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Under The Yoke Devlog 11: What maketh a man?

As a medieval life-sim, Under The Yoke is really the story of people in the Middle Ages. It’s important then that these people come across as both realistic and relatable while also accurately representing the people of the time.


Medieval History

Well, what do we know about the people of the Middle Ages? This will ironically be one of the shorter historical sections in an Under The Yoke Devlog. Not because there isn't enough information but just because it's all rather obvious. Though there are some more obvious differences between the people of then and now, such as the key place the church played in their lives.


However, by looking at manor court records we can see that people still managed to get up to no good. So the picture of a medieval world where everyone cowers before the pulpit doesn't hold entirely true, they still got pregnant out of wedlock, tried to cheat on their tithes tithes (a church tax) and got a into fights over sports or disturbed the peace while returning home after a night of drinking.


Sounds rather familiar, doesn't it? It is my belief that at the end of the day people are people. Their customs may have been different and they may have had a different view of the world but but they still loved, dreamed and hoped just as we do. Therefore, when attempting to model characters for the a medieval life-sim one can just as easily consider how you might model a modern person.

Under The Yoke

It’s with this in mind that in Under The Yoke we are going about generating the people of the Middle Ages. By breaking down the characteristics that make up a person into their:


  1. Mind - How a person thinks, for instance they might be sharp, dull, jovial or odd.

  2. Body - A persons physique, they may be well groomed or muscular or scrawny.

  3. Spirit - The lens through which a person sees the world, they might be terse or devoutly religious or a free spirit.


With these characteristics in place we can them build up a profile of a character which can then be used to inform someone's preference for specific types of entertainment or socialising, enhance their abilities at certain jobs, as well as unlock a host of other minor traits, such as a muscular farm hand finding himself a gifted plough leader.


Unlike in games with similar ‘trait’ systems, in Under The Yoke personalities effect chemistry (the rate at which your relationship grows) and initial opinions, rather than the final opinion you have of someone. Meaning characters with clashing personalities may still get along but their relationship will take longer to grow.


As with most things in life, your parents will help to shape your personality. Children may inherit personality types from either parent, and may inherit a totally random one (similar to the way DNA works in the game). These are not set in stone, characteristics may be changed via education, events or through hard practice.

It’s difficult to go into more detail without spoiling next week’s article, suffice to say this is a key factor in the game as your personality effects just about everything, from who you marry to how you make your money. Be sure to subscribe using the form below to receive the full picture straight to your inbox.