Resource management game where you play a ruler of a growing kingdom.
I love playing chess and board games. The style of board game that really gets me excited is called worker placement or resource management. If you've played games like Agricola, Terra Mystica, Le Havre, or Stone Age, then this project might appeal to you.
My goal is to build a single player resource management game delivered as an NFT on fx(hash). There are a lot of design and technical challenges ahead of me. So I'll give updates as I make progress.
As always, feel free to ping me on Twitter if you have ideas or feedback.
v11 (8 months ago)
Building a game is challenging. I've wanted to get this out for broader play testing for over a week. But every time I get to a point where I think it will be playable, something just doesn't feel right. So I go back to the drawing board and try a different approach.
Currently, I'm rethinking the way victory points are calculated. The system of adding 1 VP per 10 power, fame, or wealth every turn was an interesting idea but it creates a lot of gameplay challenges. Here are the 2 biggest challenges that I tried to overcome:
Earning power, fame, and wealth was extremely important early in the game. Then building placement becomes less and less meaningful in the mid to end game. It creates a very anti-climatic ending where you are just placing random buildings to finish your turns. I tried to balance this by giving a 5x multiplier in the last 5 turns. This significantly helped but the problem remained.
The game was pretty difficult to plan ahead. I tried to introduce ways to look at building stacks in future turns or see which turns produced or consumed a particular resource. But with the complexity of the number of buildings/resources, looking ahead just takes too much mental work for a meaningful payout.
To fix the above issues, I've come up with a new VP setup that makes game play a little more reactive and predictable so looking ahead isn't as important. You can focus more on what you've built combined with the options in front of you.
v10 (8 months ago)
We're up to 31 buildings! Here is a video of the latest gameplay. There are a lot of small things to improve but general framework for the game is mostly there. I'm working on more buildings, a start screen, a tutorial, and an end screen.
v9 (8 months ago)
Here is a video showing some of the latest interactions.
The build/burn phases are now mixed together into a single turn.
There are now Masonry Guild and War tiles that determine how many tiles you place and burn each turn.
The game no longer computes resources gained at the end of each turn. Instead, you immediately gain resources for the building you place as well as the neighboring buildings.
The kingdom is larger. There are currently 165 possible locations to place buildings.
I've cleaned up a lot of small interactions and interface elements. Still a lot to do on this front but I feel like I have a better vision for how to organize things.
v8 (8 months ago)
I've made a ton of progress over the last few days based on my previous thoughts. The original approach was just not working for me...but I'm really digging the new setup. Teaser video coming soon.
v7 (9 months ago)
After thinking more about gameplay, I've decided to rework the phases and resource harvesting mechanic. This is what I'm thinking:
Build Phase: You place buildings from your queue into your kingdom. When you place a building, it immediately produces resources along with each adjacent neighbor. This means whenever you place a building, up to 5 buildings immediately produce.
As your economy grows, the number of buildings placed each turn increases.
Burn Phase: Instead of burning buildings from your queue, you burn buildings from your kingdom. This represents buildings lost while defending your kingdom in battle.
As the power of your army increases, the number of buildings you burn each turn decreases. If your army is powerful enough, you burn no buildings and gain war spoils.
The motivation for this change comes from the previous lack of an immediate "payoff" for each action you take. When resources are immediately gained for each building placement, it makes the action more meaningful.
v6 (9 months ago)
My initial thought process when designing this game was to make it so each time a game is minted on fxhash, the gameplay is deterministic. That means, the building stack is the same and if you take the same series of actions, you wind up with the same score.
This would open the door for a leaderboard that fairly compares every player from each version of the game. People could then compete to get the highest possible score in a deterministic setting.
The thing that I don't necessarily like about that setup is the game might be less fun with each subsequent play because there is no discovery element. Players know exactly which buildings to expect as the game progresses.
If the game is not deterministic, I lose the ability to have leaderboards per mint...but the resulting game might be much more interesting to replay.
v5 (9 months ago)
Here is the latest highlighting interaction based on my previous update. This works reasonably well. I just need to display the name of the building.
v4 (9 months ago)
Building a game is really challenging. There are so many little things to consider. One thing I'm struggling with now is figuring out how I can help players make decisions about which buildings to place without requiring a ton of cross referencing in a guide/manual.
While you are playing, it should be obvious what resources a building produces and consumes. I've played with tooltips and modals to show building info. But I just find all of those interactions to be too clunky. So I'm going to try an approach that might be slightly less intuitive for a new player but incredibly useful once you get the hang of it.
When you hover over a tile in the building queue, it should highlight the resources it produces and consumes on the right. If it consumes a resource, the background will be red. If it produces the resource, it'll be green.
You'll know straight away that the building will be active or inactive based on the red highlighted resources being empty or not. There are other visual indicators that I may add to improve the interaction even more, but I'll start with simple highlights and go from there.
v3 (9 months ago)
I have the basic code written to handle harvesting. At the end of each round, all buildings in your kingdom will produce as long as you have enough resources to pay the cost.
v2 (9 months ago)
I've been working on the phases for each round.
I think it's important that as a player, you are constantly put in a position where you have to make a decision with tangible trade-offs. It drives me crazy when games have linear upgrade paths without requiring sacrifices.
Each round you'd get to place a building, burn a building, and upgrade a building. Every building produces resources so the decision should factor in short and long term needs.
v1 (10 months ago)
Here is the first video of the Kalundor interface. I've previously worked on this project for 4-5 days so a lot of thought has already been put into the game mechanics and interface.
I'm testing embedded Loom videos to show the interactions.