First off… thanks to the Dev team for all the hard work they are putting into this little game with big possibility.
In reflecting on the vision that the Devs have stated for the Game “… a town building ant-farm simulation…”, I was glad to see that the game is seen as more than just a tool to build something that looks cool. I got the sense that there has be more to the game than a slo-mo constructor tool and will include depth to the town of individuals that we are building for.
As it stands now, the play of the game is more “logistics-mechanical” in nature… linear supply management to achieve milestones for the sake of the milestone. Dont get me wrong, the spreadsheet micro-manager in me loves the hours long and repeated exercise of building new settlements and villages that look cool with little automatons . But what I really think the game is missing is an overlay of purpose for the town and each of its inhabitants
Social interaction between the hearthlings that reflects personality and social driven behavior. Which can create emergent game play and “reasons” to build one way or another. Lots of these sim/builder games have personality traits components that are very tangible in how the little person will behave, with their needs and wants.
Culture - although there seems to be the basis of this with the different tribes, and hopefully this will be extend to be more than just a visual difference. Culture also allows for interaction between different cultures and or class levels. Ex. Tribe A trading or fighting Tribe B, labor workers vs high class hearthlings, etc… Perhaps this could see the creation of leadership jobs and not just jobs for the same of either feeding a supply chain or supporting the basic combat of predictable invasion.
Economy - adding an economy & individual/town wealth. Not just a set of supply chains will add even further depth within the settlement as well possibly between settlements (if this can be built into the game). Ex.1 say the trapper is doing well, lots of demand and a good supply for him/her to draw from; this will give the trapper a degree of wealth that can be visually represented in the game and reflecting on happiness. Ex 2. Coin as an input - building should require some coin to pay the hearthlings, not just simple food as the input for the hearthlings. The effort to generate Coin can have lots of depth. Ex 3 growing your town wealth with society building like schools or libraries (with new job types and such) that sees a village progress through stages and produces better functioning hearthlings who in turn generate more wealth and coin.
In short I want to TRULY FEEL THE VILLAGE that I am creating - in its current form, while it is satisfying to build a town for the sake of building it, this will get tired quickly. This game is nailing the mechanics and now we need the personality to make it awesome. I want to observe my hearthlings doing their thing and see more than just a robot that I have set with a task, and this depth might be realized by the overlay of the three items I have listed (even though they are all intertwined in the end and together can create many facets of emergent play from one game to the next).
Thanks for reading, I hope this is where the game is going and/or draws some good discussion with our community. I got the sense from this DT that there might be some course correction going on and I hope the more “human” elements of game play can be added to this great building sim.