Rod Humble had deliberately programmed Cults & Daggers to be open-ended, but he was definitely surprised by just how open it had become.
“I think it’s amazing how you can become very used to your own design. Sometimes it takes someone else from outside to come in and puncture it.”
Up next: Vietnam
After tackling a sensitive subject in religion, Humble’s prepared to take that even further: His next game will likely focus on Vietnam.
“When it came to starting the new project, I wanted to do something about religion and faith. I’m not particularly religious, but I think that spirituality is so important to so many people,” he said. “I just don’t think there are enough games about it. I also love ancient history, particularly the Hellenistic era. The more I read about it, the more I just fell in love with this time period, between the death of Buddha and the Birth of Christ, where all these small religions flourished. The phrase ‘mystery cults’ kept popping out of the page.”
“None of the interpretation of the actions in the game comes across as cynical,” Humble said. “It’s not meant to be cynical. It’s meant to be an enjoyable exploration of that myth that I created in this time period. People do have strongly held views. I wanted to make sure that it wasn’t going to offend people. People who aren’t believers and who are believers can enjoy it.
“For my next project, I think I may do a game about Vietnam, which I think is interesting, and I think is a subject — obviously a very sensitive one — but one that has kind of deserved an in-depth game treatment of all the different dynamics.”
He’ll tackle domestic politics on all sides, plus the military aspects, he said. Or if not Vietnam, then maybe the Russian Civil War.
“I don’t think I’ve got this strategy stuff out of my system just yet.”
If you’d like to hear what Humble sounds like for yourself, he narrates the walkthrough below: