Impact the City: Where Your Actions Affect the World

Standing Out

One of the first steps of designing a game is trying to define what will make you special and stand out above the other nearly 150-200 games released on Steam every week. Roguelikes and tactics games have definitely become popular in the last few years, introducing hundreds of new mechanics. So we sat around on our various chairs either at the office or at home, thinking and thinking and thinking. We ran through tons of ideas until finally deciding on a simple idea: what if each action you took in a roguelike affected how the world perceived you and thus responded accordingly.

Development requires a lot of sitting, thinking, typing, rethinking, retyping, and re-sitting.

Developing a Reputation

In many roguelikes, your actions are self contained in the level/room you are in, meaning that your performance in one room will never impact any other part of the game beyond the reward you may have received or damage you may have taken. In the world of Aether & Iron, you are actively conquering a city filled with envious kings and tens of millions of denizens, why wouldn't the world respond to your decisions?

In each encounter, who you kill, how you kill, what you destroy, how you destroy, what you collect, and who survives will all affect how future combats will unfold. Perhaps certain factions will become angrier, or scared, or in awe of you, changing their military response. On top of that, the missions you choose may or may not incur the wrath of a particular king, accelerating the next encounter with a dangerous boss. This reputation system strives to create a more immersive experience where the story that you sculpt matters in real and meaningful ways.

What kind of King will you be? How will you flaunt your power?

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