Across this land, the people of the world bow before their kings in the name of power and glory. What they do not understand is that power and glory need not rest in the same hands!
Let the kings have their glory, if that's what they call it. Let their names be written down and passed from father to son for years to come. We care not for what passes for glory in their eyes.
We are happy to stand above the stage in quiet darkness, pulling the strings and shaping the world as we see fit. We are the rulers of kings, and this is our land and in the end, we'll see where the true glory lies.
This is a land in conflict. Eight Kings and Queens battle for land and power. Who will win it all? Who cares? It makes little difference to you. If a Monarch starts to slip, just move your loyalty somewhere else.
You represent a noble family trying to earn glory. To do this, you must improve your standing with the various Monarchs in order to earn power, then conspire to change the world sometimes at the cost of the very Monarchs that gave the power in the first place.
As your power grows, you may begin to earn glory and that is what you really care about.
These are the Kings and Queens. Only eight will rule at a time, but you need to understand their personalities and quirks before deciding to cozy up to one of them. Some are more prone to generosity or to aggression or to the improvement their lands. Each has a unique action that can greatly affect not only their standing, but that off of all other Monarchs and players.
You'll also want to take into account their strategic situation. How much land do they rule over? Where is their army located? How likely are they to act?
Then, and only then, should you attempt to influence them. Choose wisely and you may benefit greatly. Choose rashly and you may end up wasting your time... or worse.
As a game designer, this was the first BIG game that I tried to designed over a decade ago. At it's core it has always had something special about it for me. But originally, it wasn't quite realized. So I put the game down for a long time.
But recently I started thinking about it again, and all of what made it special came flooding back. That, and an extra decade of game design experience has encouraged me to redesign the game. Some key mechanics have been completely re-imagined and I think, greatly improved. But the heart of the game is still the same.
So what is it that makes it so special to me?
The game builds a dynamic backdrop in which to play. There are 24 unique monarchs, 8 of which will start each game. They have their own personalities that genuinely affect the game. But more important than that. The monarchs are self driven. You can literally set up the game with no players, follow the simple AI rules, and the monarchs will expand their kingdoms, attack their foes, improve their land and even interact with the other monarchs. They may commit assassinations, get married, die and turn over their kingdom to an heir, get caught in a scandal etc.
But all of that is just the backdrop. Because the players are not the kings and queens. The players represent powerful noble families that must navigate this sea of political change. They may interact with any or all of the monarchs. Players influence the monarchs and may be rewarded by them in glory. But the glory of a weak king is fleeting. Perhaps a stingy but power queen is better.
I wanted to create a game that felt bigger than it was. A four player game that felt like a 12 person game. All these years later, I think I've done it better than ever.
|Average Rating||9 reviews|
|Publish Date||July 23, 2011|
8/10; I could see this getting officially picked up and published by a larger company easily.