So. I decided to try something new, involving expanding the political game in a variety of different ways. At the moment, I'm feeling that it didn't work out. I added far too much, changed too much, without properly testing it, and as a result it's kind of a mess of stuff with no core purpose or vision. Ironically I recently told a man "start small, make sure you prototype" but apparently I don't listen to my own advice.
I like almost all the ideas in it. The characters now host balls and banquets, inviting their friends and allies. This would be excellent on the world map, as you could intercept them en-route, if you knew their plans, or deliberately lure the leaders of the society into a trap, or a ritual location to corrupt them all at once.
Crimes then can occur during these events, and the AI does some thinking about it, and can start rumours concerning whom they believe is responsible, then hold a trial and agree on sentencing. Sometimes they even get the right person.
Alongside this there's an improvement to how voting is imagined. It's now a constant conflict between various factions. Everyone has economic interests, and additional heirarchies exist, the Church and the Guild, who try to manipulate the aristocracy to their own ends.
Ignorance was also introduced, with the idea that you would need to discover people's relationships actively, to make knowledge a valued resource which you had to expend time and money to obtain. This was represented by Gossips. Some would be gained through talking to others, but you'd also need to find friendly faces near to your target to secure a full picture. As a result, spouses were briefly introduced, before being removed, which were possible avenues to reach hard-to-access characters.
To assist all this there are approximately an infinity of menus and minor actions you can take daily to subtly influence the goings on of the world.
However, when taken together, I don't really like it. I plan to take a break from this side, maybe work on the map a bit more, see about nonhuman factions and societies. I've uploaded the current state of this experimental branch, in case you want to take a look, or want to give your opinion on the state of things. It's "experimental_nonplayable_branch.zip" and comes with a small additional set of instructions to help you along your way.
Anyway, that's my report. Tried some stuff, didn't really work, will try other stuff to see if that works better.
Oh, and before I forget: I assume the answer is no, but is there any way to contact Josh, of "That Which Sleeps"? Last I heard even his own business partner couldn't reach him, so it seems unlikely, but if anyone happens to secretly know a way, I'd be interested in dropping him an E-mail to discuss some stuff.