Farming was originally NOT going to be included in the game. I'm trying my best to keep the game from becoming another resource management game. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy those games, Banished and Rimworld are some of my inspirations, but I wanted to keep the focus "Your units are your main resource" true. I've played a lot of city-builder games and every time a game has a granary as a core building, I sigh, thinking "It's another one of THOSE games..."
Regardless, I decided to add food as another resource in the game.
Here's why: simply put, there needed to be a limitation on how quickly you can acquire new people. Additionally, it visualizes the current state of your village's success. It's blatantly clear why your city isn't growing in winter when your crops are covered in snow.
To keep the crops interesting I set them up with a few specific visions in mind.
First of all, crops are a researchable technology. Although this might change, the idea behind it is to legitimize the viability of nomadic cities later on rather than make crops a requirement. We'll see.
Second, crop fields have unique requirements such as they must be placed on mud tiles close to water, which are the only source of adobe, which is used to build structures. The player must make the conscience decision to cover up access of another resource to grow food.
Third, crops are built in 2x2 squares or 4-in-a-row instead of one block tiles in order to encourage a bit of awkwardness.
Fourth, there will NOT be a resource stockpile at any time so the crops you have are all your available resources. There will not be much micromanaging needed to
Finally, Crops are planted by harvesting a fully grown crop, creating a chicken-egg situation which could be fun if you run out and are forced to steal some from a neighbor.
As for functionality, It's pretty straight forward. There's a crop paddy "structure" that you build, then use a crop resource to sow it. The paddy grows to full strength and is ready for harvest. At the same time, a house with its progress bar 80% full will send out an inhabitant to get a piece of food and bring it back. If the house has a 100% bar AND food, a new person is spawned. Its is a bit unrealistic, but this is a video game. Not a simulation.
The farms added a surprising amount of needed complexity as well. Having a finite resource that takes time to grow, that can be stolen or destroyed by enemies, and that is affected by the drastic weather patterns really went well with the current gameplay narrative.
Now, I know what you're thinking. "But Erik, my people are vegetarian boat people who live on stilt villages and never set foot on land. What can I do about food?"
And the answer is, I got you:
These are floating aquaponics built of reeds and wood based off of the real life floating village in Inle lake, Myanmar.
Pretty simple, but I like the look of it.
And yes, I am still using a water texture from Wind Waker...
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to ask!
Also, I'm looking for testers, so I can send you a (really rough) version of the game for feedback purposes. However, I cannot stress enough that the game is NOT complete.
I create, design and develop video games I'm interested in playing.
The Fire System
Melee and Ranged Units
Weather and "Seasons"
Ladders and Elevation
Animating 2D units in a 3D world
Setting the Theme
Setting the Focus