The Collapse (Ancient Politics in a City-state Sleepwalking into Ruin)

political-fiction
gender-choice

#1

You’re the ruler of the (fictional and customizable) ancient Sumerian city-state of Ured, which dominates the region on shakier foundations than it might appear. You’ll design your city and juggle the agendas of its five different factions (priests, merchants, bureaucrats, military officers, and commoners) while you try to navigate through a series of crises–or descend into debauchery and/or madness while you watch the world burn around you.
The crises themselves are based on real events that led to the collapse of Sumerian city-states and related civilizations. Avoiding their fate is intended to be quite a challenge in the game, and even if your city is more than abandoned ruins at the end of the game, it’s likely to be quite transformed.

Anyway, here’s the current demo.

Scenes 1 and 2 are now implemented with all of the relevant stats, including each of the factions relationships with you and each other, as well as their general information.
New features include:

  • All of the many stats for the city as a whole, plus each of the factions
  • A system for designing Ured’s patron deity, with major implications for how the priesthood will interpret your actions and relate to the other factions
  • Considerably more textual depth in the city creation process
  • One more option for dealing with the old man

#2

It’s an interesting start, and the varied array of choices for dealing with the prophet gives a good impression of the types of choices expected of a ruler. I’m looking forward to see how this goes. :slightly_smiling_face:


#3

I’m delighted to hear that. For that scene I really wanted to do the oft-done “wild-eyed mystic warns authorities of approaching doom”-thing from the perspective of the ruler, since the rulers in question are usually just bit players in the story, either ignorant fools who simply ignore the warning for no (stated) reason, or who send out the protagonist adventurers to go investigate.
And yes, it’s supposed to give the player a wide variety of options to figure out how they intend to rule in general, before introducing all of the characters and complexities they will be interacting with in later scenes (though it’s more than just a prelude, the decisions in this scene definitely matter.)


#4

Nice even for such a short demo I found it interesting and being able to choose why I was looking the old man up was nice to.


#5

Ooh, now this is certainly different!

I actually have more than a passing interest about the earliest civilizations, so this is right up my alley.

I hope you don’t mind if I ask a few questions regarding the game though (just to get a better idea of what kind of game I should expect).

  • Since it’s a Sumerian city-state, I assume we’ll be following the Sumerian religion. Would this include a customizable patron deity of the city? (Customizable in that they might represent the ideals of the city, such a a god of wealth if it’s a trade-focused city, or a war god if the upper echelon is made up of military officials, and so on)
  • Will we be able to choose the gender of the ruler?
  • Regardless of which gender (if any) we might be able to play as, will it be possible for our Ured to be more egalitarian than real-life Sumerian cities?
  • Considering that the character already has a son, is the spouse still alive? If not, would it be possible to enter a political marriage, especially to gain/curry favor among factions?
  • Romance options: are there any? Or will the game be focused more on rulership than relationships?

I’m sure I had more, but this is all I can think of for now.

I look forward to your update!


#6

Could just be me but the game refuses to load after I have decided what to do with the old man just putting this out there in case it’s not just me


#7

It appears the code ends there.

But otherwise, it was a good quick intro.


#8

I like it, you had a good variety of choices and the idea is unique and interesting.

Some quick questions tho:

  1. How much freedom are we going to have designing the city?
  2. How much customisation is there going to be?
  3. Are we going to be able to drastically change history?
    4: Will we be able to change our government or even invent a new one?
    5: Are we going to be able to change our cities religion?

#9

Yeah, the reason you give will affect how your courtiers react to your actions.
For example, the priesthood likes you justifying it by calling him a blasphemer, but it terrifies everyone else. Alternatively the assembled court will be fine with you punishing him for defying etiquette (with which they’re personally familiar), but the commoners will be annoyed. Everyone is terrified (and resentful) of you doing it without justification.


#10

[EDIT: I believe that I’ve fixed this.]
That’s strange. It should continue after that so that you can create your city. What did you do with the old man? (Perhaps there’s an error.)


#11

Hmm it seems I’m unable to pass the first scene. Just endless loading.
And found this error:


#12

I actually have more than a passing interest about the earliest civilizations, so this is right up my alley.

I’m delighted to have caught your interest.
Do you have any sources you’d recommend for me to brush up on so that I can keep things relatively accurate? Alternatively, would you mind if I asked you some questions on Sumeria (if you’re confident in your background)?

Since it’s a Sumerian city-state, I assume we’ll be following the Sumerian religion. Would this include a customizable patron deity of the city? (Customizable in that they might represent the ideals of the city, such a a god of wealth if it’s a trade-focused city, or a war god if the upper echelon is made up of military officials, and so on)

I had considered some degree of customization of the patron deity, but I’m torn on whether to have the player control this directly through a choice or if it should be determined by the choices you make about the city’s background (so a military-focused city would get a war god, a city with a great library would get a Thoth expy, etc.)

Will we be able to choose the gender of the ruler?

Yes.
That option should’ve come up. Did you get to the city creation part or did it end after you decide what to do with the old man?
Regardless of which gender (if any) we might be able to play as, will it be possible for our Ured to be more egalitarian than real-life Sumerian cities?
This is probably the route I’m going to end up going.
Considering the historical sexism of Sumerian, I had considered making it so that if you went with a female ruler you could choose to 1. either concealing your gender, 2. being open about your gender but acting ceremoniously as male (as several female pharaohs did), or 3. being open about your gender and refusing the male ceremonial roles–which would be the hardest option since it would create a lot of resentment. Honestly, though, options 1 and 3 might be more trouble to implement than they’re worth, so I’ll probably just go with 2 as a default and have there be little significant differences.between gender choices (aside from romance/marriage options.)

Considering that the character already has a son, is the spouse still alive? If not, would it be possible to enter a political marriage, especially to gain/curry favor among factions?

The spouse is dead, precisely to allow for the political marriage options you mention. In addition to marrying prominent members within the factions (or their kin) to curry favor, you’ll have the option do so with foreign rulers to cement alliances.
The marriage options will be gender-determined (I’m not going to diverge from history quite that much), but see below.

Romance options: are there any? Or will the game be focused more on rulership than relationships?

There will be romance options (including homosexual, bisexual, and asexual options) and they will impact the game. This is distinct from the marriage decisions, however, so one may be in a loveless marriage for political reasons and/or commit infidelity.


#13

[EDIT: I believe that this has been resolved.]
Thanks for finding this. I will fix it.


#14

How much freedom are we going to have designing the city?
How much customisation is there going to be?

A fair amount. The initial city creation should’ve been functioning, but apparently it’s not loading (at least not for everyone.)

Are we going to be able to drastically change history?

The changes you create will mostly be restricted to the city itself–like whether it survives.

Will we be able to change our government or even invent a new one?

You will be able to effectively switch government (either intentionally or unintentionally) if you cede to faction demands, if you refuse to cede to their demands and lose the resulting conflict.
The options probably won’t be include anything like a modern democracy, for example, but you could certainly find a way to cede more power to the common people–and if the other factions are sufficiently desperate, they might even let you.

5: Are we going to be able to change our cities religion?

I hadn’t considered it, but I could think about it in options. Obviously this would deeply piss off the priesthood (check out what happened to Akhenaten, but if you really want to delegitimize the priesthood, I suppose it could be an option. After all, they haven’t been able to ward off the cataclysmic disruptions wracking the city, so I suppose it could be a reasonable action on your part.


#15

[EDIT: I believe that I have fixed this error.]
It’s supposed to continue to city creation.
What did you decide to do with him so I can track down the error?


#16

It seems interesting defo keep a look at this


#17

It’s a great idea. I love the variety of what you can do to the old man, looking forward to the rest of the story.


#18

Ahah, time to put on my Fate!Gilgamesh hat!

is reminded that we aren’t playing an immortal demigod with access to ancient Mesopotamian spaceships or magic swords that can blow up the world

… maybe I’ll dial it back a bit. :neutral_face:

But more seriously, this is a really interesting concept. Pretty curious to see what you have in store for this!


#19

So, I made the dumb mistake of not actually uploading Scene 2 (the city creation part.) I have since fixed it (I believe.)
I believe that I’ve also remedied Phoenix_Wolf’s issue with line 88.
Let me know if everything’s working and any other bugs you find.
Thanks everyone for your feedback!


#20

I mean, your character could certainly believe this to be the case, likely with disastrous results. Your character will have a “Madness” reputation stat, after all.