Caput secundum: Society
I am Carmine Siena from Corvo Bianco Entertainment and I would like to welcome you back to the devlog series regarding the development of Villanus: Imperium Romanum. So, this is number two – I am happy to be back and speak to you guys!
In the last devlog, I gave you a short overview of the game itself and from now on, we will dive into the core mechanics of Villanus. Today, we will start with your citizens. These will be able to climb the social ladder from plebs to civics, from civics to knights and from knights to patricians. So, there are four basic social classes which are derived from the actual Roman society in the time of the republic. The “correct” Latin terms of these classes are Plebeii, Cives, Equites and Patricii. There will be another, special class the Senatores, or senators in English.
So, how do your citizens climb the social ladder? Well, every social class has its very own needs and wants which are reflected in basic and luxury goods as well as public buildings. While the lowest class, the plebs, is satisfied with easy-to-produce goods such as food or simple clothing, the goods become more luxurious with every other class. This means that also the production chains become more and more complex and thus more, and probably scarce, resources are needed. It is your task then to manage these production chains, to allocate the resources appropriately and to please your citizens.
But, as just mentioned, your citizens do not only demand goods, but also access to public buildings. These are for example shrines or temples and amusement facilities such as baths or theatres. To build these, and every other building in Villanus, you will need production resources; tools, timber, stone and marble. You will get access to these resources and their production facilities when you have citizens of the required social class. To be able to build with stone, for example, you will need at least some civics, while marble will only be unlocked, when your city contains also knights. Thus, it is a continuous circle: pleasing your citizens will unlock new buildings and production chains which themselves are then needed to continue pleasing your citizens.
You might know the saying “happy wife, happy life”. In Villanus, we would say “happy citizens, happy balance” – the more satisfied your citizens are, the more taxes you can collect. And the higher the social class, the more taxes citizens are willing to pay anyway. A positive balance is of utter importance! Otherwise you will not be able to build, and you might have to ask the great empire for a credit. Oh, my! So, make sure that everything fits together as gear wheels mesh with one another.
But what about the special class? The senators will be unlocked when your citizens reached the status of patricians. They will demand a senate which you then need to build. After building it, you are able to appoint a limited number of patricians to become senators. These give you a significant tax bonus and unlock special new buildings, but also demand more luxury goods.
Another important fact to consider is that you will need all four classes during any state of growth of your city, since representatives of all social classes are needed to staff your production facilities. While simple productions such as timber and woollen clothes can be executed by plebs, more complex ones need more skilled labour in form of higher social classes. This not only ensures that your cities look way more organic, but also reflects a real society with division of labour. A concept which the ancient Romans already knew so many years ago.
So, this is the current state regarding the society in Villanus. What do you think? Are there any adjustments which you would prefer? Make sure to leave a comment in the comment box below! And as always, feel free contact me in case you have any question. Connect with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter – both, Villanus: Imperium Romanum and Corvo Bianco Entertainment are on these channels.
If you want to support the development of this amazing project, head over to our Patreon page and become a patron. I am very grateful for each and every one of you aiming to help me realising this game. And don't worry: you'll get some pretty cool benefits for pledging!
I am looking forward to hearing from you guys! 'Til then: happy gaming and “in vino veritas”.