About this project
Graphics Makeover (£7,000)
At this stretch goal, we will be able to enhance the graphical content of the game. As the game’s story will take place during different seasons, we would like this to be represented in the map graphics. We will also add weather variations that can be seen through the throne room windows.
Additionally, as the map of the game is handcrafted and not procedurally created, we want to give it a more individual look. We will create unique graphics for each castle and town on the map, giving the world more believability.
Getting Personal (£9,000) - includes Throne Room Companions and Dungeons
Throne Room Companions
Bards and Jesters will bring additional gameplay and humour to the game, performing music or tomfoolery at your command.
An additional screen will added to the game; alongside the map and throne room, you will be now be able to see the dungeons of your castle. This is where all the people you decide to imprison will be held. You will be able to interact with prisoners, even sending them for a public execution.
It's quite incredible, but here we are! Yes, Your Grace has been Greenlit on Steam thanks to you! Everyone who chooses (or has chosen) to pledge £8 or above will receive a Steam Key upon the release of the game!
The land of Davern is in crisis. Famine and pestilence are spreading throughout the nation, and war cannot be far behind. As the noble Grey King, it is your role to lead your people through this dark period, transforming potential chaos into lasting order.
In Yes, Your Grace the quests come to you, combining text-based and strategy-oriented gameplay in a new and innovative way.
The projected completion date for the game is late August 2015. Core data structures are in place, along with the core dialogue system, quest editor and user interface. The battle system, AI and general utilities (such as the save game function) are still in development.
Yes, Your Grace will be playable on PC, Mac and Linux.
- Command, advise, help or punish your people
- Fight and conquer your enemies
- Use magic to your advantage
- Manage resources to make sure your people do not starve
- All decisions matter due to the DPS (Dynamic Perception System)
The game setting is inspired by medieval Slavic culture, myth and legend. We have aimed to create a pervading sense of supernatural threat lurking beneath the surface of events.
In terms of videogames, we have been inspired by Lucas Pope's Papers, Please, and not just in the use of a mid-title comma. We were intrigued by the way it invites the player to empathise with the difficult, tenuous position of the protagonist, and the moral dilemmas he has to face. In its setting and in the complexity of its decision-making gameplay, Yes, Your Grace is also inspired to a degree by CD Projekt RED's The Witcher. Our head designer is also a big fan of the book series by Andrzej Sapkowski on which the Witcher games are based.
In Yes, Your Grace, we want the player to experience the kind of difficult decisions faced by a ruler with the lives of many depending on their choices. By placing the game in a medieval setting, we have created a world where folklore is still dominant; understanding what people believe is crucial in making decisions.
The story of Yes, Your Grace is told mostly through the direct experiences of Eryk, the Grey King of Davern. Apart from cinematics, the game consists of two main screens that you will switch between throughout your journey.
The Throne Room
The throne room is where you, as King, make the pronouncements that determine the fate of your subjects. Don’t think that it’s an easy job, however; a queue of people will form each day, desiring an audience with the King, and it’s impossible to keep everyone happy.
The throne room will reflect actions performed on the map. Take away too much food from a village, for example, and soon after you are sure to encounter peasants complaining about it in the throne room.
Reigning from your castle, you only know what your subjects tell you. Which of them are truly needy? Which bring good advice, and worthwhile deals? Who have you managed to keep loyal? We believe Yes, Your Grace offers players a realistic glimpse at the experience of a medieval ruler.
The map is your window into the kingdom. It is your tool for managing its resources, and for completing quests. If you are told that the devious Radovians are readying an attack from behind the mountains, you can move your troops towards that location in preparation. Thus we can see the way that the throne room and the map complement each other, providing an original and enjoyable experience.
Your map will become your own personalised story journal. Each major decision you make will leave a mark (or bloodstain) on your map. Did you find and kill a mythical beast? Did you join an epic battle? Did you decide to have an ally murdered in cold blood? All of this will leave a mark on your map, creating a unique postcard to share with your friends. You will be reminded of the paths you took at a glance.
The map in Yes, Your Grace will be predesigned and not procedurally generated. We decided on this as we want the player to know those places, understanding where they are positioned, their environmental features, and their cultures.
That is why we have decided to keep the map relatively small. We prefer to keep the game world smaller, but give it more meaning. We believe it will enhance the experience help to immerse the player in the world we’ve created. You will be battling over one hundred regions, trying to conquer your enemies. In this way Yes, Your Grace is similar to board games such as Risk or the more scenario-oriented Legends of Andor, where each region really does matter.
In Yes, Your Grace, regions are divided among territories controlled by lords. For those unfamiliar with the hierarchical system in feudal times, lords are loyal to kings and knights to lords. Each lord will have his own personality, and all units trained by them also have unique base attributes associated with that territory. The attitude of the lords and knights represent that of the people of the region, but players should note that how well the people are represented may depend on the level of empathy that said character has.
Lords have the power to turn against you (taking their units with them) and if the peasants of a certain region do not feel like they are being represented faithfully, they will seek to appeal to you directly (if you will allow this) or perhaps join the anarchistic tribes that roam the lands taking matters into their own hands, desperately trying to survive. Power will be a very dynamic concept in Yes, Your Grace. Perhaps you will decide to bypass the lords altogether and form a coalition with some of the tribes.
Cinematics throughout the game highlight important story progression points. While some of these are merely to show the player these events, others involve interactive dialogues, similar to the gameplay in the throne room sequences.
The King's Tome
Another concept that we have in development is that of the King's Tome. This onscreen book would give the player information about active and completed quests, and also include sections about the game's characters and lore.
The Struggle for Resources:
Sooner or later, food will become scarce, and you will need to start deciding what amount to allocate to each village, town, sawmill or mine. The more you give, the greater the production value of that building. You might also want to conquer enemy (or even friendly) regions but that will most certainly bring consequences.
To obtain the necessary resources and to survive the famine you may decide to:
- trade with other kings and merchants
- use wizards to enhance crops
- use witchcraft and rituals to protect cattle from diseases or people from misfortune
- hire monster hunters to defend villagers
- command armies to fight off enemy forces
- seize control of enemy farms and villages
- manage spending of the resources you already possess
All of the above and more can be achieved via dialogues in the throne room, as well as by using your map.
Here is a short video of gameplay footage for Yes, Your Grace:
And if you would like to hear about the game in more detail, here is a version with narrative:
DELVING DEEPER INTO THE MECHANICS
Each turn you will gain and lose resources. Farms that are producing food are the most important buildings on the map, as the food they provide you with is required to obtain all other resources.
Combat is not central to Yes, Your Grace, although you will find yourself using it from time to time to remove threats to your kingdom. Moving your unit into a region occupied by an enemy will automatically initiate a battle.
We decided to go beyond what you might expect from a turned-based strategy game. The battle system in Yes, Your Grace will be in real time, which we think will contrast really well with the more relaxed pace of gameplay in the throne room.
The combat is similar to FTL (Faster Than Light). Each turn you can battle once (per banner) but the battle itself is happening in real time. As we said, combat is not a central part of the game, but we think that we have managed to make this really interesting nonetheless.
How does it work?
The number on the left represents the people that are able to fight. They are taken into consideration when calculating strength of the banner. The number on the right represents the wounded units, which are not influencing the strength of the banner.
Wounded units are not making your armies stronger, but they can be healed at a lower cost than if you were to muster a new banner. It is worth keeping a track of this, to help you save on resources.
Lastly, the bar at the top is the speed at which the units will attack.
This little video should give you more of an idea about how the battle system works in the game. Bare in mind that this is an early build, and it's still lacking some animations.
Here are more details on the battle system:
Types of units
As for now we are implementing two main types of units - Infantry and Mounted.
Don’t be deceived by the fact that there are only two main categories of units, because it doesn’t mean they will all be the same. Each region that can provide you with a banner will be slightly different than the other. There are many variables that will make your armies unique.
Each unit will consist of three base stats:
Those will differ based on:
Each banner will have different base stats depending on its origin. For example some regions will be known for their warrior culture. People from a region with the mine might be tougher due to their occupation. Your resource management may also effect stats, for example starving the region will also produce weaker units from it.
Upgrading towns will give resident units permanent boosts in their statistics. Hiring a blacksmith and finding a place for him in a town, for example, will increase the strength of units mustered there.
Morale gives you stat boosts if high, and determines the possibility of retreat.
To find out the morale of your armies, you will need to seek information from your advisors. We want to keep the game very contextualised; we want players to focus on the world we have created, rather than the numbers behind the mechanics. We believe that this will allow you to further immerse yourself into the game, becoming invested your kingdom.
Generals will not only represent your army in the throne room, but also provide them with passive upgrades. Gerford, for example, is known for brutality and giving his subordinates a hard time. Therefore an army, under his command will be stronger than your usual units... but would you want someone like this acting in your name?
Later in the game, you will find out about various extraordinary substances, giving you the possibility to devise new weapons and tactics. As the battles are in real time, you will be able to use things like explosives when struggling in a battle. Bear in mind that those will be extremely hard to obtain and should be used only as a last resort.
In addition to taking the player’s command to retreat, the disposition of the commanding generals may (pending playtests) cause troops to spontaneously flee. Be aware if any of your generals are rumoured to be cowards!
You will be able to capture enemy generals, and imprison them in your dungeon; if the stretch goals is met, we will be able to visualise this in the game.
Dynamic Perception System:
Every action has meaning, and can change characters’ perceptions of you. If a village is constantly supplied with plenty of food, they will get used to it. If you then try to redirect some food to a poorer community, or to grow your army, a well-fed village will resent it more than a village that has often been low on food. So why not simply make all of the villages get used to a low standard? Well, the lower the food supply the lower the rate of production.
Managing the queue
The queue mechanics are fun. We believe it’s interesting to see who comes next in the line, and to find out what they want. Each person is a mystery waiting to reveal itself.
But what if you recognize the person? What if you are waiting to see this messenger, or that blacksmith? We don’t want you to click through the people in front of him, missing carefully crafted content, just to get a town upgrade or to see the outcome to a particular quest.
That’s why we are introducing a little mechanic where you can tell someone in the queue to come forward, skipping the line. After all, you are the king, so you can do whatever you desire. Just keep in mind that if you keep doing so, others might get annoyed. They could start talking behind your back or even begin plotting against you.
After getting feedback from family, friends and our community saying that the king should be more powerful, we have decided to do this by allowing him to make sure anyone in the queue can be… visited… by your loyal assassins.
The way it works is very simple. Click on anyone in the queue, and then choose the “assassin” icon. The price of the deed will appear, and if you can afford to pay you can sleep soundly, assured that some unfortunate thing will happen to the person you have marked.
So, if someone in the queue says something that casts you in a negative light, you can get rid of them, stopping their inconvenient opinion from spreading. Or you can do it just for fun, you bloodthirsty tyrant!
After marking someone with the assassin icon, you will be still able to talk to that person during the day. However, the next morning you will get a message about their mysterious demise - unless your assassins were not up to the challenge, of course.
If the grisly business of murder turns your royal stomach, but you still need to express your displeasure, you can strike a healthy balance by sending subjects to the dungeons of your castle. Keeping them there for a while will send a firm message, but perhaps won’t be as cruel as having the subject killed for their first offence.
As for now you won’t be able to see the actual dungeon (we have a stretch goal for this in mind); it will all happen through the throne room gameplay. First, you click on the icon and the guards take the subject away. In a day or two you will get a notification from your advisor asking you what you want to do next with that person. Keep him in the dungeon? Or let him go free, letting the world know what a wonderful and forgiving king you are?
You may have noticed the empty seats in the throne room. This is where your advisors will sit. They will provide you with information that cannot be viewed on the map, such as the morale of your various units, or the general opinions of the people or lords in a certain region. Forgotten the name of the guy in front of you? What he does? His title? A quiet word from your advisor will help jog your memory.
Choose your advisors wisely, as the information they provide may be skewed. For example, having a military advisor living in comfortable conditions that cannot empathise with your currently serving units may have a flawed perspective on how they are doing. This gameplay mechanic is powered by the Dynamic Perception System we have implemented, based on Perceptual Control Theory.
Advisors will learn how freely they can speak in the throne room by how you interact with them. If they do not feel appreciated (or they do not fear you enough) than you may miss out on the possibility of their useful input during dialogues. On the other hand, if they feel too confident they will test their power over you by pushing their own agendas.
The past winter was longer than usual and the wet spring has made it difficult to grow crops. Cattle are dying from an unknown pestilence. Monsters are emerging from their lairs. They prey on us while we struggle to work the fields. Should we venture forth, pillaging neighbouring villages, and forcing others to work? Or should we devote ourselves to magical solutions?
The way the story unfolds is partly inspired by Dark Souls. Depending on your actions you might be able to meet different people, instigate certain situations or even miss certain scenarios, characters or opportunities.
The story’s actual content takes inspiration from the Great Famine of 1315-17. This calamitous event was just the first in a series of disasters that befell the people of Medieval Europe, an idea that also informs our narrative. The structure of the game is inextricably tied with the natural world; each season is a “chapter” of the game, and the player should be mindful of what seasonal changes will mean for the world.
In Yes, Your Grace, you play as Eryk, the Grey King of Davern. However, yours is not the only kingdom on the world stage. There are several other nations with whom you must cooperate or compete.
The game's music will be composed by Carlos Filipe Alves. The lute, horns, and wistful vocals are used to immerse the player in the sounds of the medieval period. Aspects of the soundtrack, such as the occasional use of insistent percussion and flute melodies to heighten tension, have been inspired by Slavic folk music.
Here are some samples of the music created for Yes, Your Grace.
Introducing New Rewards
We are happy to announce that Katy Marshall - a local artist - has created some awesome wooden shields for us to give away as a new reward for our Kickstarter campaign. The crests are made with laser cut pieces of birch wood, painted in the colours of the different nations in the game world. Once dried the pieces are glued and carefully placed together to create the finished high relief look.
Dimensions: 5.1cm by 4.3cm not including the extra parts of the shields. It's a nice little souvenir to put on your desk or stick it on the wall.
By pledging £24 you will receive a shield of your choice. As a bonus to those already pledging more than this amount, you will automatically receive this gift. We hope you like them; our particular favorites are the shields of Radovia and Atana!
We are also giving you the option to choose between the A4 map and five of the shields of your choice. If you have already pledged £40 or more then you are welcome to choose between the two separate prizes to be included in your bundle. If we are successfully funded we will be in contact promptly for your decision.
If you are interested in Katy’s work visit her Instagram: kitkatmarshall or email her on: firstname.lastname@example.org
We decided to start this Kickstarter campaign because we are at the beginning of our careers in games development, and at present we don't have the funds to make Yes, Your Grace the best game that it could be - but with your help, we can!
How will the funding be allocated?
Maintenance: These funds are directed towards ensuring that the Lead Designer and Programmer can continue to work full-time on the game, which has been funded out-of-pocket up to this point.
Music and Sound: This portion of the funding will be allocated to paying costs involved in creating the game's music and sound effects, including hiring additional musicians to record vocals.
Software and Licences: These funds will be used to pay software expenses.
Fees and taxes: The final slice of the funding pie will be used to pay Kickstarter's listing fees and the taxman.
Rafał Bryks – Game Design / Art
Rafał is a Games Design student at the University of Huddersfield, and he is the main individual responsible for the design of Yes, Your Grace.
Steven Puerto-Simmons – Programming / Game Design
Steven, a Games Programming student at the University of Huddersfield, works tirelessly to create the innovative processes needed to make Yes, Your Grace a truly novel experience.
Luke Ashcroft – Text Editor and Co-Writer
Luke is an English Literature graduate and occasional teacher. He edits and co-writes the dialogue of Yes, Your Grace for technical accuracy and flair, along with promotional materials for the game.
Carlos Filipe Alves – Composer
Filipe is a composer, flautist and music teacher who has composed scores for diverse forms of media, including radio dramas, films and, of course, video games. He has founded a band, Memory Card, dedicated to the performance of videogame music. His other work can be found at http://cfilipealves.com.
HELP US MAKE THE GAME:
Risks and challenges
The head designer and programmer are working full-time on this game, so there is a high level of commitment to producing an excellent finished product by late August 2015, tackling any challenges along the way.
The fact that the founding members of the team are students means that we have access to certain resources at the University of Huddersfield. The Enterprise Team at the University, for instance, are providing assistance with legal paperwork. In addition, we were able to arrange an office workspace at the university, where we have been working on the game full-time since August 2014.
We want to have full transparency with our backers on this project, keeping you up-to-date with our progress and the challenges we face. Every effort will be made to avoid postponement of the release date, and this would be unlikely, but if it does we will be honest about the causes and the severity of the delay.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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