Camp/Store transition thoughts

The goal of it:

  • Visual – to make it look consistent with a small village and a big town later on.
  • Gameplay – strategic decision to choose the right moment to do an upgrade. Too early in the game will waste time and stall the development. Too late in the game will stall the advanced wares/warfare production.
  • Gameplay – simplified start for newbies, so that they are not overwhelmed by amount of options and wares at the start (campaign missions 1-2).

Key points for a camp:

  • Limited capacity – maximum 50 of each ware.
  • Limited set of wares (only basic stuff, up to Gold perhaps).

Usually it is the Camp that the player starts the mission with (unless there’s a more developed town). Player can build any number of Camps. Both Camp and Store take the same space (4×4 tiles). Camp is transformed into a Store via upgrade. While upgrade in the progress, Camp keep functioning as usual. Once the upgrade is complete – additional storage space is unlocked. Upgrade button is located within Camp user-interface and available only if the required amount of building materials are inside.

From what I recall, AoE had a similar Store upgrade that would trigger advancement into a next age (Bronze, Metal, etc). There the upgrade was quite epic in cost and time.

As usual, feedback is welcome!

Do you know examples of similar functionality in other games, how do they work and what pros/cons do they have?

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5 Responses to Camp/Store transition thoughts

  1. The Dark Lord says:

    In most games you have to make choices like ‘will I make more military units or will I save up to advance?’ In fast-paced games like AoE this makes a big difference, because the one who advanced (to the next age) has access to powerful upgrades and units and can, when given small amount of time, easily overpower the player who’s stuck with less advanced technologies. On the other hand, a player who decides not to advance so quickly can produce military units on a larger scale and harass the other player’s economy. Both tactics have potential, it’s all about timing.
    Now, Knights and Merchants is a really slow game, more comparable to Settlers. In Settlers: Heritage of Kings (yes here I go again), you could also upgrade your ‘headquarters’. Except that the looks changed, the only other effect was the unlocking of some new upgrades (and with those upgrades you could make new buildings). Not as big as in AoE, but still essential.
    You must choose whether you want this game to be fast-paced or not. I remember a comment about peace time and that you’d like to avoid it. I think that’s a good thing, because peace time has always been a solution to a problem that can’t really be solved. Since KaM’s economy (and this game’s too) is way more complex than AoE, it will never be as fast-paced as AoE no matter how hard you try. And that’s good, because AoE (II) is too fast for me. I don’t like the way you are so vulnerable from the start and can be attacked from all sides. To make both tactics (advance quickly or harass early) possible in this game (and thus make it more interesting because more possible tactics = more interesting :P), the upgrade(s) should be pretty expensive/hard and it should still be possible to defend your town early on against the harassment (town watch or something).

    • Krom says:

      Upgrades have weak spot in terms of cost:
      – they can not cost a lot of resource, cos that will look unnatural if upgrade costs 30 stone, when a comparable house needs 6 stone to be built from grounds up. We can solve that by making upgradeable houses take bigger area (6×6?)
      – upgrade time does not really matter because houses should keep on functioning while being upgraded. Blocking house function for the upgrade time sounds like a too big penalty …. or maybe not? That could be an interesting test for players management skills, to upgrade a Camp to Store without halting his town

      Games’ pace is a tricky thing, once we add speedup into the equation. Typical match can reduce from 120min to 40 if we use speed x3 (and by that I mean we can boost ALL production rates and unit walk speeds, etc), but will that make it enjoyable? Ideally we would want a game to have no speed slider at all, like many other well-balanced games don’t have it.

  2. Oliver says:

    I really like taht idea of upgrading buildings… not just the camp/warehouse, but other building too. Krom is right, the upgrade can’t cost more. I would say the same price for building and upgrade. And making houses bigger by upgrading seems like a lot of planing and spacing at the start. And 6×6 storehouse can have at least 2 doors 😀

    I think that uprading should halt the building, like you don’t want to have a pebbles and splinters in your flour/ bread/wine. But OK, maybe that storehouse should be working when upgrading. Maybe serfs should stay inside a little longer? 😀 😀
    I can see it like this:
    1. click on upgrade so your serfes and laborers know that you want to upgrade this building. (working)
    2. serfs starts material delivery (working)
    3. when the delivery is over, worker in the house stop working (and leave the house maybe?)(working, then stop and w8 for upgrade)
    4. laborers come to do some hammering (non-working)
    5. finished (worker returns back to work) (working)
    This is my image of upgrading, but as you guys said, I don’t know how it will turn out ingame.

  3. zavar says:

    From a gameplay point of view, I don’t really see the benefits of this. If it limits the capacity, then by upgrading you get the same result as building another building. Which may be more challanging, becouse of the logistic considerations. To exclude wares may be not very logical, and again, it is equvalent to have another building specially to store excluded wares. Besides, a well built town doesn’t need a store for wares, except for gold and wine for the soldiers.
    I admint, for visuals it’s very tempting to upgrade any building. Maybe it’s good for saving space. So if you don’t have space for another mill, you upgrade the one that you already have for the cost of a new one, and get it working 1.5 faster. Or even have two bakers working in it.
    This reminds me, there should be a way to tell a villager where he should work. The simplest way would be to add another “closed door” button from KaM, not for wares, but for occupation.

    Maybe a little bit off topic:
    I dont like that there is a build order. It’s the same in KaM, and it’s so frustrating. Why must I have a farm to build a mill? I simply can’t see the logic behind this. Of course in the tutorial it is fine, it helps new players, but later on, it just makes building a town harder.

    • Krom says:

      There is already a “block house from being taken by a worker” button in KP house menu, a door with a lock.

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