gracierocket Posted October 4, 2022 Share Posted October 4, 2022 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! COMPLIMENTS: 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?! SUGGESTIONS: 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. POSSIBLE BUGS: 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? END GAME: 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! 2 1 1 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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