I grew up being shamed for loving videogames and dreaming of making them one day. I was told that there was no future in videogames, that they were a fad, that they were exclusively for children, losers and idiots.
I suppressed my passion to avoid social stigma. I was trained to never tell anyone that i loved videogames.
Fast forward to 2010, while doing soulsearching i found the courage to embrace my passion despite the stigma i was trained to feel. I started by hosting tournaments with my own rules to patch balance issues and to make variant rules for popular games.
Dungeons & Dragons was a big influence in this activity, as the Dungeon Master’s Guide encouraged tweaking with established material, making your own rules and systems. I started looking into ways of taking the next step; looking into making my own games.
Being a fan of Age of Empires 2, I wanted to do something with the same general concept; a competitive game based on ancient civilizations.
I also noticed that there was lots of identity-based decisions when choosing a civilization in Age of Empires 2 and similar games. Some players were choosing the civilization to play based on identity and pride.
Based on this observation, i decided to make the game based around this concept, based on tribalism, to lure in players that have strong pride in their identity, except that i would penalize this behavior through the game design itself in order to show the flaws of tribalist or collectivist thinking. The way i would do this is to make every civilization, or “tribe” as they are known in the game, to be strategically incomplete and in need of other tribes in order to achieve maximum success. This design is used by many RPGs to force variety in a party, thus, players using various classes need each other in order to form a balanced party and be able to tackle most types of challenges.
So, with clarity of purpose of what i wanted Tribal Pride to be, i set out to shop for a customizable “RPG script”.
My search for a game engine came to an end, and unbeknownst to me, my nightmare was about to begin.