Tyrant Dawn - a post-apoc Dictator sim


#1


This project is similar in vein to games like Tropico, or even Choice of Dragon or Vendetta here in CoG, that it’s meant to allow a player to experience… povs of alternative morality.

My co-writer and I are undecided about whether we should simply jump straight into the management aspects or show the slow crawl up the ladder of power. If you’ve played Tropico, black humor can still make for an enjoyable narrative. We moved it to a post-apoc setting to make it less… actionable, and because a setting similar to Fallout lends itself more towards unorthodox attempts at gaining power. So crazy it just might work! isn’t too far-fetched.

Ideally, though there may be different routes for replayability, we’d like to offer the player the chance to see how he or she ‘grows’ from a child who clings to certain principles, to -

a) a good person who does horrible things for what’s hoped are good reasons
aka an Enlightened Dictator

b) a horrible person who does good things for horrible reasons
aka a Villain with Good Publicity

c) a horrible person who does horrible things for horrible reasons
aka The Evil Overlord

For now, we’d deeply appreciate if you’d care to have a look at the intro.
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/644231/choicescript/web/mygame/index.html

Seriously, please, I keep getting 504 gateway errors, so I do not know if it’s even functioning. :frowning:

Also, what font is that which Choicescript is using by default? Any way to insert special characters, such as ♪♫ into the basic text used by the script? I was getting ?? instead from saving in ANSI, but now that I’ve saved and uploaded in Unicode, it’s still a mystery if it’s working.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/644231/choicescript-online/web/tyrant_dawn/index.html

ATTN: This link is deprecated.
Please go to this link instead to view the new demo with a newer Challenge story engine.


#2

@bluepencil
You have no idea how long I’ve been waiting for a new post-apoc game since there are so few good ones I have a lot of hope on this and give you my full support I hope it turns out well and the way you want it.

So far no 504 gateway errors on my end good work =D>


#3

How about a good person who does good things, but perhaps with unintended negative consequences? It might still work with the black humor you’re going with. It’s strange that the option to be a good person doing good things is absent.

The idea is original and interesting. I love sims myself.


#4

That falls under ‘horrible things for good reasons’. Even accidents happen to the best of intentions, or that blind trust can be fatal. Innocence is very rarely a strong shield. It can also be played in a very inspiring way, for a great leader is also known by conviction and strength of will in the face of reality. Past some point, it is more rewarding to be consistent than constantly compromising one’s ideals here and there.

Intelligent, carefully-balanced decisions designed to further one’s own goals through all options- are another thing entirely.

If you’re familiar with Discworld and Ankh-Morpork, we plan to allow you to play out as if you’re Vetinari, (King) Carrot Ironfoundersson, (Duke) Samuel Vimes, or even Nobby Nobs.

Anyway, the ♪♫ extended ASCII symbols appearing okay?

And, thanks.


#5

Those symbols do appear fine to me. Also, why are the stats displayed twice, both in text version and in percent version?


#6

Each game uses a different font family, can’t recall what the intial download is set to. You can change it in style.css under the body heading at the top of the file.

I’d like to see some more humour in COG, but this sounds perilously like the king part of Fable III (bad decisions for good reasons), and well… Please don’t take too much inspiration from that :wink:


#7

I should state that I read “Post-apocalyptic dictator simulation” and went: “Yep.”

Your distinctions are a little odd, though. Good person and good reasons are intrinsically connected in the intelligible character, so we then just have the person/deed distinction - the good person would only do bad deeds to serve a greater good, and the bad person would only do good to serve their greater interests, SO we then have good natured/bad natured with acts for bigger picture/acts on impulse. Now, we’d then have 4 dictator types:

  • Good person, acts on impulse: Uncompromising idealist, wouldn’t do bad things for the greater good because they’d react to the immediate ill feeling. We’d have an eminently likeable person who probably gets screwed over in an apocalyptic world. Good deeds, likely bad consequences.

  • Good person, acts for the bigger picture: A bit of an Englebert Dollfuss, perhaps. Idealistically motivated, but would raise some objections as people would have to endure some suffering under their regime, all for a greater purpose.

  • Bad person, acts for the greater picture: Very Machiavellian. Would raise some support because they’d manipulate people into thinking they were acting in the public interest. A more cunning dictator than the others.

  • Bad person, acts on impulse: Your everyday stereotypical tyrant. Egoistic and doesn’t give a damn. Would have to retain power through some form of coercive force, but hey-ho, fun’s fun.


#8

I presume the way the sentences are split like that isn’t your intention? Because right now it’s kind of hard to read. With exception for the last page before the ‘Play again’. Be aware that word-processing software usually screws with formatting, in the event that’s what you currently use for typing your code…

The ♪ symbol looks okay on my browser.

EDIT So it wasn’t really hard to read per se. Just that it’s looking really weird that the sentences break down into two-line paragraphs.


#9

FINALLY!
SOMEONE MADE THE GAME I’VE BEEN ASKING PEOPLE TO MAKE!


#10

Ah! Finally I can see it too. The odd line breaks have been fixed.

Anyway, an Emotive — Cerebral and Selfless — Selfish axis is perhaps too much like the Lawful — Chaotic and Good ---- Evil alignments. Please excuse if I prefer a three-point alignment, perhaps more like a Venn diagram of Courage — Power — Wisdom.

… wait, this also presupposes a perfect neutral too. Ack.


#11

The will to act, the ability to act, and the understanding of how best to act? No combination could produce a moral element in the game. You would be denying your work a key aspect.


#12

I’m keen to see where you take this… very strong start. And re: the other thread, from your intro and what you’ve written on this thread, I don’t think you need to worry about Generic Protagonist Syndrome. :slight_smile:

A couple small points: I assume you don’t mean “then set to their initial values later” to be the opening line of the story? And I noticed misspellings of “fluorescent” and “privilege”.

Finally, you’re using “only one choice” too often for my tastes. It works in the opening dream sequence, but loses its effectiveness when you keep doing it. For my money, “listen respectfully” and “but not too far” would work better as just plain page_breaks.

But your call. Keep up the good work!


#13

It was a bit short, so I can’t gauge my opinion on it too well, but from what was given, I enjoyed it somewhat.

There does seem to be a distinct lack of choice though, we’re either given a single option or other options that change pretty much nothing of significance. Some more information about the setting would be nice, all we’re given is that it’s post-apocalyptic and that we’re part of a caravan. I also have to agree with @Drazen in that not putting in options that cover a wider spectrum of morality would be doing the work a disservice.

Also encountered a couple of errors, the stat screen given at the end of the introduction differs greatly from the one given during it, as leadership and strength appear twice in the screen during the game. After refusing to participate in song, I get an error stating “Line 337: increasing indent not allowed, expected 0 was 3”.

The idea has a lot of potential, the work has a rather “Canticle for Leibowitz” feel to it, and I think it has the possibility to explore a lot of ideas.


#14

Oops, sorry about that. I’ve been editing the text file straight at the Dropbox linked folder. It’s convenient to save and have the main file update automatically… but, as it turns out, probably a bad idea.

Also encountered a couple of errors, the stat screen given at the end of the
introduction differs greatly from the one given during it, as leadership and strength
appear twice in the screen during the game.

This sounds like something about mygame.js, but I’m not seeing it. Other than changing the txt files to read, I’ve left mygame.js mostly unchanged. A likely error but my tests show only one stat list at the end. Sorry to impose, but could I have a screenshot?

As for the morality system, we’ll try our best. :slight_smile: Lawful Good doesn’t have to mean Lawful Dumb.


#15

Some small updates to close off the prologue. Sorry about the lack of choices, but this part was mostly about claiming the atmosphere. There are some more foreshadowing now that the strangely mature outlook of the child isn’t really a matter of mere intelligence.

Possible timeskip to the adult stage now, but flash-forwards and back may prove annoying instead of a slow but chronological narrative towards the despotic dream.

One more thing, please. There was originally a different intro, influenced by the talk over at the ‘should you use “you”’ thread. Quite a bit harder SF feel, with a far more intrusive narrator.
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/644231/choicescript/web/mygame2/index.html

Post-apoc city-states may be Fallout, yes, but also Judge Dredd?

Which approach do you think more quickly allows the reader to suspend disbelief?


#16

It depends on the type of apocalypse a lot.

Growing to power is a great idea- helps to set the stage for your rule, all the “why’s” and “how’s” are answered.

Great start, overall.
If you need any help, storywise, feel free to ask and thou shall recieve.


#17

I vote for Option 1, the first link


#18

The alternate intro was also good, but I find both the intrusive narrator and the interjections of code to be unnecessarily distracting.

I prefer what you’ve got – except for the infodump on page one. Better, ideally, to work all that exposition into a brief narrative intro. Don’t know if the dictator-shot-in-the-head is the best framing for that.

Overall, I like where you’re going with the current intro – and the art fits the tone!


#19

I like it when a game tells me when my stats change


#20

A small update, introducing a character that hopefully induces d’aww, and some questions:

What’s the difference between *create and *temp? While the manual says using *create is no longer recommended, I find it easier to have the variables visible in one file rather than having to mess with mygame.js. Will this bork our game?

Will the variables created by *temp persist when the story switches to another scene?