You can read about what Syphilisation is here and the manifesto for the game here.

Work Done

I wrapped up the eXploration phase of Syphilisation this week. I’m going to spend the remainder of the month just tinkering with this phase and maybe addressing some of my tech debt. It’s still less coherent than I would like overall, but there are a lot of interesting ideas in there. I’m just going to need to smooth it all together for a bit.


The barbarians are an important part of Civ and the early stages of Civ in particular. They force some amount of engagement with the combat systems and they make the player feel vulnerable in the early game, which contributes to the feeling of being powerful in the late game.

They are also a statement that needs some examination in Syphilisation. The idea of an uncivilized people who aim to do nothing but pillage and who can only be reasoned with through force is worrisome. I’ve tied the barbarians deeply to both the city-states and the cities of the players. I’ve also made it such that heavily polluted areas are likely to generate barbarians. Major conflicts pollute a large area too, so I expect that should create a strong narrative.

I’ve also made it such that happy cities and city-states and pristine places generate helpful units that will boost your cities. I wanted to make sure that this wasn’t just a source of negative things for the player as that would color the way that the player would interact with those pieces.


I’ve spent some time thinking about colonial and non-colonial mechanics and I’ll have a full article about that up soon. One of my big takeaways from doing that is that I wanted to allow the player some space to do things that worked with the environment instead of just treating it as a blank canvas on which to develop. I’ve implemented creepers that populate the world and grow slowly and provide nearby cities with benefits. I also allow players to set areas as preserves. This pair of features needs more development. They’re stubbed out right now, but putting in some variety here is necessary to make the feature. I really want preserving the creepers to feel like preserving biodiversity too and that will require variety from them.

Second Production Queue

I added a second production queue to the cities that focuses on the ethical questions that the game asks you to consider. This has added the weight to this side of the game that I hoped it would, but it has added more weight there than the game can currently bear. It asks for a lot of action from the player and there is not enough content in there right now to support it. I’m going to flesh this out a little bit more as well. I plan on putting in units and projects and I should move some wonders there as well.

Other Things

Besides that, I made a lot of small updates to help with playability, like updating the scouts to also be able to interact with the cities of other players. I also did get to play some Yakuza Kiwami. It’s not been close to Yakuza Zero so far and I think that’s largely because it’s not as funny. The humor was key to that game. It did a lot for the characters and for the tone. Also, the characters thus far just have not been as memorable, with the major exception of Majima, who is a treat. It’s been greedily sucking up my time anyway. Once I start playing, it’s very hard to put down and I’ve spent all day today looking forward to getting some more time in when I finish my work for the day. I like this series a lot.

Interesting Fact

The founder of Hindutva or Hindu nationalism, V.D. Savarkar, was an atheist himself. He saw Hinduism as a cultural and political identity and not strictly a religious one and viewed Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists and Jains as all Hindu, an appellation that of course multiple people of each of those communities have protested against. He also advocated for Hindi as a common language, while the INC was much more understanding of the fact of India’s diversity. Chesterton once stated that Savarkar was wrong because he was applying Western models of thinking to India when trying violent revolution and that India needed something Indian. It’s a criticism that holds extra weight given how clearly Savarkar was influenced by the Nazi party. Savarkar’s atheism though was likely more Indian. Hinduism actually has a history of atheism that’s uncommon amongst major religions. Savarkar even asked his relatives not to perform the traditional rites for the 10th and 13th day after his death.