No TLDR this week because this post meanders, and is more about history than game design. Read at your peril.
Last week I was on the cusp of release. Partially out of a desperation to just be done with this thing. And that’s the wrong reason to finish. So I’m going to playtest a tiny bit more. Maybe tweak, if needed. But I’m happy with how the game plays now. Mostly I’m interested in learning how I can connect this game to the very very narrow subset of people who might be interested in actually playing it.
Ultimately, just to make this and finish it and get to play it is a huge reward for me, but I would definitely like knowing that, not only did other people enjoy playing it, but other people are learning about this forgotten chapter of North American history. Strange as it sounds, I think memorial is owed to the people of the past who suffered to give us what we have today. I mean, the first 60 years of colonial Chesapeake Maryland were a time when 75% (!!!) of children would experience the death of at least one parent, if not both.
And the death rate was so high that it is theorized to be the reason tobacco was able to become as valuable as it did- fewer people alive to produce it, higher market value.
An excavation at a late-colonial town along the Chesapeake dug up an unknown servant. This person appeared to have been buried and covered deliberately in rubble beneath a shed or house. Could be murder, could be trying to insulate the body to prevent the spread of any disease that killed the person.
So I guess to me, just being able to share with people the memory of this time- so filled with terror and death and misery- means something. Because despite all those negative words, people still came and still worked like hell to make something.
I think that’s called hope.
This post veered wildly off-course from what I intended, but, you know, it’s history and I love history.