How To Build Your Miniature Medieval Town
Dice Legacy is first and foremost a city builder. Over the years, the genre of city builders has evolved and changed quite a lot - from the almost pure sandbox style of Sim City to the more punishing survival aspects of Frostpunk.
Also, different city builders put emphasis on different aspects of what it means to manage a city. Many of them focus on managing chains of productions and optimization, while others are more focused on individual people and simulating how an actual society would function.
Dice Legacy takes a fairly different approach and tries to feel how a realtime worker placement city builder board game would.
In a previous development blog, we talked about how Dice are an abstraction for the people that inhabit the settlement and how they are going to be the main form of expression of the player. If Dice are the actions, then Buildings are the tools, so to speak. Resources are sort of what keeps everything together and what regulates the interactions between the various gameplay elements.
The initial approach was very traditional, with much more complex chain of productions. To use the most basic of examples: Wheat was collected from Fields, that you could then turn into Flour, that you could then turn into Food. Likewise, you could turn Metal into Armors that then you could use to create soldiers.
We felt that many of these interactions, while close to what a traditional city builder would feel like, where needlessly long and convoluted for what Dice Legacy is.
We wanted to make sure that every decision made in the design mattered. This means that every resource and building was carefully evaluated and everything that felt redundant or that didn’t offer an interesting choice was removed.
We ended up including 8 resources in the game and, as of today, 30 buildings. We stripped down resources to the bare minimum, while trying to give each one a purpose and multiple ways to be collected and used. The most important resource, and the one the player will probably struggle with the most is Food, then Wood and Stone, Metal, Gold, Wheat, Ale and Herbs.
Buildings are an expression of the strategy of the player just as much as Dice are. We wanted to embrace the roguelite aspect of the game here as well and unlike games like Sim City, here the player will have to prioritize certain buildings over others and will have a hard time trying to build everything.
Certain buildings are locked at the beginning of the game and can be unlocked using Knowledge Points using the Tech Tree. There are four branches of buildings that can be unlocked: Knowledge, Religious, Military and Economic. These buildings are used in conjunction with specific Dice to produce even more powerful effects. Scarce resources mean that the player will be able to choose only a handful of buildings to unlock on each playthrough and can experiment on which play style feels better.
Where buildings are placed also matters. First of all, we have a territory mechanic in place that limits the expansion of the player as well as interacting with Forests and Mines in an interesting way. When a Resource is collected from a Location, it won’t be immediately be added to the stockpile but instead, in pure city building fashion, a labourer will appear where the resource was collected and will walk towards the closest Storage available. Storages serve a double function as drop-off points for resources as well as expanding the player’s territory. This means that the player has also a chance to optimize the resource collection by strategically placing Storages.
Storages are what are what we call “Passive Buildings”, aka buildings that don’t require dice or resources to function. There’s a number of different Passive Buildings in the game. For instance, the Theater - which can be unlocked through the Tech Tree - provides a passive bonus to productivity in nearby Buildings. Other Passive Buildings are Outposts, which are used to interact with the other factions present on the Ring, such as The Exiled.
In a similar fashion, the Steam Generator is a very useful building during the winter. It is activated using Wood and while active it prevents freezing of Dice in nearby buildings.
Packing buildings too close to each other could also be a potential hazard. Fires could erupt during the summer which have a chance to spread to other nearby buildings. Similarly certain enemies, such as Ravagers, will target specific buildings to try to steal Resources or start a fire. In this case, a Tower comes in handy. Towers reduce the requirements to respond to Situations in their area of effect (eg. a nearby group of Ravagers will require 2 Fight faces instead of 4 to be resolved).
These are just some examples of how Buildings and Resources interact with Dice. Together they make an ensemble that is quite unique and never seen before. We encourage you to follow development on Twitter and Facebook as we share more about the game.