The path to victory is paved with interns' skulls
A new update, and a new build for the beta backers, oh my! What's in this one?
For this build, I focused a lot on the four different victory paths. They are:
- Imperial victory: rule a global dictatorship with an iron fist.
- Consumerism victory: lull everyone into a stupor of commerce and media consumption.
- New World victory: "late" capitalism, eh? You'll show them: this'll be late-late-late capitalism.
- Humane victory: for those who don't want to play as monsters.
You reach each victory by achieving Agendas, which are basically big powerful megaprojects. One of them lets you give money to charity, which raises public opinion. Another allows you to go into countries and make them more stable.
Originally these were all a bit of a mess, but they've been streamlined since last year:
Each hex is an agenda. And they all give you points. Red/fist is Imperial, yellow/puppet is consumerist, blue/businessguy is New World and green/handshake is humane. If you score enough points and fulfill some other requirements (ie. political shenanigans) then you win!
The nice thing about this is that there's no set path to victory. If you're going for Imperial, you should probably research the Black Ops track which allows you to send espionage teams into nations and ruin them from the inside. But instead you might decide to invest in Nineteen-Eighty-Four-style media surveillance from the Media track, and cobble together the other points from the end of the Humane track. You can mix and match.
The result is that every victory path feels a bit different, like you're playing a slightly different version of the game each time. But it's not like you're locked into that. So that's nice.
In terms of content the game's coming along nicely, but one sticking point when I've shown it around conventions and such is the lack of visual feedback. The system is actually not that complicated, but people get really confused because it doesn't communicate what's going on very well. So that's next on the docket.
Detailed update notes:
- "Incite riots" is now a general action that can be performed on any nation by spending military connections. It has been replaced with "Military coup", a much more powerful espionage project.
- Agendas tweaked, new abilities added. "Aid" agendas now power each other up; "Cultural tweaking" ensures there's a purpose to all that media manipulation and allows you to turn nations into democracies; "Global police force" allows you to crush dissent.
- If your company is in serious financial trouble, a nation you have influence
with will offer you a bailout package. This should help with players dying
because they found themselves in a debt spiral.
- Redesigned nation interface
- Tutorials improved to draw the eye more and look a bit prettier
- "Assign workers" interface now also shows max workers.
- The nation list in the top right corner now has icons instead of text.
- Right clicking a nation now opens the politics interface
- Some minor visual tweaks; employees now have ties, for example.
- Clicking a product entry in the "quick interface" on the left side of the globe now allows you to view spin angles.
- Replaced a few icons here and there.
- Improved research tree UI. Clarified and simplified icons.
Fixed a bug where sometimes a mouse click on a nation wouldn't register. This was harder than it looks.