So here's a rough outline of what I've been working on. The player is an Imperial Agent, a sort of diplomat/enforcer type. The land (is the land called Wesnoth?) is split up into warring city states. The city states are mostly republics with de facto hereditary rule, ruled by councils drawn from the wealthiest and most influential families in any given city. The player has been sent to a gathering held at the mansion of a powerful noble in a key city. A city that has yet to declare allegiance to the Empire.
The Empire is sort of like the Papal State, they seek to influence the different city states with the intention of bringing them all into a single Empire. They've had some successes, and the time has come such that different city states are called to declare for or against the Empire. A shaky cabal of convenience formed from the noble/mercantile families that hold political sway in the different city states is formed to uphold the status quo. This is the House of Nobles.
While all these power plays are going on, life remains tough for the common man (or goblin!) and the oppressed are starting to band together under the Red Banner and fight back and claim the cities for the people. Further, with increased industrialisation and war raging between different city states, manipulated by different factions, the wild lands in between the cities are increasingly subject to environmental destruction. This bothers Gaia, the denizens of the wilds (primarily the Elf and Merfolk), and increasingly they've been directly intervening in political and military matters in an attempt to end hostilities (but at what cost?).
To muddy the frankly opaque waters, a shadowy secret society of forbidden mages; outlaw princes; arch-criminals; and other desperate sorts, lurk in the background. This Shadow Guild tries to manipulate affairs in their favour. Are they in fact trying to bring about a cataclysm? But what do they want? Riches? Political power? Or something grander or more arcane?
The game takes place in the mansion of a noble, lets call him Loretzi for now. You the player are sent to a gathering hosted by Loretzi. It's to celebrate the recent engagement of his daughter to a high ranking commander in the Imperial Army. You are just one functionary among many invited to the event. The engagement is seen as a tacit acceptance by Loretzi of the Empire, and a step towards his city becoming a member of the Empire in future. At the function he takes aside the most important guests, as well as his daughter and future son in law. Shortly after, you hear a cry. You burst into the inner sanctum of the mansion, to find Loretzi dead! You are foremost an agent of Order and the iron dictates of Order govern your every step. If this is a murder, then the perpetrator must be discovered. The suspects are limited to those in the inner sanctum at the time. You lock the door behind you and start your investigation...
Everything happened so fast, each guest accuses one of the other guests of committing the murder. The player must weigh up the evidence, listen to each account and make a dénouement, accusing one of the guests of committing the crime. The player, knowing the likely outcome of accusing any particular guest will have the option to lie and falsely accuse someone, knowing that their word is law.
There are five suspects, each with a hidden agenda:
1. Loretzi's daughter, secretly a key member of the House of Nobles.
2. The commander, a career soldier in the Empire with a chequered past.
3. Loretzi's goblin manservant, suspected of having ties to the Red Banner.
4. A soft-voiced elf, an honoured representative from a nearby sacred grove.
5. A noble from a rival family, lets call him Panceso, rumoured to practice secret and abhorrent magic.
As you can probably figure out, each of the guests is in some way a representative for each of the five factions. They'll all have something to gain and something to lose from Loretzi's death. I haven't decided the specifics, but I'm thinking at this point that the commander is the murderer. This will give the player an interesting choice because they'll be conflicted between their loyalty to the Empire and their devotion to maintaining order. A secondary conflict might be in whether to falsely declare the murder to be an accident and in so doing attempt to foster a greater peace.
Before I go ahead and start implementing this, I've got some questions:
- Is this sufficiently close to the original Misty Nights idea? Does it matter?
- Is the lore close enough to our current conception of the factions and the geopolitical politics in the background of WTactics?
- I've played a bit of Battle for Wesnoth, this project is quite different lore-wise. Is this an issue?
- Does the game sound like it would be fun to play?
- Any suggestions for improvement etc.?
All projects that somehow make usage of code.
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