SOVEREIGN SYNDICATE DEV UPDATE, JUN 2023: Discussing New Hope and Despair Systems

Crimson Herring

Hi Everyone, it’s been a while since our last update. Wanted to let you know what we’ve been working on.

Now that we’re further along in development we’re taking some time to re-assess whether some of the mechanics and systems we’ve developed are fit for purpose and reinforcing the core gameplay loop of exploration, storytelling, and meaningful dialogue choices. I’ll be going over some of the changes we’ve made in the next few updates.

Today I’ll be talking about our change to the vigour and nerve system which we’re now calling hope and despair.

The inspiration for this started with other two resource game systems like Diablo’s health and mana or Disco Elysium’s health and morale. A standard health / hit points and a second resource that together manage damage and healing and consumption of a secondary resource that was used for some other purpose.

Initially we were designing interactions around having a cost to vigour or nerve depending on the inner voice used for the action, and designing areas, interactions, and consumables to restore or damage these resources.

While this system was okay, we didn’t feel like it was doing a good enough job of reinforcing our core gameplay loop and feeding in to meaningful and variable dialogue choices. So, we’ve redesigned it to a single resource meter that measures your characters level of hope or despair.

This meter is divided into five levels, Hopeful, Optimistic, Content, Weary, and Desperate. Different interactions and consumables still effect this resource; but more importantly the level will affect the dialogue choices you have available. For example, a hopeful character may have different dialogue choices or actions they can take in a given situation than a desperate character would, and these choices are gated behind the hope and despair meter to provide for some choice and consequence.

So far, we’re really liking the change and look forward to leaning into this mechanic to provide some more interesting choices to the player.

That’s it for today, in future updates I’ll be discussing changes to the tarot card system, the new traits system, and the dialogue and UI panels so stay tuned for those!

As always, if you’d like to follow our development more closely you can subscribe to our newsletter and join our discord.


Until next time, Take care!