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Aztec_Brave

The Economy

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We seem to have pretty good info about the military side of the game, we know what sort of units the game has, which civ. specialises in which units etc, we even have showcases of a couple of super units. Despite this we know virtually nothing about how the economy will be managed, except what we can remember from very old posts from the mods (which is probably all out of date anyway). So I was wondering whether we could be enlightened somewhat.

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OK, specific questions:

- Is the plan still to have millitary units be able to do civillian jobs?

- What resources are there and how are they gathered?

- Will there be drop off points or will you dispense with them like Ensemble did?

- What is the general design philosophy: Do you consider the economic side of the game to be just as important as the millitary side or do you see it as something to do in between battles (Unfortunately far too many designers seem to be going for the latter.

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All this is highly subject to change, especially during usability testing, and is not indicative of the final product, but at present:

- Is the plan still to have millitary units be able to do civillian jobs?

Yep.

- What resources are there and how are they gathered?

Food, Wood, Stone, Ore. (And Population/Housing.)

(There were originally Metal and Gold, but since the mining technique and general function would have been almost identical, we opted to merge them into representative Ore which covers a range of minerals in their unrefined form, including bronze, silver, iron, steel, etc.)

Food can be gathered from various sources (grain, meat, berries, etc). Wood from trees, Stone from rocks, Ore from mineral deposits (pretty standard). All natural resources are finite.

- Will there be drop off points or will you dispense with them like Ensemble did?

A little of both. At present, units gather resources at a site directly into the resource pool without physically taking them back home (and frankly, I don't think you really miss your gatherers shuffling back and forth and getting in each other's way). But there are also plans to require drop-off buildings in order to gather certain resources in certain areas.

- What is the general design philosophy: Do you consider the economic side of the game to be just as important as the millitary side or do you see it as something to do in between battles (Unfortunately far too many designers seem to be going for the latter.

The key design principle is to reward the player for good tactical thinking and encourage strategic thought over mindless build-ordering. We want to avoid tedious, repetitive activity and instead focus on giving the player interesting decisions to make. To this end, managing your economy, technology and advancement is essential to your war effort. Personally I get the biggest kick out of the base-building side of an RTS game. :P

Edited by Acumen

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Base-building is one of my favorite parts, too. In half of the matches I play, I end up going "oh crap, I need an army!" right about when I get invaded. And then my pretty little base dies. :P

The economic side will be as important as the military side in at least one way. When your soldiers are also your villagers, every resource you put into your military pays off economically. Also, you'll have to find a balance between how many of your citizen-soldiers (the standard military unit of every civ, who also performs villager tasks) you leave to tend the fields while your army goes off to war.

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I like Rider's idea quite a lot. :P

Just curious, why include both stone and ore? I'm guessing that stone is used for defensive buildings like outposts, fortresses and walls and that ore for units, technologies and the odd special building?

And this question is a little irrelevant, but I didn't think that it warranted a new topic - what are the two new unit concept arts of in the GameDev article? Namely the ones at the bottom of page 2. Some of Brendan's best work to date. :)

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Just curious, why include both stone and ore? I'm guessing that stone is used for defensive buildings like outposts, fortresses and walls and that ore for units, technologies and the odd special building?

Exactly.

Stone is used wherever stone is needed (stone buildings, particularly walls, slinger and onager ammunition, etc). Some civs used more wood than stone in their construction (eg those rickety Celtic huts), so the importance of the resource can differ a bit from civ to civ. Ore is used as the basis for metals and currency, so it'd cover metal weapons and armour, expensive technologies, wages, costly commissions, and so forth. Ore is typically a lot more rare and stone a lot more plentiful (depending on the map's environment).

Edited by Acumen

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And this question is a little irrelevant, but I didn't think that it warranted a new topic - what are the two new unit concept arts of in the GameDev article? Namely the ones at the bottom of page 2. Some of Brendan's best work to date. smile.gif

Those are Celt Heroes Britomartus and Brennus, I believe. But hey, just wait, believe it or not Brenden's skills have increased even over those two fine pieces! Hopefully he'll release soon some of his newer work (that we on the team have seen - to our delight) to the Units gallery for you fans. I'll just say his work on the Persians Arabian Camel Trooper is outstanding as is his image for a new Iberian hero. :P

PS: To clarify my previous post, there will indeed be drop-off buildings, but units won't "resource shuffle" back and forth. It's a happy medium between the old Age of Empires/Age of Kings resource shuffle and the current Age of Empires III no drop-off points at all paradigm. A few reasons for not having resource shuffling, if I may be so bold, are pathfinding (we want that CPU power to be used for other things) and the extra micro already involved in our current citizen-soldier concept. But we still want those drop-off structures for that added bit of realism and base-building. So, I think it balances out nicely. It's not like we eliminated complexity (resource shuffling) and didn't replace it with new complexity. :)

Edited by Mythos_Ruler

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Hopefully he'll release soon some of his newer work (that we on the team have seen - to our delight) to the Units gallery for you fans. I'll just say his work on the Persians Arabian Camel Trooper is outstanding as is his image for a new Iberian hero. thumbsup.gif

Forgive me, I've been sneaky... I checked Brendan's site and saw the units for myself. ;)

Let me just say that the Iberian hero literally blew me away... that is incredible! I'd definitely like to hear a few tips and hints on CG colouring from the man.

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