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  Farmer boy - Feedback on gameplay idea.  (Read 2804 times)
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Offline Gudradain
« Posted 2011-03-30 03:54:38 »

Hello, I know the people around are more technical guru than gameplay writer but I would still like to have your opinion on a game I plan to make. So here is the idea.

--------

Does a game where there is an ever growing population that you need to take care of would be a good idea?

In summary, the game will be a grid map where each cell possess 3 resources attributes : food, wood and rock.

On one of these cells, you would have a city where the population never stop growing, and you need to feed them. To do so, you will need to bring a constant flow of food to the city. You will also need to build house for these people which will require rock and wood.

The game going on you will need to expand always farther to get the required resources for your city growth. Unfortunately there is one big problem, how do you bring all the resources to the city so it can be used?

The player will need to elaborate a complex strategy to bring the resources to the city in the fastest possible way. He will have to make choice like :
- where to gather resources
- how to schedule transportation of the resources by transporter
- where to build road to speed up the movement of your transporter
- what technology to learn to help you to harvest or transport your resources

So that's about it.

Do you like it? Suggestion? Seems to be like this particular game?
Offline OverKill

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« Reply #1 - Posted 2011-03-30 07:59:01 »

So it will be a Settlers/SimCity/TransportTycoon kind of game?
Offline Mads

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« Reply #2 - Posted 2011-03-30 10:16:33 »

Sounds like a good idea if you can avoid different buildings and stuff related to city-building. You would just need some kind of growing city while there is resources coming in.
Do you know Sims 2000? In that game the player defines tiles, and then the game builds houses on them depending on how much space is given. You could do something like that, but where the tiles defined grow.

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Offline aazimon
« Reply #3 - Posted 2011-03-30 17:46:54 »

The is pretty good. The player will have a problem when the population expands beyond the resources. You can add the ability to replant trees for wood. The rocks will be a problem. You can add technical advances to allow the wood and rocks to be used more efficency.
Offline Gudradain
« Reply #4 - Posted 2011-03-30 18:40:53 »

So it will be a Settlers/SimCity/TransportTycoon kind of game?

Lol never played any of those game but watching video on youtube I guess it's a bit similar. I know that civilization look a bit like the game I'm trying to make.


Sounds like a good idea if you can avoid different buildings and stuff related to city-building. You would just need some kind of growing city while there is resources coming in.
Do you know Sims 2000? In that game the player defines tiles, and then the game builds houses on them depending on how much space is given. You could do something like that, but where the tiles defined grow.

The city will mostly grow by itself. You will have to choose about technology to research, factory to build, but you wont place the building on a specific spot of the map. I'm thinking about the idea of the city take more space while it grow (so you will need to chose tile where the city expand).


The is pretty good. The player will have a problem when the population expands beyond the resources. You can add the ability to replant trees for wood. The rocks will be a problem. You can add technical advances to allow the wood and rocks to be used more efficency.

Well for the moment I'm planning for the resources to be a constant on a tile. It simply indicate the amount you can harvest each turn and you never run out of resource on this tile. I might reconsider that for later.
Offline philfrei
« Reply #5 - Posted 2011-04-09 00:45:07 »

I've only played Civilization 2 (the Sid Meyer game), of the games mentioned. It does sound similar, though in yours, there are no enemy civilizations to battle. Also, in Civ, one isn't obligated to grow in population. Cities in Civilization also have the issue of pollution/waste products that must be managed.

What happens when you can't keep up the resources? Does the population die down to more manageble levels? In human populations, the collapse that occurs when resources are depleted can be quite dramatic, overshooting what might be expected by the resource lack alone! (See Jared Diamond's fabulous and scary book: "Collapse".)

"It's after the end of the world! Don't you know that yet?"
Offline Gudradain
« Reply #6 - Posted 2011-04-09 18:25:54 »

What happens when you can't keep up the resources? Does the population die down to more manageble levels? In human populations, the collapse that occurs when resources are depleted can be quite dramatic, overshooting what might be expected by the resource lack alone! (See Jared Diamond's fabulous and scary book: "Collapse".)

I didn't make a final decision on that matter but here is my current idea. When you lack ressources, your population lose ''happiness''. When your happiness decrease your worker are less productive and you require more ressources to acheive the same result. So the player must avoid to lose the population happiness or it will get harder for him. The population happiness can also decrease to 0% at which point it's practically impossible for the player to manage his ressources and the population start decreasing because of the lack of ressources. The population happiness will reincrease if it's ressources need are satisfied.
Offline philfrei
« Reply #7 - Posted 2011-04-10 01:26:14 »

Cool. Could work! You never know though, until you try, with these things. So much depends on all the little decisions made along the way.

I'm also reminded of a resource management game my wife sometimes plays. I don't know what the "official" name is for this type of game. I think the one she likes is called Farm Frenzy (not to be mistaken for Farmville). She has to manage watering the grass so the chickens can feed and lay eggs, then gathering the eggs, and gathering wheat and making flour and using the eggs to make pancakes and etc. etc. keeping the whole stream going. It is very fast-action. I'm thinking your cities will be wanting an ever-increasing number of "pancakes" as they get larger. So maybe there is some sort of space between those sorts of games and the strategy games like Civilization, a hybrid that would work.

I'll be looking forward to seeing progress on the "Showcase" board! Good luck!

"It's after the end of the world! Don't you know that yet?"
Offline Nate

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« Reply #8 - Posted 2011-04-12 00:50:48 »

I didn't make a final decision on that matter but here is my current idea. When you lack ressources, your population lose ''happiness''. When your happiness decrease your worker are less productive and you require more ressources to acheive the same result. So the player must avoid to lose the population happiness or it will get harder for him. The population happiness can also decrease to 0% at which point it's practically impossible for the player to manage his ressources and the population start decreasing because of the lack of ressources. The population happiness will reincrease if it's ressources need are satisfied.
This type of degradation is called a "slippery slope", which means that by starting to lose, you become more likely to lose. This can be right for some games, but it can also be very frustrating.

Contrast this with a game like Street Fighter, where even if you are on your last bit of health, you still have all your moves, you still move just as fast, and you still do the same amount of damage. However, SF still punishes you for mistakes. If you do something unsafe and you get hit, your opponent can react quickly and perform a combo, which can hit you again without you being able to stop it. It takes both a mistake on your part and skill by the opponent for you to eat a lot of damage, and it takes that happening a few times before you lose.

Offline Gudradain
« Reply #9 - Posted 2011-04-12 01:29:23 »

Thx for feedback. Actually transport mechanism are a bigger issue right now. I want that you need to bring the ressources back to the city following the roads on the map but there's need to be some automatisation in that process because it's not realist to have the player assignate a path to follow to every single unit.
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Offline Gudradain
« Reply #10 - Posted 2011-05-20 18:50:27 »

I finally set my mind about a design. It's very far away from my design but the game idea stay the same. Currently building a prototype. You can expect to see something in about 2 weeks (if nothing goes wrong Smiley )
Offline OverKill

Junior Duke




Java games rock!


« Reply #11 - Posted 2011-05-24 07:27:24 »

@Games:
Well you also had games like Caesar or 'the Patrician' or the Anno series.
You might also find influences in Vermeer or Fugger or Railroad Tycoon.

Note: some of these are really old, but they were really fun management style games.
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