An Officer's Primer


#1

This is something I’ve been meaning to be doing for about a year now, but I’ve never got around to it for one reason or another.


The Game

To cut a long story very short for now, this mostly takes place in the ‘Old World’, very similar in terms of technology and culture to that of early c.20th century European countries. where you begin as a young man with aspirations of commissioning into His Majesty’s Army. The conflict - at least at first - centres around the Kingdom of Albion and Baravia, which border each-other.

We begin a couple of years before the so-called ‘Great Patriotic Struggle’ with the events of our officer’s childhood: the idea is that the kind of childhood you want your officer to have will certainly shape the kind of young officer he turns out to be. I also want to place a particular emphasis on the experiences of our young officer in training, as these will also be important in shaping and molding your officer.

I believe it’s also important that our young officer commences training a couple of years before the outbreak of war, as, in my opinion, witnessing this crescendo of tension from the perspective of a young officer and his peers is just as fascinating as fighting the war itself.

As an officer, you’ll naturally be responsible for your platoon as a young Second Lieutenant, and will take on greater responsibility as you climb the greasy pole of commissioned officers, with the ability to reach the rank of Major in this book if you play your cards right. How well supplied your troops are, how well trained they are, how many of them remain at your disposal and how happy they are are all key to success on the battlefield, and it’s mostly down to you to try and manage these problems.

What kind of leader you are is ultimately down to you, and whether your aim is to achieve great personal glory, or whether it is to ensure the best outcome for your subordinates, is also down to you and your actions.


Needless to say, in my own mind I have quite a clear direction for the novel, and how the storyline will develop. It’s true that the conflict begins between only two nations, but given this all takes place in the ‘Old World’, you may well have sussed out that there could certainly be a ‘new’ world, but as you’ll come to find, the knowledge of such a new world is limited at best.

I’ve completed a rough draft of the prologue and have spent a bit of time fleshing out the history of the Old World and the Three Kingdoms – which you can find by following ‘Show Stats’.

I ask that you be as critical and constructive as possible, correct me where I’m wrong and feel free to throw up a suggestion or two wherever possible. :grin:

Up to date as of 06/03/17: https://dashingdon.com/go/1264


#2

Great demo. You’re a decent writer and you introduced the character well. I’m curious though, the game doesn’t mention the character’s name or gender. Do these come up later or do you leave it ambiguous for the player to decide?


#3

You’ll be able to choose the name for your officer. You’ll be presented with a list of the most common and appropriate names for an officer of the time and culture, but by all means can come up with your own.

As for gender, that’s an interesting question. I thought about doing something much in the same way Choice of Broadsides did, where you choose the gender of your character, and depending on which gender your character is, everybody else is that gender.

That was definitely an option for me, but given the parallels people will undoubtedly draw between the kind of society and culture we see in Albion and the kind we’ve seen in Europe a hundred-odd years ago, it made the most sense for our officer to be a man, and to live in a society where men are perceived as being in the driving seat.

Needless to say, that doesn’t have to be the case all the way throughout. As the war effort demands more in terms of manpower, it’s likely you’ll see people be more receptive to the idea of societal change in the way men and women are assigned to certain roles - it’s not my plan that society will not experience change, in-fact, as history has often told, it is war and conflict which has been the driving force between much of the change in our society today.

And with the exploration of the western lands, which at present remain more or less undiscovered, the way people live and equality between men and women in these currently unknown and untamed regions will surely influence society in Albion. I hope that answers your question. :grin:


#4

Oh, no perfidious Albion strikes again. :fearful: :stuck_out_tongue:
In all seriousness good demo, but is it necessary that our mc makes it to officer before the war, I mean I could certainly see society rejecting a young man with the wrong kind of background and only allowing him to be a common soldier or nco and then when wartime comes around and the army becomes more pragmatical and the officer shortage possibly acute, only then would they relent to the point of accepting such a person as an officer.


#5

That’s an interesting idea. This officer shortage you mention is something that would certainly materialise fairly early on in the war, and as such you’re likely to come across company commanders not yet even twenty-five, not only because of the scale of casualties, but also because senior command seriously misjudges the need to invest in recruiting and training field and staff officers in the build-up in tensions. This really has two implications for your main character: a) he’s able to achieve promotion faster than he would have been able to in peace-time and b) an NCO would have equal opportunity to commission as the slugging match continues.

In short, my main priority is to get this story-line down, whereby your officer is of a relatively well-placed background and joins the army with a direct commission - although I see no reason why I couldn’t come back later on and work on an alternative story-line where your officer follows the pipeline as you’ve described. :wink:


#6

I’m getting an error - it is not loading chapterone txt file.


#7

I haven’t started chapter one yet. I’ll let you know when I have.


#8

Everything you have so far is great.

I also understand your position on gender; I just wish you were able to incorporate choice without doing the full switch routine of CoB. Since your world is still formed from your mind and not bound strictly to our history, I would hope you find a way forward.

I can give better feedback when more is pushed out for review.


#9

I like the premise even though it’s a little similar to the Sabres Of Infinity series. Also I got a bug right after I got my contract with the sergeant "detailing the basic amenities I was allowed during training."


Good work and am hoping for the best!


#10

Seems like a fun premise, I’ll look forward to playing the demo when it’s a bit further along.


#11

It does. I was just concerned that you were going to make a game where the PC’s character is ambiguous and never mentioned.

Of course you could do that too if you wanted, it’s just that it’d be extremely difficult to make a game where the PC is never referred to as “he” or “she” :yum:


#12

Well…there briefly was the short lived Zatara wip, late last year that tried to go for this.
Imo, that will only work until you get to the romances where I would naturally want the other cute guys to see my character as a desirable man and refer to him as such. A society where they , instead of he or she is the default, polite for of address for everybody could work, particularly if most occupations are more equally distributed across gender lines than they used to be in our own history.


#13

This was a great WIP, I’ll be looking forward to more.


#14

You’ll find that the first draft of the first part of chapter one is now up. :grin:

https://dashingdon.com/go/1264


#16

Yes. I’ll get around to tying up any loose ends tomorrow - and by all means let me know if you come across any other issues.


#17

I noticed that too but I thought maybe there were conditional choices that I didn’t have the correct stats for. :yum:


#18

Ok so i read the summary for this and im not going to lie with the Infinity series out except what will likely be the last game and the golden eagle coming out eventually (i say eventually because i dont want to estimate when it will come out seeing as how i have no clue when it will) the 19th century well everything has me fascinated and i am probably going to play the hell out of this demo.


#19

It certainly was an interesting demo.Though there has already been games like this before that does not mean that this one cannot be unique. I will be looking forward to this.
I had a few thoughts about this and I present you the ideas that I have.
1.You should change the “Respect” stat to a “Respected/Despised” stat and not connect it with the character’s ability, rather use that to show the character trait of the MC.
2.I don’t think that “Integrity” should be an ability stat rather make that into the same “Respected/Despised” stat or simply the “Respect” stat if you want to go with it.My reason is that integrity is often proportionate to respect, is it not?
3.If you chose to be the captain of your football team that gives you a boost of the character’s “Leadership” stat but shouldn’t it give some boost to your “Infanteer” stat as well which pretty much stands for physical prowess.
4.You can let the players chose their characters’ name whenever you would like but wouldn’t it make more sense if they chose their name and gender when they fill up the necessary documents for enlistment?
I had a question as well that whether or not there will be a slot for military decoration that the character might receive in the future.


#20

The part that stuck out to me was this portion:

“The sergeant responsible for your enlistment - Sergeant Scoble, you seem to remember - was a stout fellow, with a neatly clipped moustache, undercut hair and a thin smile, although you doubt whether there was any genuine warmth beneath that smile.”

Officers don’t enlist or have a contract particularly in the time period you are writing in. Obviously you can take your fictional military in any direction you please, but the tone you are setting is one where there is a distinct societal difference between officers and enlisted and where officers are appointed as representatives of the King’s will (the government’s) to the rabble that compose the majority of His Majesty’s troops.


#21

That’s a good point.

The ‘vade mecum’ explains that the purchase of commissions had been done away with more than one-hundred and fifty years ago. Instead, the army was - officially speaking - far more interested in the leadership potential of a candidate, as opposed to social standing.

This is the basis for the Royal Military Academy and the interview required for selection prior to the commissioning course - and although on face value this is a meritocratic system, the reality of the situation is that many senior officers share a disdain for anyone other than of a certain upbringing, and we are therefore left with officers of a certain societal stock - namely of public schools and wealthy fathers - who end up commissioning.

So this goes some way to explaining the idea that an officer ought, to some extent, earn his commission - rather than be given it on the basis of social standing, and hopefully explains my use of the word ‘enlistment’ (although I agree that ‘enlistment’ is the wrong word to use in this instance :wink:).

Feel free to let me know if you have any other queries. :slight_smile: