Thanks for the feedback!
If the real game looks like this, then hnnnngh.
That's the idea, I'm doing the game art in Photoshop, same with the mockup, so the result should be very similar. The one problem I have is animation. I can't really animate, so I don't know how that'll pan out. So the game will look like this but better, because that painting is unfinished and that UI design looks horrible - I just wanted to get it out quick - but I'm not sure it will be interesting in motion.
Mockup looks really awesome.
Will the fact that you don't putting points in mercy have any aftermath? Like bad reputation or reception of town folks?
A game like this, with deep economics, complicated diplomacy... I love the idea.
Well, you don't actually put points. You buy slaves that come with randomized points, and you increase these points by putting gladiators under teachers or fighting in the arena. Yeah, mercy will affect popularity and so on.
Here's an arena fight mock-up:
So this is where the result of your schooling will be seen. I'm inclined to make this part of the game "unplayable": think of Football Manager games, since you don't directly control gladiators, just train them. You're a owner of gladiators, not a gladiator yourself. The gladiators will exchange hits, misses, blocks and, based on their stats, one will be victorious.