I would like to discuss the relationship between factory and workers (in strategy games). The output should depend on both, the factory (building and tools) and the workforce (workers). I have a big trouble making a system where these both are important.
I was researching about it a lot and, unfortunatelly, in basicly all games only one of these is used (as a real bottleneck). The other is either ommited or not a problem at all. Usually it's just a building (factory) that matters and workers are just a cost or a minor annoyance at most.
The only exception I found was Tropico. There both factory and workers are a bottleneck (sometimes at different times, but generally it works very well). I was thinking what makes this system so good while other (quite similar, like in Deadlock 2) are not that fun/playable/balanced.
My conclusion was that it's good because in Tropico:
- it's realtime (while I look for a turn based solution), OK, maybe that one is not that important
- you can't put any workers in factories, they do it on their own will as they see fit (in Deadlock 2 there was a similar system but you were assigning workers manually and you could do it every turn and it resuulted in a lot of very boring micromanagement)
- you were able to control the flow of workers by setting wages for each factory, also (very important) you could disable any number of "worker slots" anytime in any factory
So, if the system in Tropico was so great why don't just copy it? Well, it has some hidden drawbacks which don't make it so good for all kinds of games (althrough non of these are relevant in Tropico).
- there are no production chains; OK, in theory there were, like sugar -> rum but it was never a real problem because the chain was very shallow
- each factory had "allow auto import" of resources, which basicly make it irrelevant (for a price) if you had the resources to make the final product
- the production system was extremely simplistic; for example there was not even a "coal + iron = steel" which would put a big stress on exact proportion of certain mining output (number of coal mines should be equal to iron mines) and foundry capacity (foundry capacity should be equal to coal and iron mine output)
I'm at a loss how to approach it....
Edited by Acharis, 24 August 2013 - 06:29 AM.