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Acharis

Good Emperor and bad rebels

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A strategy game where you are the Emperor of the Galaxy. You face 3 types of problems (internal - caused by fellow Terrans: pirates, rebels, usurpers; local aliens - that live in the galaxy: various mindless barely sencient insectoid bug like aliens; external invasions - from outside the galaxy: various vicious aliens from another dinemsion that want to devour the galaxy and all life or take over).

 

At the beginning and probably most of the time the player (Emperor) will deal with internal problems - like rebels. And here I have an issue, how to make it so the Emperor does not seem like the bad guy?

I mean, if you hear Empire and Rebels you instantly think the noble Rebels from StarWars and the evil Empire... Which is not the mood I aim for :)

 

 

I don't want/need to make the Emperor appear to be a care bear nice guy, crushing rebels is what emperors do after all, but I don't want it to appear too tyranic/opressive. In the end the human race will extinct without a strong Emperor (the alien invaders will annihilate them all).

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I mean, if you hear Empire and Rebels you instantly think the noble Rebels from StarWars and the evil Empire... Which is not the mood I aim for smile.png

hmmm... how about fanatics ?

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How do we do it IRL?

Why do/did we feel ok about crushing the North Vietnamese Army, Iraqi (and various other middle eastern) insurgents, ISIS, Ukrainian self defense militias, the Tamil Tigers, Ferguson rioters, Palestinians, etc, etc?

What are the stories that well tell to make ourselves feel ok about violence against them?

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People like those they identify with, and identify with those whose motives they understand. Since the player is the emperor, you don't need to explain why they're doing anything -- at best, you're explaining something the player already knows, at worst you're telling them they did something they didn't do. The player will always feel they're justified, unless you throw them a massive curve ball.

 

The rebels, on the other hand, are a mysterious force by default. The player's first reaction will be that they did something to deserve punishment. In Civ, a city will revolt if the player lets its happiness drop too low. Because the player can see the happiness of a city and what goes into it, they realize they did something wrong. If there is no such cause at hand, however, players will tend to accept that the rebels are an obstacle to overcome. Again, in Civ, there are barbarians who consistently attack the player, but since their actions are never explained, the player just assumes they are part of the difficulty of the game.

 

That's more to do with the design side. As far as writing goes, if you want the rebels to seem evil, keep their motives vague, and emphasize the things that are bad for the player (like if the rebels are disrupting the economy, or want to depose the player). If you want the player to like them, explain their motives in depth.

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