The Castle Doctrine is a massively-multiplayer game of burglary and home defense. It's 1991, and things are bad. You're a guy with a house and family. Other players are coming to take what's yours. Build security to stop them. Study their houses, buy tools, and break in to take what's theirs. Everything you do is permanent.
All Reviews:
Mixed (251) - 42% of the 251 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date:
Jan 29, 2014
Developer:
Publisher:

Sign in to add this item to your wishlist, follow it, or mark it as not interested

Buy The Castle Doctrine

 

Recent updates View all (3)

November 15

50+ daily active players

Since the recent update to the house list, there has been the biggest boom in the player population in almost two years, with 50+ unique players per day for the past few days.

The irony is that we now have so many houses online that the original fix, to pad out the house list, isn't currently needed.

However, its important to understand that without such a backup system to provide content in low population situations, a vicious cycle results that shrinks the population over time. By fixing this problem, a virtuous cycle is created instead. Players that try the game again these days tend to stick around for a while, making the game still even better and more interesting for additional new players that show up later.

A Discord channel has sprung up as well, which you can join through this invite link:

https://discord.gg/HupVMC9
0 comments Read more

November 13

There are now 100 houses on the list

In low population situations, the available content of the game dwindles. Remaining players are left with very little to do, especially if the available houses are beyond their reach in terms of tool budget. For example, the top house currently contains $400,000 in value, but it's been robbed unsuccessfully 987 times, killing 594 robbers in the process. The existing player base simple cannot afford to rob it successfully. Other houses may have so little value that they're not worth the tool cost of robbing. When the population is low, there often is no middle ground in the content pool, and a kind of stalemate results.

In the old days of high population, the aspiring player could find middle-tier houses to tackle, and potentially climb the ladder toward being able to take down one of the top houses. There was no stalemate, and more importantly, there was never any shortage of things to do.

But how can I add more content to the game while still keeping everything real? The "realness" was a core design principle from the very beginning. Your success must always come through directly hurting another player in the game. A real person must be impacted by what you did to get ahead. So, no NPC houses, because they aren't real.

It turns out that there's a large pool of abandoned houses in the database. Houses that have been robbed down to zero, but houses that still have living owners who simply haven't returned in a long time. The owners could still return, so they are real.

I'm now seeding some of these houses with a bit of loot from squatters, padding out the house list to a respectable size. The abandoned houses function just like ordinary houses---they still have an owner, still log security tapes, still gather bounties by killing robbers. Many of them are still dangerous, and some of them still have significant puzzles in tact. Furthermore, and owner can return at any time and claim the squatter loot for themselves, so you are still stealing from someone, and further wrecking someone's house. There are lots of interesting philosophical questions about the status of abandoned property, of course.

But the neighborhood is now a bit like Las Vegas, post-housing-crash.

Full details are here:

http://thecastledoctrine.net/forums/viewtopic.php?id=3169


Enjoy!

Jason
4 comments Read more

Reviews

“A powerful, memorable game.”
Alec Meer --- Rock, Paper, Shotgun

“Merciless and thoughtfully-designed... A brilliant but horrifying depiction of a risk society at war with itself.”
85/100 – Patrick Carlson --- PC Gamer

“The most disturbing game I've ever played.”
Russ Pitts (discussing his 5/10 Polygon review)

About This Game

The Castle Doctrine is a massively-multiplayer game of burglary and home defense. It's 1991, and things are bad. You're a guy with a house and family. Other players are coming to take what's yours. Build security to stop them. Study their houses, buy tools, and break in to take what's theirs. Everything you do is permanent.

I'm Jason Rohrer, and The Castle Doctrine is my 10th game. It's a bit hard to describe, because there's never been anything quite like it before. It's a brutal game in terms of its perma-death and perma-destruction consequences, and it is turn-based, so it's rather Rogue-like. But building such a brutal game in a multiplayer context, with absolutely no cushion between players to stop them from brutalizing each other, is quite strange and new.

Everything is real in this game. When you rob someone, you are actually hurting another player in a permanent way by destroying and stealing their hard work. When someone dies in this game, they lose everything and start over. If you devise perplexing security systems, you can perma-death other players when they come to rob you. Watching those security tapes, where someone gets what's coming to them, is an exhilarating experience. On the other hand, you just killed someone and perhaps caused them to lose days of their hard work. And you've been on the other side too, losing everything because of some thoughtless move you made in someone else's house.

But there is no randomness in this game, so everything is fair. When you die, it is always your fault. When things get dicey, you can always retreat back out the front door to save your own neck. Of course, human folly will get the better of you.

Here's what you get when you buy the game:

  • A lifetime account on the central world server that I'm running.
  • Access to the full game source code (after launching the game on Steam, go here).
  • Everything you need to run your own game server (requires a PHP/MySQL web server, download the source bundle to get started).

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • OS: XP or later
    • Processor: 900 MHz
    • Memory: 40 MB RAM
    • Graphics: Onboard Graphics
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 10 MB available space
    • Sound Card: Standard Audio
    Minimum:
    • OS: 10.5 or later
    • Processor: 900 MHz
    • Memory: 40 MB RAM
    • Graphics: Onboard Graphics
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 10 MB available space
    • Sound Card: Standard Audio
    Minimum:
    • Processor: 900 MHz
    • Memory: 40 MB RAM
    • Graphics: Onboard Graphics
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 10 MB available space
    • Sound Card: Standard Audio
    • Additional Notes: Binary was built on Ubuntu 12.04
Customer reviews Learn More
High Volume of Reviews Detected:
Exclude  or  View Only
Review Type


Purchase Type


Language


Date Range
To view reviews within a date range, please click and drag a selection on a graph above or click on a specific bar.

Show graph



Display As:
Show graph
 
Hide graph
 
Filters
There are no more reviews that match the filters set above
Adjust the filters above to see other reviews
Loading reviews...