The Manchu are an interesting minority in that they managed to rule China for nearly 300 years. During that reign they publicly wore a “Confucian face” when dealing with the public, and they professed that Han and Manchu were equal. This can make it seem as if there was very little difference between the two groups, but that is not so. The Manchu view themselves as very different from the Han. Looking at their policies from their reign during the Qing dynasty that is made apparent.
The game being proposed is to be based on the Eight Banner system as it is one of the most distinguishing legacies of the Manchu. The Eight banners system was not only a military structure, but a social structure as well. All Manchu were bannermen, and by the 1950s all bannermen were considered to be of the Manchu Nationality by the Chinese state regardless of being born Manchu or not. The Eight Banner system is a social structure culturally distinctive to the Manchu that has far outlasted its military application. Thus the game to be proposed will be one based on the military aspects on the surface, but in truth will be on how the Eight Banners system impacted Manchu thinking and interactions with other ethnic groups.
The Han are the ethnic group who has arguably the most important interactions with the Manchu so they will be the primary group the Manchu rulers in the game interact with. Bannermen soldiers that were sent to garrisons were given living quarters behind walls that separated them from the local Han. The Qing emperors were very careful to prevent Manchu “naturalization” and made sure that the placement of bannermen troops during the Qing dynasty reminded the Han of who held the political power. During the entirety of the Qing dynasty Manchu-Han relations were strained and the game should reflect that.
The setting would be a fantasy based upon the later Qing dynasty with modern technological aspects. This should be acceptable as the intent of the game is to inform the player of the challenges the Manchu faced while trying to please the Han minority and keep their cultural identity strong at the same time. The game is not intended to be an accurate recounting of historical events at all so a fantasy setting should work well.
The game would be a turn based strategy game that would take gameplay inspiration from Civilization series. In this game though it would be focusing on maintaining power as the player would take the position of an already established Manchu emperor. The player would the have to make decisions on troop(bannermen) placement, deal with navigating Manchu-Han relations, preserving Manchu culture, and making economical decisions to maintain the costly Eight Banners military system.
Most of the game play would take place on a map that takes heavy inspiration from landscapes created during the Qing dynasty. Characters would appear on a separate window in game during dialogue and would be rendered in a more realistic style. Clothing and patterns would draw upon what was worn and used during that time period as well. All this will be done in order to enhance the relation between the fantasy setting and reality.