I'm looking for general feedback about this game idea (what you liked, what you didn't like, what is good, what is bad, what is missing, etc).
On the first post I included the overall things (tell me what you think/feel about these), I have details and more advanced questions in the second.
When giving suggestions, please take into account the implementation cost (I need to code it you know), easy to implement and simple yet great ideas are the best
Industrial revolution, colonization (in terms of buying raw resources from primitive nations and selling them finished goods), imperialism, switch from agrarian country to industrial country.
The player is a ruler of a country made of 8-16 provinces (you can never conquer nor lose provinces), I'm not sure if the country will be an island or if it will have some neighbours (anyway, it will always have sea access). All this is displayed on one screen without any scrolling nor zooming. On of these provinces is capital (slightly developed) the rest is fully agrarian. One of the goals of the game is to build industry in the country. The main activity is constructing buildings (coal mines, factories, etc) in provinces. These produce goodies each turn. More goodies means you can build more buildings You can also import/export goods, need to build fleet (merchant and navy). There is also research. Plus other less important things.
Each province is a (partially) separate ecosystem. It has it's own population, specific resources (like coal, iron, fertile ground, aboundant forests), buildings, local government (administration), infrastructure (railroads, telegraph). Also rebelions are province wide not country wide. Resources are not stored in a province, there is one country wide stockpile (so the player is not forced to look through various stockpiles), technically these resources are produced in a province and there auto transported to the capital (the player only pays transport bills, no need to click anything ), once stored in the central stockpile these can be used by any province (maybe not realistic but convenient and simple).
Agriculture & Industry
Industry is pretty strightforward, you construct a building and it exctract a resource / produce goods.
Agriculture is special, there is no such thing as "farm". Or to put it other way, each province starts as one huge farm and cities/industry reduce its size (so the farming area can only shrink, never grow, but you can increase farming efficiency instead).
The player can never directly order population, they are autonomous. You can't assign them to jobs, can't transfer to another province, nothing like that. Population lives in provinces, they can decide to migrate to other provinces (if there are better wages, cheaper houses and lower taxes for example).
The player can affect where population move by:
- building industry (more industry means shortage of workers which means better wages which means some people will want to move there) (expensive)
- building more houses (maybe the wages are not that high there, but the house renting is cheap and houses are big, some will want to move there)
- investing in railroad system (it increases the mobility of population, a higher percentage will try to switch province each turn)
- waiting (in the end, given enough time, population will spread until the wages/conditions are the same everywhere)
Labour (population again)
There are 3 kind of occupations:
- farmers - it's fixed, each province needs X farmers (you can reduce this number by introducing farming tools and machines), they are the less troublesome folks, they do not need houses (they live in villages not cities), they are always happy and do not demand anything, they don't need education, basicly a ruler's dream subjects Around 90% of starting population is farmers.
- craftsmen - they are private manufacturers and providers of services, in a good managed country they will extinct and switch to workers cast, good only for paying taxes
- workers - proportional to your industry (each building require certain number of workers)
- unemployed - trouble, trouble! Rebelion warning! If you have too many of these it means you messed up sometinh with your country. Overall you should suffer shortage of workers instead of fighting unemplyment.
Priority of jobs: farmers are absolute top priority, everyone wants to be a farmer Agriculture is always covered 100%. Workers is the second priority (althrough some smaller percentage will try craftsmen career, depending on the current worker's wages). If someone is left then up to 5% will become craftsmen. And the rest is unemplyed.
Note that only farmers occupation is fixed. Workers are more fluid, for example you can still build more industry if you have shortage of workers (up to x3 shortage, then construction of new buildings is disabled in that province) but you will need to pay overhour wages (expensive, as a side effect it makes this province more desirable to migrate to).
Winning condition and losing condition
I'm not sure about that one, probably the goal would be to reach certain industrialization level or maybe international reputation points of some sort.
As for losing condition the most dangerous and frequent would be bankrupcy I guess. The economy is favouring maximum production output (in exchange for paying extra to workers, also some goods (coal) are auto imported if there is shortage), generally, factories will do whatever it takes to produce at maximum capacity even it it makes you bankrupt Another danger would be rebellion/happiness of population. I'm not sure about military defeat (and I'm not sure if I would include army of any sort in the game), but even if, that one would be easy to averted.
1) Player's first goal is to build basic minimum industry (coal and iron mine in a province that have these, steel foundry, bricks and planks production, maybe some basic railroad system between the capital and the mining province).
2) The next step is agriculture. You want to free most of these farmers (90% is far too many!) and improve efficiency (food per acre) (irrigation system,fertilizers). These both should one one side free a lot of farmers who can now work in your factories and on the other grant you a lot of spare food which would boost population growth (which means even more workers later)
3) So, now you have an unemplyoment, great! It means you go on a building construction spree without worrying on going bankrupt because of extra wages.
4) It's getting crowded (population boom caused by aboundance of food), you need to enlarge cities (houses). Farming area will get reduced because of it, well time to invest in agriculture more.
5) Time to export your consumer goods abroad (ships needed) for a quick cash.
6) Maybe it's time for a country wide railroad system?
7) Now telegraph lines everywhere maybe?