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Idea for the end game: The Last Biome


elwood612
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Just a random thought I had today while reflecting on the fact that the Wandering Village doesn't really have an ending. As others have pointed out, the statue you get to build is a neat idea, well-executed - but it either comes too early and doesn't feel like the end, or too late and you've already died. Tying it to the Day count, while unavoidable, is an artificial limitation that doesn't work, because most players end a city builder when they feel like they've had enough.

But it is nice to have some sort of closure. So on to the idea:

I propose a new biome. The Ocean (or Beach, or Beach of Bones). Don't laugh at my bad photoshop below. The idea is simple: this is the last biome you encounter, and the end of your journey. Oh, Onbu doesn't stop walking, that would be out of character for him (her? them?). But it's a temperate, scenic biome that allows the player to "wrap things up", so to speak. Finish that last farm, upgrade those last roads, take some final screenshots. Go out at your own speed, basically.

How would this work?

  • The player would choose to go there. After completing the statue (and maybe a certain population? Or enough tech researched?) Onbu starts to encounter mysterious bone piles after certain intersections, and only in one direction. Some kind of hint could go along with them ("Wherever this leads, this feels like the beginning of the end") and the player could choose to keep following them or not. If they want to keep exploring, jungles and shrines and so on, so be it. But if they follow the bones (4 or 5 times in a row, maybe), they encounter the Last Biome.
  • No more crossroads. Straight forever. One last chance to turn away right before, when you first see it on the map. Can still go there later, just follow the bones again.
  • Still get some events, since you're still walking next to other biomes. So an occasional cold snap when you walk past mountains, and so on. But nothing too severe, just enough to break up the monotony.
  • Onbu will often just stop and sit, usually around sunset. Emphasizing that this is a final place, not a new adventure. He likes to walk, of course - but he's happy here. Maybe he can stare at the whales, or close his eyes and purr (he's a big cat, right?).
  • This one you might not like, but bones of animals (and other Onbu?) could be scattered along the shore, as far as the eye can see. Evidence that other lifeforms found their way to this more peaceful place, and presumably died in their sleep. Clean, white bones, not scary green bones like the other dead Onbu. A final resting place, if you will.
  • Of course, some kind of message from the Village Elder could indicate that this biome is perfect to flourish in. Reduced threats, good temperature for a wide range of crops. And Onbu seems to like it!

Again, the point is, this is the end of the game. A lot of city builders don't have good endings (or any endings), which can suck when the narrative focus is strong (like Wandering Village). But having an ending forced on the player constrains their freedom, and removes the ability to just enjoy the village being a village. If the player chooses when to go to "The Ending Place", and can keep playing there at a leisurely pace, then that gives them some closure, and adds some finality to the story. Would also be a great transition to the credits, wink wink, nudge nudge.

My two cents on this Wednesday afternoon. Alright, back to work.

onbu.jpg

Edited by elwood612
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I may be wrong, but didn't residents first come to Onbu through contamination? As if these beings did not exist before/no one knew about them? And then there are also several that start roaming around? 

I find the ending you suggest somehow comforting, but also bleak. And the idea with the clues I really think is quite brilliant.

Why not make the ending one of simply finding a place where Onbu can hopefully rest forever. It lies down, stops listening to the player and starts to rest, in between it still draws attention to itself, in the beginning by occasional noises and movements. Nothing threatening, like when dogs dream something nice. But it becomes quieter and quieter, sinks into a kind of hibernation. And instead of dying and decaying, it becomes (again) a part of the landscape. And in the end, the only thing left to remember Onbu by is a small hill with a village on it.

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I may be wrong, but didn't residents first come to Onbu through contamination? As if these beings did not exist before/no one knew about them? And then there are also several that start roaming around? 

Possibly? Not sure about that. We know they can die from exposure though.

I like your idea! Yes, finding a forever resting spot for Onbu is basically the idea. I just think that Onbu has this natural urge to keep walking and it would be a shame to deny him that. The game is called Wandering Village, after all. But yours would be a more "final" ending for sure, and beautiful as well. I think they're similar ideas when you get down to it.

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Finding a resting place to turn into bones by the ocean or finally settling down into a deep sleep to become a hill for thousands of years are both beautiful ideas, but I have another one! 

The next level that I'm craving for this game is the ability to eradicate the toxins, heal the whole world, and offload villagers into new settlements.  I think, after you accumulate enough resources, maybe something like 25 knowledge will enable you to research a new type of fungus that you can then make in your laboratory and begin to plant in all the poison forests. Then you could wander the world releasing the new "antidote" spores in every poison forest.  Once the land is clean again, no more poison forests, you can choose to build little communities of settlers here and there, offloading 20-50 people from Onbu at a time with bundles of resources.  So you're going around decontaminating the world, and planting villages. 

I also think it would be amazing if Onbu would lay an egg, settle down for a little while, and hatch a baby Onbu that could eventually support its own tiny village. Eventually you could have a small herd of Onbus, each with its own village, and a completely clean world full of thriving settlements that welcome the roaming herd of Onbus with a big festival whenever they pass through. 

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