Virtuosity: More Faith, fewer numbers

27 May 2007

This an old status update on my web-based game Engineering Faith.

The Faith Virtues.I’ve gotten back into playing Faith again recently, and have realized how much I missed it. According to Google, lots of people are really excited for Faith. Search results like “create your own religion” and “engineering faith” are a lot more frequent than I expected. Although I’m always thinking about how to finish it, I’m now back into the thick of things.

However, one of the things that has been bothering me about Faith for years now is there are too many numbers. Balancing is hard, UI is hard, learning is hard, and everything just seems a bit messy compared to Asylum. Others have said the same thing: it doesn’t feel enough like a game.

A major reason for this, I think, is that it isn’t abstracted enough. It forces on the user things like the subtleties of Economy vs. Income, which in the end aren’t all that different. So, Instead of just polishing what I have now (the easy way out) I want to make it right, and to do that, there needs to be fewer virtues.

And so, I propose a refinement from the 10 Virtues to a new 5, as below:

Devotion: Their loyalty to the faith and their community. Economy: Their ability to produce wealth, and their willingness to share it with you. Health: Their fortitude and ability to reproduce. Strength: Their ability to maintain order and fight for what they believe in. Zeal: Their passion for life and the word of their religion.

This will mean a fair bit of rebalancing and tinkering, but I think it will actually make it possible to properly balance things. An example of what the effects of the new virtues would have would be:

*Births: Health + Strength *Lifespan: Devotion + Health *Belief: Devotion + Strength *Conversion: Devotion + Zeal *Production: Economy + Health *Lawfulness: Devotion + Economy *Donations: Economy + Strength *Science: Economy + Zeal *Attendance: Health + Zeal *Military: Strength + Zeal

Probably the worst thing about all of this would be that I’d need to make new icons. :( As well, the laws, traits, and most other facets would need to be looked at again. However, I think it would make a huge huge difference that would be worth it. The game would be more of a game and be less a sea of math. So, what do you guys say? Does my proposal make sense? Are you with me? Shall we kick some butt?

© Allen Pike. See also Twitter and Steamclock.