Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Pixel People Need Proper Diets Too

I wrote the other day about a game called Planetbase ...

You could say that it has my attention at the moment. One genre of game I do enjoy is the builder game. It's the sort of game where you just sit back and watch things happen as they unfold in front of you. It's a more restful type of game.

Other games like shooty games tend to wear me out fairly quickly. Plus they have typical break points like the end of a scenario or a mission, with the break point being an ideal point to stop and walk away from the game for a while.

Builder games tend to be a bit different. In Planetbase, one of the mechanics is power. You have solar power and wind power available, although some planets stop one or the other from being available. The starter planet is easy though and allows both. It does mean that your colony is at the mercy of the elements, with solar power only being available in the day (I bet you guessed that already) and wind power only being there when ... yep. You don't need me to tell you that. The colony also has big batteries too.

One "Just a little more !!" compulsion this game has is "will the lights stay on through the night ?"

Another is - will the food supply hold out ? Will the sleeping colonists run out of air ? Will the stupid idiots actually make some medicine !!! (they were taking an essential component everywhere except where the medicine is made and we had a few colonists suffering from broken bones due to mine accidents)

You can probably tell I am a tiny bit addicted to this one.

Pictures ? After Iceangel Base was evacuated due to a death spiral of starvation, I took a few attempts to start up Sticky Wicket Base. Yep. Daft names are us. The base on the airless moon will be called Mysteron Base and the ice planet will be Rain Stopped Play Base. The lightning planet may have to be Is There A Little Static In The Air Base.
Click for bigger as usual !

That's Sticky Wicket Base as it stands at the moment. I have just under 40 colonists now, up from 7 at the start. The base is actually overproducing on food and mostly has plenty of air. Both are a limited quantity. What's holding it back at the moment is bed space. The dorm only has beds for 12, hotbunking is definitely a thing at the moment. But they're working on it with that construction zone off to the left of picture.

It was just about even on power but that is sorted too with more wind turbines, batteries and solar panels. The other limited resource is water, that's fine too.

It's a tough game to get started in. Which I'm actually fine with because if it hits the fail state where you don't have enough materials to make the things that get you more materials, then you can quit and restart quickly.

Other games are a bit different, they can switch into the Fail State half an hour or an hour before everyone starts dying.

They may be Pixel People. But they're my Pixel People and I feel sad when the dome they are in gets hit by a Big Falling Rock. (That doesn't end well for the Pixel People).

Yeah ! I'm really enjoying this one. It's on Steam for £15 but if you wait until the next sale, it'll probably be half that or less. It is defined by quite tight rules and those rules work well. It is simpler in that it has less resources than a Banished but for me, less complication makes it a better game. Because computer intelligence and complication tends to lead to abject frustration.

And frustration doesn't lead to fun.

Nah - what you want in a computer game is the possibility of failure because that is where the challenge comes from. If there is no challenge, there is no interest and no reason to keep playing for ... just ... one ... more ... game day to see how the Pixel People end up doing.

Proper Diet ? You have 15 different types of growing plant in this game. 15 !!!! Crikey that's a lot. But you can't just pick them at random, because that doesn't lead to good nutrition. Nope. What you need to do is match up the veggies like Lettuce, Tomato and Maise which makes salad. Wheat or Maise plus artificial meat make burgers. And so on. You need to mix in starchy planets too because the inedible starch goes to make plastic for building and other things.

There's far more in the wiki.

I am going to try and avoid the game tonight (says he knowing that I've broken that to get the screenie above) because a 9 hour session the evening before working the next day is Very Silly. Yep. I stopped at just past 3am with me emerging from my pit at 7.30 (erm, make that 8am). Oops. I managed to resemble a human bean today at work. I might not play until next week actually because I'll be busy watching other people play the games. I find that oddly relaxing.

Back to it actually ! The current one I'm listening to and half watching is Rimworld, which is another space colony building game. They land on a planet with air we can breathe, which instantly makes it wholly different to Planetbase. I'm curious about Rimworld too, although it's not done yet. I do have a fear that they are building too much complication into the game though. Complication not only leads to frustration, it also makes for a learning curve that's like a cliff.

As long as the logic makes sense, that's good for me.

Especially when things go wrong. Definitely when things go wrong ! Because you like to know how you messed up. Like this :
Click for bigger again !

Can you see the traffic jam at the airlock ? Only one Pixel Person can use it at a time and I repeatedly asked them to take lots of supplies to traders.

The queue got so long on both sides, Pixel People are running low on sleep, water, oxygen, food and generally getting very upset at me (especially the fella with the orange anti-smiley - that's real bad). Bad Sleepy. They got over it and I'm building them a gym and a bar. The landing pad just out of shot is being replaced by pads with multiple airlocks to service them and an anti-Big Falling Rock laser will be built in its place.

What this post hopefully shows is that I really enjoyed the long sessions on the weekend and last night. I found the gameplay compelling and logical. That's much better than my experience in Elite on Sunday where I found certain illogical mechanics to be intensely frustating and those mechanics are changing my approach to the whole Get Imperial Rank For Shiny Ship quest.

Anyone got any recommendations for games ? Colony builder games where you occasionally interact and they get on with things ?

iOS especially because I've just stopped playing one called Astronest which I got bored with.

That's the thing ! Stay in games as long as you find them interesting. If they become boring, switch ! Plenty of games out there.

Play for fun !

No comments:

Post a Comment

So much for anonymous commenting ... If you would like to leave a message and don't have a suitable account, there's an email address in my profile.