Offworld Trading Company from Mohawk Games


Nice talk from Soren at GDC:


This is a pushed “like” button.

Even as someone who has never taken part in any game-related work, Soren’s excitement for Early Access and feedback was infectious!


Thanks for sharing, that was fascinating. So much wisdom on display there. I’ve struggled with traditional real-time strategy since the C&C days but OTC is something else, and I too hope that the genre continues to diverge. Mohawk deserve all the credit and success they can get.


Nice talk on Early Access/Streaming.


I’m thinking of picking this up during the steam sale. It looks like it’s playable on a MacBook Air, but do I need a mouse? (Just typing that stabs me in the hardcore gamer I used to be.)


I suppose you could do it with a trackpad, but it would probably need some pausing.

I would say a mouse would be a big part of enjoying Offworld. This isn’t a fast-precision clicker like Starcraft, but it’s still predominantly mouse-driven.


If you play MP where you can’t pause then a mouse is critical when quick clicks are needed.


Yes, that’s true. I don’t normally play multiplayer, so it slipped my mind. But you absolutely don’t want the frustration of a trackpad when trying to get every edge in a multiplayer game.


Thanks. I think a mouse might be too big a commitment at this point in my life…ack.


I’m back on OTC and, god, it’s so good.

I’m rusty as hell after a year or so hiatus so I’ve been playing the tutorials (again) and having my arse handed to me (again) on Managing Expectations, but I managed to beat it after a few bad founding locations. Sam Moreno was at 100% to buy me out a couple of times but for reasons that are unclear he didn’t/was unable to. I was making all kinds of late adjustments to my production to eke out that win. My favourite trick was to use Mutiny to get chemicals, specifically hitting a chemical plant to break adjacency bonuses for the given CEO when there was a shortage and the prices were riding sky high.

Pressing the X key is really useful although at one point I had to pause the game to work out why my scientific steel mills were costing me money when steel was somewhat valuable. Auto-off was turned on but the mills were still running. Turns out it was the high energy prices. Seems that auto-off only looks at the value of resources in vs. the value of resources out, it doesn’t factor in the cost of energy to run the building too. Once I realised this I was able to get some power generators up (or Mutiny some) and they started turning a profit. Is this an oversight or intentional? Or am I missing something here?

It was lovely to run through the tutorials again because some of the writing is great and it was nice to be able to zoom in and enjoy the C&C-like animations of the buildings being constructed without worrying about the death march of the Martian stock market.

Also: I do not get the love for the classic VO. I might try it some more but it just sounded a mess to me.


It is intended, because the power billing is added to your debt, not taken from your fund directly. The goal of the Auto-off is simply to prevent your cash from going down and hampering your whole production by a sudden massive shutter.
Or so I think :O

(you made me do my first gif response ever!)


Yes, this is correct. Generally speaking, buildings that produce revenue but increase debt are still a good thing. Auto-off is mostly there to prevent the worst-case situation.


A weird thing about Offworld (from a business game perspective) is that you can’t directly take out loans - so you have to use underhand methods (like power costs or life-support or auctions or early founding) to run up the debt that you’ll use (via the assets acquired, whatever they are) to jumpstart your economy.


Cheers everyone!

You’re right though @Left_Empty, I literally don’t understand the classic VO. Like, what’s that thing saying? ;-)


I throw in a hard-thought gif and I get burnt this way?

But you can’t cash in on any of this, so it doesn’t work as loans either? I don’t see any way to get a cash advantage over your adversary in the early game by running debts, excepting by picking the one dreamy spot on the map.


It’s nice to know I’m not the only one.


You could make steel from iron, and sell the steel, and the power costs run up your debt - versus an opponent who does the same, but pays their power costs in cash. The result is a cash advantage.

This is not abstract! It’s a big difference between food farms and electrolysis reactors, which both use water. But only one uses large amounts of power.


But you never pay your power in cash. It’s always, always in debt, and when turning a profit, the money goes to reducing your debt before going into your cash. (I mean, versus standard goods that go into your cash, no matter what, when profiting).


You don’t always use the same power though. So if you choose to use electrolysis reactors versus farms, and both make the same net profit, you will end up with more debt and more cash.


yep, this is a common strategy for high-level players, who will often avoid life support resources early to avoid making something that they can’t sell right away. Of course, if too many people do that, then the prices will get high enough that it makes sense to get into water/food/oxygen.