Freshly Squeezed Brain Juice

Philosophy and Game Design

Super Energy Metropolis Prototype 2

Posted by brainjuicegames on March 9, 2009

Sneak peak of Prototype 2:

Prototype 2 : pollution & health

Prototype 2 : pollution & health

So, we learned some things from Prototype 1. We’ll reiterate quickly the things we planned to do for this prototype after the jump, followed by a link to the playable Prototype 2.

  • Fix the visual clutter
  • Implement pollution (hopefully to encourage spreading out buildings)
  • Implement health (to provide reward/punishment for pollution)
  • Allow destruction of buildings (for now they just instantly disappear for no cost)
  • Buildings now have the same movement cost as dirt (to encourage road building)

We decided to start off with a very simplistic modelling of pollution, buildings just produce a fixed amount of pollution around them no matter what. Since we already defined the design for this next prototype in the previous posts’ results, we’ll just go ahead and show off the prototype and then analyze it in the next post. Just a few more notes about some minor differences we made from the last proposed design:

Changed Dead to Deatlhy Ill for now

Changed "Dead" to "Deatlhy Ill" for now

  • We’re going to use gold for the “Great” condition because green connotes “sick.”
  • We’re not going to implement people dying yet, they just go down to sickly green instead, the lowest health.
  • At “deadly” health levels, a person has an output of ZERO, but will still work for a full 8 hours, getting nothing done but still occupying work space!

So, we’re ready to go! Off to the prototype:

Click to play this prototype!

Click to play this prototype!


5 Responses to “Super Energy Metropolis Prototype 2”

  1. Brian Ackermann said

    This sounds interesting, Lars.

    I’m looking forward to helping you out on this one, where ever I can. Feel free to contact me about anything, and I’ll be in touch as i get a chance to dive into this.


  2. Fletcher said

    Hmm. Definitely reduced visual clutter! Very nice.

    Random ideas/thoughts/questions (incorporate as you like)
    * So its easy to tell someone’s health when they’re walking around, harder when they are working (due to the attempt to reduce visual clutter). For example in your screen shot in square (2,2 from the lower left corner) you have a factory with someone walking to it. That someone has obscured you’re first worker, so we don’t actually know that worker’s condition. One possible idea, if this is information you want your player to know at a glance, is to add coloration to the working icon you have above the factories, something that acts as an overall productivity indicator.
    * How does pollution effect people when they are at home? Would they sleep more because they are sick?
    * When you talk about building removal, is this a game mechanic (IE something happens in the game to remove a building) or are you talking about for city designing purposes (the player removes a building to make a bypass, because bypasses need to be made)?

  3. Dan said

    A nice improvement over Prototype 1, but:

    * The health icons were unintuitive to me. When I played this prototype, I was happy that my people were turning green — until I looked here for what it meant.
    * It’s not clear whether the Build/Produce buttons are meant to control the amount of work or the distribution of it. (That is, do Hi+Hi and Lo+Lo have different effects or not?)

    • brainjuicegames said

      Yeah, that’s what I thought. Not to worry, in future prototypes, there will be no “green” level – people will just turn into skulls and die at that point. Then they’ll either be removed from the game or something.

  4. […] after prototype 2, we learned that we were going to have to deal with pollution in a more dynamic way, not only for […]

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