Piga Nation

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Piga Nation is an in-development historical government simulation and strategy game focusing on policy making from a seat of power.

Gameplay[edit]

The player has to lead a civilization from the start of written history, starting in the Ancient Age (circa 4000 BCE), to the Modern (2000 CE) or Futuristic Age (3000 CE). The game focuses on the five main cradles of civilization from human history (Europe, Asia, Africa, North and South America). While developing the nation, the player has to define government policy, taxation, economic direction and other management tasks. Most specificity, the player manages this by allocating items into the state budget.

The player can create their own persona as leader, as well as create a character for their nation through various tools (such as avatar selection and a flag editor). The player will be able to indirectly engage in trade and warfare with other civilizations, and will also be able to build up their own civilization by constructing public works (rural, urban, academic, military or recreation) or Wonders (from the Palace of Knossos to the Eiffel Tower or Interstellar Spacecraft). The primary point of the game is to simulate public leadership as it really is like - a series of decisions and policy choices rather than the direct micromanagement of people and society, as in most other strategy games.

Development[edit]

The idea to create a completely domestic-oriented historical strategy game was thought up by the Piga Software developers around the year 2006. The idea was to encapsulate functions like government selection, technological research, and other domestic functions from games like Sid Meir's Civilization and Age of Empires into a single game focusing on that aspect. The game was originally going to be called "Piga Government" and was to be developed for Microsoft Windows with Game Maker 6.1. The project however, received very little advancement and soon fell on the back burner.

Later in the fall of 2007, the concept of implementing the idea for GNU/Linux with Gambas was thought up by Graham L. Wilson, and that same day he began working on it. He thereafter titled the project and game as Piga Nation. Later on, it was decided to add play elements from the online government simulation game Jennifer Government: NationStates, most notably the system of deciding policy based on a selection of issues raised by a cabinet. The game's development was started by developing the "age controls" feature, shortly after the "government selection" feature was created, from there further additions where added and to this day development continues on a sporadic basis.

Despite once seeing it as one of his more promising projects due to its originality and seeming ease of development due to Gambas' rapid application development, it quickly became Graham's "favourite" low-profile project and entered a form of development hell - constantly being overlooked for more important efforts like Gambas Genie, Windys and the Gambas Arcade Engine. Despite its originally simplistic code ideas, the sheer amount of implementation required quickly added up making optimization and bug fixing taxing. Still, every year he would look into doing some work and making a yearly development screen shot: first soon after development began, then in August for the next two years, and December ever after. This included features like interface extension, object displays and optimizations, diplomatic conferences and issues and advisers.

In December 2011, work on that year's development shot, focusing on military reports, was punctuated by modularizing and cleaning up the code base, as had been done in Lamp Refugee. After doing this, substantial work was done to clean up the interface and set a definitive visual style. With this now sturdy and easily expandable basis, Graham intended to work on releasing a playable version on October 7, 2012 - the fifth anniversary of the first development shot. However, due to unforeseen issues and distractions, such as coming down with the flu, getting their farm winter ready (delayed by said flu), and the airing of Red Dwarf X (and his obligations as a Wikia admin at Tongue Tied), he was not able to complete an acceptable version on time.

A new development shot was released in its stead, showing progress made on finishing the graphics fine-tuning and most importantly actually setting up the gameplay with a system of government revenue, budgeting and annual construction and population growth. The development spree did produce what is hopefully to be the final design vision, and implementation will just be a matter of further effort, though no new release date is available at this time.

The first release of the game should at least have complete domestic functions, allowing the construction, advancement and societal arrangement of a player's civilization. If development goes well, it should also include diplomacy and warfare functions. Work on this is presently on hold due to more important projects such as PS Tech and Piga Animator, and a new development shot has not been released since 2012 (partly due to the unstable status of PigaLore during much the intervening years).

Gallery[edit]