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Rebellious Provinces - Designing

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"Be advised. I'm mean, nasty and tired. I eat caltrops and piss flaming oil and I can put an arrow in a flea's ass at 200 meters. So why don't you go hump somebody else's leg, mutt face, before I push yours in." Sgt.Heimer, 3rd Regiment Border Guards, Principality of Koth (sentence growled in a good mood day)


As I already stated in the previous entries, Empires in Ruins is aiming at being more than a simple TD game.
In the traditional Tower defence pattern, the main map is just a nice looking next level selection screen, I sorta never really liked the "lie" behind that strategic look it has. Therefore we decided that ours had to be different : if it looks strategic, it shall be strategic too.

Here's how the design is coming out. The following pic has a totally temporary placeholder graphics but is being used in the development of the engine for the strategic/tactical map.


Each region can belong to the player, to the enemy, or be an untamed rebellious one. Soon we'll tell you more about the plot of the game, for now just know that the main character is sent against his will to tame some rebellious marches in the Principality he belongs to, and finds himself with an unexpected war in his hands.

  • The player can only attack regions (untamed or enemy ones) that neighbor one of the ones he owns.
  • To conquer a new regions a player has to play a Tower Defense map.
  • Each region provides each turn an amount of wood, stone and iron depending on the region specifics (e.g. forest regions provide more wood, etc) and gold (taxes) and research points.
  • The player has a number of assets to build in a region to increase the productivity (library, forge, quarry, logging camp, mine, tax office)
  • When the player attacks a new region he doesn't own, he chooses from which region to attack. That will give specific bonus to the single TD map (e.g. attacking from a region producing lot of wood will give a boost to the wood resources in the TD map, if the region used to attack also has infrastructures built, it gets also some bonus from 2nd degree nighboring regions (i.e. also from regions neighboring the region used to attack)
  • Once the region is conquered, the player has an authority value in that province, that starts pretty low and needs to be increased by building proper assets (command post, guard post, barracks). The authority value determines the chance for each turn that rebellious activity increases or decreases in the region each turn. Regions have different modifiers to that according to their history and culture (i.e. some mountains places are famous for being home of a rebellious ethnic group)
  • Neighboring regions belonging to the player give a bonus to keeping the rebellion under control, untamed neighboring regions slightly increase the rebellion, enemy neighboring regions increase it a lot (spies and agitators sent by the enemy).
  • Some of the main character skill can reduce the rebellious activity
  • Rebellious events can result in :

    • [size=2]Loss of resources to bandits
    • [size=2]Damages to assets due to riots
    • [size=2]Increased chance of the enemy attacking the region thanks to partisans help (TD map battle vs enemy)
    • [size=2]Battle - The player has to play the TD map again in order to avoid losing the region (TD map battle vs neutral critters (bandits, farmers, etc)

    • ???A player can decide to replay anyway the TD map of the region in order to preemptively lower the rebellious value for a while.

      ?Ok, this might not yet make fully sense for you (even though i hope it does), but it was good for me to say it out loud to have a cleared wordy description of it stated.
      If you like where it is going, drop a word in the comments, we get lots of views but no comments, i wonder if it's because you guys think it's not worth or why. We need feedback, cause in our mind it's coming out quite as we thought about it when we first begun the project one year and half ago, but the game is for all of you, not just a private thing for us.

      As the design goes on and I needed to clarify my mind on what I was doing, here's some more information on the "rebellion engine" ( like this name, would be worth a game about rebellions management biggrin.png )
      This is in pseudocode what happens in a region controlled by the player at the end of the turn :
      rebellionIncreasingChance := 100-authority+rebellionModifier+various(neighboring regions, region governor skills, etc

      [indent=1]if (random(1,100)
      [indent=1] rebelliousActivity+=Random(1,RebellionMaxIncrease)


[indent=1] rebelliousActivity-=AuthorityValue/10


[indent=1] No rebellious events
[indent=1] Soft rebellious events
[indent=1] Medium rebellious events
[indent=1] Hard rebellious events
[indent=1] Catastrophic rebellious events

and here how that is showing up in the debug window so far


Next step (before of course an endless amount of time spent in balancing the whole thing) is designing the events gravity and impact on game

Cheers for now! (the region used in the example is the blue-ish one in the first pic, with a single enemy-owned neighboring region)


  1. How to Hire a Hero
  2. Towers of War
  3. Gameplay super-short summary
  4. Building again
  5. GUI & Information & New Tooltips
  6. GUI & Information
  7. Hiring Heroes - GUI Work in progress
  8. Introducing the Bandit
  9. Crossing 2d Bridges in 3d.
  10. New healthbars, bit of fixes, moving forward
  11. Net throwing special skill implemented
  12. Getting stormy along the path. Testing ugly CGI skills
  13. Beginning of strategy map development
  14. Towers of EiR
  15. EiR Wallpaper
  16. Tower Stats testing (temp GUI)
  17. Tower Hero testing (temp GUI)
  18. Heroification - Become an EiR hero
  19. The bloody long path to Koth
  20. Introducing the Sapper
View the entire Empires in Ruins album
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