Feudal civilizations will consist of (currently) between three and four noble houses/families. At the start of the game you'll be assigned to one of these families, though not the ruling one (and there will be different rules for theocracies). I'm currently working on generating the coats of arms for these houses, which consist of two or three parts. Firstly there's the escutcheon in the middle, which is the shield that might have a particular design on it consisting of a single large figure or a number of smaller ones; secondly there are two "supporters", generally animals, on either side of the shield which will be the next thing to work on; and thirdly there's a motto down below. I'm not yet certain about whether I'll be generating supporters - I am considering the ease of looking up families in the in-game encyclopedia, and adding supporters means the icon of the family will take up a lot more room than it currently does (though I think a motto is essential!). I've thus far been doing the central component, the shield and the symbol(s) or sigil(s) displayed upon it. I want these to be unique, immediately identifiable, and appropriate to be used on actual physical shields later in the game. If you fight someone and look at their shield you should know what house they belong to (or what house they stole a shield from!). I first set about generating the patterns on the escutcheons with a variety of different colours. Here's a selection of what the game can produce:
With that done, I then came to the question of the designs. There are several possibilities for what designs will be assigned to the shield; the most common will be a single large figure that takes up most of the shield. Whilst I am aware this is actually relatively rare in real-world heraldry, it is (obviously) easier to draw a single large figure to a solid level of detail than several small ones. There will be some shields which use a number of other designs - for example, a shield where two horizontal designs are laid one above the other, or two vertical designs side-by-side, or a number of smaller, quarter-sized designs. I've currently drawn up sixty-four full-size designs; maybe half of these will be generated each game - based on the number of feudal civilizations and the existence of other two- or three- or four-part shields - and, given that you'll have to explore and survive in the world to find them, it'll be a while until anyone has seen them all (not to mention the fact I'll probably add more to the database as time goes by). I don't want to show off all the sigils up front, but here's a selection of six with randomly generated colour palettes:
I'm currently working on what in-game role families are going to play. I suspect they are going to be similar to religions - they are more to do with allies and associations than with bonuses and buffs, like civilization policies. URR won't be a "you start as a random peasant" game, as you'll be starting as part of a noble house/family - there are various reasons for this, one of which is plot-based (and will become clear later) and it is easier to start the game as a character which can reasonably be assumed to be literate and educated. Lastly, I've taken to updating the development plan page both with plans further afield than the immediate release I'm working on and the one or two after that, and also checking off when certain objectives have been completed by striking through them. Let me if you have any thoughts on the sigils, everything else in this entry or the future plans now up on the development plan page, and I'll see you all next week. Until next time you can keep up to date on my devblog, Facebook page, or Twitter feed. The devblog is updated weekly or fortnightly generally on Saturdays, Facebook a few times a week, and the Twitter roughly daily.