You can buy a very early version of Syphilisation here. You can read about what Syphilisation is here and the manifesto for the game here.

Work Done

I put in a set of mechanics for trade. Now, your cities and camps generate surplus goods that can be transported around the map. Additionally, the people of your nation will do some of the transporting themselves. I put this in to support the following goals:

  • Foster the feeling of being part of a group. Make it feel more like the group rises and falls together.
  • Provide a hook for more of the history from below and provide a hook for explosive growth.
  • Flesh out the economy a bit.

I then added in a bunch of special events. These are story elements that have dramatic effects and that shake the game up a bit and also give me the space to develop the story of the game a little more.

Finally, I did some work to develop the idea of regions as roles in the group. A big part of that is that taking over a role now results in a bunch of things that help the rest of the group, as you would expect from the framing. Furthermore, I put in a number of things to make districts more unique and to encourage people to build focused cities instead of jacks-of-all-trades.

Finally, I just put in a bunch of small stablility and quality-of-life fixes. This past month expanded the game and it is now in need of some contraction and some streamlining. I need to fully integrate some features and develop them fully. I also definitely need to dovetail a few features together. It feels like there are a few places where I have two similar features do two similar things and I would much rather have one feature do the work of both.

Interesting Fact

For my interesting fact for this update, I’m actually going to quote a recent Kazuo Ishiguro interview - Ishiguro told me that he has always envied 19th-century writers like Dostoyevsky who were working at a time when age-old religious beliefs were being called into question by the rise of evolutionary theory. In that moment, he said, it seemed only natural to ask what in recent times may have come to sound like portentous questions: Does the human soul exist? And if it doesn’t, how does that affect our understanding of what human life is for?

“I grew up in an era when you didn’t really ask questions like that,” Ishiguro said, “but it seems to me that these huge breakthroughs in science and technology are forcing us to go back to them and to ask, ‘What exactly is an individual?’”

The intellecutal shockwave of the theory of evolution animated a lot of the thinking of the time of the Raj and was often used as an explicit justification for colonialism. It’s easy to forget how massive the cultural impact of the discovery was.