About Ultima Ratio Regum

“Ultima Ratio Regum is one of a few ambitious, long-term projects which I think represent the most exciting things about indie game development, about PC games, and about what technology can do for the games of tomorrow.”
– Graham Smith, Rock Paper Shotgun

Uncover an intellectual conspiracy to rewrite history in the most culturally, religiously and socially detailed procedural world ever generated.

Ultima Ratio Regum (“the last argument of kings”) is a ten-year project, the first three and a half years of which were completed during my doctoral research. It’s a game which aims to integrate thematic content on historiography, philosophical idealism and the rise of modernist grand narratives, with the deep, complex and challenging gameplay one expects from a “classic” roguelike (and, of course, an ANSI display and permadeath). Set approximately around the Scientific Revolution, the player is tasked with discovering a conspiracy via identifying procedurally-generated clues hidden throughout the world’s cultures, religions and societies; the game features extensive procedural generation of everything from tombs and religious altars to (in the future) paintings and sculptures, any or all of which may contain the clues required in a given playthrough. Having largely concluded the four-year “worldbuilding” portion of the game’s development, the goal for 2015-2016 is to finish and release the first version with significant gameplay content (estimated April 2016).


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