This was the first week of real work on the eXpansion phase of the game. I built out an expansion to the tech trees. For a game of this style of 4X, the tech tree is really what defines the progress through the ages and so building it out like this is really the work required for this stage. The rest of the month is just going to be playtesting what I have so far. I’ll expand the parts that need expanding and sand down some of the rougher edges. By the end of this month, I want this part to serve as a solid foundation for the next two phases of eXploitation and eXtermination, the latter of which is going to be tricky in a game about the ethics of colonialism and one without a strict single-player win condition.
I also put down a wider range of diplomatic actions for this phase. I wanted this to be the period where you can really start to interact with other players and so I put down a range of actions that you can take with them. Some of these are brutal in nature, such as crushing people opposed to you or reminding people who you are and some are gentle, such as trying to find deeper connections. I also put in an action that lets you demilitarize two players who are fighting with each other. I’m really happy about this. I feel like giving players the ability to act as peacekeeper is critical to what I’m trying to do with this game.
Also, I published an article about the colonial, non-colonial and decolonial in video games that you will likely find very interesting if Syphilisation sounds interesting to you.
I learned a bunch of interesting things this week. The first standout is about Hitler and Gandhi. Gandhi famously believed that the Jews in Germany should have martyred themselves so as to wake the world up to the injustice being committed. What I did not know though was that Hitler had weighed in on the British question of what to do with India. His solution was to just shoot Gandhi. The second standout is Churchill on the Congress offer during WW2, “long winded as always and a piece of hypocrisy from beginning to end.” The man’s lack of self-awareness never fails to amuse.
The most interesting thing though is the theory that Churchill Vs. Gandhi puts forward about appeasement. Churchill famously was against appeasement from the start and that was part of how he ended up PM during the war. The theory though is that he was so ignored about the dangers of appeasement because he was so very wrong about the Govt. of India Act, 1935. He was a very vocal opponent to the act and claimed that it would result in massive sectarian violence, none of which came to pass. This doomsaying and his complete failure to predict the future resulted in a massive loss of credibility in the run-up to WW2 that immediately succeeded it.