Options, Options everywhere!

posted in: Development | 1

What I never understood was the fact that many economy simulations offered sandbox modes but did not really allow the players to customize their sessions. Where’s the point in offering a sandbox if you just play the game over and over again in the very same way? Why do these games not give the power to the player? Well. We don’t know for sure but what we know is that we’d like to give as much power to the player as possible.

What does this mean? Options. That’s the answer. Options upfront, before you start your sandbox journey. How big do you want to have your map? How much starting money would you like to have? How many AI opponents would you like to have? Would you like to get some things automated? But that ain’t everything. Why not allowing the player to customize the game while he or she is already in the game? Well, we do that, to be honest. Just one simple example: Renaming the product you are producing? Go for it. It’s up to you.

Whenever you have a sandbox, make use of it. That’s the credo. And we’re following it.

Accept that you are a game

posted in: Development | 3

First of all: A happy new year to everyone out there. And sorry for the lack of updates but we were pretty much busy with developing the game these days (yes, even over Christmas. A game doesn’t code itself and we’re working really hard for progress). Anyways. It is time for a new entry in the devblog. I mean, it’s a new year, so we should start talking again.

Where to start? Well, I think I’ve got something in mind for the post today. And the title already gives you a small hint. Accept that you are a game. Or to describe it a bit better: Make your game accept that it is a game. Economy simulations most times are super realistic and don’t offer humor at all. They take themselves way too serious. Which is, well, fine. But also it’s not. Developers often forget that the players know that it is a game. Sure, the mechanics must be realistic and believable. That’s part of the genre. But why do games of this kind not just accept that they are a playfield for the players? Actually that could be part of the immersion.


At least that is what we thought. I mean, we already have a future setting. The mechanics are based on our days economy systems and they are quite complex and as realistic as possible. But are all the products realistic? We don’t know. We assume they will be real at some point. We did a lot of research on what is and what will (hopefully) be possible soon. But of course we cannot predict the future, just guess what’s likely. What does that mean? Well, we are developing a realistic game which might be unrealistic. And that gives us some freedom as we already accepted that we’re developing a game.

So how do we make the game accept that it’s a game? Nothing easier than that: Make it a playfield. Once the developer accepted that it’s “just” a game, it’s much easier for the game to accept itself as well. And I think we found a good way to show that it is a playfield. Where other games continue the maps and block the camera of the player we decided to stop the map and let the player see that it’s “just” a map. That way the player will always be aware that it’s just a game and hopefully understand that the game itself is aware of that, too.