This week I continue to struggle with the economy of the simulator. But I also share a recent personal struggle.
Making games is hard.
I've done some hard things in my lifetime: risen through the ranks of the corporate ladder. I've led teams large and small. I've helped build some sophisticated systems that run some of the largest logistics companies in the world. On an awkwardness scale, I once had to fire a developer for burping and farting too much. I've started several companies and grew them to employ dozens of employees. I once had to convince a client to wait 1 year before we could even start their mission critical business project. And they agreed. I've also had companies fail, going through the process of taking down the shelves and selling off the last scraps of inventory. I've had rough spots in my marriage, especially the first 5 years. I've spoken to audiences of hundreds at various events, like one time at Microsoft's head office in Canada. I've also brought 3 kids into this world, 2 through IVF. I've ridden the emotional rollercoaster involved with both miscarriages and adoption proceedings.
When I say making this game is the hardest thing I've ever done, it is in respect of all the above.
Yet the challenge is worth it.
There is nothing else I'd rather be doing.
Working on the economy has been a tough slog. Just when I think it is working, 5 things pop up to say it is not. On the build 11 outstanding tasks list there are 3 really big hard issues to tackle. I've already done one of them, this is the second, and that leaves one remaining. I'm guessing and hoping this is the hardest.
This week's progress:
- Converted all NPC jobs to be task based.
- Before they would do their job and produce some grain, or a weapon, or resource every single day. It just didn't make sense a weaponsmith produced as many items as a berry picker. Now everyone has tasks that require a certain amount of progress to complete and upon completion they produce their output. An artist can take 30 days to make a painting, a weaponsmith a week, a farmer a day.
- Merchants now spread demand throughout the road network placing orders at other towns. This creates trade routes and the goods eventually make their way back to the requesting town. Just got this working before we shot the video.
- Traders are much smarter now and work for the merchant. When he sees something he needs at another town, he dispatches the trader to go fetch it.
- Before they used to just randomly travel around
- Trade is now done in batches of at least 5. No longer will a trader travel all the way to and from a town just for a quantity of 1.