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Friday, July 21, 2006

What is a good game? Part IX

In our last few articles we have mainly discussed game mechanics and how they factor into the makings of a good game. In this article we will focus more on the storyline aspects, especially the creation of conflict.

Every game must have some form of conflict, be it actual fighting or intellectual. In Ilyrias we aim to have both, via an intensive PvP system as well as politics, religion vs. science, creation of new cities, etc. We have already discussed many aspects of our PK system, so let us look at the political situation.

The main type of organization is the city-state. In our world this will be completely run by the players. Everything from the over all leader, to the city council and low level ministers will be players. Depending on the government type, these positions may be elected or appointed.

Each city-state will be able to choose what government style they wish, but be warned the only way to change that would be a revolt. The most common ones we expect to see used will be Democracy and Dictatorship, though there will be many others to choose from such as Monarchy. If a leader is not doing a good job, or the citizens feel a different form of government would be better, they can start a revolt. A revolt requires a large majority of the population to join, otherwise it fails. If it does succeed, the leader of the revolt (which was hidden until this point) will become the new city leader and will be given the chance to change the government style.

In most government styles, player created political parties will be a key element of the city. These are an upgrade to clans, and must be approved by the city that they are pledged to. Every so often an election will be started; this will most likely be once every two to three real life months. In this council election, players will vote for the party that they wish to lead their city. Upon its closure, each party will be given a certain number of "seats" based on their percentage of the votes. The party leader will then choose which ranking party members will sit on the council. The larger the city, the more council seats they will have. The minimum is three seats. City leaders will still be directly elected, or in the case of a Dictatorship never changed.

The question is where do these cities come from? The first two, perhaps three, will be made by the administration. After a short while natural leaders will emerge, and they will be appointed as the first city leaders by the administration. After that, it is all up to the players. Besides being able to run, expand and change those starting cities, players will be able to create their own.

While no easy task, a group of players that manage to gain enough support can attempt to found their own city. Not only will this take an active group of players, but it will also require that other organizations pledge to them, such as guilds and political parties (which are also player run and creation). If all of the requirements are met, the leader may submit a charter for approval. Once approved their fifty room city will be built. After that it is up to the players to raise funds to expand their own creation.

While we have focused mainly on cities in this article, all organizations will be player made and run. That includes sects, guilds, political parties, leagues, clans and families. Of those all but clans and families will have to pledge to a city, and be approved, by the city leaders, before formation.

Stay tuned for our final article which will discuss the largest source of player driven conflict, science vs. religion and savages vs. civilized.

Persistent Realms LLC Development Team for Ilyrias, the Aegadian Isles.
Contact us via comments or visit our forums.


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