Version 8: Return to War

Took a while, due to being busy with real world stuff, but we now have Version 8 released, for both Windows and Linux.

This version tries to expand on the agents in a way which will pave the way for future agent-based gameplay. We're trying to get the evidence/discovery/suspicion mechanics complete, before introducing new agents which will use these fundamental gameplay systems. Investigators gain new mechanics, allowing them to introduce false evidence into the nobles' minds, allowing them to undermine rival agents or to sabotage your political opponents.

We're moving towards a game pathway where the default process is to enthrall agents, then infiltrate human society, then take control of a noble by enthralling them using agents. This should allow better gameplay progression, with better milestones to reach. It should also simplify the early game, and give you a better idea of how the world is behaving when your noble enthralled finally becomes available. We'll leave the old enthrallment capabilities in as optional, from the game screen, to allow players to play as they see fit, of course.


Armies return, war now occurs by means of armies deploying from settlements and travelling into hostile territory to capture cities and fight the other nation's military. This allows some interaction (for example you can disrupt armies, preventing them from moving to the front line), and allows new strategies (attacking from the West while the nation's armies are off fighting in the East). It also allows future agents to exploit interactions with armies, for example by introducing a "saboteur" agent, who can deplete an army's strength, delay them, destroy fortifications...


Saving and loading has been improved and debugged, allowing named saves, and periodic autosaves. These autosaves can be disabled and enabled through the game options popup accessible while in-game in the bottom right. This also allows turning edge-scrolling and sound on and off.

The future

Now that agents should be fairly well established, we want to try more individual and dark-themed agents. The saboteur, with their military focus, to allow your Deep Ones or Unholy Flesh to gain the upper hand in a military conflict, or the vampire, which will be designed to sow chaos and political discord using their inhuman charm, but must feast on blood to power their capabilities (creating evidence in the cities you decide to prey upon).

As always, we hope you enjoy this new version, at the very least for the bugfixes.

Files 43 MB
Jul 18, 2020 60 MB
Jul 18, 2020

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Still fails to save, something about a null reference or something. Now with the autosaving it kills the game by trying to save and failing, it also asks windows firewall for permission to connect to the internet, which I by principle deny singleplayer games the perms to


Sorry about the bugs. I think they're caused by you not having user-level write permission to the folder which Shadows is in. As it is just an Indie game I didn't want to start writing to AppData and making folders on the user's disk, so saves its saved games to where the .exe is. We've now put a check to see if it has permission, and not fail catastrophically if it doesn't. Sadly, it won't be able to save under those conditions.

Regarding the network thing, that's a Unity built-in which we can't disable. It doesn't need any network capabilities and doesn't communicate over the network in any way, so go ahead and lock it down.

New bugfixed version is out, hope it works for you. You may need to disable autosaves in the options (buttom right) or it'll try to autosave once before realising it can't.

Thanks for the feedback

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Thanks for the reply! I will test it out to the best of my ability! No need to be sorry about the bugs, you are doing this for free and I really appreciate the work. About the saving issue I tried to run it as admin, the game was extracted into a folder on my desktop and all other games have never had any issue saving files, even when not running as admin, but I will try again and give you some better error readouts. Does it create any crashlogs anywhere(if it can even do that right now?) and is there anywhere I can report bugs and issues more directly than here?

Edit: Testing the new version right now, I haven't gotten to saving yet, but I encounter this issue now where I can not make my enthralled noble vote for something else, I can only make them boycott the vote. It is for any type of vote, not just provincial or national elections


The save bug is odd. We tested it on three computers, and it saved fine. It should have worked from the desktop folder, but, well, computers are complicated, annoying and hard to predict. The error file should be in shadows_v8_data / output_log.txt. We don't currently have any other bug tracking system than here, no. If the bug is a failure to save, it should be fixed somewhat. It may not succeed in saving, but should keep running and not crash.

The voting has been changed, to operate entirely from the voting screen, accessible from the voting button above the ability and power buttons. This replaced the old voting ability buttons, to unify the UI somewhat. It should allow slightly better instant feedback on how the voting is impacted by your own vote, how much more you'll need to do to swing the vote, and who to target to achieve this.

Okay so yeah I still get failure to save and then error message spam and a crash, I will look for the output log! Where do I send it to you?

Okay so I reviewed the output log, it seems to contain sensitive information that does not belong to me, mainly file system paths with a name that does not belong to me, there is a first name in the filepath that starts with 'A'  and yeah it seems to be some sort of stack overflow and there is an entire block before the game crashes/freezes/breaks of just errors relating to some sort of serialization stuff

Sorry for the "reply spam" but I have narrowed down the cause of the error! It is related to map size, I had no issue saving and loading a default 32x30 map and somehow when I generated the 64x60 map it saved "fine" but when I tried to load it I got a NullReference error. So it seems to be related to the saving and loading system not being geared for maps larger than default

Excellent work tracking down the repeatability. Sadly, this implies it's an issue we struggled with for over a month, before literally rolling back the entire project to a version of Unity from 2015. It's probably a problem in Unity itself, we were unable to get any form of useful error message, and the crash happens at random parts of the saving process (implying there's a second thread, made by Unity, which either times out or crashes).

The best we're likely to do is to try to compress the save files down a bit before they're passed to the save/load function, and decompress them at the other side. There are some easy ways to do this, and some hard, so we'll see how many we can get done for the next version.

Regarding the private data in the output file, that's just yet more annoying Unity stuff. In general, I think Unity's a decent enough engine, and the game wouldn't be possible without using a third-party engine like this, but some of the decisions the devs made are perplexing to me. My name is in the credits and the github repo, so I'm not too concerned, it's just irritating and odd.

Thanks for your work tracking down the issue, sorry that I can't promise a full fix. We'll look into what can be improved.