In this post we will continue to discover the logic and gameplay mechanics that form the base of Resource Module. For now, we will focus on production process in general and on the buildings - another core element in Resource Module gameplay.
So, what is production? The simple question from the first glance, it nevertheless contains several key points that game designers usually throw away in order to simplify gameplay (here I don’t want to offend or blame anyone - in certain context simplification is justified completely; the problem here is that the huge gameplay potential is always sacrificed in such cases). Production is the process of transformation of one resource (or product) into another. Moreover, the transformed resources can be divided into two groups: resources that are transformed (sometimes referred as “raw materials”) and resources that support the process of production (maintenance resources). Today in modern economy maintenance resources are usually limited to electricity and water; however, since our game takes place in fantasy medieval setting, such kind of resources can be much more diverse. All in all, the essence of production process brought us the idea to switch focus from standalone resource production to production chains, and from trivial set of resources to their diversity.
Since production process is the core of resource gameplay, it has also defined the logic of another essential element - construction. Buildings are probably the most important things in the game - you won’t be able to develop an economy without buildings. Construction itself is very simple - you select a cell where you would like to place your building, choose a building type and press “Build” button. The game may refuse to obey your command in 2 cases: either you do not have enough resource for construction, or you have chosen a cell with too high slope (the difference between the highest and the lowes points-vertices of the cell).
In any way, the game will inform you about such problems. Once command is sent, the construction of building starts and will take some time (no worries here - amount of time will be reasonable and won’t take hours - but there also won’t be any “speed-ups” for real money). However, before you hit this “Build” button, you will see the following screen:
Building information display provides data that are separated into 4 blocks:
Basic block contains information on some general characteristics of building - maximum health, maintenance capacity (how strong is building to depreciation - currently there is an idea to join this characteristic with health), construction time in seconds and some additional information (in this particular case - production range in cells - we will uncover this feature in the next post).
Construction block contains the type and amount of each resource required for building construction. Here everything is simple - if you have enough resources, you will be able to construct the building. The more advanced building is - the more types (not always the amount) of resources it will require.
Production block contains information that define the building within the scope of resource schema. Resources with big icons are produced resources - the ones that are output of production. Resources with small icons that are “attached” to each big one are raw materials - i.e. transformed resources that are required for production. Each building can produce infinitive type of resources, with each of them requiring infinitive types of other resources. The values indicate the number of produced/consumed resources that are processed each production cycle (currently - 3 seconds) by each worker assigned to produce particular resource (if building uses workers for production - more on this feature in the following blog posts). For example, if windmill has 5 workers assigned to produce flour, the building will consume 5x5=25 units of wheat to produce 1x5=5 units of flour each 3 seconds. The more workers assigned - the more output is, but consumption increases as well, so you have to seek balance (and not just to grow extensively). Raw materials are required for production of resource; if there is not enough of them, building will produce nothing.
Maintenance block contains resources that support building performance (the mentioned before maintenance resources). The values indicate amount of resource consumed by each worker assigned to building each production cycle. Considering the example above, windmill will consume 1x5 units of tools each 3 seconds. Since maintenance resources do not participate directly in production, you do not need them all to produce something. However, the more maintenance resources is missing - the less total productivity of building is. For example, if building consumes 2 units of tools, but only 1 is available, the building will produce only 50% of resources it could produce in normal situation.
I believe this might be enough. In the next post we will dive deeper into buildings and will discover their different types.
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