Religion is an important part of game-play and we feature the world's mail religions of the mid 18th century. Giorgia Vinzenzi created these concept characters after historical sources. Obviously these are simplifications, as religion is too complex and diverse to completely include and choices need to be made. These characters give a wonderful sense of the cultural diversity.
A larger depiction can be found in the gallery.
If you hadn't guessed yet, I'm the game designer. Ask me anything, that's what I'm here for!
Wondering if religion will also become a field of competition driven by players in cleric roles, or that would have to stay a static thing, like decorative feature in the background of a society.
It will be a little bit of both, as it is designed now.
Every port has a religious building (Church, Temple, Mosque, Pagoda) which is part of a religious order (Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Animist). This building can be upgraded and downgraded depending on the level of gifts the population (or government) give it. The building (upgrades and the services that can possibly be held there) are, or can be, managed by a gamer that has a character that serves as its custodian (priest, monk, etc., whatever the religion).
This character (a local religious leader) has to be from a family that is settled in that port, but is appointed by a religious leader. Each religious order has a leader (like the Pope in Rome). Here we diverge from real history, where religion types were often not related and very local. This is more of a gameplay mechanic to insert a uniform role for religion. The religious leader is headquartered in one of the capital cities, which means that seven of the capital cities are the seat of a religious leader. The Monarch of the nation where that capital resides appoints the religious leader by no particular transparent method (so the game master with a neutral role appoints a willing gamer into this role, a gamer that meats the requirements). This appointment has no set length of time and can be ended at any time or last very long.
The religious system has no connection to a nation, in that it is possible that several religions are active in one nation and local religious leaders have no official capacity other than managing the local religious building (and its upkeep), wearing a religious costume and carrying out religious tasks any way they see fit. They might hold services, conduct marriages and funerals, etc.
The religious building itself, and its level and state (it needs maintenance) has an influence on the local population. A religious building of a higher level contributes to population happiness and therefore has a significant effect on migration, so for a local Governor this will matter. There is also a conversion rate, this is important if there are a lot of immigrants from a different religion than the port main religion. The further this is off balance, the more the unhappiness will increase. So ports with a lot of foreign immigration might want to have a more developed religious resource. And for that they need the local religious leader and the local religious leader will need cash. But there is also simply the visual enjoyment and the ambition that is shown for a port between a poorly parish church and a well-tended cathedral.
Other than these factors, the (local) religious leader has no role in government and no governmental powers at all. They are from a completely independent organization to the nation's government, the government has no say in who the religious leaders are. How the religious leader appoints local religious leaders, and how the religious organization is led, is entirely up to that organization. We leave this to the organizational skills and inspiration and roleplay of the gamers. Of course, if things would happen out of bounds of what is acceptable gameplay, another leader could be appointed. The conduct of the seven leaders would be followed, generally. They will get a (roleplaying) code of conduct, to add to the gameplay, and will be selected on the basis that they actually know their particular religion and have a respect for it. These religious leaders do not have governmental powers but they might have moral powers that still give them a voice of influence across nations.
If you hadn't guessed yet, I'm the game designer. Ask me anything, that's what I'm here for!
Alright, one religious building per port, meaning each place has one main faith being followed. I understand it is easier to maintain this way. Unfortunately, it will exclude competition between different religions, which was often a political weapon (hello war of thirty years) or connected to minorities asking for purges by a centralist state (hello St. Barthelemy massacre /hueguenots in France). Imagine a religion closer tied to a state (as Orthodox church in Russia always was), their leadership could in cooperation with secular circles send missionaries to foreign ports for converting as many people as possible in hope to take that place over in the future by an uprising of religious character. As the tensions of groups in society grow when a minority evolves as a majority or close to it, or one religion has privileges and all others none. This would mean lots of dynamics usable for the game (and governors to keep control of). I think of 'shadow parishes' of a faith being set up in a port, they meet in private houses as they can't use the cathedral in hands of official religion there, and how they collect more followers among immigrants and even local people who are dissatisfied with official religion. Then a spy from a government close to that underground faith tries to turn them into a political weapon in order to create turmoil. Such things.
But talking of such things looks like a luxury item while we are trying to set up just the basics in the future and will be happy when succeeding.
I totally get what you are saying. They surely all sound like wonderful ideas, but it is quickly turning into an aspect of gameplay that is too complex to maintain and manage. That is one reason why for every gameplay addition added, the first thought needs to be on whether it is manageable and affordable, in combination with the question how many gamers will actually explore and utilize that aspect of gameplay.
For all we know most gamers join the game community for very different reasons, and role-playing religious storylines captures the imaginations of only a small group of gamers. That will then end up with an underused game element that remains quite empty and never comes into its full potential, while it will need considerable resources to manage and keep up to date.
Another complexity is that worldwide religion is actually quite a contentious subject in games. Although we would like to imagine gamers as exemplary role-players, you cannot rule out that present-day political interests from the far-right and far-left take it over and it quickly becomes very ugly. In that case there will be religious wars with lots of hate and racism and discrimination in our game. You can see how that quickly derails the game and its historical roleplay and would potentially destroy the game.
You can see that any game you play has an opening credit saying: "this game is created by a team of culturally and religiously diverse ....." etc. That is not for no reason. Disrespect those things in your game design and you will pay the price. So to create a mechanism that encourages religious-driven warfare in an MMO context where gamers have a lot of freedom of expression, that's putting a massive time-bomb in the design that will be greatly unappealing to any investors and publishers.
So we wanted to include religion, as it's so interwoven with historical culture, but we wanted to do it in the least harmful way, as to not potentially load the design with a massive risk we can't properly manage.
So this is why religion is separated from government (which, in the mid 18th century, is partially realistic). The religious roleplay has no direct influence on war, peace and politics, the official religious figures are a side-line career and content. Therefore their influence is not too essential and we can leave that open to emergent gameplay without having to moderate everything. We'll appoint suitable gamers to run it, they can exert their own moderation in the religious community. We can just let that happen.
As to the interesting examples you use, there is no reason why all these things could not happen. That we did not solidify it in hard programming doesn't mean a gamer community could not decide to create all these things. A government has the freedom to create rules and laws, if they want to form a religious state and give the leader of a religion a big voice in their decisions, they can simply do that. Of all the nations there are, I can see some electing to become religiously motivated. In the diversity of the game and its many nations, why would not devoutly Christian gamers group together in a nation of their choosing and integrate their beliefs and traditions in the way they organize their nation's government? After all, what we aim to do with the design, mainly, is to give a lot of room for emergent gameplay. If other gamers object to the religious nature of such a nation there are many other nations they can join. So this would not be a concern for us that we would need to moderate.
If you hadn't guessed yet, I'm the game designer. Ask me anything, that's what I'm here for!
Sure, I would not like to have to moderate various zealots taking a game as substitute playground for personal crusades of real life faiths either. Already the clash of various nationalisms taken too seriously offers enough potential drama worth a soothing control by game supervisors.
I am grateful you envisioned this part of human culture at all in the project, as some other games completely ignore it for similar reasons of not going into a minefield inhabited by intolerant imbeciles, or invent fancy names just to avoid analogies to existing faiths.
March 1, 2020
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Welcome to the Rulers of the Sea (hereinafter referred to as “RotS”) Support Community Terms and Guidelines (the “Community Terms”).
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Thank you for using Rulers of the Sea. At Rulers of the Sea, we want to give you the best possible gaming experience to ensure that you enjoy our service today, tomorrow, and in the future. To do this we need to understand your gaming habits so we can deliver an exceptional service specifically for you. That said, your privacy and the security of your Personal Data is, and will always be, enormously important to us. So, we want to transparently explain how and why we gather, store, share and use your Personal Data – as well as outline the controls and choices you have around when and how you choose to share your Personal Data.
This Policy sets out the essential details relating to your Personal Data relationship with Deadeye Games B.V., a private company with limited liability and existing under the laws of the Netherlands, having its registered office in The Hague and its principal place of business at XX and developer of the Rulers of the Sea game. The Policy applies to all Rulers of the Sea Services and any associated Services. The terms governing your use of the Rulers of the Sea Services are defined in our Terms of Services (the “Terms of Services”).
From time to time, we may develop new or offer additional Services. If the introduction of these new or additional Services results in any change to the way we collect or process your Personal Data we will provide you with more information and additional terms or policies. Unless stated otherwise when we introduce these new or additional services, they will be subject to this Policy.
The aim of this Policy is to:
We hope this helps you to understand our privacy commitments to you. For information on how to contact us if you ever have any questions or concerns, please see the ‘How to Contact Us’ Section 15 below. Alternatively, if you do not agree with the content of this Policy, then please remember it is your choice whether you want to use the Rulers of the Sea Services.
“Personal Data” is Data that we have collected from you that identifies you, or which, in conjunction with other data that is in our possession, or is likely to come into our possession, may be used to identify you.
“Non-Personal Data”, is information that we have collected from you which cannot be used to identify you.
You may be aware that European Union law, called the General Data Protection Regulation or “GDPR” gives certain rights to individuals in relation to their Personal Data. Accordingly, we have implemented additional transparency and access controls in our Privacy Center to help users take advantage of those rights. As available and except as limited under applicable law, the rights afforded to individuals are:
In order to enable you to exercise these rights with ease and to record your preferences in relation to how Deadeye Games BV uses your Personal Data, we provide you with access to the following settings via your Account Settings page:
The Privacy Center puts you in control of how Rulers of the Sea processes your Personal Data. It provides you with information about what happens if you adjust your settings on your Account Settings page and how to opt out of receiving certain messages from Deadeye Games BV and/or Rulers of the Sea. If we send you electronic marketing messages based on your consent or as otherwise permitted by applicable law, you may, at any time, respectively withdraw such consent or declare your objection (“opt-out”) at no cost. The electronic marketing messages you receive from Deadeye Games BV and/or Rulers of the Sea (e.g. those sent via email) also will include an opt-out mechanism within the message itself (e.g. an unsubscribe link in the emails we send to you).
If you have any questions about your privacy, your rights, or how to exercise them, please contact our Data Protection Officer using the ‘Contact Us’ form on the Privacy Center. We will respond to your request within a reasonable period of time upon verification of your identity. If you are unhappy with the way we are using your Personal Data you can also contact and are free to lodge a complaint with the Dutch Data Protection Authority (Autoriteit Persoongegevens) or your local Data Protection Authority.
We process your Personal Data in the following ways:
Through your use of the Rulers of the Sea Services – when you use the Rulers of the Sea Services, we collect Personal Data about your use of the Rulers of the Sea Services such as your email address, date of birth, gender and country;
Personal Data collected that enables us to provide you with additional features/functionalities – from time to time, you also may provide us with additional Personal Data or give us your permission to collect additional Personal Data e.g. to provide you with more features or functionalities. As described further below (see Voluntary Data), we will not collect photos, precise mobile device location, voice data, or contacts from your device without your prior consent. You always will have the option to change your mind and withdraw your consent at any time.
In general, we use log files to monitor traffic on our Website and to troubleshoot technical problems. In the event of user abuse of our Website, we may block certain IP addresses.
We (will) use anonymised and aggregated information to optimize your experience of the Rulers of the Sea Services but also for purposes that include testing our IT systems, research, data analysis, creating marketing and promotion models, improving the Rulers of the Sea Services, and developing new features and functionality within the Rulers of the Sea Services.
In addition to Sections 5.1 and 5.2, if we reasonably suspect that any of the Rulers of the Sea Services or your Account is being or has been misused, including without limitation, by virtue of any:
Deadeye Games B.V. may collect further Personal Data and Non-Personal Data to verify or refute such suspicions within the limits of applicable law and taking into account your reasonable data protection interests. We will use this Data to comply with applicable law and enforce our rights under civil and penal law against the respective users.
Optionally you may choose to send crash reports or contact Customer Support for any technical and commercial issues.
In addition to the data collected in Sections 5.1 to 5.3 above, the data provided by you may include:
The collection of the data set out in this Section 5.4 is not mandatory. However, we might not be able to fix bugs or handle the technical and commercial issues you have without this data. For legal reasons this information will be stored as long as your account remains open and for the applicable statues of limitations thereafter.
We have set out in the tables below the categories of Personal Data we collect and process about you:
|Categories of Personal Data||Description of category|
|Account Registration Data and Commercial transaction||This is the Personal Data that is provided by you or collected by us to enable you to sign up for and use the Rulers of the Sea Services. This includes your email address, date of birth, gender and country.|
Some of the Personal Data we will ask you to provide is required in order to create your account such as account ID, login ID, display name, password, community moniker, user handle, and referral code. You also have the option to provide us with some additional Personal Data in order to make your account more personalized such as birth date.
The exact Personal Data we will collect depends on the type of Rulers of the Sea Services you sign up for (paid or non-paid).
Personal data collected through your use of the Rulers of the Sea Services
|Categories of Personal Data||Description of category|
|Rulers of the Sea Service Usage Data||This is the Personal Data that is collected about you when you are using the Rulers of the Sea Services – this may include:|
|Categories of Personal Data||Description of category|
|Voluntary Mobile Data||In addition to the mobile data we collect to provide you with the Rulers of the Sea Services (outlined above), you also have the option to give us your consent to collect additional Personal Data from your (mobile) device to provide you with features/functionalities that will enhance your Rulers of the Sea Services experiences.|
We will not access any of the Personal Data listed below without first obtaining your consent:
|Payment Data||We may collect such Personal Data if you sign up for a Trial or purchase any of our Paid Subscriptions (as defined in the Terms of Services) or make other purchases through the Rulers of the Sea Services. The exact personal data collected will vary depending on the payment method (e.g. direct via your mobile phone carrier or by invoice) but will include information such as:|
|Marketing Data||This Personal Data is used to enable Deadeye Games B.V. (and our partners / service providers) to send you marketing communications either:|
You can find out more about the Personal Data collected and the controls you have in relation to the marketing communications you receive via the Privacy Center.
When you use or interact with the Rulers of the Sea Services, we use a variety of technologies to process the personal data we collect about you for various reasons. We have set out in the table below the reasons why we process your personal data, the associated legal bases we rely upon to legally permit us to process your personal data, and the categories of personal data (identified in Section 6 ‘What personal data do we collect from you?’) used for these purposes:
|Description of why Rulers of the Sea processes your Personal Data (‘processing purpose’)||Legal Basis for the processing purpose||Categories of Personal Data used by Rulers of the Sea for the processing purpose|
|To provide, personalize, and improve your experience with the Rulers of the Sea Service and other services and products provided by Deadeye Games B.V., for example by providing customized, personalized, or localized content, features, and advertising on or outside of the Rulers of the Sea Services (including for third party products and services).|
|To understand how you access and use the Rulers of the Sea Services to ensure technical functionality of the Rulers of the Sea Services, develop new products and services, and analyse your use of the Rulers of the Sea Services, including your interaction with applications, advertising, products, and services that are made available, linked to, or offered through the Rulers of the Sea Services.|
|To communicate with you for Rulers of the Sea Services-related purposes.|
|To process your payment to prevent or detect fraud including fraudulent payments and fraudulent use of the Rulers of the Sea Service.|
|To communicate with you, either directly or through one of our partners, for:|
via emails, notifications, or other messages, consistent with any permissions you may have communicated to us (e.g., through your Account Settings page).
|To provide you with features, information, advertising, or other content which is based on your specific location.|
If you require further information about the balancing test that Rulers of the Sea has undertaken to justify its reliance on the legitimate interest legal basis under GDPR, please see Section 15 ‘How to contact us’ for further details on how to contact us.
The following Personal Data will always be publicly available on the Rulers of the Sea Services: your ID and/or username and potentially a profile picture.
The following personal data will only be shared with the categories of recipients outlined in the table below if:
|Categories of Recipients||Reason for sharing|
|Support Community||When you register for Rulers of the Sea Support Account on the Rulers of the Sea Support Community, we will ask you to create a specific Rulers of the Sea Support Community username. This will be publicly displayed to anyone who accesses the Rulers of the Sea Support Community along with any questions or comments you post.|
|Your Rulers of the Sea Followers||There also may be times when you want us to share certain Service Usage Data, specifically information about your use of Rulers of the Sea, with other Rulers of the Sea users known as ‘Your Rulers of the Sea Followers’.|
Learn more about how to manage notifications, your publicly available information, and what you share with others in the ‘Your rights and your preferences: Giving you choice and control’ Section 4 of this Policy and on the Privacy Center.
|Categories of Recipients||Reason for sharing|
|Service Providers and Others||We may use technical service providers which operate the technical infrastructure that we need to provide the Rulers of the Sea Services; in particular providers which host, store, manage, and maintain the Rulers of the Sea application.|
We may use technical service providers to help us communicate with you, as described in Section 7 of this Policy.
We use marketing (and advertising partners) to show you more tailored content, or to help us understand your use of the Rulers of the Sea Services, to provide you with a better experience. We also may share Personal Data with certain marketing and advertising partners to send you promotional communications about Rulers of the Sea.
|Rulers of the Sea Partners||We might share your Personal Data in a pseudonymised format with marketing partners who help us with promotional efforts and with advertisers that allow us to offer a free service.|
|Academic Researchers||We may share your Personal Data for activities such as statistical analysis and academic study but only in a pseudonymised format.|
|Other Rulers of the Sea Group Companies||We might share your Personal Data with other Deadeye Games B.V. Group Companies to carry out our daily business operations and to enable us to maintain and provide the Rulers of the Sea Services to you.|
|Law Enforcement and Data Protection Authorities||We will share your Personal Data when we in good faith believe it is necessary for us to do so in order to comply with a legal obligation under applicable law, or respond to valid legal process, such as a search warrant, a court order, or a subpoena.|
We also will share your personal data where we in good faith believe that it is necessary for the purpose of our own, or a third party’s legitimate interest relating to national security, law enforcement, litigation, criminal investigation, protecting the safety of any person, or to prevent death or imminent bodily harm, provided that we deem that such interest is not overridden by your interests or fundamental rights and freedoms requiring the protection of your Personal Data.
We keep your Personal Data only as long as necessary to provide you with the Rulers of the Sea Service and for legitimate and essential business purposes, such as maintaining the performance of the Deadeye Games Services, making data-driven business decisions about new features and offerings, complying with our legal obligations, and resolving disputes. We keep some of your Personal Data for as long as you are a user of the game.
If you request, we will delete or anonymise your Personal Data so that it no longer identifies you, unless, we are legally allowed or required to maintain certain Personal Data, including situations such as the following:
Deadeye Games B.V. might share your Personal Data globally with other companies in the Deadeye Games B.V. Group in order to carry out the activities specified in this Policy. Deadeye Games B.V. may also subcontract processing to, or share your Personal Data with, third parties located in countries other than your home country. Your personal data, therefore, may be subject to privacy laws that are different from those in your country of residence.
Personal Data collected within the European Union and Switzerland may, for example, be transferred to and processed by third parties located in a country outside of the European Union and Switzerland. In such instances Deadeye Games B.V. will ensure that the transfer of your Personal Data is carried out in accordance with applicable privacy laws and, in particular, that appropriate contractual, technical, and organizational measures are in place such as the Standard Contractual Clauses approved by the EU Commission.
For further details of the security measures we use to protect your Personal Data, please see the ‘Keeping your personal data safe’ Section 12 of this Policy.
We may display advertisements from third parties and other content that links to third-party websites. We cannot control or be held responsible for third parties’ privacy practices and content. If you click on a third-party advertisement or link, please understand that you are leaving the Rulers of the Sea Service and any Personal Data you provide will not be covered by this Policy. Please read their privacy policies to find out how they collect process and protect your Personal Data.
We are committed to protecting our users’ Personal Data. We implement appropriate technical and organisational measures to help protect the security of your Personal Data; however, please note that no system is ever completely secure. We have implemented various policies including pseudonymisation, encryption, access, and retention policies to guard against unauthorized access and unnecessary retention of Personal Data in our systems.
Your password protects your user account, so we encourage you to use a unique and strong password, limit access to your computer and browser, and log out after having used the Rulers of the Sea Services.
The Rulers of the Sea Services are not directed to children under the age of 13 years. However, in some countries, stricter age limits may apply under local law. Please see our Terms of Services for further details.
We do not knowingly collect Personal Data from children under 13 years or under the applicable age limit (the “Age Limit”). If you are under the Age Limit, please do not use the Rulers of the Sea Services, and do not provide any Personal Data to us.
If you are a parent of a child under the Age Limit and become aware that your child has provided Personal Data to Rulers of the Sea, please contact us using the form on the Privacy Center, and you may request exercise of your applicable rights detailed in the ‘Your rights and your preferences: Giving you choice and control’ Section 4 of this Policy.
If we learn that we have collected the Personal Data of a child under the age of 13 years, we will take reasonable steps to delete the Personal Data. This may require us to delete the Rulers of the Sea account for that child.
We will occasionally update this Policy. When we make material updates to this Policy, we will provide you with prominent notice as appropriate under the circumstances, e.g., by displaying a prominent notice within the Rulers of the Sea Services or by sending you an email.
Please, therefore, make sure you read any such notice carefully. Annually this Policy will be reviewed for accuracy and changes in GDPR. If no material changes are made, you will not be notified.
If you want to find out more about this Policy and how Deadeye Games B.V. uses your Personal Data, please visit the Privacy Center on RulersoftheSea.com to find out more.
Deadeye Games BV is the data processor for the purposes of the personal data processed under this Policy.