Shadow Empire Design Snippet #17

Snippet #17: Procedural troop types

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One thing that is interesting to know about Shadow Empire is that its troop types (like tanks, guns, infantry) never are exactly the same every time you play. In the small screenshot above you can see a detailed statistical report on the ‘ATG’ anti-tank gun. Note also that you can improve the gun by ordering a newer version to be designed. This of course does come at a cost in bureaucratic and political points and is best only done after significant technological advances have been made to ensure the investment will be worthwhile. One thing I am not still completely sure about is how much of the detail to hide, probably I’ll eventually allow the player to chose either ‘extreme FOW’ or ‘normal FOW’. In my humble opinion I believe that not being sure how good your equipment is until you are committed to battle would be a very interesting mechanic. However I’ll have to put that ‘extreme FOW’ on the list for later on since hiding stuff is not the best way to debug and beta test :)

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Shadow Empire Design Snippet #16

Snippet #16: Quick rough overview and Organisations

In fact Shadow Empire is going to turn to be a bit more towards the Grognard side of the strategy spectrum than expected. There are a lot of moving parts. The key thing that is different compared to other games and previous games (ATG) is the introduction of Organisations. Think here of analogues of ministries. You can have multiple off them and you can allocate part of your budget (in BPs, bureaucratic points) to each you have. The idea behind them is partly to allow the game to be easy to expand with new features after release, but mostly to allow the player that does not want to do to much management to not create to many organisations (which are not free of cost). My aim is that the game should be perfectly playable even without the advanced options some of those organisations give you.

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Shadow Empire Design Snippet #15

Snippet #15: Stratagems

This snippet shows a part of the stratagem tab. Stratagems can be played on zones, empires or HQs and cost political points. Here we see the ‘Send Spy’ stratagem which you can send to any visible zone. If the insertion of the spy is successful (skill roll involved) it means you’ll get recon points on the zone (and subsequently the empire owning it). Basically the spies enable you to explore the map without using military force. Furthermore more spies will allow you to get information on the enemy troop dispositions and economy. There will be plenty of stratagems available, but well since this is a snippet I am only showing one :) And for anybody wondering what the bar in the right is… its the items present with the Strategic HQ. It receives items from excess production in zones and sends them to your military and zones that have shortages.
Disclaimer: Artwork shown can be placeholder artwork and does not necc. represent the art in the final game

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Shadow Empire Design Snippet #14

Snippet #14: Zones and private & public economy

This snippet shows one of a players zones key statistics. Two important parts of a zone are population and workers. Population works in the private economy and does not necc. require your meddling or input. Workers however work in the public economy and you’ll need them to actively build public assets (like industry or research facilities) and work in them. The design idea behind the seperation between population and workers and private and public assets is that it allows the player the choice to either ignore the economy and just take tax revenues from the private economy.. or actively start planning and steer the economy in a specific direction. The latter strategy should reap more fruits when enough time goes by and your foes are getting more organized and tech-savy.
Disclaimer: Artwork shown can be placeholder artwork and does not necc. represent the art in the final game

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Shadow Empire Design Snippet #13

Snippet #13: Suits and Armour

This snippet shows that when you are creating new troop configurations you can specify what kind of equipment they’ll receive. Yes these kind of choices are in essence trade-offs between beneficial equipment versus cost of production. On some planets however you’ll not have a choice. A toxic atmosphere for example will oblige you to issue at minimum envirosuits to your troopers.
Disclaimer: Artwork shown can be placeholder artwork and does not necc. represent the art in the final game

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Shadow Empire Design Sketches #2

Here are a sneak peak into the nation profile fields. Note that the arrows actually indicate a negative feedback loop. So for example a high ‘democracy’ profile diminishes the ‘totalitarian’ profile. This system means a nation can only have one profile at a really high score in each circle. Note that this is part of a bigger system and what you are seeing here are just the ‘cap the maximum scores’ rules. Capping is important because we don’t want players to have top scores on everything. Opening certain doors means closing certain others. The profile scores themselves, if high enough, will provide you with bonuses, special action cards and can trigger special stories.

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