- Don't Panic!
- Realise it's quite reasonable to panic.
Those are the 3 steps. I went through these stages today when I read a crappy recipe which failed to remind me that eggs need to be separated if you're going to whip them. Luckily when I mentioned it to a friend he suggested making something else with my then useless egg-sugar mix. So, I made cookies. They exactly didn't go according to plan. Oh well, you win some you lose some. At least they taste nice.
I'll try again on monday or something at making my saver's cake (the cake I was originally attempting). I WILL SUCCEED.
In an effort to justify my writing this in a development journal, I'll go on to talk about my idea for a 4E5 entry.
I'm describing it just now as civilisation at a high level. You control the government of one european country and as many of its decisions as I can realistically model. ie. military, domestic, economic. Everything. I'll need to research a bit into the way governments are normally set up, but that's going to be the core of it. All these decisions will affect the emotions of the general public, and your own ministers. The emblem can easily be the flag of the country, or the sigil of the king (assuming I go for a monarchy based society), or whatever.
Hopefully that should be very fast to set up. It's all going to be menu based - there's no need for any realtime data in there.
Next I'll add in "events", such as wars, famines, plagues, civil uprisings, etc. These will obviously be affected by your decisions earlier in the game, so keeping a balance will be critical. I was hoping to add in political intrigue - backstabbing ministers and factions in the government - but that doesn't really work too well if you're not a single minister. I thought about making you a single minister working your way up to the top, but I wanted you to be able to control the whole country from the start (not in character, just having control over all facets of organisation), so this probably won't happen.
After that, I might add a story in, although I'm not sure how easy that will be without you having a definite character. Other than that, the plan is to polish polish polish. Other features like invading other countries to conquer Europe completely will stay on the backburner until I can see how I do with the rest of it. Until then, the gameplay will be free-form with no real end except losing. Perhaps I could just do "your reign lasted XX years" until I add in some sort of progression and end.
Well, I've outlined most of what I've thought of so far. The next steps are to write down more specifically what I want in the game at various stages (perhaps 3 or 4 different stages, each with more features?), and work out a goal list and a schedule.
I hope I'll actually manage to finish this, unlike .. everything else I've ever done :).
Comments are very welcome.
EDIT: Further brainstorming -
One aspect of management is your own cabinet. The ministers have different personalities, and they give you better control over the aspects of the country management depending on how they feel about you. However they have their own opinions on each other, so flirting with one minister might piss off another. Some ministers will be good, and like you if you run the country well, but you can embezzle taxes and bribe corrupt ministers to like you too. Then it becomes a balancing act, and if you fail you lose control of parts of your country management. I could put in elections too, so that you can try and fix the process to elect more corrupt officials to make your cabinet more bribable. Or try and fund and support good officials to make your cabinet more good, at the cost of taking time and resources from other parts of country management.
A friend pointed out all this control probably shouldn't come at once, in which case I can implement my "story", or at least a goal -
Your country is corrupt, and you want to either take over as dictator, or bring the cabinet to a good stage. In which case the cabinet management is an indicator of how far you are through the game - either how many ministers you've bribed to your side, or how many good ministers you've gotten elected.