<politics start="Don't read the following if you might get annoyed by - polite, I hope - political discussion!">
I notice @jooe
mentioned Eduardo Galeano so I've started reading Children of the Days
. Galeano is entertaining but his politics seem a long way left of center. It may be different in Europe but in North America blaming our problems on bankers and industrialists is often code for antisemitism. It could be dangerous to follow Galeano too closely.
Just a short comment on this: In Europe today I would agree that simplifying the criticism of economic systems to personal accusations against e.g. bankers is most often a sign of (badly) hidden antisemitism. And while that kind of antisemitism is present in splinter groups of the political left, nowadays this kind of wording is mostly coming from the populist right.
Regarding the Latin American left of the 1970s (the background of Galeano), I'd be a bit milder in my judgement. I'd say the experiences many people in Latin America in the 20th century made gives them a bit more justification for the kind of wording where I'd hope people are more sensitive today (but not all are, and there is also at least a blind spot regarding anti-semitism in the Latin American left IMHO).
As with all historical texts, I would suggest to read the books I mentioned with the necessary distance and be careful of all kinds of simplication. But still I consider Galeanos collection of south american historical sources as brilliant. I just wanted to say, I see your point and agree ... partly
Some of the Indigenous translators who taught the priests local languages hid their personal copies of colonial documents in mission walls after they saw that bishops were ordering all Native writing destroyed. Those papers are now being rediscovered, and are a good source of contemporary Native attitudes..
had an earlier post about antisemitism, probably referring to key quote 10. Peter Stuyvesant says, “We pray that the deceitful race - such hateful enemies and blasphemers of the name of Christ - be not allowed to further infect and trouble this new colony.”
Jews are not the only group maligned in the various key quotes. Colonizers were equal opportunity offenders.
Peter Stuyvesant in particular was a bad person, as well as a bad leader. That doesn't mean his misinformation should be forgotten. We study history in order not to relive it. Writing in this mod is often ironic, not so often advice on how to behave.
What worries me is that not everyone will recognize the "irony" in quoting people like Stuyvesant. I do, and I to me this kind of quotes - just like some others - show how bad things (and people) really were. But does everyone?
And does everyone realise that this is what we want to show? Or will someone actually think we are anti-semites and quote Stuyvesant because we think it was cool how he said things we would dare to say ourselves? That is what my point about "offensive terms" is about. Making our position clear on opinions like this. We quote it, but we don't agree with it. Not at all. Quite the opposite! The discussion could be about how to make that clear.
Elton John said it well when he was asked to speak out against another singer whose lyrics included a homophobic remark. “I don't believe that's who he is, in the same way I don't think Johnny Cash actually shot a man in Reno just to watch him die.”
It takes a right wing and a left wing to fly, but ultimately the head in the center has to decide where to go. Imagine two slightly obsessive players trying to decide whether this is the game for them: a First Nations woman and a nerdy kid who happens to be Black. They don't want to be patronized and they want to have fun. Fortunately they both have a weird sense of humour.
If they both have a weird sense of humour, everything is fine. They might also just play the game because of its strategic depth and ignore the historical references. I mean, I can play a game like Hearts of Iron, I can even play the Germans in that game, because I know it is just a computer game, I can dissociate the political and historical context and I am just interested in the strategy stuff. But not everyone is able to draw these clear lines, look at the forums of this kind of games ...
But I didn't reply because I wanted to continue the political discussion. This is probably not the right place, although I'd be fine if you want to continue in PMs, @Kendon
</politics end="Back to the game!">
As an event I could write a slave revolt, with the player losing either a lump sum or gold proportionate to the number of slaves, if @jooe
is willing to code it along with the trigger which could use the oppressometer (which unfortunately sounds like something built by a mad scientist, but I digress). We don't want to be blatantly politically correct, but we also don't want to make a virtue of being politically incorrect.
Huh, yeah, the mad scientist, that is a good description I think. When I coded that, it was just numbers - and I like numbers
(Please note that this term is just an internal description. I don't plan to make this thing directly visible to players. It is something that should influence probabilities.
An event where you simply lose some money would be a start, but I am actually thinking of more complex and interesting events like:
1) at low "oppressometer" levels: single slave escaping and running away
2) at medium levels: 2 or more slaves escaping and taking supplies with them (e.g. food, tools, etc.)
3) at higher levels: several slaves escaping, taking arms with them (turning them into stronger military professions like the armed escaped slave we already have) and then staging a synchronized attack like natives sometimes do. E.g. 4 units attacking on the same turn. When they attack successfully and there are still slaves in the city, they have a chance of freeing them as well.
If we manage to implement a "maroon" civ one day, they could also group together and form settlements and increase their strength before they attack. They could then choose a target city for an attack where the oppressometer is particularily high etc.
4) maybe the freed slaves could even send an ultimatum (= delayed event with a task to fulfil): If you manage to bring the oppressometer down to a certain value (we need to find a wording for this that hides the internal stuff), they will leave you in peace, or even join you as freed slaves, or give you another reward. If you don't, they gather additional support and incite unrest.
I know I am digressing quite far into "ideas" where I must admit to have no realistic timeframe for an implementation at the moment. But I wanted to give you an idea of what I would consider immersive stories for my project.
Just like @raystuttgart
often says when asked about his concept, I want to ask you here to wait until I have created something and then judge when you can see the result.
Some additional remarks to your comment @raystuttgart
As long as the player has means in gameplay to control and manage
it in some way, I am open for discussion.
But it should deliver interesting choices for gameplay
- good and bad being balanced
Let us please not
create a feature that just intends to be punishing
the player for using another feature successfully
So if all the "Oppressometer"
does is punishing
the player for using the Slave strategy successfully
, I would not like it.
If it on the other hand adds new gameplay
for the player where he can make new strategic choices
, it might be interesting
But until now I simply do not know yet what you plan to do with "Oppressometer"
I have now given some ideas I had in mind when I created the "oppressometer" as a framework. Unfortunately I'm not as fast as you with new features, and I don't want to make any promises. But the first step is made.
Might become interesting gameplay if further expanded -
depends on the balancing
But it would need more
than just "stop using slave masters"
as possible choices / decisions
for interesting gameplay
So please implement something different than just a ticking "Apocalypse Clock" that at some point explodes if the player does not stop using the Slavery feature ...
Because something like that would not be fun. It would just punish the player for using a feature that is otherwise relatively balanced and interesting for gameplay.
No, I must disagree or at least correct a bit.
is good for gameplay
- meaning player understands his (strategic / tactic) mistakes
and can improve next time
. --> It is "fair"
is extremely bad for gameplay
- meaning player made the (strategically / tactically) correct decisions
and still gets punished
. --> It is "unfair"
Not simple punishment, rather the typical choice of economics: Make a big profit with big risks (=brutally exploit slaves and risk them fight you), or be careful and have lower profits (=simply play without slaves and slave masters). After all, Civ4Col/WTP is mostly an economic simulation (at least for me).
We already have many examples of this kind of choices already in the game, e.g.:
- Do we expand slowly and try to appease the natives in between? Or do we expand rapidly into native territories and risk their anger? They might even declare war early when they are still strong and before we have an army to defend, so they raze our colonies. (that is a kind of "doomsday clock mechanism" already, and I like it!)
- Do we really want to go on with our war on the natives when another colonial player starts backing them? They will get a huge stack of strong units and surely kill many of ours we have invested into! (AFAIK that is a feature you implemented, ray - and I like it!)
- A declaration of war from another colonial player can be extremely dangerous if they catch us at a time when we are weakened from another war or have our armies elsewhere. Their doomstacks can be frustrating sometimes, especially at higher difficulties. But would you say, oh, rival AI players can be frustrating if they declare war, let's disable that feature and let them be easy prey for the player? I doubt that.
So trust me, the extensions I'd like to make to gameplay would be similar to those which are already in the game. And like those, they would of course depend heavily on difficulty settings. A slave revolt on "explorer" difficulty will probably always be a minor inconvenience, because I think people who play that difficulty are either afraid of challenge or simply want to focus on the economic buildup. I won't scare them away.
But for those who play on "revolutionary" difficulty, a slave revolt might be challenging or even disastrous, just like a war declaration from another colonial player or a strong native player. And if you cannot lose a game on highest difficulty, than we need a higher difficulty setting I think.
BTW I think there are many different kinds of gamers: Some actually like when they are defeated/punished sometimes. Did you play Rimworld? The marketing actually focuses on the fact that the game will try to make it harder and harder for you. To me, it often felt terribly unfair! And even on lower difficulty levels I often decided to reload when an enemy attack killed my favorite colonists, because I couldn't take the hit ... but there seem to be people who just play until all of their colonists are dead and then happily start a new game ...
One last remark to everyone who reads this:
Originally I did not want to write too much about my ideas before having an implementation because I fear to promise features I cannot deliver because of lacking time or skill. But now there has been so much discussion that I decided to give at least a few examples. There are no promises. Please don't blame me if they never get implemented!
(Sorry for the long post. I'm working the night shift and fortunately all my patients are happily asleep, so I have nothing else to do. Lucky me - but bad luck for you having to read all that text