For Pride of Nations, we had the difficult task of trying to describe each nation around the world using a group of simple attributes that could be easily recognized by any player.
This was not an easy process, because in the world of the 1850s, there were huge discrepancies between nations; for example, you can have a “Cherokee” faction sitting next to a powerhouse like the United States of America.
This problem began a long process of “normalizing” all of the nations by using simple and clear attributes. After several very long and agitated discussions, we came up with the following list:
- Technological/Research Approach represents the scientific research and technological development of a nation. This value can range from factions having a “golden age” to ones that completely lack a formalized research structure.
- Trade Approach describes how the nation approaches trade, from a free trade perspective, a protectionist one, or a completely closed one.
- Government Type describes the type of government you have, which can range from a democracy to a ruthless dictatorship.
- Social Mobility represents how easy it is for a person to move from one social class to another within the nation. A faction's social classes can be open or completely rigid.
- Religious Approach describes how the nation approaches religious problems. Some nations will be tolerant with religious minorities, while others will persecute those of different faiths within the country.
- Economic Model indicates the type of economy a nation favors, as some will prefer the private sector over public in almost all circumstances, while others will prefer to control most sectors of the economy.
- Military System represents the difference between highly trained active forces in contradistinction with nations that prefer a more conservative approach using a conscription system, which is directly related to the amount of forces each faction can have at any given time.
- Power Projection indicates a nation's willingness to extend its influence over distance. Some nations are not interested in colonizing the entire world and having an “Empire on which the sun never sets,” so they will be happy to simply meddle in regional affairs. However, others will proactively colonize and interact with every little nation around the world.
- Education Level represents the different approach each faction takes on educating the populace. In 1850, not many nations were interested in securing an education for all classes, but this era also witnessed a change in this attitude, and many new educational systems appeared around the world during the game’s timeframe.
- National Identity is one of the key aspects of this era. Entire wars and revolutions happened during this time because of nationalism. Some nations will aggressively defend their national identity while others will see theirs reduced to just a small elite.
- Bureaucracy describes the efficiency of any given country's administration. Some nations will have professional systems that will take care of these tasks while other factions will have huge, corrupt houses that will deteriorate the faction's inner workings.
- Organization Type is a simple category that differentiates the factions by whether they are a major, minor, unstable, or tribal nation.
But the entire process didn’t end there. What values should be used for each Faction Attribute? How should we define each one?
In the end, we decided to use up to four values for each Faction Attribute. And to help players, we assigned a descriptive text to each different value.
For example, the Technological Approach range is comprised of the following:
Each value will directly affect the faction. For instance, a progressive faction will receive bonuses to research and development, while an absent one will have a very hard time discovering new inventions.
But it doesn’t stop there: the missions you get during the game will be based around your faction attributes, so a faction with a Regional Projection will not receive a mission to colonize the Congo.
The AI will follow these guidelines too. An AI managing a faction with a Worldwide Projection will proactively colonize and get into diplomatic relations all around the world, while a Regional one will just interact with neighboring nations.
You can see the list of Faction Attributes that currently describe your faction inside the Head of Government screen:
In this case, you can see Russia in 1850.
Finally, you may wonder, how will all of this affect my faction?
Each Faction Attribute has a group of Faction Modifiers that directly alter the inner values of your nation. A very simple example to use is this one based on Trade Approach:
- Free Trade: +20% Market Penetration
- Protectionist: -20% Market Penetration
- Closed: -100% Market Penetration