A Village In Time (game concept)
A Village in Time is a real-time strategy and city building game that combines the creativity of city building, the critical thinking of resource management, and the strategy of medieval combat. A huge variety of resources, buildings, and objects will provide the setting. The game is focused on seven generalized civilization groups, and will lead players from humble village life to bustling and powerful city-states.
Villagers are the only unit in the game. Instead of making many different units for each job or purpose, villagers get assigned job titles which denote the work they’re doing. For example, lumberjacks chop down trees and gather logs, diggers dig, farmers farm, priests propagate religion, and couriers carry information and goods from place to place. As your town fills its basic needs, villagers can become merchants, emissaries, soldiers, generals, and even lords and ladies.
Each villager has stats which can be increased by doing specific jobs. Manual labor increases villager health and strength, while organizational jobs can increase intelligence. Experience is used to denote how well a villager does a specific job. For example, a more experienced blacksmith will produce higher quality goods faster than a novice blacksmith. More experienced soldiers have a higher chance to hit, parry, block, and dodge. Experience is gained by practice, learning or being taught, and of course, through hard work and perseverance!
Each villager, regardless of title, can build basic structures. In order to build job-specific structures, a player would have to have a villager with that title. Villagers that are given construction titles, such as stone masons, carpenters, builders, architects, or engineers, have access to a wide range of construction options.
Soldier is the primary title that includes swordsmen, archers, pikemen, and other specialties. In this case the armor, and, more importantly, the weapon(s) they wield denotes their position in the army.
The chance to hit is vital in A Village in Time. Villagers will miss when swinging a sword or firing a bow when they have little or no experience. This makes most villagers poor soldiers. Experienced soldiers will successfully hit more often, as well as be able to better protect themselves from being hit. If a villager is hit by a strong attack, it will likely be their end. Armor comes into play by reducing the chance that a villager will die by being struck by an attack. Health points function by keeping track of how high the strength of the attacker is, how much armor the villager is wearing, and how direct the attack is. Glancing blows do less damage, direct attacks do full damage. This allows for villagers to survive a few, or many, attacks when evenly matched.
Buildings come with the diversity of your town’s villagers. Each title comes with specific buildings that complement the job at hand. For example, having lumberjacks allows the construction of lumber mills, farmers will allow the placement of farm fences, pens, gardens, and sheds. Stockpiles serve to store materials needed for construction and industry. Stockpiles, which can be as simple as an area of cleared land to as complex as a large complex of warehouses, can be organized by the player to accept specific types of resources.
The effectiveness and durability of buildings depends on the materials used, the villagers tasked with its construction, and if an architect or engineer assisted in the process. Houses and other buildings made of wood can be destructed or burned easily, while stone and other materials provide extra strength, as well as benefits such as warmth and aesthetic beauty.
There are nine main resource super-categories in A Village in Time:
Minerals, Trees, Food, Flora, Components, Finished Goods, Animals, Equipment, and Objects
Each resource has various uses and traits which fit into each category:
Dirt, clay, stone, chalk, and metals fall under mineral.
Alder, Spruce, Pine, and Oak are trees.
Nails, poles, handles, beams, and most raw materials (like leather, fur, and linen) fit into components.
Weapons, armor, tools and clothing are types of equipment.
Rabbits, chickens, deer, cattle, and bears fit into the animals category.
Objects is the catch-all category. Anything that definitely can’t be put into a category is a generic object. Usually these are things that don’t have a direct use or interaction in the game.
The vast resource palette allows the player to explore a vast number of possible ways to play the game, and provides depth to an otherwise bland genre.Things such as the type of wood a player builds with will influence, even if slightly, the traits of a building. The same can be said about the materials used for weapons and armor, and even the types of food villagers eat can slightly change how your villagers fare and how the game progresses.
The plan also includes separated multiplayer co-op and competitive server game play, on top of endless skirmish and sandbox play. While this is an ambitious plan, it can’t hurt to aim high at this point.
At the very least, LAN cooperative games would exist locally as a game save on the host’s computer. Ideally, online co-op would exist as a persistent game world on a hosted server. Both local and online co-op games place human players against their computer counterparts. Computer A.I. would exist as many established towns which support one ultimate A.I. city, whose defeat (economically, diplomatically, or destructively) would signal the completion of that game era, and a new era would begin with new challenges (such as a different map, new constraints, or different A.I.). Multiplayer competitive games would start players with varying levels of established towns, and pit the players’ end-game skill versus each other.
Winning the Game
The game is won by the usual methods of combat, diplomacy, and/or influence. Each of these dynamics work through how the player chooses to build and progress their society of villagers. The game is designed to reward players with well fed, well provided-for villagers. Players who choose to focus on industry, bare-necessities and aggressive skirmishing will still manage to win games, but a well-balanced player will likely win more consistently. Players who choose more economic and diplomatic routes will find they have more options when combat is obligatory, and can still win with minimal warfare. The best players will have extremely progressive towns with high populations, while still managing to provide plenty of food, shelter, water, and lots of equipment and finished goods.
Estimated Completion Time
Twelve to thirty-six months from project start, depending on scope and funding.