This week was meant to clean up the eXploration phase a bit and I did pretty much everything that I wanted to for that. The phase had felt sparse for a while, so I added a couple of key moments in it to try to make it more engaging.
I made a tech unlock the ability to move through creepers so as to give players an early empowering moment and something to look forward to early in the game. This tech also allows the nomadic cities to settle in the creepers, which are very productive tiles and so important to get to early.
Key to the eXploration phase is the idea of exploring questions and social roles. I have yet to integrate this as tightly as I would like, but I did some work to emphasize it by surfacing it better to the player and making completion much more rewarding. Keep short and long term goals constantly in front of the player is the way to generate the famous one more turn feeling of Civ.
I put the barbarians back in and integrated them with the new campaign system. They are now also likely to pop up with your exploration. I want the player to feel a little vulnerable during this phase and this is going to be the primary vector for that.
I’ve also stubbed out the story stuff in the game. There’s already a lot of history in place, but I want to build out the stories for the players as well. One of the key things in the game is relating the policies of countries to the way that people treat each other and this is the clear way to do that. Additionally, this will give me a lot of knobs to play with so that I can adjust the game as I want.
Next week has one major feature from eXploration to implement, but is going to focus on the eXpansion phase. The goal for the month was to consolidate these two phases and clean up the complexity and this is the last step for that.
In 1937, the Congress under C. Rajagoapalachari wanted to introduce Hindi as a compulsory school subject in Tamil Nadu. People familiar with Indian politics will know how recurrent a theme the push for North Indian languages in South India is, with just the last month seeing the proposal and rapid withdrawal after protests of a similar plan. The Tamil elites had recently started constructing a coherent Dravidian (if Tamil-oriented) identity as a counter to the valorization of Sanskrit by the Northern Brahmin elite. Rajagoapalachari’s proposal proved the spark needed to take this movement from a small group of elites to the Tamil masses and there were huge demonstrations in Madras against it. It even resulted in a demand for a separate South Indians state or Dravida Nadu. The party behind this demand, the DMK, only deleted it from their programme in 1960, well after independence. That party and the AIADMK, which splintered from it in 1972, still dominate Tamil Nadu elections.