JulCastles: All men must serve(r) by Oracizan
Okay, big news first, then slightly-less-big news after the jump.
Big News: My plan for Castles is to develop it openly and transparently. Towards that end, it now has a Facebook app and a live server. I will be uploading new versions of the game every time I reach a fairly stable point in development. It's a win-win situation: You get to play Castles and help determine its future shape, and I get valuable feedback. I'm so excited I think I'm going to use an interjection and an exclamation mark. Ready? Here we go, hold on to something...
Slightly-Less-Big News: The Castles interface has come a long ways since last post. The most important new feature is that you can have conversations with your council members. Below you can see a dialogue window with Advisor Carson Nettles, who sadly has delusions of being the Prince of Camelot.
So let's take a quick look at the council, and the four men/women on it who serve you:
Advisor: Your Advisor, well, advises you. Advisors will be very helpful for players who aren't yet sure which end of the crown goes up, and they will help more experienced players with diplomacy - charming other lords, winning allies, arranging marriages, etc.
Master-at-Arms: Your Master-at-Arms runs your armies. They gather recruits, train them, and are in charge of defending your kingdom when monsters or enemy armies come knocking at your gates. They'll also suggest other castles to attack and help you plan your sieges. So, the Master-at-Arms is like your Advisor in that they help with your diplomacy, except they approach it from the other, more violent direction.
Treasurer: Your Treasurer is in charge of your coffers. It's not a position of glory, but it's vital to the running of your kingdom. They'll help you with taxes, balancing budgets, and other important yet boring things. Remember: The numbers might be dull but gold is shiny, shiny, shiny.
Watch Commander: Your Watch Commander is the locally-focused counterpart of the Master-at-Arms. The M@A deals with external threats and the Watch Commander deals with internal threats. Petty crimes, rebellions, and assassination plots all fall under their domain.
I'll admit that Watch Commander is my favorite council position. The Treasurer is fairly dull, the Advisor has to deal with all of the Masterpiece Theater nonsense, and while the Master-at-Arms orchestrates grand sweeping battles, it just doesn't compare. The Watch Commander personally matches wits against all skull duggerers and ne'er do wells who would seek to wreak mayhem in your kingdom, playing a one-on-one high-stakes game against all comers. This person veritably protects your very life with their brain. Honestly, I can only blame Terry Pratchett for this.
I'm sure you'll have your own favorite position; maybe you enjoy Masterpiece Theater nonsense or grand sweeping battles more than unadulterated Watch Commander awesomeness - to each their own (as long as it's not the Treasurer).
I should mention that this version is not yet live, and should launch Monday-ish.