Tag Archives: Sabres of Infinity

Subplots and Schemes: Laying Out the First Half of Lords of Infinity

As some of you may know, I’ve been spending much of my time these past few weeks planning out the basic structure of Lords of Infinity. At this point, the basic shape of the first half of the story has more or less solidified. Today I’d like to share with you how this part of Lords of Infinity might play out.

Lords of Infinity starts with the Dragoon Officer, your main character, being inducted into his status as a peer of the Unified Kingdom. Before the King and the Cortes, he puts his hand on Pactmaker (the royal sword of state) repeats the oath of fealty to the King, and is officially acknowledged as the rightful holder of the title he inherited from his father at the end of Guns of Infinity. This carries with it two major implications:

The Dragoon Officer is now a Lord of the Cortes.

As a peer of the realm, the Dragoon Officer now serves as a member of the Cortes, the legislative body of the Unified Kingdom’s royal government. As such, he now holds a significant amount of influence over the way the Unified Kingdom deals with the political fallout of the Dozen Years’ War, and how it makes sense of its new position in the Infinite Sea.

The Dragoon Officer is now a Landed Aristocrat.

As a Baron of the Unified Kingdom, the Dragoon Officer now has his own fief to maintain, grounds to upkeep, and tenants to placate or antagonise. While the Barony provides an income, its infrastructure is decrepit, and the family manor itself is in a state of extreme disrepair. The plundered wealth that the Dragoon Officer might have brought back from Antar might be enough to restore the Barony to level of profitability and improve the lives of those who live upon it, if spent wisely.

These two developments have a lot of common themes. Both deal with the aftermath of the Dozen Years’ War on a personal and a national level. Both delve deeper into the structures and relationships which underpin Tierran society, and they both examine the responsibilities and powers of a member of the Tierran aristocracy. However, the focal points of these two different plot threads are far separate from each other, both in senses of tone and geography. As a result, I’ve made the decision to split the first half of Lords of Infinity into two separate plot threads. After the prologue (when the Dragoon Officer is introduced to his duties as a Lord of the Cortes) and the first chapter (when he returns to his ancestral estate for the first time in over a decade), the player will have a choice to remain on the estate, or to establish himself in Aetoria, the Tierran capital.

In the former case, the player will have a lot more opportunity to develop the Dragoon Officer’s personal holdings, and build a relationship with the tenants living on his land. In the latter case, a presence in the Capital means more opportunities to get involved not only with Cortes politics, but to wield influence in the circles of power, making influential friends and enemies within the various factions quietly struggling over the soul of a Unified Kingdom on the brink of momentous change. Both options will have their advantages and disadvantages. Some characters will be easier to find and interact with in the city than in the country, and vice-versa. A Dragoon Officer who remains on his estate would be able to build relationships with his neighbours and tenants, refurbish his manor, or work to make his fief more economically viable, leading to increased revenue and more influence on a local scale. Meanwhile, a Dragoon Officer who chooses the Capital could ally themselves with powerful figures like the Duke of Wulfram and Princess Isobel (the King’s younger sister), or make their experiences at war heard by joining a commission to reform the King’s Army.

In either case, the decision which the player chooses at the end of chapter one can’t be undone, but it can be walked back from. At certain points, a player can choose to have the Dragoon Officer “switch paths”, either heading to the Capital with an intent to become a political player, or going home and writing off a political career as a lost cause. Doing so is a viable decision, but this too, comes with a price. As for what that price is, and what it entails, well… you’ll see.

As usual, this month’s installments of A Soldier’s Guide to the Infinite Sea and An Adventurer’s Guide to the Fledgling Realms are now up and openly accessible.

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May Updates

It’s been another busy month so far. I’ve been putting a lot of time into Burden of Command, although I suspect that the bulk of my work as a writer is almost finished. HMS Foraker‘s still moving along as well. I’ve just finished the third and last chapter, which means I’ve only got the epilogues and a few other bells and whistles to wrap up before it’s “done”. I’m considering avenues of distribution now. Assuming I find one, you might be seeing it released sometime this summer.

As usual, new installments of A Soldier’s Guide to the Infinite Sea, and An Adventurer’s Guide to the Fledgling Realms are also now up.


April Updates

It’s been a busy month so far. Not only have I been working on the last chapter of HMS Foraker, but I’ve always been spending a lot of time and effort putting together on a particular segment of Burden of Command which took me to a lot of places I’ve never been before from a technical standpoint. Needless to say, I’m not going to spoil what exactly it is, but I can say that it’ll certainly start some conversations when players see it on release.

In other news, new installments of A Soldier’s Guide to the Infinite Sea, and An Adventurer’s Guide to the Fledgling Realms are also now up.


March Updates, HMS Foraker

First an announcement.

HMS Foraker is a small side-project I’ve been writing in ChoiceScript based on Choice of Games’ own Choice of Broadsides. Currently about 80% done and clocking in at 65k words, HMS Foraker places you in command of a frigate and its crew in the alternate-universe equivalent of the War of 1812. Ordered to pursue a superior opponent, Foraker‘s captain must leverage the strengths of their experienced crew, veteran crew, and all the skills at their disposal if they mean to secure victory.

HMS Foraker is, for all accounts and purposes, fanfiction, which means it probably won’t get a commercial release (though I am seeing if there’s a way to get some kind of widespread release in future). I’m mostly writing it in my off-time to get myself back in the right mindset for Lords of Infinity after working for so long on Cryptkeepers of Hallowford and Burden of Command. It’s also giving me some space to experiment with a few new gameplay mechanics which might make an appearance in certain sections of Lords of Infinity.

Here’s a link to the discussion thread on the CoG forums, for anyone who wants to know more.

As usual, new installments of A Soldier’s Guide to the Infinite Sea, and An Adventurer’s Guide to the Fledgling Realms are now also up.


New: An Adventurer’s Guide to the Fledgling Realms

Those of you who check the Patreon Content page today may find a new addition. As promised, exceeding $300 a month in patron pledges means I will be writing not one, but two monthly worldbuilding columns. In addition to the regular Soldier’s Guide to the Infinite Sea, I’ll also writing monthly installments of An Adventurer’s Guide to the Fledgling Realms, articles about the setting of The Hero of Kendrickstone and The Cryptkeepers of Hallowford.

If you have any interest in supporting more of this sort of worldbuilding work, consider backing my Patreon. Topics for these columns are suggested by and voted on by patrons at the $10 a month and $2 a month tiers respectively. In addition, $1 a month backers get access a week in advance.

 

 


December Content Update And Burden of Command Devblog

It’s the second week of the month, which means it’s once again time for another installment of A Soldier’s Guide to the Infinite Sea. This month’s article continues covering the governance of the Unified Kingdom of Tierra, this time regarding the various ducal governments.

Remember that thanks to my supporters on Patreon, next month’s issue of A Soldier’s Guide to the Infinite Sea will be joined by the first installment in a new column based on my second fantasy series: An Adventurer’s Guide to the Fledgling Realms. Those who pledge $1 a month will get access to both articles a week early, while those who pledge $2 a month get to vote on next month’s topics.

Speaking of the Fledgling Realms, The Cryptkeepers of Hallowford, the sequel to 2015’s The Hero of Kendrickstone, will release later this month. I’ll have a page up for it soon.

Last, but not least, I’ve written a development blog post on Burden of Command, regarding the importance of creating empathetic characters in narrative-based games, and how we are working to make sure that the members of the player’s company in Burden of Command will feel like complex and dynamic officers and men worth mentoring, leading, and protecting.


November Content Update

It’s the second week of November, and that means it’s time for another installment of The Soldier’s Guide to the Infinite Sea. This month’s installment focuses on the mechanics of Royal Governance in the Unified Kingdom of Tierra, as the first part of a two (or three) part series about Tierran governance from the highest to the lowest levels.

As usual, this month’s article was funded by my supporters on Patreon. Those who donate $1 a month or more get access to articles a week in advance.

In addition, we’ve just hit the $300 a month tier, which means I’ll soon be doing two articles a month, one on the Infinite Sea, and a second one on the Fledgling Realms, the setting of The Hero of Kendrickstone, and its upcoming sequel, The Cryptkeepers of Hallowford, so look forward to that.