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Thoughts and suggestions after 40 hours of playing!


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Well first of all, thank you for designing this lovely game about having a symbiotic relationship with a magnificent dinosaur! I've spent 40 very happy hours playing it, and I've only stopped because I've basically run out of things to do - I ran one tutorial game, one disastrous Adept game, and one incredibly successful Adept game. On the last one, I've made all my villagers and my onbu as happy as possible, and built everything I wanted to build. So... I love this game! And I also know it pretty well by now. So here are my thoughts. I hope they're helpful!


  • Obviously I love the whole game, and especially the magnificent onbu, but I thought I'd pick out a few little details too.
  • I love that villagers will preferentially seek out a new food when it becomes available, so that food keeps getting used up. That is what people are like! A really nice touch.
  • I love the way the buildings all look. It was genuinely an exciting moment each time I researched a new building to zoom in and look at all the cute details! You can really tell this game is a labour of love!
  • I love that the tents have about three different appearances - again, such a nice little bit of attention to detail that makes such a big difference.
  • I love onbu. I realise everyone loves onbu,  but seriously, great job on making it so incredibly likeable. I especially love its yawns!! Early on, when we were about to head through three consecutive poison forests, I found myself taking time out to pet it because I was fairly sure we were all about to die, and I just... wanted it to know it was loved?!




  • Could the word "command" be replaced with "request" or "suggest" when communicating with onbu? It doesn't feel quite in the spirit of the relationship to be giving it orders.
  • Could there be an interface on the farms to allow us to see the benefit being derived from compost? I haven't so far found anywhere that shows me what it's actually worth, which is a disincentive to make it since it's in direct competition with the incredibly useful biogas. Similarly, could there be an option to switch off compost for particular farms so that you can prioritise more important farms when resources are low?
  • Could there be an area of the research tree dedicated to building storm-proof buildings? At present, it's the only hazard that seriously affects the village which you have absolutely no way of dealing with. I can prepare for times of low water, or high poison. But storms just happen. It also gets a bit repetitive because all you have to do is stop what you're doing and rebuild - no thinking or planning required. I once got hit by the same storm five times in a row, and it got pretty tiresome.
  • It seems odd that if a storm knocks down a building, all resources stored in that building are lost, but no additional resources are required to build it back up. I think I would prefer it if storms hit fewer buildings, but cost resources to build back. This could also be balanced differently if it was possible to storm-proof your buildings, of course.
  • Given that storms destroy the contents of any building they take down, it's a bit of a disincentive to build a warehouse. Perhaps warehouses could be highly storm-resistant? Or alternatively could there be smaller, pantry-size storage for materials, to make it possible to split resources more? I lived in constant fear of a storm taking down the trebuchet with its stock of onbu food and medicine!
  • Could there  be the option of more specialised stockpiles with larger capacity? For example, I would like to be able to store 500 medicine in the zone where the herbalist, doctor, and onbu doctor are, but I don't want to build two warehouses to do it. As it stands, I either have to use a centralised warehouse, or loads of small 30-capacity stockpiles, which results in a lot of unnecessary hauling. That said, this suggestion would obviously be catastrophic if a storm took down the medicine stockpile!
  • Perhaps sand storms and regular storms could have different effects? For example, regular storms could damage buildings, but sand storms could require all your villagers to take shelter? This might be interesting as they could perhaps go to their cottages for this, in which case cottages would need food supplies, or maybe there could be an allocated refuge bunker which you have to keep stocked? Then there could be dilemmas if onbu has needs, but your villagers are at risk if you let them out.
  • I would prefer it if people went to their homes sometimes. Once I worked out that they don't go to them, it changed the way I did town planning, which was a shame. It's a level of complexity I would prefer to need to consider. I think people should need sleep, and maybe even bed rest if they're badly poisoned. I don't think they would necessarily need homes personally assigned to specific villagers, since that's not really how the game works - I think it would be fine if they just went to the nearest, best quality dwelling available.
  • Could there be subtle variations in the huts and cottages? I love that the tents don't all look the same.
  • Could there be an option to tell villagers to prioritise their own health when they're sick? I really like that if they get badly poisoned, they just have to stand there until a doctor can get to them, but before that point I would like to see a queue forming outside the village doctors!
  • The laboratory feels like it could be expanded. At present, if you aren't willing to hurt onbu, it's basically pointless building it. Perhaps it could be possible to develop preventative medicine there? Like a vaccine you can give your villagers for three days' protection from poison, or something?
  • Could there be the possibility that onbu might get sick, and in order to find out what's wrong with it and which medicine is appropriate, you have to drill into its back and get a blood sample? It would be like taking a beloved pet to the vet - doing what's best for your onbu means taking a temporary hit to how much it trusts you.
  • Could there be a setting that forbids villagers from hurting the onbu in any way? A couple of times I've caught them hacking away at spikes when I'm sure I didn't tell them to!! This setting should override accidentally selecting a spike for harvesting.




  • I've found it isn't possible to farm the whole of a farmable area, even if I keep full workers on it. Is this just a consequence of changing environmental conditions, or is it a bug? Occasionally, the herbalist farm gets full, but none of the others do really.
  • Villagers are able to walk through areas too narrow for me to build a path in. They even sometimes walk through onbu spikes. Guessing this is a bug. Obviously it makes it hard to let villagers do the pathfinding and then build paths on the routes they actually take, which is how I like to do it.
  • Food variety. I have found myself on only 14% boost from food variety despite having four different types of food available, and enough for everyone in the village to eat at least three different things. Am I misunderstanding the maths here?




Will there be an end game?! I really hope so! The one thing that makes me sad about survival games is that they can only end in two ways: either everyone dies, or the player gets bored and wanders off. It strikes me that this game has the potential to do something quite interesting for the end game.

OK, so the above are all (I hope!) fairly sensible suggestions. What follows is just some off-the-wall spitballing!

So. Obviously the villagers develop a truly symbiotic relationship with onbu. But what if onbu is, or should be, in a symbiotic relationship with the Earth? We know it receives nutrients from the ground. We know a dead onbu is a poison-forest-spawning catastrophe.

So what about this? Long ago, thousands of onbu roamed the Earth. They drew up nutrients from the ground, and their powerful livers enabled them to take up toxins from the soil and neutralise them. Up to a point. Eventually, humans caused an ecological catastrophe which made the soil so poisonous that most onbu were forced to go into a dormant state. Any onbu that did stay awake just took in more and more toxins until they died and their bodies became fertile breeding grounds for the poison.

Our onbu survives because it is only receiving some of its nutrients from the Earth. The rest comes from the villagers, via the trebuchet. Also, of course, we heal it when it gets really seriously poisoned.

But what if, eventually, some combination of the Scout Tower and the Research Hut start to notice that those areas where the onbu has walked recently are less toxic than the areas around them? The onbu, protected by the villagers on its back, is doing what it always used to do - taking in nutrients and removing toxins from the soil as it does so.

By this point in the game, we have no need of more knowledge, and we probably don't need any more resources either, really. But now we have a new mission: find the other sleeping onbu, and wake them up! When we find one, we sacrifice the resources for a starting colony to it (say 16 people and enough food and resources to see them through the first few days) and send it on its way. This would provide an incentive to keep recruiting more villagers, and researching more technology. It could also involve going into areas we would usually avoid because signs suggest there might be an onbu sleeping there. And just imagine the sense of wonder of actually finding another onbu, and watching our onbu nuzzle it when it wakes up!!

Gradually, we might see an improvement in all the biomes - more oases in the desserts, lower toxin levels in the jungles, fewer storms in the mountains. And of course, as each new onbu village we create goes off with the same mission (to wake more onbu!), we might even get to occasionally meet other onbu villages, with the chance of trade and news of remote dangers. It might be thousands of years before the surface of the Earth is habitable again, but the villager-onbu-Earth symbiosis could show the path to a brighter future! 

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Those are some really great suggestions - you've got my vote on every one of those! Especially the one where you might need to hurt Onbu to heal him. Perhaps there would be a chance he could heal without your help, but helping would give better chances, so you would need to make a decision on help and hurt vs. ignore and risk death. It annoys me a lot that the farms can never seem full - are they supposed to be able to be full, or is the range big so we can choose out to organize the tiles?

As for the end game, there is a story thing you can reach at 100 days right now, but it doesn't really give you any new goals, and you can play for as long as you'd like afterwards. I would prefer something similar to Niche, where there is a particular location you are trying to reach, but you can take as long as you need to get there and spend as much time traveling afterward as you want.

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Love these ideas. Came here specifically to see if anyone else mentioned people being sick.  
It irks me to no end that a person gets poisoned and just carry on, possibly infecting others (not sure if there is an infect others "mode")
When you have 6 doctors and theyre standing by their building twiddling their thumbs instead of either going to or having come to them poisoned people and theres no prompt/command to get them to seek out poisoned villagers, or for poisoned people to go to the doctor or rest its just disheartening.

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  • 5 weeks later...

Well, I couldn't resist so I came back to see if I could complete the game on hard mode. By 'complete' I mean I decided to get to the point where I felt my community and onbu could handle whatever was thrown at it without difficulty, and I had a population of 100. I have a few quick additional notes!

1. I've realised that you're supposed to use your ability to give orders to onbu to avoid the storms that come and tank your buildings. I continued to have absolutely no success with this! Possibly I just haven't figured out the strategy yet, or possibly it could be made a little more achievable? For example, could the scout tower enable you to view a projected path for thr hurricane? So you have a bit more chance of avoiding it?

2. It would be great if it were possible to 'lock' the resources in a particular building. For example, if I restock the villager doctor, then close it up, and then try to restock the onbu doctor, the villagers will remove resources from the village doctor to do it. I can see circumstances where you would need them to be able to do this, but it's frustrating that you can't stop them if, for example, you're moving out of a poison zone and just want to make sure you're all set up for the next one.

3. Another tiny one. It would be very helpful if the interface that displays your total number of resources in each category included resources that are in buildings rather than in stockpiles. For example, it frequently shows that I have like 2 onbu food, whereas I actually have 22, but they're mostly in the trebuchet!

Sky: such interesting comments! I think you might be right about the farms - that it is showing you an area of options for the shape your farm can take. But in that case it would be super helpful if it was indicated somehow when you'd reached the maximum useful farm size. Even just if the squares you're laying down change colour after you've reached your maximum? Definitely agree there should be an "ignore" button for when onbu gets sick. Or even a "delay" option if you just don't have a good enough relationship with onbu to risk it right now. I'm intrigued about the 100 days thing! But I had basically completely run out of things to do, even on hard mode, by about day 36?!

Angeltt: Yeah, totally agree that the way doctors and poisoning work could do with some finessing. Your idea of contamination is particularly interesting.

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