Build your Settlement
Use the toolset to create and decorate the houses for your villagers. Expand your manor, build churches, warehouses and all kinds of buildings your civilization needs to prosper. Thanks to your input, no settlement is ever the same.
Split the Land
Take advantage of the procedurally generated world, understand where certain lands are best to be and set your village up in the most efficient way. Or just experiment and go wild!
The family profession is passed between generations and their members are tied to your service. Your production depends on who is living in your settlement so be sure to get to know them well.
Provide Land to the People
Your villagers are tied with their life to your land and will work as long as they are given the opportunity but they can also be the source of problems and may disobey your orders. Expect some tough decisions to be made.
Expand your Production Chain
The production chain involves over 100 different resources and 40 professions. Every game is different and so are the industries you end up adopting in your economy.
Prepare for the Winter
Collect production and control the economy. Take too much and your villagers may starve. Take too little and you might be in trouble with the king. Are you willing to risk some lives?
Be Part of the Community
Lords & Villeins has been in development for over two years and everything from the art, code, and music has been done by a single game developer. It would not exist without the support of my friends and the community. I encourage you to be part of it and would love to welcome you on our journey to see this game where it can ultimately be.
New Demo Update is Live!
Ever since the first release of the demo here on itch.io, the game has been played by thousands of players both here, on Steam and other platforms. This has brought me very valuable feedback so I decided that before advancing the development towards the early access, I will revisit the demo with another free update that addresses many of the issues and some quality of life improvements people have pointed out. You can see the full list of changes in the changelog at the end of this post.Read More
Development so Far
At first, the game was just a silly idea, but eventually grew into a passion that I decided to pursue as a career. Since then, I've spent more than 2000 hours working on the game with dozens being added every week.
The basic systems have been implemented and I could gather some crucial feedback to decide where I want to take the game next. It has helped tremendously to shape the core ideas and I started presenting the game more publicly.
I moved to Spelkollektivet for the summer - a house full of indie game developers in the middle of Sweden. It has been a great source of opportunities and inspiration. I eventually decided to move there permanently before the end of the year to fully focus on the development.
After I left my job and decided to work full-time on the game, the development has increased in speed tremendously and I was able to develop a playable demo. Thanks to the feedback I was able to set plans to release it publicly, began working on my Steam page and strengthening my online presence.
After a lot of hard work I have finaly managed to release the demo publicly, launch my Patreon and start growing the community. The release was originaly planned for April but during the development I have realised I need to put more efforts in the initial content and a lot of the features that I planned for pre-alpha were moved to the demo as well.
Roadmap of What's to Come!
Please do not treat the following roadmap as a promise of things to come. Predicting the future several years ahead is very difficult even for the most experienced developers. Here are some of the things that can impact the plan:
- Features take much longer to implement than expected due to lack of experience and hindsight
- The vision for the game changes as a result of community feedback or progress in the development
- Struggling financial situation would make it impossible to dedicate full attention to the project
- Unexpected personal life events
It is also possible I would involve more people in the team and that would change the plan significantly.
Things might not only take longer to develop, but be cut from the game completely.
My main goal is to be transparent with the community and keep you in the loop. I care deeply about people supporting this game and I value honesty so I chose to be open about my plans even when they can still change. Above all, I need to make sure I do not burn out.
Since the original announcement in Mar 2020, I have accumulated a total of: 1 month of delay. The dates of the milestones have been updated.
This pre-release build will be accessible to my Patreons and will be the first step towards early access release in summer.
- Domesticated animals will be added to the game
- Most of missing peasant professions will be implemented
- The tutorial is an optional mode of the game - a scripted scenario with limited options
The game will be available for purchase both on Steam and this website. From now on, a cycle of monthly releases will be adopted if possible.
- Ability to control the terms of the contract with villagers (changes productivity and affects villagers mood).
- Villagers have basic needs that affect their mood and productivity - hunger, sleep
- Basic quest system that demands players to pay increasing taxes to the king each year
- Ability to set priorities for each land (i.e what type of crops should be produced on a farm)
The goal of this release is to implement the core ingame economy systems.
- A storage system that makes resources a "physical" part of the world - resources are no longer drafted from a commonly shared pool and each family controls their own
- Villagers pay taxes by transferring resources to storage structures in the warehouse making them ownership of the player
- Villagers can utilize markets to trade resources with other families
- Villagers can be paid gold as part of the terms of the contract (makes it possible to take more production while still giving them the ability to feed themselves)
- The player can sell resources in the warehouse in exchange for gold
Aims at improving the economy systems, balancing prices and missing environmental effects.
- Ability to make certain resources in the warehouse publicly available (i.e. hand out free food in times of need)
- The traveling salesman will visit the town - player resources can now be exchanged only when the salesman is present and trade is limited to what they want/offer
- Weather effects (rain, snow, wind) are added and the temperature is now simulated and has an effect on the mood and health of villagers
Focuses on features that add more control over the economy to the hands of the player.
- Land cycling for farming (a certain percentage of land should be left to replenish nutriments)
- Miners can prospect mountains to mine targeted resources strategically and more efficiently
- The player can ask for a family with a specific profession every year if he manages to meet the goals for the year and is also rewarded with gold
This build improves the capabilities of the AI to have them socialize and build relationships.
- Villagers have higher-level needs (loneliness, beauty, comfort)
- Villagers have abstract conversations and develop relationships (both positive and negative)
- Villagers age, marry, have children and die
This build continues to improve the AI and adds missing features. Since it is around Christmas, it will be much smaller in scope.
- Villagers can use equipment to improve their efficiency, mood and health
- Villagers skill are increasing based on their experience
The goal here is to implement another set of zones and professions that can only be done by families with a noble origin.
- Noble villagers are introduced - they have higher living standards and can perform different professions
- A basic set of noble zones and professions are added to the game (jewelry, art, stables, market)
Continuing in the same direction, this time focusing on professions and mechanics around the church.
- Villagers can now leave their families and join the church to perform a different profession
- The church acts as one family, meaning all members of the church share the same resources
- Most church-related zones and professions are added to the game (church, library, apothecary, cemetery...)
This build adds the last missing set of professions revolved around training an army.
- Villagers can now be recruited to leave their family and become a soldier and train for battle
- Members of the military have access to resources from the warehouse according to the restrictions set by the player
- Barracks and fighting and leadership professions are added to the game
With the presence of an army, the goal of this build will be to increase their usability and effect in the game
- Villagers can now do criminal acts (stealing, assault, murder)
- Jail and execution display are added to the game
- The player can recruit guards from soldiers and setup guardposts to catch criminals
- The player can decide to execute criminals to set an example and control criminality
- Trained soldiers can equip armor and weapons
- Soldiers are sent away (to war) on a regular basis as part of the yearly goal system
The aim here is to increase the unpredictiablity and variability of the game. Because of the scope of these features, they will be released in two separate builds.
- Random events are added to the game. The player decides an outcome where all options shape the future of the settlement in a specific way
- Townhall is added to the game. Villagers now turn to the player to solve their problems (similar to random events but less impactful)
This is the second part of the variability focused builds.
- Wild animals are now added to the game. They will attack villagers if guard posts or walls are not in place
- Foragers can now hunt wild animals in royal forests
The focus is to make the presence of the player in the game world more believable and impactful
- Manor-related zones and professions are added (gardens, courtyard, royal kitchen, treasury)
- A unique noble family is added to the game - the bloodline that rules over the land
- The preservation of this family is now an additional goal of the player, arranging a marriage with other noble families (losing this bloodline can result in game over)
This build is aiming at improving various visual aspects of the game, mostly the addition of character portraits
- Character portraits are now displayed during the random event dialogue (character "matches" the visuals of the villager)
- The head of the player's family (current lord) has to serve certain days in war every year. There will be a chance the lord will not survive (player must make sure potential heir is always present)
This aims to add additional functionality to many existing zones to introduce new unique UI and give the player more information that can help him manage the settlement
- Finances book to keep track of the economy
- The family book gives more information about relationships, opinions, etc.
- Criminal records track villagers with a higher risk of criminal activity
Aim of this build is to implement lower-priority features to expand the functionality of existing systems.
- Villagers can ride horses
- Villagers can develop short-term and longterm injuries
- Variety of personalities is increased (some villagers can get jealous, spiteful, greedy etc.)
This build aims to polish the experience of the game and make it smooth around the edges.
- Various bug fixes (more than usual) and small improvements
In this build the focus is on mod support and community features. Due to the large scope of these features, they will be separated in two builds.
- Basic mod support functionality is added
Second part of the community oriented features.
- Mod support functionality is improved
- The Steam workshop is implemented
Focus here is to set development aside and focus on finalising the composition and soundtrack as well as audio for the game.
- The complete soundtrack for the game is released
- Audio quality is improved
Bugfixes, bugfixes, and bugfixes
- More bugfixes
After 4 years of development (if not more?). Phew. Can we get there? With your support, we definitely can!
If you want to see it happen just as much as I do, don't forget to join our Patreon!