Most everything on the game map can have resources harvested from it in one way or another (and we really mean another). Trees, rocks, crops, animals, people, Other Things. You combine these to make other things. The natural environment of your settlement determines what resources are abundant and what resources are not. If you settle on the Black Dunes of Whispering, expect anything to do with resources tagged “timber” to be a lot more relatively expensive. But look on the bright side, I’m sure there are advantages to living on the Black Dunes of Whispering. For example, lots of whispering. And bones.
As we have discussed previously, the primary tool for augmenting a building’s function in game is a module. Modules include things like doors and windows, and come in two categories: required and optional. Required modules are those which are needed to get your building up and running at all – in the case of a workshop, this would include a workbench, a desk for your Artisan/Overseer to manage their paperwork with, and a door. In the case of a Lower Class House, you need one cot, and… well, again, a door. Doors are good things to put on buildings.
Optional modules are those which upgrade the effectiveness of your building. For instance, a carpentry workshop can have a Power Saw installed. The power saw lets you perform certain tasks (such as making planks) faster, and you can have multiple power saws. You can also have multiple carpentry workbenches, and this might be a good idea as each person can only use one carpentry workbench at a time. If you have a particular desire for planks, which are Useful (for instance, for building more carpentry workbenches), you might want to spend some resources building power saws.
(Dear Reader: In order to supply high-quality content to you, the Reader, in this age of the Internet, we bring you one of those wacky Choose-Your-Own-Adventure blogs in a style that the kids love.)
You are MURIEL COGSPROCKET. You are an OVERSEER for the colony of GREATER MUSHROOMHOOD. You enjoy HATS, BEETLES, and LOOKING INTO THE SEA. Your job is to attempt to SERVE THE EMPIRE and THE QUEEN while not GETTING STUCK or CRASHING.
- Attempt to gossip with your neighbour? (If so, please turn to Page 2.)
- Attempt to do Overseer work? (If so, please turn to Page 3.)
- Go home? (If so, please turn to Page 4.)
- Walk into the sea, never to return? (If so, please turn to Page 5.)
As we learned in the You Have To Name The Expansion Pack expansion pack to Dredmor which you had to name, names have power. Characters in Clockwork Empires, like Dredmor expansion packs, have names. So what names ought to be given to these people? And how? As fun as it’d be to make up hundreds of Victorian Steampunk names by hand, we have the technology to make robots do the work for us using the power of procedural content generation.
Mind you, procedural content is not a magical solution to all problems. It may indeed involve actual design work to fit interestingly, much less well, into a hypothetical game. So, naming: the care we put into the raw feedstock of the the Hypno-Pneumatic Name-o-Tron very much determines the quality of its denotative extrusions. And here at Gaslamp Games, we intend to provide only the finest extrusions, thick with nuance, speckled by nodules of intertextuality, and offset by an effervescence of whimsy.
This raw name-feedstock creates flavour, theme, & narrative for Clockwork Empires. What’s all this then, story in a procedurally generated sandbox game? – Well, sure! Even though, as usual, we’re just making it up as we go along, there are certain vaguely insinuated guidelines to respect. A bit of structure can be put in place to support a certain range of narratives, if you will, which can be quite enabling to players. We give you a delightful setting and a nudge on the back, you make the game your own from there on out.
Like many of the other privileged few of the PC Game Development World, Daniel and I attended Steam Dev Days last week. We met a number of lovely people, and unlocked crates filled with things that are potentially unstable but nonetheless have high economic demand.
We also went to a series of valuable, inspirational talks by Valve employees in which they explained their strategies for game development and how they do business. The effect on our game development has been startling. We think you will be pleased by our new business model.