Medieval kingdom manager

Good day,

It’s been a hot minute–years actually–since last had the idea of making an IF game; as circumstances said otherwise. As many of you know, writing, one that’s thoughtful, is difficult and labor intensive to produce. Although have not stopped writing (or at least thinking about it), only a few scribbles (on paper) and one attempt (pure text with twine) were made since then; and the last one was over a year or more; can’t remember really. Which got me into thinking, a lot actually, to somehow make room for this passion, whilst not breaking the bank. As gamebooks (the ones back in the days) left such an impression, was bound to revisit the idea of making an IF game at some point, which prompted the posting of this announcement.

A few months ago, have started to work on a fully 3D game (having a static view, much like how visual novels do), which was inspired heavily by said choose-your-own-adventure type of adventures: A Medieval kingdom management game with a minimalist style, where you are the sole ruler of a realm, and with each day you have to carve your story by “managing” your kingdom (e.g., by issuing commands, ruling in disputes, raising levies, upgrading your castle). Think of those books, where you say walk down a path, and suddenly meet a challenge or a junction, where you are presented with numerous branches/decisions that will influence your adventure. This game would be more or less much like that, where the actions are mostly based on choices (and a dash of stat checks and throwing some dice). Not a full-fledge IF (as not sure how deep the story will go), but shares some strong commonalities with them.

As it is a highly experimental idea, the execution hasn’t been fully crystalized yet (the final details), and shall remain malleable (to ensure it is fun to play, because the concept requires a novel approach to avoid boredom). Whilst there is no gameplay footage to look at (just a scene, for the throne room), a lot of work has already gotten into the project to build a strong foundation for all. There’s a video about it, showing you a quick run-through of the character creation and loading the level itself

Anyhow, if you’ve thoughts on this, feel free to let me know, as having more eyes on the same subject is always useful. More so finding out if others would take a liking in the project or not.

Until then,

Take care


Love the menu system, great art style and fun!

The scope reminds me of Warsim


Wanted to create something unique-ish, given the harsh constraints for production. Hoping that the minimalist approach doesn’t come off as “being cheep”, rather than a choice of style; something that’s been causing me some worry as of late.

What’s more, thanks for letting me know about Warsim, because am on the lookout to find similar games (for research), but have found that steam makes it really difficult to locate anything based on tags. Maybe the problem is in my approach, but having to browse through every single title, just from one tag, is quite the time consuming (on top of with that “show more” approach to listing). But that’s another story, because tags are also a mess on steam AFAIK.

Nevertheless, hoping to at least forge this it into something tolerable by the end. And perhaps fun, in places where people wouldn’t anticipate (like that minigame in the main menu, or one at the “gate” that’s almost complete).


Not at all … and look at the success of Battlebit as proof that graphics don’t have to be super sophisticated, just charming.

And, back on topic, Reigns on Steam, which is both simple graphically and similar subject matter to your proposal.

I would also argue that the original Darkest Dungeon was a massive success but kept the graphics straightforwardly 2D, but of course fantastically beautifully drawn.


This “paranoia” is common among devs, because a lot is going on behind the scenes that contributes to success, of which graphics being a key point in all of this; aesthetics more so that is. Which is not easy to pull off. Especially if you wish to do more with “making” games, and not just keep it as a hobby!


It looks great! The main challenge is always the gameplay. From your description it’s not clear whether this will be a resource management game or a choice-based adventure. Perhaps both? But then the gameplay will principally be from one or the other. So that’s the direction to pitch (whichever it is).

Regarding use of text, you are in what i call “the text & graphics problem”. ie how to fit both text and graphics on screen simultaneously. Given your UI is 3D, your text is likely be of short form, rather like graphic novels otherwise it just wont fit.

Many of the Inkle games are quite adept at putting text over graphics. Maybe check them out.


Perhaps both?

Yes. The plan is to do both: You’ll be presented with a (literal, as in physically placed in the world) group of problems/tasks to choose from (choice style decision making), and would have a series of cards, tucked away at the bottom of the screen, from which you could issue commands between tasks (that would be the “resource” management part, say collecting taxes, taking you to the castle upgrade view). This way, the thinking is that the player could influence more of the world around them, and not just rely on the outcome of each decision, or the random generator.

“the text & graphics problem”

And yeah, by going 3D with the UI, some technical problems cropped up, as well as design challenges, way before getting to the game itself (speaking of the throne room). But that’s something that was decided with intention; knowing it’s not an insurmountable problem to solve, and had more pros than cons.

The current plan is to have a “global” UI element (same seen in the video, just much closer) pop-up at a branch, but will depend on the final placement of the camera. Perhaps add a character portrait on the side, if there’s a place for it.

Looked up some of those Inkle games, and found this. Which is why I’d rather have either text or 3D (more or less dominating the screen), but not at the same time (say visual novel style, where the text is at the bottom, and the image is 2/3 top); especially having a small screen to develop on, there’s just not enough space for it. At any time the player could just close the window and delay the decision making, and move on to another one.

Have not considered the issue with longer texts, but if all fails, can always put a page scrollbar/next button or something to give the ability to read all parts of the story. Then again, it might all change, and might end up putting it on the table (as in moving the camera closer to it, and have it displayed there). But having longer text is unlikely (will have to restrain from not going overboard, but who knows), as in having more than a couple of hundred at a time, because of the constraints, and how the game supposed to be more or less played, more action oriented that is.

But again, at the end of the day, if it can be done, then it will be a thing, if not then it won’t. It’s already a decent challenge to turn this into something fun and enjoyable, and will push the production whatever direction it needs to go.

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My university buddy who went full-time into the gaming industry had a term for undercooked game graphics: “programmer art” :smiley:

No matter the complexity of the rendering, good aesthetics are definitely not trivial to achieve.