Let me start this off by apologizing. When Tyrannis’ campaign was launched, I’d set a goal of late May 2020, which soon turned into June 2020.
And unfortunately, the game isn’t out yet, due to many, many reasons. These include, but are not limited to, computer crashes, joining the protests in the United States, the late-implementation of accessibility features for colorblind players, software crashes, and, of course, more computer crashes.
That being said, Tyrannis has reached 100% completion, and is ready for launch on July 4, 2020.
Pending, of course, on the waiting period for Steam due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Now, with that out of the way, I should probably address the second elephant in the room: Tyrannis. Specifically Tyrannis being a game where people rebel against an authoritarian American government that made peaceful revolution impossible.
As previously stated, Tyrannis is about the conflict between the violent America that we tell ourselves that we are not, and the hopeful America we could become. And as part of depicting the former, the antagonists’ actions are inspired by some of the worst of American history.
Which, in light of recent events, is pretty topical. Scarily topical, I would argue, especially with all the cases of police brutality against unarmed protesters, and at least one poorly-chosen New York Times piece saying we should use the armed forces against unarmed protesters.
So to be absolutely clear (and for legal reasons), I (and probably every other sane person in the world) do not support violently overthrowing the American government. Honestly, I hope to God we never reach a scenario like Tyrannis.
But at the same time, I realize that there are parallels between Tyrannis’ themes and recent events, despite the backstory being designed months ago.
After some discussion with a friend of mine who is much more knowledgeable on recent events, I’ve come to the decision to launch Tyrannis as soon as possible, to honor the promises I made to all of Tyrannis’ Kickstarter backers.
However, the first major update will introduce a non-lethal mechanic that will allow Rebel players to peacefully take over States on the map. Rebel players will be able to use their Units and resources to organize the population against the security forces and their overlords. After reaching a certain threshold of public support, the rebel-sympathetic population will be able to force out the security forces.
In contrast, Mercenary players will be able to spend money on propaganda to lower public support for the opposition. These propaganda pieces run the gamut from character assassination pieces, such as digging into a victim’s criminal and medical records, to outright conspiracy theories, such as proposing that an elderly man who suffered brain damage is a socialist agent provocateur.
So, you can expect that to be in the first update, followed by the Custom Faction Creator.
When Tyrannis was originally designed as a board game, having different factions was a largely cosmetic decision, though the code required different factions to make sure that the States were owned by the right players.
And while it was not mentioned when the game was first announced last year, all 27 factions in Tyrannis have their own special abilities that make each faction a bit more unique. Let’s take a look at a few of them.
Let’s start with Continental Armed Security Services, all that stands in between the rebels and the Caesar himself. Like their boss, CASS isn’t one for consequences, so when they lose a unit, they’ll receive a refund for some of the money they’ve spent.
Next up is Yuan Enterprises, the so-called “Asiatic Hordes” by those who don’t understand history. But with their manpower, they are able to provide a garrison whenever one of their Bases are attacked. While these are mainly defensive forces, a few extra units can be the turning point for a close battle.
After that is Cascadia, home of One Continental States of America News Network. Fed up with the 24-hour stream of pro-Caesar propaganda and conspiracy theories, the Cascadians have reverse-engineered OCSANN’s methods to give them an edge in drawn-out battles.
In Upper Columbia, the very Capital of the Continental States, several generals have taken arms in mutiny against the Caesar. These men, household names to civilians and living legends to soldiers, command a respect that can draw even defeated soldiers to their side.
In the Caribbean Sea, economic inequality and poverty have forced many to resort to crime. Piracy, once the subject of stories, has become a necessary evil for the poor to survive. So long as they are raiding a coast, these reluctant raiders have no equal.
Our last showcased faction is Group 401. With their background as Special Forces, these men and women are experts at training units in hostile territory. Not to mention their effectiveness as “Advisors” to anti-colonial forces during the African Colonial Wars. With this kind of experience, the 401 will be able to train your units (or your ally’s units) in record time.
As a reward for pledging at least $25, backers would appear in Tyrannis in an Easter Egg.
To that end, Tyrannis features each backer showing up in an Intel Report, an in-universe document that gives a view of the American dystopia that Tyrannis is set in; a dark reflection of our own world.
One that portrays the worst in America, whether that be prejudice, authoritarianism, greed, or not understanding Rise Against lyrics.
Launch and Beyond
All that is left is submitting Tyrannis to Steam for approval. With the game prepared, we will be bug testing Tyrannis and developing the first update.
This concludes what is likely to be the last pre-launch Dev Diary for Tyrannis. It’s been a long road, but we’re almost at the light at the end of the tunnel.
Stay safe. Stand up for what’s right. Fight the good fight.
And don’t forget to play video games.