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My Feedback on the game and AI


GoldMan
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This game has a great foundation. It’s truly a great concept but it just needs more stuff in it. In particular the thing I believe is needed is some kind of society feature like Frostpunk’s  Law, Discontent and Hope features. Obviously not as grim as that game but somethings in particular I think should be implemented into the game: 

  1. Night time: I have no idea why this isn’t in the game already but 100% before release there needs to be a day and night cycle where the villagers go back to their tents and sleep. Literally just slowing down the game by 30% and replacing that time with sleeping would be an easy change that should’ve been in the game to start with. It also allows the map to be more spread since Onbu could move during that time. 

 

Reason number 1 touches on the biggest weakness of the game being the AI. It feels like these villagers are a bunch of drones in a static world. Honestly the AI is the biggest challenge this game and the devs will face. 

 

  1. More in depth jobs and skills: I believe that this is coming but there needs to be more specialists with bonuses in this game. In particular there are 5 stats that I believe every villager should be able to focus on and by doing so they get like +15% bonus to it. Those include: 

    1. Transporters (people who carry stuff to places)

    2. Constructors (people who build buildings and specific resources)

    3. Farmers (self explanatory)

    4. Technocrats (people who work with more complex buildings like the Onbu buildings and research) 

    5. Harvesters (Self explanatory) 

    6. Finders (For the scouts and decontaminators) 

This system could be very complex like in the game “Oxygen Not Included” where every clone gets a particular job skill tree that they progress through or simple like Frostpunk where there are 4 “classes” of people: children, workers, engineers and automata who work at different levels of efficiency. Frostpunk and ONI are different games with different vibes, so the devs shouldn’t just copy and paste their systems into this game. 

  1. Transportation update: These guys walk so slow and it feels like a super limiting factor in the design. Moreover resources are super static and require a person to manually move them from one building/space to another. At worst it means that harvesters will harvest a rock on the other side of the map break it and leave the rocks there so that when the building needs to be constructed another villager needs to walk all the way across the map to pick it up. This is not effective and I can think of a few different solutions to fix this. 

    1. Add some kind of “mule stable” building  to the game. Once you build it or something you assign people to it so that they just walk around with more resources and walk at a much quicker rate. I believe these are called “carriers” since you can assign people to that role from a building but they don’t really do that at least fast enough and can still barely hold anything. 

    2. Earn Stone roads quicker in the tech tree. 

    3. Design jobs so that transportation is inherently in mind. Such as a tab in a building that says “grab water after delivering food” on a farm. Or “grab wood after delivering stone slabs”. 

I know it's a slight thing but I know as game development  moves on and more resources and buildings get added the devs should improve this mechanic. I also want to mention again that this should be taken as constructive criticism since I know the more complex the AI gets the harder the game pushes the hardware. 

  1. Decontaminators and harvesters need a “queue” tab. Something I’ve noticed that goes with the ai is that it doesn’t go to the closest resource to harvest/decontaminate after it is done but seemingly one at random. Meaning that if you want to harvest resources on two sides of the map they will walk back and forth the entire map instead of going to the closest one (meanwhile not picking up any of the resources they mine). A way to maybe fix this is to have each harvester/decontaminator have a 3 level queue so that the game and other AI know that once Terry is done with harvesting the tree he will go to the closest rock and mine that. The queue’s should be ordered by nearest location from the starting harvesting resource. This way Sam won’t try and harvest the closer rock instead and go to the other side of the map to mine the one tree. 

    1. If you want to, you could implement a system where if a resource depot is closer than any second harvesting resources the que already sets the villager to go place the resources in it. 

  2. Cemetery or death rituals: This is a tiny thing that doesn’t necessarily need to be in the game but something a lot of games like this do is a cemetery building for the dead villagers. Once villagers die they just kinda despawn? Something I think that would be really interesting would be a “shrine construction” where you build shrines in the environment as a memorial for the dead to be discovered by passers by. 

 

I hope my feedback gave insight to what I would like to see from this game. I really like it and I think if the devs give it a bit more time it WILL stand parallel to other city builders like Cities: Skylines, Frostpunk and Rimworld. I hope the devs stay motivated and positive because they have something special baking. Also I’m excited for all the stuff on the roadmap since new biomes and merchants add way more complexity to the game.

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