Version 7: Agents: Work in Progress release
I'm releasing a version for playtesting and commenting, if anyone wants to be involved in this part of the design process. Its major feature:
Agents. Enemy, friendly or neutral, these are units which wander around the map according to their own ends and objectively, and interact with each other and the societies which inhabit the world. They add a major new dimension to the gameplay, making the world map come to life with moving elements which need to be avoided, intercepted or avoided.
The player takes control of a set of agents (currently capped at 2) and uses them to advance their goals. The human nations in return have a much larger pool of agents, but these are initially completely unaware of the player's agent. They must piece together clues, then warn the nobles, who control the military, if they are to remove the threat the player's enthralled agents pose to the world.
Gameplay for the agents revolves around evidence and suspicion. The human investigators can spot enemy agents if they are in the same location, so the player must constantly keep moving, or stay in place to accomplish a necessary task and then deal with the consequences. Many actions (including their initial enthrallment) leaves evidence behind, which an investigator can use to figure out the identity of enthralled agents.
Avoiding being discovered is possible for a bit, but not forever. Eventually the evidence will be found. Once it is, of course, the enemy needs to communicate, and can be intercepted and delayed. Perhaps they could even be killed or banished from the lands. After some nobles know, their suspicions can be managed by another agent, who pleads the case of the first.
If an agent is kicked out, they would either just be allowed to die (so another can be obtained) or begin a life in the wastelands, avoiding pursuing enemy forces, while quickly entering human nations to accomplish a critical task. Deception would be unnecessary here, since they would be already incriminated fully.
As a whole, we really like the idea of agents. They have great potential, and can add a lot to what can be done.
This version has only the investigator agent, since it is the crucial enemy element, but we hope to introduce further units (neutral and player-exclusive (vampires, witches, werewolves...)) in the near future. The basic evidence mechanics are present in this version, so if you want to you can give it a go, see how balanced it feels, see if anything is irritating and annoying and needs changing.
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