All posts tagged with "ukranian grain silo optimization simulator is best when you do it one grain at a time"

Cultivating Gameplay: Game Design in CE

Clockwork Empires is an exceedingly complex game. Each new system interacts with each existing system in ways we necessarily can’t predict. And unpredictable consequences are, to some degree, the goal of any sandbox game worth its cabbage. But there are failure states where the whole web of systems kinda slumps over to one side, repeating the same beeping noise. This isn’t interesting, so we have to poke and nudge the game back to where it does interesting things again. This is called “Game Design”.

Is that metaphor getting awkward? Let’s get to the specific example I had in mind: balancing food & farming gameplay in Clockwork Empires. This is going to go into Exciting exhaustive detail!

Farming, step one: kill anything that isn't human.

Farming, step one: kill anything that isn’t human.

(By the way, we’re doing the big monthly update of Clockwork Empires next week! The Development Progress page will be updated at that time. Details to be released soon.)

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Fixing The Economy

The weeks leading up to the release of the Clockwork Empires teaser trailer were focused on putting together visual polish and gameplay situations to fit a desired narrative. This all looks very pretty but it doesn’t develop the substance of the game — now, we return to substance: the economy.

(Well, at least I am. Other people are working on other stuff which is also cool. But I get to indulge in this post now because it’s my turn! So let’s get some adorable little icons going to liven things up… )

There's more where these came from, believe you me.

There’s more where these came from, believe you me.

Although we’ve all got input on the design of the game, in broad strokes we’re putting the responsibility for design/implementation of particular areas of mechanics on individual people. Daniel, for example, made himself an advocate for developing character personalities and relationships (see also: his posts about such things as relationships & event knowledge). Meanwhile, I have a passion for, paraphrasing Nicholas here, “optimizing transfer of goods between two grain silos in Ukraine” so, naturally, I’m taking on the role of advocate for economic matters in Clockwork Empires (see also: my posts on loading bays, and going way back, industrial logistics). Putting together a (first draft) of a (vaguely) working economy is my task for this week.

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