simple as calling in a favour for some rare machine parts to, perhaps, an airship bombardment strike against an attacking enemy. It’s like using mana to cast a magic spell, but in a strategy game. And it’s politics rather than magic. And you’re a bureaucrat. The pen is your wand; the spreadsheet is your tome. (We can go on like this for some time, you know.)

But a downside of the system that we’ve been discussing is that this mechanic rewards only the people who actually do what the Empire wants and so penalizes people who want to do something totally weird (and possibly awesome/terrifying) that has nothing at all to do with what the Prime Minister wants you to be doing. To solve this we’re considering a system in which prestige is no longer won just from The Empire;  other factions will exist throughout the game and, say, by helping or hindering them you will open up the possibility to unlock new objectives for yourself.

Are the Stahlmarkians running dangerously low on festive lager?  Send ’em a few barrels and maybe they’ll train some pilots for you. Are the Squamous Crater Beasts running dangerously low on human brains?  You probably have a few you weren’t using anyway, and you never know when you’ll need a favor from the Squamous Crater Beasts. Maybe they’ll be so good as to eat the brains of someone you don’t like the next time they come around; Her Majesty’s Detective-Inspector from the Ministry of Extradimensional Containment, say — why, you can’t have him wasting time questioning your overseers about the digs going on beyond the Screaming Hills when there’s Important Digging to be done.

It’s useful to make friends. And they come in all shapes. Some wear pointy helmets. Some are incomprehensible to a sane human mind.

Why not produce Perfectly Safe steam via clean-burning Madness?

Posted in Clockwork Empires, Game Design | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,