Hello everyone! A ton of exciting and cool stuff to cover this week, and thank you for being patient while I put this entry together. There has still been even more admin and bureaucratic stuff to deal with involved in owning a home for the first time (even just a cozy little one-bed flat!) and that stuff has been taking up a lot of my time – although it is, slowly, all getting done. Nevertheless, URR dev has actually been a real life-saver this last month or so, and has done a lot to keep me (reasonably) sane and (reasonably) stable throughout all the stress, and so for that, I’m very grateful.

Anyway, firstly though, here’s the updated current status of 0.11’s development, where BLUE denotes something finished and GREEN denotes something currently being worked on:


  • You can drop items
  • You can pick items up
  • You can use items (whatever that means for the item in question)
  • You can throw items
  • You can destroy items (very rarely an item might have something hidden inside it…!)
  • You can show items (e.g. to someone else)


  • Generate the images for all 25+ archetypes of religious relics, and place them in religious buildings
  • Update and transform things like religious beliefs, things religions dislike, information about religious histories, holy books, etc
  • Enable the player to join and leave a religion
  • Far more complex interactions with priests etc
  • Develop proper model for “membership” in religions, nations, cults, etc


  • Treasure maps spawn in shops just like non-treasure maps do
  • Zoomed-out treasure maps correctly show relevant locations
  • Zoomed-in treasure maps correctly show relevant locations (far more complex)
  • High-value items are, indeed, under the ground where a map points!


  • Implement procedurally generated statues of many types
  • Implement aging, death, diseases, health, statuses
  • Implement weather and phases of the moon
  • Upgrade speech generation and conversation system


  • Purge all known bugs (current count: 192 resolved)
  • Further speed up map generation
  • Further speed up turn-by-turn rendering
  • Try to speed up world generation as well?

And now, let’s get to the new stuff:

Everything remaining for religions

So firstly, you can now properly join a religion. By joining here I mean sort of officially declaring oneself to be a worshipper, rather than being someone who might indeed enter their religious buildings, and indeed even say their prayers (see the previous entry for some really rather excellent procedurally generated prayers). By joining, therefore, what I really mean is performing some kind of ritual or some kind of act which denotes that that one has officially, in some sense, become a member of that religion, and done whatever initiation or initial commitment is required in order to achieve the status. In the real world, of course, this would be something like a baptism in christianity. In URR, of course, these are procedurally created. I have previously talked about some of these generation aspects in earlier posts so I will not go over them again here, but each religion will have something different it will expect you in order to be able to join. They’ll expect a minimal donation of whatever sort of item they’re interested in, and one religion per game (randomly selected) will require the severing of a little finger, or the scarification of a hand, or the tattooing of a hand. These would obviously have repercussions later in terms of your visibility as a worshipper and cannot be easily undone, but could be hidden by wearing gloves, gauntlets, etc.

Anyway, to do this the first thing is to chat with a priest, monk, abbot, or (later once they are in the game) religious leader or inquisitor, and select the “Worship” option. We then have a new set of text options, which look like this:

Of note here are the sets of prayers – remember we were generating these in the previous update! You can learn them by talking to a priest and you’ll be able to say them back yourself later on to others, selecting both a religion and a topic that you know the prayer for. Naturally, a well-suggested prayer to the right person at the right time might be very well received, but a prayer to the wrong god and for the wrong topic could certainly elicit a fun list of alternative responses from someone else. Anyway, here I had a chat with this priest and encouraged them to pray with me for various things:

Anyway, let’s say I decide to join the religion – if I haven’t yet donated anything, they’ll give me information of this sort…

…or if I have already donated the minimum requirements, then they’ll say this instead:

Which then takes us to the donation screen! The donation screen uses similar code to trading and buying supplies at city gates, but adapts it to the new context in terms of words, layout, and so forth. The game selects all the items that you have in any of your inventories which fit the particular requirements of that religion’s current promotion requirements, which is actually a pretty complex set of code, but basically nothing will ever appear here that cannot be usefully donated. The final line below the “Donate” person, meanwhile, notes that you do need to move up the ranks before you can donate the stuff for higher ranks; this might also be relevant in a generated riddle, too, e.g. one that might mention “futile donations” or “hopeless gifts” or whatever. Anyway, that’s a niche use case, and basically you donate what you want to donate… (this example has us donating alcohols, as clearly this generated religion thinks drunkenness is a holy state of altered consciousness!)

…and then once you’ve donated enough, the message at the bottom changes:

And if you haven’t yet joined the religion, you can then join the religion:

Once you’ve done that, it will then show up in your personal status as such:

Or here, having risen to the rank of priest (I think it would be interesting to see how you can get followers once you achieve priest status, but we’ll get to that later…):

If you have already joined the religion, then you’ll go up in rank! And when you join or advance in rank, you get the rewards for going to that higher rank. As mentioned previously (many moons ago) these can be almost anything, from books about death to light armour to whatever, and they’ll be listed each time you go up in rank. They also always include at least one note hinting towards that religion’s deepest mysteries, or secrets, or crimes, whatever it might be:

These ranks will then, of course, have an effect on how others will talk to you – but only if you make it clear that you are a member of that religion. That by mean saying something conversation someone else which makes that clear, or wearing and item which denotes interesting that religion, or being over to say prayerful for that religion, or someone else telling someone that your member of that religion, and so on. I don’t want other characters to magically divine what religion you I member of – and I quite like the idea of of potentially trying to worship several gods and keep the secret from each of these religions (maybe this could intersect with the “interventionist” national culture / policy, so a higher / lower risk of being outed…) – and so instead people will only notice if there are clues or bits of information which they can use in order to make this conclusion. As such, there will soon be ways for religions to notice that you’ve joined quite a lot and to kick out of their religion if they strongly object to the religion you’ve joined, but for now this particular last aspect hasn’t yet been implemented. Nevertheless, being able to join religions will give the player access to a number of different rewards in exchange for various tasks, objectives common knowledge given or or knowledge gained, as well as a number of key puzzles and riddles and things of this sort.

Next, I’ve added a screen where you can look over all the religions you’ve discovered, and whether you have made any progress in them! I think these look really gorgeous, honestly. There are a huge number of different borders I designed, a large set for the “normal” god types and then a few permutations for each of the more obscure god types. The colour is then based on the holy colour or colours of the religion in question, and as you find more religions, you can scroll through them and see what is required, and what is given, at each level. Each rank tells you what you give, what you get, and also has some nice generated flavour text on the left-hand side as well. Here are two example for the “normal” religions:

Alternatively, here’s an example for an animal religion…

And a demonic one…

And finally a Lovecraftian / eldritch one… (as a reminder, the game mostly generates “normal” religions, but is guaranteed to make at least 1 pantheon, 1 demonic, 1 animal, and 1 Lovecraftian, and will pick one of the latter three to make a second religion from…)

Next, although the statue generators for Lovecraftian gods were fully developed – five archetypes, each of which can only spawn once per world within a maximum of two Lovecraftian gods in total – they were not yet integrated into the game itself, i.e. they did not fully appear in religious buildings. This was in fact surprisingly tricky to handle as a result of the complexity of these statues as opposed to the more humanoid statues, which in a code sense are very simple, unlike their grotesque eldritch cousins. However, after a frustrating and time-consuming few hours, though I confess not a remotely intellectually-challenging few hours, I got all the appropriate code implemented for actually remembering what these monsters look like, and with that done, these now all appear correctly in religious buildings, and do so consistently no matter where in the game world one finds them:

I also mentioned a few entries ago that in a very rare god type – an animal god, specifically a scorpion god – a unique statue element would appear, i.e. a tail that would appear behind the statue as a darker marble part of the statue. Well, when I was working on generating prayers I realised that there were actually two more name variants which, although incredibly rare, really did need their own unique appearances on the statues. These were two demonic variations, specifically the possibility of a demonic god with the term “winged” in its name, and the possibility of a demonic god with the phrase “whip-tailed” in its name. Both of these are rare – all game worlds have 1-2 demonic gods, but there’s only around a five percent chance of one of them names being chosen, and then of course you’d have to actually find the statue for the religion in question – but I felt these were really nice spots where I could add just a bit of extra detail. As such, I’m pleased to say that both whip-tailed demonic gods, and winged demonic gods, have just that little bit extra on their statues to reflect their special names:

And, oh, yes, statues can now spawn with any number between 1 and 12 in either arm – these will obviously be involved in many puzzles, but for gods they’ll also signal the association of that god with a particular hour of the day for some obscure, sacred or divine reason, or might also signal a relationship to a fundamental aspect of the cosmology that religion follows, e.g. they believe the world consists of twelve elements, or there are seven saints of that particular faith, or they believe in three ages of humankind’s evolution under their benign (or not!) guidance, or whatever it might be:

As just a final thing – I don’t meet to toot my own horn, but I really do like how the statues have come out. It was an intimidating part of the game to start work on, simply because I imagined such a towering volume of possibilities, but I’m so happy with them, and they do so much work for worldbuilding and have so much riddle potential as well. Anyway – I’m still in the process of making sure every permutation for religions can work correctly, as there are a lot of options and the game needs to be able to correctly detect all possible rank-climbing donations, as well as give all possible rank-climbing rewards, and this is a big task. However, all the foundations are here, it’s just a matter of going through the permutations and ensuring they all work, which I’ll be doing over the coming weeks. I’m really excited by how this is all coming together – in the future there will be equivalents for nations, but for now, religions are now very interactive, give and receive items,

What next?

Well, there we go! Religions are now pumped up and ready to go, and I’m really excited by all this extra detail and starting to get in some association dynamics, trades, the potential for quests, things of this sort. It’s ultimately going to be nations and religions that are the key movers in the game, and I’m so excited to see all the detail and variation that we can now see in religions in gameplay terms (slowly but surely), as well as in world-building and puzzle-piece terms. As ever, please do leave a comment and let me know your thoughts! And if you enjoyed the post, please do think about posting it somewhere on the internet, as any influx of new readers is always a huge joy for me.

As a final point, I’ve decided to experiment with a slightly more consistent update schedule again. I’m settled into my new home, things are going well, so I’m going to be a little bit bold and – for the first time in years! – try to commit to a slightly more regular, and slightly more predictable, update routine. Let’s try three weeks, I think. That seems like enough time to get a good amount of progress done, but also to accommodate things that might demand my time, unexpected things going wrong, and the like.

As such, I’m uploading this on 28/4/2024, and so I’ll be uploading the next entry on 19/5/2024.

Thanks so much everyone, and see you in a few weeks!


  • Nations and religions… so there must be war. I look forward to see how you implement combat and turn this software into a game. Good luck.

    • Haha, oh yes! There are actually quite a few proto-combat elements hidden in the game already. This is going to be a really exciting thing to develop in the near future :).

    • Hah, well spotted! I sometimes record parts by voice, and I always double-check them, though clearly missed that one. Whoops. Thanks though Brett, I’m very glad you liked the update!

  • There are a lot of impressive additions to URR in this update. The ability to join religions and discover their secrets will, I’m sure, play an important role in uncovering the secrets of the world and solving riddles. The latest statues and the religions information screen both look great — I particularly like how the Lovecraftian religion has tentacles around the border. The ability to join multiple religions and the challenge of keeping that fact secret will add an additional layer of intrigue. Once again it reminds me of Sid Meier’s Pirates!, in which you could become a high-ranking military officer in multiple nations…even nations that are currently at war! In Pirates, though, nobody seemed bothered by it. You could also advance to become an aristocrat in multiple nations, although that is more historically accurate.

    And speaking of joining religions, I’m amused at how friendly and laid-back Ten Mace Zaaqu seems in the screenshot in which he cheerfully requests severed body parts from enemies along with a dash of self-scarification as an requirement for joining his religion! I guess even the most bloodthirsty faiths need some friendly PR people…

    Thanks as always for the update.

    • Crowbar, thank you (as ever) for such a thoughtful and detailed comment! I’m really glad you like it all, and again, the comparison to Pirates! is a new and intriguing one to me! I think balancing identities and the like should make for something really pretty interesting – and, hahahah, I love that observation! You’re totally right though, even the goriest of religions do need people to attract new followers. That said, though, I’m definitely going to alter those texts based on religious beliefs, hah – these are partly just placeholders until I go back and make them a lot more varied, though I don’t want to do that until I really get into the huge conversation system overhaul I have planned…

  • Thanks for the detailed updates, they are always a joy to read. Love the attention to detail, it’s the small things that make a world feel real.

    • Thanks so much Gabriel! I really appreciate the comment 🙂 (and I totally agree, I think detail is really important in worldbuilding texture, especially in a PCG game)

  • What biomes are currently planned for the world? Any thoughts to making plans in a region archetypal and generative? Would be fun to enter a forest that has, say, unique mushroom trees or sharp metal grass that must be walked on with metal boots.

    • Thanks for the comment Paul! So, actually, the very next blog post (now only 4 days away) talks about bioregions, but I definitely do like the idea of having some more unusual stuff in there. As ever, my URR rule is that everything must be physically possible, so there’s no magic or sorcery, BUT things which don’t exist in the real world – but are physically possible – can absolutely be present. Mushrooms are also coming! Once I’ve got mushrooms in, and bioregions described, I’ll then be able to branch out into some weirder stuff… (I do have a few fun ideas in this regard!)

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