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Under The Yoke Devlog 28: The Domesday Book

Welcome Ladies & Villeins to the first Under The Yoke Devlog of 2023!


Following on from our previous blog post, Under The Yoke has received some significant improvements over the holidays as play-testing of the game has finally officially begun. While this play-testing has mostly involved polishing the game and therefore there are no major new features to discuss, I thought it would be interesting to take a peak at the setting of Under The Yoke.


In History

The Battle of Hastings, which took place in 1066, marked the beginning of Norman rule in England. It was fought between the English army, led by King Harold II, and the Norman army, led by William the Conqueror. The Normans emerged victorious, and Harold was killed in the battle.


Following the Battle of Hastings, William the Conqueror was crowned king of England at Westminster Abbey. He then embarked on a campaign to Normanize the English government and society, building castles and importing Norman officials to take over positions of power.


William faced several rebellions from the English during his reign, most notably the "Harrying of the North" in 1068-1069. Wherein a rebellion by English nobles led to a campaign of scorched earth by the Normans in an attempt to suppress further English uprisings. The rebellion was eventually put down, but they demonstrated the ongoing resistance to Norman rule.


In 1072, William began the construction of the Tower of London, which was intended to serve as a royal palace and a symbol of Norman power. In 1075, the Council of London was held, during which a number of important decisions were made regarding the governance of the English Church.


In 1085, William ordered the Domesday Book to be compiled, a comprehensive survey of the English countryside and its resources. It was completed in 1086 and is one of the most famous documents in English history.


The Domesday Book was intended to provide a record of the wealth and resources of the English countryside, including information about the land, the people who lived on it, and the animals and crops that were raised there. It included information about who owned each piece of land and what it was used for, as well as details about the population and the economic resources of each region.


The Domesday Book was created using a system of local enquiries, in which commissioners were sent out to gather information from each region of the country. The information was then compiled into a single document, which was written in Latin.


William the Conqueror died in 1087 and was succeeded by his son, William Rufus. William the Conqueror's reign was marked by efforts to assert Norman control over England and to establish a strong, centralised government. His legacy had a lasting impact on the history of England.


In Under The Yoke

The Domesday Book serves as the starting point for Under The Yoke. The in-game character builder will be presented as an entry in the Domesday Book, from whence you will establish your name, family name (though these were subject to change at the time and very informal), skills, appearance, personality and starting gear.


Starting 19 years into post-conquest England may seem odd to you but the terror that was inflicted shortly after the conquest in 1068 and 1069 would be difficult to present without either diminishing the acts that took place or frustrating the player right as they started the game.


This is all subject to change though, the idea of playing right from the conquest of England remains fascinating and tempting but the literary device of a Domesday Book entry does feel difficult to pass up.


So there you go, I don't think we covered the character creator before so technically there is a new feature in this blog post... tricked you! I guess? As always, subscribe using the form below to receive the next devlog right into your inbox, and have a great start to the New Year!

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