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Ultima Ratio Regum

Posted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 12:54 pm
by Flatfingers
Ultima Ratio Regum is:
a semi-roguelike game inspired by Jorge Borges, Umberto Eco, Neal Stephenson, Shadow of the Colossus, Europa Universalis and Civilization ... an ANSI 4X RPG set in a fantasy world with puzzles and combat and armies and history
From a 2013 interview with Graham Smith for Rock Paper Shotgun, here are some things that Mark Johnson, the developer of this game, says about it that may interest some fans of Limit Theory:
Mark Johnson wrote:My work and reading as a social scientist in a broader sense heavily informs the game – though this won’t become clear until 0.5 is released [scheduled for April 2014], which will bring with it all the generation of civilizations, history, religions and the like. Some of the central thematic elements of the game (which as I say are only now starting to emerge) are about how we understand truth, and the ways in which different civilizations perceive reality according to different metrics (science, myth, etc)
Mark Johnson wrote:n its final iteration URR will have far less combat than other roguelikes, so I’m trying to make a slightly slower, more exploration-focused game in some ways, without sacrificing the challenge that combat with a lot of variables produces.

Mark Johnson wrote:I find doing 95% of a generator takes 5% of the time, then the remaining 95% of the time is spent handling exclusions, telling the game how to deal with unusual situations the generator might throw up, and so on. At the same time, you can’t “close off” too many options, otherwise you then lose the benefits of procedural content, so I think there’s a balance to be struck there (and one that takes quite a while to code).

Mark Johnson wrote:I think there’s also a certain appeal in designing a game that can still surprise the designer, and throw up interesting/emergent things you might not expect.

The game is also expected to feature some things whose procedural generation has been discussed with respect to Limit Theory, such as emblems (Josh also comments here) and languages.

I'm not a big fan of rogue-likes myself, but I still find it fascinating to watch a designer grappling with many of the same kinds of features that have been suggested to Josh for Limit Theory. Is there something about the procedural generation of complex worlds that sparks feature ideas like these?

Finally, it may be interesting to bear in mind that "ultima ratio regum" can be translated from Latin as "the last argument of kings": force.