Version 9: The Dead

A new version. Bit smaller than others, due to being busy with real world work. Such is life.

This one is focused on the undead. Introduces two new special agents for the player. Previously, agents only could be obtained by enthralling existing agents, but this new version introduces the concept being able to recruit your own darkness-specific units. This will allow specialists with their own powersets and gameplay styles, hopefully expanding the range of freedoms for the player.

The first is the simpler of the two, the vampire. Designed as an infiltrator and madness spreader, the vampire's special mechanic is, naturally, blood. They have an amount of blood, which slowly decreases over time, and can be spent on their infiltration ability. They leave no evidence when infiltration, but do when drinking, so they can avoid getting exiled from the nations they are infiltration. This hopefully should create a fairly international agent, which goes from one nation to feed, then goes to another to infiltrate and assist an enthralled noble by turning their political opponents insane.

The second is the necromantic doctor. Disguised as a plague doctor, they steal or obtain bodies, which they pile onto their corpse cart. These are then carried to corpseroot patches for long-term storage. Once sufficient have been gathered an army of the dead can be created, rising up to attack the living. When they raid a graveyard they can't gather more corpses from that location for a few turns, so to build up a decent supply they must go from town to town, constantly gathering more for the army. Again, this is designed to make a nice and mobile agent, travelling around the map.

We also have a new playthrough video, focused on the agents (the old agents, enthralled human agents). Should explain how we see the infiltration side of gameplay going, and give some idea of how we play the game.

Link here: Agent Playthrough Video

Not sure yet about the balance of these new agents, they might need a bunch more fiddling with in the next version, but are, I think, a good first start towards unique units.

As always, comments and feedback welcome.

Files 43 MB
Aug 12, 2020

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I have been having similar issues to Tiavals and am  the bug fixed version. Usually happens in the low 300's when the flesh is fighting a kingdom I get a  null pointer and  even when I reload from a saved ill get a null pointer around the same turn. 


Okay. New Version pushed. Should have fixed that issue (it fixes one null-pointer issue at least). Will need to go dig up my Linux-compiler computer for the Linux version.

Should probably allow save compatibility, the fix didn't change anything which would get saved to disk, but I can't 100% guarantee that.

Again, thanks to my co-author for spotting/catching/replicating the bug.

Hi ! Is the current Linux_fix1 file, the good version to go with ? Thanks for the support !


Co-incidentally was just compiling the Linux version of bugfix v2. For some reason this version of Unity is bugged, and I have to dig up an old laptop to compile to Linux, because the main development computer can't compile to it.

I've not tested it yet, but have uploaded. Hopefully it should work?

I didn’t try a long game, but it does start. Thanks !

Interesting additions. 

I think the necromantic doctor is way more powerful than any of the other agents. He can crush entire nations just by himself, while all of the other agents can do minor things to destabilize nations and such. It's quite easy to get an army of 200 or more undead for the necromantic doctor, which is a massive military force compared to how tough it is to get 200 for the Unholy Flesh. 

Unfortunately I had a bunch of null-pointer exceptions that crashed the game. I think mostly they came from characters dying or their locations being destroyed. Once I used the Winter powers to lower temperature and it destroyed a bunch of cities, including the one where my enthralled was. For a while he and some of the others lived in a "ghost dimension" where they didn't exist but had their own society, before a null-pointer exception made an end of that. Likewise, I think when my Unholy Flesh or Undead smashed some cities, it caused problems(or maybe an agent that died in a war?). It's a bit hard to know where the problems come from, except that they're null-pointer exceptions that probably arise from a character disappearing, and then something referring to an empty state where the character used to be. 

The limit of 2 agents and 1 enthralled feels so incredibly low to me. I feel constrained rather than being forced to make interesting decisions, honestly. Much of the time it's tough to advance in society or to influence it in any way(at least the way I play), so having just one enthralled doubles down on the feeling that it doesn't really matter all that much what I do in society. 

Anyway, I think putting the vampire and the necromantic doctors as agents instead of Names is a good idea. 

Yes, the undead do seem a bit powerful. I was originally going to make them even more powerful, by having them turn defeated enemies into new armies of the dead, but realised that was so overpowered it was just nuts.

I'll turn down their power in the next version.

Regarding the number of agents, that's already a parameter in the parameters file, so it should be a very easy change. I'll add something to the game options screen to allow players to choose it when starting a game.

There will probably only ever be one noble enthralled, because the UI becomes painful to use if there are multiple. So many voting screens popping up at all times.

I loved multiple nobles in the first iteration of the game. Having one Vampire in a big empire to mess things up while having a Conqueror start at a smaller group of duchies that crushed them while the Vampire kept the empire busy was amazing. 

I can see the UI problem for sure, most of the time I ignore the voting anyway since it seems irrelevant to my goals. It's not like I can affect the outcome of the voting in any practical way if the nation I'm infiltrating is over a certain size. 

Good to know about the agents. The number could change based on the default difficulty settings.

(3 edits)

Awesome new agents! I found a minor bug with the "legal removal" ability. It says you need 10 > infiltration, but the player can actually use it anywhere along side the normal robbing of graves, regardless of infiltration level at any location.

edit: It seems sort of random when it is, and isn't able to be done.
edit2: The game has started to slow to a crawl, I have the save file, but I am unsure how to get it to you to show you what I mean (eventually going to "not responding" anymore as well). I think this has something to do with going around legally stealing corpses, as I was not doing anything else at the time (Aside from controlling one investigar, and a vampire earlier on)

Hmm, probably relationships (every person knowing about every other person) cluttering things up. Or graphics. Or something else.

Afraid we don't have as much time to playtest as we did a few months ago. Real world stuff still pretty busy.

If it'll fit in an email, should work. I'll take a look at it and see if anything sticks out.

Thanks for the feedback, and glad you're liking the new agent direction.

Received. From the save file, it looks like the save/load system was, as usual, the problem.

To resolve the previous problem, each location stored a list of all locations it was connected to as just integer indices into a big list of all locations. It then deleted its links, and when the game was loaded it restored them based on this list. I forgot to clear the list each time, however, so it was storing duplicate links.

In the short term, this had no impact. Location A was connected to location B, it just happened to be connected twice. No real change in behaviour, units could just choose which connection to use. With sufficient links, however, it must have slowed the pathfinding down to a crawl.

Bug fixed, along with the infiltration one (thanks to my co-author for that bugfix), and a third I spotted in the voting UI (go-to-self button calling wrong function).

New version should be uploaded now.

Thanks for the update BobbyTwoHands, always a pleasure :)