Tyrannis

Dev Diary 1: Goodbye Beautiful

I really need to update this more. Figured I’d take a break, live under a rock, and try to get the hang of this whole indie game developer business.

Turns out the easy part’s being an Indie Game Developer. The hard part’s the Business.

Things like filling out paperwork, making trailers, and learning how to do a Kickstarter.

Which, now that I think about it, is probably how you’re reading this, anyways.

Now with that out of the way, let’s get on to Tyrannis.

Current State of the Game

Right now, you can play a demo copy of Tyrannis, with four player local multiplayer, four regions, and eight factions to choose from, which you can download here and learn how to play here.

Right now, there are two major parts that need work: AI and Online Multiplayer. While development is already underway, the AI overhaul is almost finished, while the Online Multiplayer will require a decent, but likely quick, overhaul.

After that, the game will be ready well before the end of May 2020, which means an earlier release on Steam and other platforms.

As for the stretch goals, the prototypes are already working as proof-of-concept systems, though they will take additional development time to fully implement.

Assuming they get enough funding, of course.

That being written, it is likely that the stretch goals will make the game release at a later date, though the Faction Editor and the Map Editor will probably take about a month’s time to fully implement, at most.

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The World of Tyrannis

As you may have noticed, Tyrannis is not historically accurate.

At all.

Well, I’m pretty sure it isn’t, seeing that the United States of America doesn’t barely control the entire Western Hemisphere in our timeline’s 1976 and hired an army of mercenaries to help rule it.

Or call themselves the “Continental States of America.”

If you’re interested, you can click here to see how we ended up here.

The Demo

In the demo, up to four players can play a game of multiplayer across Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean. While limited, this is the current build of Tyrannis right now. A proof of concept, for lack of a better term. Things like online multiplayer and AI players are in the works, and there’s always a chance the gameplay is modified during rebalancing.Tyrannis_DD_1_02.png

Tips and Strategies for the Demo

Regardless of which side you’re playing on, don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. If you’re playing as one of the Rebels, one large mistake with your units could end your game in only a few turns. And if you’re a Mercenary player, you’re going to want to cover as much ground as possible.

If you’re playing as a Rebel faction, it’s a good idea to space out your units as much as possible. This means spreading out units across multiple regions, or at least different corners of a region, if you’re playing in only one region.

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Another strategy for Rebel players is to focus on attacking Regions that serve as choke points, as well as Bases, so that you can trap Mercenary Units and cut off their movement. Doing so will effectively sideline, or at least slow down the Mercenary Units.

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For a Rebel player, it is important that they build up strength, given their small starting numbers. That being said, it’s important that not all of their Units are sent out to attack, given their small starting numbers.

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If you’re playing as a Mercenary faction, it is important to limit the number of casualties and protect the Bases. After all, you only get reinforcements every ten turns, and that’s assuming your Bases are still standing.

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That being said, Mercenary players should not be afraid to cut their losses and consolidate their Units in fewer Regions, particularly chokepoints. While you start the game overstretched, a controlled retreat can keep your units intact and provide a better defense over your remaining territory.

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Of course, the Mercenary players can also go for what I like to call the “Firebase” strategy, in which Units are concentrated around their Bases to provide defense, while raiding parties are sent around to the surrounding States to root out enemies.

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The Factions

Although they are largely similar in terms of gameplay, each faction has its own interests and motivations. Even the mercenaries, though they’re mostly in it for the money.

North Mexican Federation

When the “All of Mexico” movement was passed after the Mexican-American War, Northern Mexico was another territory for the United States to settle, then populate with pioneers. Though more populated than the territories of California and New Mexico, Northern Mexico’s integration required fewer troops than the its southern counterpart.

Despite its wealth in mineral resources and cattle industry, the region still faces distinct poverty, with mining and farming corporations dominating both the economic and political spheres in the region. Mercenaries are often used to “discourage” workers from unionizing, let alone striking, and they’re pulling double duty with the civil rights protesters. Now and then, leaders would disappear, only for their corpses to wind up on the steps of offices or factories.

With the ballot box no longer an option, it was only a matter of time until the two groups turned to the cartridge box.

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Mexican Liberation Army

With the majority of the Mexican population after the Mexican-American War, Southern Mexico ended up having the majority of the rebellions, and later, the majority of the occupation and the Americanization. After all, with millions of Mexicans here, the region could never truly be colonized; though with the immigration of millions of settlers, society is largely dominated by the wealthy settler class, while the lower classes are largely Spanish-speaking and Catholic, with the English-speaking Mexicans and converts higher up on the totem pole, respectively.

Though largely passive at first, the last four decades have seen a more aggressive stance taken to enforce the English language and “Christianize” the Catholic population, with literacy tests and making non-English speakers and non-Protestants a disenfranchised second class. Given this, it was hardly surprising the region became a hotbed, first for Civil Rights, followed by the CSA’s crackdown and deployment of mercenaries to “maintain order.” Never was this more apparent than the failed “Mexican Spring,” an attempted velvet revolution that ended in several thousand dead protesters.

With peaceful revolution impossible, violent revolution in Southern Mexico is inevitable. Every day sees more men and women join the Mexican Liberation Army. Though some joined for justice and others still call for reform, most have joined in the name of independence. However, all of them have joined to fight for Mexico.

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Union of Centroamerica

Though the region was conquered by filibusters and ruled by William Walker, today’s Central America is ruled by the Continental Fruit Company for almost a century. Which, if I’m being honest, has been a pretty good arrangement.

For the CFC, anyways. While they will boast about all the public works they helped to construct, you wouldn’t hear about how they’d bribed officials to not construct roads that’d take away from their monopolies on the rail trade. While their spokesmen talk about how the CFC contributes to the local economy, they tend to keep their mouth shut about all the officials they’d bribed to get out of paying billions. And for all their talk about “Efficiency and Progress,” their workers are often overworked, underpaid, and know full well that the CFC will send mercenaries to deal with any pesky strikers and disobedience.

Despite all the rhetoric, people know full well that what is good for the CFC isn’t necessarily good for Central America. While workers’ strikes have been met with mercenaries’ bullets, it’s only a matter of time until those mercenaries’ bullets are met with rebellion.

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Caribbean Confederation

An integral part of the Continental States for over a hundred years, the Caribbean has been seen by many as a backwater, known for tourism, and agriculture, in that order. Underneath the surface, however, the islands are, for lack of a better term, ruled by governors who see themselves as mini-Caesars.

Never is this more apparent in the States of Haiti and Dominica, which are ruled by the Bonapartes. Yes, those Bonapartes, just a few more generations down the line. While Hispaniola, and by extension, the Antilles and Port Richard are a far cry from half of Europe, it is their personal fiefdom in practice, and their mercenaries are their Imperial Guard in all but name. The same can be said in Cuba, Jamaica, and the Bahamas as well, with political marriages and extravagence being the norm.

As for everyone on these islands who don’t have that pedigree, life isn’t as luxurious. Past the tourist traps are slums, shanty towns, and at best, lower-income cities and towns, with people making pennies on every tourist’s dollar. In those luxurious casinos, patrons gamble away a dealer’s monthly salary on a single hand of poker. And for all the sugar turned to rum and tobacco turned to cigars, their workers unable to purchase the goods they create. Such is the order of things in the Caribbean, as it had been for the last hundred years, and the next hundred, if those well-paid mercenaries have their way. Martial Law only confirmed what everyone already knew.

Though bullets, broken windows, disappearances, and broken bodies have kept the peasants outside of the palaces, rumor has it they have been meeting behind closed doors and traveling into distant forests. Out of sight and out of mind, for now, until it’s time to storm their castles.

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Kirihara Group Security

After the Great War ended almost thirty years ago, the Japanese were the victors once again. East Asia was theirs, from Sakhalin to Saipan, and everything in between.

But for all the talk of Bushido and the “Modern Samurai” that came with the nation’s propaganda, Japan was tired of war. Some conscripts hadn’t seen home in over a decade, enlistment numbers were at an all-time low, and draft protests were starting to grow.

Still, the leadership, whether it be civilian, military, or economic, were unwilling to surrender all their gains. To that end, several generals, admirals, and zaibatsu heads had come together to create the Kirihara Group, a Private Force that would protect the interests of the zaibatsu, as well as Japan.

Today, Kirihara Group Security is a zaibatsu in its own right, with a monopoly on private military force in the Japanese Sphere. With the uprisings in the West, the Kirihara group looks to expand its reach.

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Continental Armed Security Services

Like its Japanese counterpart, Continental Armed Security Services was formed in the 1950s to deal with the manpower shortages for South America’s reconstruction, as well as the legions of unemployed soldiers coming home. To the political and business leaders, it was silver bullet, a free market solution that would solve their problems without stooping to “Socialism.”

To that end, Continental Armed Security Services was formed in 1951, though Caesar John I took a controlling interest. For the next decade, the American Caesar and his cronies used their new private army to provide security for their reconstruction and colonization efforts in Latin America and hunt down insurrectionists formed from enemy holdouts.

After their successes in Africa, Arabia, and South America (as well as a countless conflicts of interest), CASS had seen unprecedented growth and expansion throughout the American Co-Prosperity Sphere, to the point that the Continental Army struggles to compete with them for recruits and is, for all intents and purposes, relegated to a glorified National Guard.

Though CASS is under a good deal of scrutiny for their brutality and corruption, the organization is the CSA’s first line of defense against the countless rebels across the Americas. Even if they are a thin camouflaged line in every sense of the phrase.

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The United Africa Company

Officially a part of Continental Armed Security Services, the UAC was formed in the late 1960s to expand Continental Armed Security Services’ operations to Africa and Arabia, rather than any manpower shortages.

Interestingly enough, the core of the organization was formed from the colonial armies that the CASS had fought and left out of the job only years earlier, which led to an interesting scenario in which the former colonizers were once again armed and patrolling over their former colonial subjects, an irony that the UAC find amusing, and the locals find insulting.

Though these days, most of their recruits are thrill-seekers and adventurers who seek a romanticized life as a mercenary, as well as a disturbingly large number of neo-colonialists and white supremacists. With their parent company already stretched thin, the UAC has been called in to provide reinforcements.

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Yuan Enterprises

The newest of the mercenary groups, Yuan Enterprises has been formed from the numbers of otherwise unemployed soldiers in the wake of the Chinese Unification Campaigns, one of many cues it takes from Continental Armed Security Services.

During the later years of the Intervention, the defection of several warlords, as well as the recruitment of Prisoners of War, had grown President Yuan’s United Chinese Army to well over seven figures, more than enough men to garrison and rebuild the nation.

If anything, there were still hundreds of thousands of well-armed men with nothing better to do, now that the Warlord Era was over. And knowing full well what well-armed men do when they are unemployed and have no marketable skills besides soldiering, President Yuan decided to take a page out of Toyotomi Hideyoshi’s playbook and send them abroad.

Today, Yuan Enterprises’ presence in the Americas is a two-way street. The CSA is overstretched, so Yuan’s soldiers are greatly appreciated. Meanwhile, President Yuan is able to keep these people on the other side of the ocean, far away from him as he tries to rebuild China. As far as he’s concerned, the money’s just the icing on the cake.

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Conclusion

Thank you for reading the first dev diary for Tyrannis! Now, it’s back to work for me, Oh, and if you want to stay updated on the game, be sure to follow cGh ONE on Twitter, YouTube, and Kickstarter.

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