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  • Writer's pictureOwen

Under The Yoke Devlog 3: A Medieval Christmas

'Tis the season to discuss Medieval Holidays, in particular Christmas.

To the (generally) deeply religious people of the medieval period holy days were a constant fixture in the calendar, celebrating various saints and religious events throughout the year. While for many this was a time to reflect on God it was also a time to have a jolly good bit of fun.

These holy days varied in activities, always including church attendance of course, but usually including some sort of sport and feasting. Christmas was chief among these holy days, not only because it was in celebration of the birth of the lord and saviour but also because the harvest was in and the back-breaking work of ploughing and sowing the winter seed was over.

As always traditions varied now just from country to country but from village to village. In some villages it was custom for the lord to supply his serfs with bread and meat. Generally speaking though Christmas was celebrated over a 12 day period, during which there were sermons, Christmas games, gambling, sports including inter-village rivalry, shows, gift-giving, caroling (though not in Church), and beating your children.

How is this represented in the game then? Christmas will give your peasants many of the same opportunities as it did real world Medieval peasants, firstly there's the chance to kick-back and enjoy yourself, rest a little after and before a long year of work. For the religious there is also a chance to bask in the glory of, and celebrate, Jesus. For more ambitious it's a chance to raise your standing in the village, improve your reputation amongst neighbours and flaunt your wealth which may be enough to push you into one of the village offices.

These opportunities are represented in the event system, by which you will be presented with a problem or a situation and then various options for how to get out of it. This system has been employed in my games before but will be upgraded vastly for Under The Yoke as it will intelligently target villagers with events and factor in the new personality system.

So from me to you, have a Happy Christmas and New Years, try out some medieval games, food and drink this Christmas, but do try to avoid beating your children.

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