City Builder / Colony Manager General Discussion Thread

Are we talking just the city building and advancement mechanics of Anno, or all the associated RTS stuff?

Just the city building side. And it’s just the one city up top AFAIK. But the basics of how your residential areas get built, citizen needs, tiering up, production buildings/chains within range of warehouses, placing fields around your agricultural buildings, are all lifted straight out of Anno. I didn’t delve into the underground, but I believe that’s where all the combat is, but that’s supposed to be more like Dungeon Keeper.

EDIT: To be clear, I don’t mind that at all! I’m not aware of any other games using the Anno mechanics, so it’s nice to see someone else’s take on that particular design. And obviously the larger game setup is doing something very different.

It said something about trading with other towns via the railroad. Maybe that’s just in the form of setting up swaps like you do in the demo, but to me it implied you probably leave a site at a certain point and start at another, but can get goods from the first by train. Kinda like Zeus? Maybe?

I don’t get the impression you’ll be jumping between them like in Anno, though. At any one time I think you’ve got one settlement on the surface and the mine stuff. I doubt they’d go more complex than that with a SteamWorld game.

From the feature list on Steam

Maybe your previous settlements will be available to trade with on the later maps?

Yeah, this is the impression I got. Definitely not multiple simultaneous islands like Anno, that was pretty clear.

To me that sounds like the good part of Anno. All the RTS stuff largely feels like putting distracting tactics into a strategy game.

The train station allows you to trade in a sort of abstract way - you’re not trading with anyone in particular but you’re able to exchange on resource for another. Seems like it’s always $1000 for 1 of any resource (wood, tools, etc). You can set persistent trade orders so that every time the train arrives (around every 4 minutes IIRC) your order is executed. When I built my town, I had a standing order to purchase 10 wood for 10k.

The train also provides 3 upgrade ‘cards’ which you can purchase to place into buildings - each building has one open slot, and you can purchase productivity improvements, movement speed increases and the like. You can also purchase some of the more rare resources (rubies, gold) via these cards. They are randomly refreshed when the train arrives.

Another builder that dropped today. I believe it’s a post-apocalyptic builder that has some moral choices ala Frostpunk. Demo is available. Off to try it now!

I feel the smoke choking me just from the screenshots.

I found it a bit difficult to navigate. IMHO the UI needs a bit of a revamp. I’d be interested in hearing what other people think.

Am I the only one who finds the post-apocalyptic city builder aesthetic offputting at this point? The cobbled together corrugated steel shack look they all go for makes me actively uninterested in playing it.

No you’re not the only one. I don’t really want to see any more. It’s not pleasing to the eye at all, and kinda depressing when you get down to it.

That aesthetic doesn’t bother me particularly but I understand your point. It feels a bit overused at this point.

The Steamworld aesthetic is a rusted-out western robot world, but it’s usually very quirky and characterful. I think the issue is that (at least so far), the building art isn’t really managing to convey that.

This isn’t the main Steamworld studio (Image & Form). I believe they formed a kind of development consortium with some other Swedish studios that’s called Thunderful. One of those other studios is making the city builder. So the talent behind the visuals of the earlier games is probably not directly involved, but we can hope the game’s look might get some attention before launch. I didn’t dislike it, but I think it’s not really expressing the flavor of the original games.

(Did anyone else notice that across the ravine in the upper city landscape there was a kind of rollercoaster? You could barely get it in frame, but it was there doing… who knows what.)

I was referring to the New Cycle look. SteamWorld build looks fine. The jiggle when moving around a building you’re trying to place is great. Makes the whole set style work for me :)

Seems to me that JP’s comment regarding post-apoc architecture was referring to games like Surviving the Aftermath, Endzone, and New Cycle. At least that’s how I took it in my reply.

As for your post, I find the buildings on Steamworld Build to be charming!

Ooooh, haha! Parsing overlapping conversations fail!

I agree that the grey post-apocalyptic city builders are hard to stomach…

Here’s Circle of Kerzoven, a city builder where… heck, I have no idea. Just saw it pop up. Demo is available. Trust them, it’s charming!

I was hoping the art style would try to match that logo background. Instead it’s a brightly colored low poly art style, which while well done, was a disappointment compared to what my brain was imagining before I clicked on it :)

Before anyone thinks I’m in this thread just to complain about the art style of city builders, I actually think the screenshots are pretty charming! It’s a very legible look. It was just a mismatch of expectations that gave me a strong reaction.

If you end up playing the demo I’d be interested to hear more. Medieval city builders set at this detail level seem to be all over the place now so I don’t have the energy to try to find the most worthwhile examples.

This is exactly right.