City Builder / Colony Manager General Discussion Thread

I am also interested in this one, hoping it will fix all the stuff that is broken and terrible about Banished.

Against the Storm (Epic Store)

Got this on the thread’s recommendations and it’s been fun to play while listening to podcasts or half-watching TV. I thought that repeatedly building the same town would get old quick, but the random resources and perks are consequential enough that they force me to adjust my strategy on the fly.

I just listened to the 3MA podcast of this from a couple months ago and they all universally loved it. I have a bunch of city builders on various wishlists, but this is next in my queue.

This game is so much more than just rebuilding the same town over and over though. The hidden beauty of Against the Storm is that it’s actually a rogue-like colony manager. The meta progression with the main city that you improve with experience from each level, to unlock different buildings and events, is what makes me want to play another level. I’m not even sure that I have everything figured out yet either. I think there’s even another level of progression going on that’s even deeper. It might be that it’s still being developed, so I’m waiting a bit now for full release, but this game is truly an unexpected surprise mashup of two of my fav genres!

I agree! I was trying to say that the game beat my expectations, I’ve been really enjoying it. I can’t remember a strategy game that makes you improvise more than this one.

God damnit you guys.

Also, what’s this? A demo? Am I 22 again and still capable of seeing hope in the world?

Nice demo, btw.

Played the tutorials and partway through the first “real” mission. My goodness, the production chains are all over the damn place. I feel like there’s a UX riddle or three to solve there, if this is the design they’re going with.

On the plus side, everything else seems to work great, the hook is delightful, and funky production chains are very much in the class of problems that a good solid beta period can help to iron out without blowing up the dev schedule.

Not gonna buy it just yet, I don’t think, but I’m pretty positive on its chances.

I like the funky production chains. There are always multiple buildings that can make a good, some efficient and some wasteful, and you’re constantly making interesting choices according to the circumstances of the map. Like, “this isn’t the best building to make planks of wood but it can also make a luxury item that the lizards like – I need to keep them from deserting so my meat industry doesn’t collapse.”

I do agree the UI could make things easier to visualize, like a screen that shows all the buildings you have unlocked that could be used to create a particular finished product.

Yeah, I think I get the idea of the design but in practice I’m doing a lot of digging around trying to figure out how the hell to get from mushrooms to soup (or whatever). I think there’s just some work to do in order to make things more clear to the player, in particular where you’re choosing blueprints and delivery orders.

Could be I just got horrible luck in my available blueprints + deliveries, or more likely screwed up what I picked. But some behind-the-scenes cheating algorithms to make sure you draw at least some cards that have a chance to plug into the chains available to you would probably be good, if the game isn’t already doing that.

I really like the idea – if they pull it off, and I suspect they will, it’ll be a great shuffling of the deck every game. City builders so often devolve into “figure out what the most efficient money maker is, then do that a whole bunch” and this has the potential to avoid that almost entirely.

I think there’s been a growing dissatisfaction with ‘solvable’ games and poor AI. Introducing randomness - like a deck of cards! - is a good way to add some improvisational requirements in a form the player can easily understand but not necessarily solve.

Oh I think making the player “play the hand they’re dealt” is a fundamental piece of game design. A player-vs-system setup without randomness isn’t a game, it’s a puzzle.

Obviously there’s a spectrum here in the real world, but humans like figuring out, poking at, and mastering reactive systems. What else is a game?

Sure, but when the dealer is a rubbish AI and the deck stacked in inscrutable ways, a little dissatisfaction creeps in. Transparency and assymetry seems to have been big themes the last few years.

No disagreement here!

I played the demo and for some reason lost at the final step to get the shrine. Not even sure why.

I think there is potentially a good game there, but right now, it doesn’t feel baked enough. I think in 6 months maybe perhaps sooner.

Still kudos, to them for putting a demo in the first place.

German language article on upcoming base builders. Some interesting looking titles.

Here’s a reddit thread with translation

Cool list!

Hopefully the trailer’s being coy with its mechanics – “balance the needs of different classes” isn’t what I’d like from a game called “Kapital” with Lenin on the key art

What if I want to save my country with anarchy?

I dug into the game and anarchy is the failure state, I guess the developer conflates it with “chaos”. Ah well.

An anarchist commune builder might be fun. But for it to be thematically accurate you would only control one worker, and you’d need to spend your time convincing the commune that 40% of them can’t take on the role of “brewer”.

Yeah, I was just poking a little fun at the description, but anything that isn’t benevolent dictator and/or logistics simulator and has actual interests to manage is at least a little interesting.

On sale this weekend.

I picked it up for 12 dollars.

I just spent… no shit… like 7 straight hours playing.

Very good.