Author Topic: Espiocracy - Cold War Espionage Strategy  (Read 746 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline rafgro

  • Hoplite
  • *
  • Posts: 1
Espiocracy - Cold War Espionage Strategy
« on: June 24, 2022, 10:16:17 AM »
Hi folks, my name is Rafal and I'm the developer of Espiocracy - in one sentence, a game where you play as an intelligence agency in the golden era of espionage  O:-)

There are many developer diaries already written (full list here), I'll paste the first introductory diary below:



The Vision - LARGE WHY

We'll start with the most important question: who is the player?

Player persona in strategy games can be represented on a spectrum:


Cold War featured strong nations and strong characters. Both were subject to huge changes - the period has seen the establishment of over 75 new countries, a similar number of significant assassinations, and many more governments changed in elections. This leads to substantial game design issues:
  • Playing as a nation: What about larger-than-life leaders? How can you override Stalin or Mao?
  • Playing as a character: What happens when you are ousted? Is it a roguelike?
  • Playing as a political party: What happens when you are not in power? Is it a political sim?

And these are only the first, most important questions coming to mind (you can read a bit longer explanation on the forum here). The main takeaway is that limiting the game to either side of the spectrum would spoil the fun.

I believe that the solution to this conundrum is different player persona - between a nation spirit and characters, more long-term focused, and ultimately larger in the Cold War environment.



In Espiocracy, you'll be playing as a character-driven intelligence agency (or the intelligence community, depending on the country). You'll not only live through leader assassinations, elections, ideology changes - you will be the cause of these historical events. Although there will be no RPG-like player character (no director of an agency), every decision will be implemented by characters (operatives, agents, diplomats...) and will affect other characters, creating an intricate intersection of large scale geopolitics and personal life stories.

To make the game even more fun, your decision space will be larger than the popular image of espionage suggests. You'll be directly interacting with national decisions, in the bounds of immersion and historical accuracy - for instance, your country leader will ask you for advice about starting a war (IRL example: CIA advising Eisenhower on Suez Canal crisis) or in some situations, you'll be directly running diplomacy (IRL example: KGB in South America).

The Inspiration - small why

Espiocracy is grounded in books. Its development is supported by constantly returning and referring to:



In addition, a more personal and multipolar approach to the Cold War is in small part inspired by the history of my family, influenced by tides of postwar expulsions, migrations, and coincidences. My grandparents were living hundreds of kilometers apart and met only because they were expelled to the same county, my wife's maternal grandparents met in Siberia prison camps and then escaped to the county to which her paternal grandparents migrated thousands kilometers from Kazakhstan, and we met because the collapse of the Soviet Block forced my family to move to a place just a few kilometers from my wife's family. Talk about destiny!

The Principles - how

Three main principles define what Espiocracy will be about:
  • Homage to the Cold War and espionage
  • Focus on meaningful and strategic decisions
  • Important role of immersion

Also, some things common for other strategy games will be avoided here:
  • No doomsday clock
  • No hidden biases or political agendas
  • Not running away from controversial content (eg. the UK imprisoning gay people in the 1950s)
  • Generally, no humor (the game will be on the slightly darker side of storytelling)
  • No fancy graphics or beautiful music (sorry, all the work goes into gameplay)



Steam: https://store.steampowered.com/app/1670650/Espiocracy/
Latest dev diary: #24: Spy Gear

Questions and suggestions much appreciated!

Offline Gusington

  • The Jewish Missile
  • Global Moderator
  • Tercio
  • *****
  • Posts: 49671
  • You must be at most 'this tall' to ride the Gus.
Re: Espiocracy - Cold War Espionage Strategy
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2022, 10:39:36 AM »
Wow! Quite the first post. Welcome and good luck.
слава Україна!

Offline al_infierno

  • Spam Moderator
  • Condottieri
  • *
  • Posts: 2566
  • Giudecca in the hell of unknowing
    • A War of a Madman's Making - itch.io
Re: Espiocracy - Cold War Espionage Strategy
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2022, 11:09:09 AM »
Spotted this on Steam recently and wishlisted right away.  Looks awesome!

Welcome and good luck with your project  O0
A War of a Madman's Making - a text-based war planning and political survival RPG

It makes no difference what men think of war, said the judge.  War endures.  As well ask men what they think of stone.  War was always here.  Before man was, war waited for him.  The ultimate trade awaiting its ultimate practitioner.  That is the way it was and will be.  That way and not some other way.
- Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian


If they made nothing but WWII games, I'd be perfectly content.  Hypothetical matchups from alternate history 1980s, asymmetrical US-bashes-some-3rd world guerillas, or minor wars between Upper Bumblescum and outer Kaboomistan hold no appeal for me.
- Silent Disapproval Robot


I guess it's sort of nice that the word "tactical" seems to refer to some kind of seriousness during your moments of mental clarity.
- MengJiao

Offline Jarhead0331

  • Judge Advocate General
  • Administrator
  • Arquebusier
  • *
  • Posts: 16424
  • Global Moderator, General Counsel, Heavy Weapons
Re: Espiocracy - Cold War Espionage Strategy
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2022, 12:02:39 PM »
I dunno, man...the graphics look pretty sharp to me. Functional, but attractive.

Welcome to the forum and we look forward to getting more details from you as the project progresses in development.
Grogheads Uber Alles
Semper Grog
"No beast is more alpha than JH." Gusington, 10/23/18


Offline al_infierno

  • Spam Moderator
  • Condottieri
  • *
  • Posts: 2566
  • Giudecca in the hell of unknowing
    • A War of a Madman's Making - itch.io
Re: Espiocracy - Cold War Espionage Strategy
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2022, 12:03:22 PM »
I dunno, man...the graphics look pretty sharp to me. Functional, but attractive.

+1, I think the game looks great.  A consistent and effective art style is all you really need.
A War of a Madman's Making - a text-based war planning and political survival RPG

It makes no difference what men think of war, said the judge.  War endures.  As well ask men what they think of stone.  War was always here.  Before man was, war waited for him.  The ultimate trade awaiting its ultimate practitioner.  That is the way it was and will be.  That way and not some other way.
- Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian


If they made nothing but WWII games, I'd be perfectly content.  Hypothetical matchups from alternate history 1980s, asymmetrical US-bashes-some-3rd world guerillas, or minor wars between Upper Bumblescum and outer Kaboomistan hold no appeal for me.
- Silent Disapproval Robot


I guess it's sort of nice that the word "tactical" seems to refer to some kind of seriousness during your moments of mental clarity.
- MengJiao