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The perfect building game does not exist. And it can’t even exist when you look at the breadth of the genre – from moving goods à la Anno 1800 to survival as in Frostpunk or They Are Billions to military castle building in the Stronghold manner or peaceful mayors à la Cities: Skylines.
The structure strategy serves up such a rich buffet of game types, settings and features that you could fill a podcast talking about this range.
But what happens when we help ourselves to this buffet and put together our own personal menu from what is on offer – the build-up game of our dreams?
Micha does that in the podcast Twitch building veteran and settler obituary Maurice Weber, as well as with Steinwallen, who refers to Twitch and Youtube prefers to build through historical scenarios and adores the complex Eastern bloc building game Workers & Resources.
Together we will piece together our dream construction game into seven categories:
- level of tension
- commodity chains
- Game modes and multiplayer
There are definitely differences of opinion – for example with the level of detail of the subject simulation: Is it really important that, like in RimWorld, even a scratch on Hans Müller’s left shin is simulated, or do we want to lead the faceless masses into a glorious construction future like in Anno?
And then the military: does it need fighting? Cities: Skylines motivates even without tanks and soldiers, and combat systems in development games are often just appendages with no added value in the game. Conversely, an Anno needs naval combat to bring thrills to sea trading, and Stronghold has proven that building and real-time sieges don’t have to be mutually exclusive.
Anyway: Why do we build walls in medieval games if these walls don’t have to protect us from anything? On the other hand, it’s no fun when our lovingly built settlement is burned down just because we’ve neglected the military for a while.
Speaking of the Middle Ages, you probably already guessed it: the point where there is least contradiction between Maurice and Steinwallen is the setting…
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