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  • Writer's pictureOwen

Under The Yoke Devlog 1: Building A Medieval Life Sim

Updated: Jan 17, 2022

In this devlog we will be looking at the overarching structure of the Medieval Life Sim as well as the setting.

Under The Yoke is a medieval life sim set shortly after William the Conqueror earned his nickname and conquered England. The player will begin by registering in the Domesday Book, a giant survey of England ordered by William in order to better understand his realm, a good jumping off point to select your character name, portrait and starting assets.

As described briefly in the previous devlog, the player will take control of a medieval serf, this was the lowest rung on the Feudal Hierarchy, considered to be property of their lord, serfs were afforded little rights and a subsistence farming lifestyle, in return they were to tend to their lords fields and pay various taxes and fines.

These obligations will be fully simulated in Under The Yoke, with extensive research into the various dues and fees owed by serfs to their lords. There will also be a system for 'editing' or negotiating your feudal contract, so that over many generations a players position in their village may improve by increasing their lands, changing their obligations or eventually even by becoming freemen, though that doesn't come without it's own drawbacks.

How can one go about improving their station then?

Well, there are many ways. Firstly, and most obviously, by farming. We will delve deeper into farming in the next devlog, but Under The Yoke features a fully simulated medieval farming system, with open field three field rotation.

If that doesn't quite tickle your fancy there are many other enterprises for your medieval family to take part in, raising animals in the common pasture for their produce and meat or renting them out for the ploughs, foraging in the woods or even fishing. These all take part on the open world map.

These primary resources can then be taken back to your home for processing. Starting in little more than a hut you will find yourself short on space but by upgrading your home you will be able to place furniture which can then be used to improve your materials for sale in the town market, such as loom to produce cloth from wool or a keg to brew beers from your rye.

This is a lot of work for one pair of hands, so it may be worth finding yourself a wife and producing your own little labour force, besides you'll need an heir to carry on your peasant dynasty. Of course, a richer peasant may be able to hire hands or convince some friends to help him out, if elected village reave they may not even need those friends.

It's hard to cover all of the features in Under The Yoke in a single devlog but these are the some of the key gameplay loops you can look forward to experiencing. All of these features (and more) will be delved into with greater depth in future devlogs so fill in the form below to subscribe for future updates.

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