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    Medieval Price List

    Game Design and Theory


    List of prices of medieval items
    courtesy of Kenneth Hodges (hodges@jif.berkeley.edu)

    The list of medieval prices which follows is by no means complete or thoroughly researched; I merely extracted references from some of the books I have, and I thought others might like to inspect it. The sources I used are listed at the end. If an item is listed several times, it is because I had several references I wished to record.

    Money goes as follows:
    1 pound (L) = 20 shillings (s)
    1 crown = 5 shillings
    1 shilling = 12 pence (d)
    1 penny = 4 farthings
    1 mark = 13s 4d

    The French Livre, sou, and denier are equivalent to the pound, shilling and penny (Latin liber, solidus, and denarius, I believe, which is where the weird English abbreviations come from).

    For ease, I've divided this list into the following sections: tools, horses, food and livestock, books and education, buildings, cloth and clothing, armor, weapons, marriage, funerals, travel, miscellaneous goods, and wages.

    Of course, a price list is a misleading guide to a feudal economy, because so many goods were either produced within a household, or supplied by a lord. Retainers could get money, but they would also get food, lodging, weapons (sometimes), and cloth. Knights Templar were provided with clothes, horses, and armor.


    Item                            Price       Date        Source  Page
    2 yokes                         4s          c1350       [3]     170
    Foot iron of plough             5d            "          "       "
    3 mason's tools (not named)     9d            "          "       "
    1 spade and shovel              3d          1457         "       "
    1 axe                           5d            "          "       "
    1 augur                         3d            "          "       "
    1 vise                          13s 4d      1514        [5]     27-28
    Large biciron                   60s           "          "        "
    Small biciron                   16s           "          "        "
    Anvil                           20s           "          "        "
    Bellows                         30s           "          "        "
    Hammers                         8d-2s 8d      "          "        "
    2 chisels                       8d            "          "        "
    Compete set of armorer's tools  L13 16s 11d   "          "        "
    Spinning Wheel                  10 d         1457       [3]     170


    Item                            Price       Date        Source  Page
    War Horse                       up to 50s   12 cen  (?) [7]     30
    War Horse                       up to L80   13 cen      [3]     72
    Knight's 2 horses               L10         1374         "      76
    High-grade riding horse         L10         13th cen     "      72
    Draught horse                   10s-20s     13th cen     "       "

    Note: Horse prices varied dramatically; for instance, they doubled between 1210 and 1310. ([3], p. 37).

    Food and Livestock

    Item                            Price       Date        Source  Page
      Best Gascon in London         4d/gallon   1331        [2]     194
      Best Rhenish in London        8d/London     "          "       "
      Cheapest                      3d-4d/gal   Late 13 cen [3]     62
      Best                          8d-10d/gal    "          "       "
    Ale (beer comes later):
      Good                          1.5d/gal    14 cen      [2]     201
      Medium                        1d/gal        "          "       "
      Poor                          .75d/gal      "          "       "
      First-rate                    1-1.25d/gal 1320-1420   [3]     58
      Second-rate                   .75-1d/gal    "          "       "
    Ale (best):
      Somerset                      .75d        1338        [3]     210
      London                        1.25d        "           "       "
    Beer, good                      1d/quart    late 16 cen [8]     xx
    Dried Fruit (eg raisins, dates, 1-4d/lb, up
      figs, prunes), almonds, rice  to 6d rare  14 cen(?)   [3]     62-63
    Spices (cinnamon, cloves, mace,
      pepper, sugar, etc).          1-3s/lb       "          "        "
    Pepper                          4s/lb       mid 13 cen  [9]     218
    Pepper                          6d/.5lb     1279-1280   [3]     11
    Saffron                         12s-15s/lb  14 cen(?)   [3]     62-63
    Cow (good)                      10s         12 cen(?)   [7]     30
    Cow                             9s 5d       mid 14th    [1]     99
    Cow                             6s          1285-1290   [3]     206
    Ox                              13s 1.25d   mid 14 cen  [1]     99
    Sheep                           1s 5d         "          "       "
      Somerset                      9d-10d      1338        [3]     210
      London                        1s 5d        "           "       "
      Somerset                      2s          1338        [3]     210
      London                        3s           "           "       "
    Fowl                            1d            "          "       "
    2 Chickens                      1d          14 cen      [4]     78
    2 Dozen Eggs                    1d            "          "       "
    Goose (in London)               6d (legal)
                                    7d-8d asked 1375        [2]     198
    80 lb cheese                    3s 4d       late 13 cen [3]     114
    Salted herring (wholesale)      5-10/1d     1382        [2]     198-199
    Salt conger                     6d each     1422-1423   [3]     69
      Somerset                      1s/quarter  1338         "      210
      London                        2s 2d per    "           "       "
    Cost of feeding a knight's or   L30-L60,    15 cen      [3]     199
      merchants household per year  up to L100

    Related note: around 1380, these are the average costs per day of feeding people on an estate ([3], p. 65): lord, 7d; esquire, 4d; yeoman, 3d; and groom, 1d.

    Books and Education

    Item                            Price       Date        Source  Page
    Monastary School                L2 (approx) 1392-1393   [3]     75
                                    per year
    Schoolmaster at Croyden:
      Board                         2s/week*    1394        [2]     186
      Instruction                   13s 4d/year  "           "       "
      Board                         104s/year   1374         "       "
      Clothing                      40s/year     "           "       "
      Instruction                   26s 8d/year  "           "       "
      Minimum                       L2-L3/year  Late 14 cen [3]     75
      Student of good birth         L4-L10/year  "           "       "
    Fencing Instruction             10s/month   Late 16 cen [8]     xx
    7 Books                         L5 (approx) 1479        [3]     76
    126 Books                       L113        1397        [3]     77
    To Rent a book                  .5d-1d per  mid 13 cen  [9]     172

    * Source says 2s/day. This is not only insanely high, but the text also claims that the board was the same as at Oxford--i.e., 2s/week or 104s/year.

    ** A pecia is 16 columns of 62 lines of 32 letters, i.e., 31 744 letters, or about 7 500 - 8 000 words. Rental period is not specified, but I would guess a year; books were rented to be copied, and copying the Bible took 15 months. See [9], p. 172.


    Item                            Price       Date        Source  Page
    Rent per annum for 138 shops on
      London Bridge                 L160 4s     1365        [2]     114
    Rent for the three London
      taverns with the exclusive
      right to sell sweet wines
      (hippocras, clarry, piments)  L200        1365-1375   [2]     195-196
    Rent cottage                    5s/year     14 cen(?)   [3]     208
    Rent craftsman's house          20s/year     "           "       "
    Rent merchant's house           L2-L3/year   "           "       "
    Cottage (1 bay, 2 storeys)      L2          early 14 cen "      205
    Row house in York (well built)  up to L5     "           "       "
    Craftsman's house (i.e., with
      shop, work area, and room
      for workers) with 2-3 bays
      and tile roof                 L10-L15     early 14 cen [3]    205
    Modest hall and chamber, not
      including materials           L12         1289        [3]     79-80
    Merchant's house                L33-L66     early 14 cen [3]    205
    House with courtyard            L90+         "           "       "
    Goldsmiths' Hall (in London,
      with hall, kitchen, buttery,
      2 chambers)                   L136        1365        [2]     114
    Large tiled barn                L83         1309-1310   [3]     79
    Wooden gatehouse (30' long),
      barn, and drawbridge:
      Contract                      L5 6s 8d +  1341        [3]     81
      Estimated total               L16          "           "       "
    Stone Gatehouse (40' X 18'):
      with all except stone         L16 13s 4d  1313        [3]     79-80
      estimated with stone          L30          "           "        "
    Tower in castle's curtain wall  L333, L395  late 14 cen  "        "
    Castle & college at Tattershall L450/annum  1434-1446    "      81
                                    for 13 years
    Transept of Gloucester Abbey    L781        1368-1373   [3]     79-80
    Stonework of church (125', no   L113        13 cen(?)    "        "
      tower)                        (contract)

    note: tithes were often calculated at 1d a week for every 20s of annual rent paid (4, p. 208).

    The following are the estimates of raw materials and labor that went into the tower of Langeais, a rectangular, tapering stone tower built in 992-994. The source is [6], pp. 47ff. The dimensions at the base were 17.5 meters by 10 meters; the height was 16m (3 floors); the walls were 1.5m thick, made of two shells filled with loose rock.

    Limestone in building: about 1050 cubic meters, or 2 600 000 kg
    Wood in building: 47.5 cubic meters, or 34 600 kg
    Nails: 3 400, or 50 kg
    Mortar: 350 cubic meters.
    To make the mortar:
    sand: 225 cubic meters, or 360 000 kg
    limestone: 40 cubic meters, or 160 000 kg
    green wood: 540 cubic meters, or 286 000 kg
    Labor Costs, in Average Working Days (AWD):
    procurement: 14 250
    transport: 2 880
    unskilled: 63 500
    mason: 12 700
    smith: 1 600

    Cloth and Clothing

    Item                            Price       Date        Source  Page
    Fashionable gown                easily L10, late 14 cen [2]     53
                                    up to L50
      Shoes                         4d          1470s       [3]     79
      Boots                         6d            "          "       "
      Purse                         1.5d          "          "       "
      Hat                           10d, 1s 2d    "          "       "
    Craftsman's tabard and super-
      tunic                         3s          1285-1290   [3]     206
    Reeve's murrey (dark brown) robe 6s 4d      1349-1352    "      176
    Reeve's red robe                5s 3d           "        "       "
    Peasants (wealthy):
      Linen Chemise                 8d          1313        [3]     175
      Shoes                         6d           "           "       "
      Woolen garment                3s           "           "       "
      Fur-lined garments            6s 8d       early 14 cen "       "
      Tunic                         3s           "           "       "
      Linen                         1s           "           "       "
    Landless serfs' tunics          1d-6d       mid 14 cen   "      176
    Cloth for peasant tunics        8d-1s 3d    early 14 cen "       "
                                    per yard
    Best Wool                       5s/yard     1380        [3]     78
    "Tawny and russet"              6s/yard     1479-1482    "      "
    Silk                            10s-12s     15 cen(?)    "      "
                                    per yard
    Furs added to garment           +L2-L3 to   15 cen(?)   "       79
    The worth of cloth provided
      yearly by a lord to:
      esquires                      2s 11d/yard 1289-1290   [3]     78
      yeomen                        2s/yard         "        "       "
      lesser servants               1s 7d/yard      "        "       "

    Note: loose tunics take 2.25-2.5 yards. In the late 14th century, shorter doubled (lined) tunics, known as doublets, became fashionable, requiring 4 yards ([3], pp 175,176).


    Item                            Price       Date        Source  Page
    Mail                            100s        12 cen(??   [7]     30
    Ready-made Milanese armor       L8 6s 8d    1441        [4]     112
    Squire's armor                  L5-L6 16s 8d "           "       "
    Armor for Prince of Wales,
      "gilt and graven"             L340        1614        [5]     20
    Complete Lance Armor            L3 6s 8d    1590        [5]     185
    Complete corselets              30s          "           "       "
    Cuirass of proof with pauldrons 40s          "           "       "
    Normal cuirass with pauldrons   26s 8d       "           "       "
    Target of proof                 30s          "           "       "
    Morion                          3s 4d        "           "       "
    Burgonet                        4s           "           "       "
    Cuirass of pistol-proof with
      pauldrons                     L1 6s       1624        [5]     189-190
    Cuirass without pauldrons       L1           "           "         "
    Lance Armor                     L4           "           "         "
    Targets of Proof                24s          "           "         "
    Cuirass with cap                L4           "           "         "
    Armor of proof                  L14 2s 8d   1667         "      68
    Bascinet                        13s 4d +    1369         "      88
                                    3s 4d to
                                    line it
    Armor in a merchant's house
      (leather?)                    5s          1285-1290   [3]     206
    Total Armor owned by a knight   L16 6s 8d   1374         "      76
    Armor in house of Thomas of
      Woodstock, duke of Gloucester L103        1397         "      77
    Fee for cleaning rust off
      corselets                     5d each     1567        [5]     80
    Fee for varnishing, replacing
      straps, and rivetting helmet
      and corselet                  1s 4d       1613        [5]     90
    Barrel for cleaning mail        9d          1467        [5]     79

    Note: mail is chainmail; almost all the rest is plate-armor. The armor of the knight in 1374 was probably mail with some plates; same for Gloucester's. Mail was extremely susceptible to rust, and was cleaned by rolling it in sand and vinegar in a barrel. Pauldrons are shoulder plates; morions are open helms, burgonets and bascinets closed helms; and a target refers to any of a number different kind of shields. Armor of proof is tested during the making with blows or shots from the strongest weapons of the time; if a weapon is listed, the armor does not claim to be proof against everything, only that it is proof up to that weapon's strength (eg pistol proof is not musket proof, but may be sword proof). All plate armor was lined with cloth, to pad the wearer, quiet the armor, and reduce wear between the pieces. This, along with the necessary straps, was a significant amount of the expense. An armorer asking for money to set up shop in 1624 estimated production costs and profit for a number of different types of armor: I give two examples below ([5], pp. 189-190).

    Cuirass of proof with pauldrons:
      plates:                         5s 6d
      finishing, rivets, and straps:  7s 6d
      selling price                   26s
    Lance armor:
      plates                        14s 5d
      finishing, et cetera          40s
      selling price                 80s


    Item                            Price       Date        Source  Page
    Cheap sword (peasant's)         6d          1340s       [3]     174
    Pair of wheel-lock pistols,
      with tools for them           L2 16s      mid 17th    [4]     208
    Holsters for pistols            6d             "         "       "
    Wheel-lock carbine              L1 10s         "         "       "
    Shoulder belt for carbine       1s             "         "       "
    Pair of flintlock pistols       L2 5s          "         "       "
    Flintlock carbine               L1 2s          "         "       "
    Musket                          16s 6d-18s 6d  "         "       "

    Note: Sorry, folks, that's all I found. It was mandatory in England for all freemen to own certain types of weapons and armor. (In 1181 every freeman having goods worth 10 marks (1 mark = 13s 4d) had to have a mail shirt, a helmet, and a spear. All other freemen should have helmet, spear, and gambeson (quilted armor) [4], p. 39.) Later, the government stored arms and armour in churches for use; in the 13th century anyone with an income of L2-L5 (wealthy peasants) had to have bows; archery practice became compulsory on Sundays and holidays. You may know that the extreme range of the longbow was 400 yards, but did you know that a statute of Henry VIII no one over 24 could practice at a range of less than 220 yards? (See [4], p. 95 and elsewhere). Note: for guessing prices, see the section on tools (an axe for 5d). An armorer might make 24s a month; say a week to make a decent sword, and you might get a price that way. See the section on books and education for fencing instruction.


    Item                            Price       Date        Source  Page
    Sample peasant dowries:         13s 4d,     14 cen(?)   [3]     179
                                    35s 11d,
                                    57s, 63s 4d
    For serfs, mechet (fees) to lord,
      depending on wealth           1s-13s 4d   14 cen(?)   [3]     179
    Wedding feast, wealthy peasant  20s           "          "       "
    Wealthy peasant wedding total   L3-L4         "          "       "
    Dowry for esquire's daughter    up to L66   15 cen       "      84
                                    13s 4d
    Dowry for baron's daughter      L1000 +       "          "       "
    London parents (both sets)
      each offered couple           L100        1385        [2]     154

    Note: these costs will be wildly varying depending on circumstance.


    Item                            Price       Date        Source  Page
    Cheap gentlewoman's funeral
      (bell-ringing, clergy, food)  L7          1497        [3]     85
    Brass monument, with a figure
      incised, on marble base--
      fitting for lesser aristocrat L8          early 14 cen "       "
    Bishop Mitford's funeral
      (with 1450 guests!)           L130+       1407         "       "
    Memorial Chapel for Richard
      Beauchamp, earl of Warwick    L2481       1439-1463    "       "
    Bronze effigy on guilded tomb   L400            "        "       "

    Note: Christopher Dyer gives as a rough rule of thumb 1 year's income for a funeral ([3], p. 85)


    Item                            Price       Date        Source  Page
    Queen's chariot                 L400        14 cen      [1]     99
    Lady Eleanor's chariot          L1000       14 cen      [1]     99
    Chariot                         L8          1381        [3]     72
    Chariot maintence               1-3s/year   14 cen       "      "
    Barge                           L10           "          "      "
    Iron-bound cart                 4s          c1350        "      170
    Guide for a night               1d          14 cen      [1]     129
    Ferry ride per horseman         1d           "           "       "
    Keeping an earl's warhorse
      82 days in summer             36s 9.5d    1287        [3]     71

    Note: [1], pp 126-129, gives the following prices at an inn in 1331. For one day, 3 men with 4 servants spent: Bread, 4d; beer, 2d; wine 1.25d; meat, 5.5d; potage, .25d; candles, .25d; fueld, 2d; beds, 2d; fodder for horses, 10d. The four servants staying alone sleep 2 nights for 1d. Generally, all 7 spend 2d a night on beds; in London, it is 1d per head.


    Item                            Price       Date        Source  Page
    6 silver spoons                 14s         1382        [2]     24
    2 gold rings with diamonds      L15          "           "       "
    Gold Ring with ruby             26s 8d       "           "       "
    3 strings of pearls             70s          "           "       "
    6 gold necklaces                100s         "           "       "
    Fee to enroll an apprentice:
      with mercers (rich merchants) 2s          14 cen      [2]     111
      with carpenters               1s            "          "       "
    Fee to join guild at end of
      with mercers                  20s           "         [2]     111
      with carpenters               3s 4d         "          "       "
    Fee to join guild               6s 8d-L3    14 cen(?)   [3]     208
    Fee to gain freedom of a town
      (to enjoy its exemption from
      feudal duties, I assume)      3s 4d-20s   14 cen(?0   [3]     208
    To empty a cesspit in a city    6s 8d       15 cen(?)   [3]     209
      Somerset                      1.5d/lb     1338        [3]     210
      London                        2d-2.5d/lb   "           "       "
      tallow                        1.5d/lb     15 cen(?)   [3]     74
      wax                           6.5d/lb     1406-1407    "      "
    Vat                             4d          1457        [3]     170
    Barrel                          3d           "           "       "
    Bottle                          4d           "           "       "
    2 buckets                       1s           "           "       "
    1 sheet                         4d           "           "       "
    1 mattress                      2d           "           "       "
    4 pillows                       4d           "           "       "
    3 boards for a bed              4d           "           "       "
    2 sheets, 4 blankets            5s 8p       1349-1352    "       "
    16 bedspreads, 20 sheets,
      8 featherbeds                 L3 1s       1285-1290   [3]     206
    Duke's bed of cloth of gold,
      with blue satin canopy        L182 3s     1397        [3]     77
    Table                           6d          1457        [3]     170
    Chair                           3d           "           "       "
    Chest with necessaries thereto  2s 2d        "           "       "
    2 chests                        6d each      "           "       "
    Metal ewer                      6d          1349-1352    "       "
    Brass pot                       2s              "        "       "
    Basin and ewer                  8d              "        "       "
    Basin and ewer                  2s 8d           "        "       "
    Towel                           6d              "        "       "
    Coffer                          1s              "        "       "
    2 stools                        8d              "        "       "
    Ceramic cooking pot             .5d         1340s        "      174

    Note: most of these come from inventories of peasants' belongings. The fine goods would be more expensive.

    Note about lighting: great houses could use 100 lb of wax and tallow in a single winter night ([3], p. 74). Others, not as rich, would go to sleep earlier.


    Profession                      Wage        Date        Source  Page
      knight banneret               4s/day      1316        [4]     78
      knight                        2s/day       "           "       "
      man-at-arms or squire         1s/day       "           "       "
    Regular Army
      Esquires, constables, and
        centenars                   1s/day      1346        [4]     79
      Mounted archers, armored
        infantry, hobilars,
        vintenars                   6d/day       "           "       "
      Welsh vintenars               4d/day       "           "       "
      Archers                       3d/day       "           "       "
      Welsh infantry                2d/day       "           "       "
      Captain                       8s/day      late 16 cen [4]     181
      Lieutenant                    4s/day        "          "       "
      Ensign                        2s/day        "          "       "
      Drummer or trumpeter          20d/day       "          "       "
      cavalryman                    18d/day       "          "       "
      infantry                      8d/day        "          "       "
    Laborer                         L2/year max c1300       [3]     29
    Crown revenues (at peace)       L30 000     c1300        "       "
    Barons per year                 L200-500+   c1300        "       "
    Earls  per year                 L400-L11000 c1300        "       "
    Sergeant at Law (top lawyer)    L300/year   1455         "      47
    Chief armorer                   26s 8d/month 1544       [5]     182
    Other armorers in same shop     24s/month   1544         "       "
      except "Old Martyn" who made  38s 10d/month 1544       "       "
    Apprentices in same shop        6d/day      1544         "       "
    Master mason                    4d/day      1351        [2]     24
    Master carpenter                3d/day       "           "       "
    Carpenters' Guild stipend to
      a sick member                 14d/week    1333        [2]     156
    Weavers                         5d/day, no  1407        [2]     146
    Chantry priest per year         L4 13s 4d   1379        [2]     24
    Squires per annum               13s 4d-L1   14 cen      [1]     116-117
    Carters, porters, falconers     5s-8s 8d    14 cen      [1]     116-117
      grooms, messengers            per year
    Kitchen servants                2s-4s/year  14 cen      [1]     116-117
    Boys and pages                  1s-6s/year  14 cen      [1]     116-117
    Wardens of London Bridges       L10/year    1382        [2]     128

    Note: sheriffs of London paid 300L per year, hoping to make a profit from the fines they collected.

    Note: 30 adult sheep could produce about 20s of wool per year in 1299 ([3], p. 114).

    Note: To get a VERY ROUGH sense of money, I reproduce the following chart from Dyer ([3], p. 206). These are averages of daily wages in pence.

    Decade        Thatcher          Thatcher's mate
    1261-70       2                 -
    1271-80       2.5               1
    1281-90       2.25              1
    1291-1300     2.5               1
    1301-10       2.5               1
    1311-20       3                 1.25
    1321-30       3                 1
    1331-40       3                 1.25
    1341-50       3                 1.25
    1351-60       3.5               2
    1361-70       3.5               2
    1371-80       4.25              2.5
    1381-90       4                 2.25
    1391-1400     4.25              2.75
    1401-10       4.5               3
    1411-20       4.75              3
    1421-30       4.5               3
    1431-40       4.5               3.25
    1441-50       5.25              4
    1451-60       5.5               3.25
    1461-70       4.75              3.75
    1471-80       5.25              3.75
    1481-90       6                 3.75
    1491-1500     5.5               3.5
    1501-10       5.75              4
    1511-20       5.25              4

    [1] English Wayfaring Life in the XIVth Century, J. J. Jusserand, trans Lucy Smith, Putnam's Sons, New York,1931 (Orig. 1889).

    [2] London in the Age of Chaucer, A. R. Myers, University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, 1972

    [3] Standards of Living in the Later Middle Ages, Christopher Dyer, Cambridge University Press, 1989

    [4] English Weapons & Warfare, 449-1660, A. V. B. Norman and Don Pottinger, Barnes & Noble, 1992 (orig. 1966)

    [5] The Armourer and his Craft from the XIth to the XVIth Century, Charles ffoulkes, Dover, 1988 (orig. 1912)

    [6] "The Cost of Castle Building: The Case of the Tower at Langeais," Bernard Bachrach, in The Medieval Castle: Romance and Reality, ed. Kathryn Reyerson and Faye Powe, Kendall/Hunt, Dubuque, Iowa, 1984

    [7] The Knight in History, Frances Gies, Harper & Row, New York, 1984

    [8] Methods and Practice of Elizabethan Swordplay, Craig Turner and Tony Soper, Southern Illinois University Press, Carbondale, 1990

    [9] Life in a Medieval City, Joseph and Frances Gies, Harper & Row, New York, 1969

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    • By dj180
      For some gamers out there, platformer games can be the main deciding factor when considering which console to buy (when buying all of them is not a realistic option). Personally, I have been playing Playstation consoles my entire life, dabbling in other consoles and portable gaming platforms, yet I always seem to return to Playstation because of the exclusive games only available through their platforms. The Last of Us is an award-winning 3D action platformer game available only on Playstation consoles. 
      The single player campaign opens in the midst of a zombie virus outbreak among the entire world. The narrative follows two characters Joel, a father to a recently deceased daughter due to the outbreak, and Ellie a teenager who is believed to hold the cure to the virus in her immune system. Joel encounters a militia group, known as the Fireflies, that formed after the outbreak and is quickly tasked with the mission of delivering Ellie to other members of the militia outside the quarantined zone. Due to the initial conflict set up by the narrative and the undercover nature of the main mission, the suggested way to play the game is by remaining out of sight as much as possible and engaging enemies in a sly manner. However, games are places people flock to when looking for an escape from reality, a place with no rules or direction in some cases. For this reason, gamers approach games from different perspectives, causing them to play the game using different strategies. 

      Some player types such as the Killer player type defined by the Bartle player dichotomy the would prefer to take tactical approach to the task at hand, rather than a strategic one. For these type players, the combat they seek would include more face-to-face and traditional battles. For a strategic player, playing the game as if they themselves were in the shoes of the character, it is more appealing to remain as hidden as possible. The Last of Us also does a nice job of including both perspectives in specific instances. Players do not have to actively seek out or play intentionally with a certain strategy, the elements that Killers and Achievers enjoy most are built into the narrative at some main turning points, whereas most minor engagements are left up to the choice of the player. 

      In addition to the two polarizing player types mentioned previously, The Last of Us elegantly includes elements favored by the scavenger and artisan player types as well. Above the main mission of transporting Ellie to the Fireflies, there is obviously a larger responsibility to remain alive. There are several mechanics contained within the game that players can use to increase their chances of survival. Some of these mechanics include looting and crafting. It is possible to “loot” in virtually every scene of the game, although it is entirely the player’s choice whether to spend time looting or continue on with the main story line. Looted items can be used to craft items to boost health, melee weapons, and throwable items such as Molotov cocktails and nail bombs. These items are crafted with smaller parts players find by looting abandoned place and of course, classic to most Naughty Dog games, some of the better items require more exploring. Although all players must use items and crafting to some degree in order to play through the game successfully, the game will reward players more who spend more time searching for these items. This is also a positive feedback mechanism because players who are excelling in the game will be given opportunities to make the game easier through the use of the items they are able to craft. Crafting can also allow players to make improvements to Joel’s abilities and, at certain work benches found throughout the story, his firearms.  Dylan Richmond 

      The craft-able items also introduce a variety of combat techniques that appeal to the wide array of player types. Certain enemies require some sort of tactic or craft-able item in order to defeat. A “clicker” is a type of enemy players encounter who uses its sense of hearing to detect players, making it easier for players to sneak around in plain sight, however players cannot engage this enemy without a weapon of some sort, or they will instantly die. This encourages players to come up with a clever and stealthy way to defeat this type of enemy. One option is to sneak up behind a clicker and use a craft-able item called a shiv in order to defeat the enemy. This is designed for rational players because this technique requires a great deal of thought and concentration in order to prevent the clicker from noticing the player. Aggressive players might ignore the clicker’s abilities of enhanced hearing and strength and face the clicker straight on with a gun or a melee weapon, such as a crowbar. Casual players may attempt to defeat the enemy from afar with one of the easiest methods, a Molotov cocktail. This item will attract the clicker to its flames and if the clicker has been standing in the flames for long enough, it will be defeated. This method is also best for defeating large hoards of zombies or clickers and might be chosen by a strategic or tactical player. 

      People have all sorts of play styles, approaches, and ways of enjoying video games, many beyond the scope of merely one game. Including these alternative pathways throughout video games increase their appeal to a greater number of people, which is ultimately the goal in creating a video game, yet having these various routes also increases the overall enjoyment of the game for everyone. For any player type, it is reassuring to know that if one of the options are situationally unavailable, another option is always at hand. The Last of Us artfully combines its narrative and combat mechanics with a multitude of viable player types. It’s the cross between elements and approaches from these player types that keeps The Last of Us fresh with every new engagement. Keeping a single consistent play style throughout the entire game is not an easy task for most, often times players must use a combination of strategies, abilities, and interact with various features in order to successfully complete The Last of Us. 
    • By GameDev.net
      Originally published on NotesonGameDev.net October 27, 2008
      Jenova Chen, creator behind the multi award-winning student game Cloud and flOw, co-founder of thatgamecompany, is dedicated to expanding the emotional spectrum of video games and making them available for a much wider audience. And how did Jenova "make it" as an independent developer? With a lot of support and a drive for innovation.
      Can you tell us a little bit about your interest in game development and where it all started?
      When I was 10 years old, my Dad, who worked in the software industry, took me to a special Computer Programming school for kids hoping I'd become Bill Gate's one day. However, I had no interest in learning programming; instead I got to play my very first computer game at the school. And from that point on, video games were pretty much my obsession.
      My first attempt in making video games happened when I was 12, and my enthusiasm quickly faded due to a bad 5 inch floppy disk which carried a week's worth of my work. When I went to college around 1999, I was pretty much bored with the math and programming, and I started to put all my spare time on digital animation and 3D graphics.
      At the time, there were no domestic video game development studios in China and video game education was also a vacuum. And by accident, I met some very enthusiastic students in the college who wanted to make video games. It seemed like a good place where I could put my digital art skill to use. Once the training started, the adventure and joy from game development has never stopped.
      Speaking of college... What was your role in Cloud and how did it come to be?
      My first big student team project in the grad school at USC Interactive Media Division was not Cloud but Dyadin (IGF 2005), where my role was lead artist. It was the first video game made by student team in our division. The big success brought a lot of attention to the school, therefore the school started a grant to encourage students to team up and make more innovative games. The grant was open to the entire university.
      As one of the applicants I came up the rough idea of making a game about clouds and rallied around students and faculties. Once the cloud game idea won the grant and got funded by the school, we put a team together. My role was team lead. As a result I worked with the team on many aspects of the game: gameplay prototyping, game design, story and all the visual arts.
      What do you think made Cloud the 2006 IGF Student Showcase Winner?
      Being one of a kind--a fresh emotional experience that's different from anything on the mainstream market.
      Following Cloud, you went right on to working on flOw. How did Cloud's success influence you?
      It's not the success part of Cloud influenced me but the failure of Cloud. So many people downloaded our game, including people who never played games. I guess they were lured to the childhood fantasy. As a result, their lack of game knowledge prevented them from enjoying the relaxing experience---instead, their frustration of learning how to control the game ruined the experience.
      I learned from Cloud that there is a huge market for games that evoke a different emotional experience. However, new markets mean new audience. In order to search for a design methodology that enables a game to satisfy both experienced gamers and not so experienced ones, I started the flOw project.
      Interesting concept to work with! How was flOw conceptualized and developed?
      As part of my master degree thesis at USC, flOw, the original web game, was made for the sole purpose of testing whether the design methodology I developed based on Flow theory works. In the academia, there was a lot of many research about how to use an A.I. to read player's performance and alter the gaming experience. However, through playing those games myself, I feel there are so many cases where the A.I. can't assess player's true feeling based on rigid formulas.
      As a side effect, the false reaction of the A.I. broke my "sense of control", a key condition to enter the Flow state. Therefore, through learning successful video games with mass appeal, I came up a different approach to adjust the difficulties of the game. I call it Active Dynamic Difficulty Adjustment, which uses player's choice to change the difficulty of the gaming experience.
      The trick is to embed the difficulty adjustment choices in the core gameplay mechanics so that when player makes those choices, he won't feel interrupted from the core gameplay. In flOw, player's only action is swimming and eating, and the way the player engages different content with different difficulties is also through swimming and eating. And the result of the testing was amazing
      flOw is now available on PS3, something that indie developers aspire to. How did you make the leap to console?
      My business partner Kellee Santiago and I were very lucky to have studied at the USC Interactive Media Division where we took a class called business of interactive entertainment. It's that class that opened our eyes that starting up a company and chasing your dream is not a fairy tale; instead it's something totally possible for normal people like us who had no money, but a passion.
      We had a sneak peek at the great potential and promising future of video games through Cloud. And we really hope the maturing of video games as an interactive medium could happen faster. We want to push the boundary of video games and allow more people around the world to see games like Cloud, to awaken the dormant market so that more people can join us to further expand video games' emotional range and meet various needs from the public. Not just things made for excitement and leisure but also things that are thought evoking and deeply emotional. With that goal, we started to pitch the grand idea of Cloud, the commercial version to almost all the publishers in North America.
      Quickly, we realized that based on the experience we had fresh out of school and the ridiculous budget we asked, there was simply no one who would take the risk with us. It had to be the timing and pure luck that we encountered the opportunity of making games for the digital distribution platform for next generation console like Wii and PS3. Both of Sony and Nintendo were going to launch their new gaming consoles, and they were both dying for new content on their digital distribution channel.
      The fact that flOw was a rather complete game concept made with two students in three months helped us to convince Sony that they could trust us for a much smaller game than Cloud. And then the leap was made.
      Well that's great! What are you working on now?
      We are finishing up our second title for Sony's Playstation Network, Flower. A game that is a sister piece after Cloud and flOw. Our version of a video game poem dealing with our inner desires towards the wild nature and urban life.
      What would you say is the biggest challenge you've faced so far as an indie?
      The biggest challenge is to grow up, to become experienced from inexperience. We made so many mistakes in running a startup company and in game development. Though we've overcome all the challenges, the taste is still yummy pain.
      Heh heh. What about your biggest triumph then?
      Thatgamecompany is still up and running. And we are making games that we believe will push the boundary of what video games can communicate.
      What advice do you have out there for those aspiring to join game industry as an indie?
      Really consider indie game developer within our industry. Just look around at what's happened in the past two years. How many of your favorite indie games have shown up on the commercial platforms? How many highly reviewed video games are from independent studios? This is the golden time of independent video games. We see so many talented new faces coming out of school and even veterans who left the big studios to form their company and chase their dreams. The renaissance of video games is already happening.
    • By blesseddisciple
      So I have a decent amount of JavaScript experience now and decided I was gonna lower my head and start cranking out some 2d games, partly to learn, partly to have fun. Afterall, HTML5 canvas is such an easy and enticing medium. I love the JavaScript implementation of it. But after literally struggling for a week to get basic game functionality working I have had enough of the little stupid bugs that pop up with JavaScript. Don't get me wrong, I still love the language for scripting. I'm just not going to spend 20 mins coding and 5 hours debugging just because the language is crap.
      I've decided to return to my previous endeavor, Java. I like Java a lot and the only reason I haven't pursued more in the way of game development is just for the fact that Java is limited to mobile or PC apps that may never see the light of day unless it's hosted on some obscure Java game hosting website that is populated with 2,000 half developed games that no one will ever care about. BUT, still, I enjoy hand coding and I know C# but don't feel like using Visual studio and I really don't wanna hand code C# on the .Net or whatever. I use Visual Studio for business apps (ASP.NET) but I don't wanna build a game with it.
      So, does anyone have any points to share about why moving to Java for game development is not smart? Besides the whole, "Java is slow" thing. I mean things that might make it harder in JAva to make games vs. in other languages. Please share your thoughts. 
    • By andrii_k
      Hi all! We are a team of two programmers developing a turn-based browser strategy, and we need someone to help with the art.

      It is a card+board strategy. Every player has a castle, and in their turn can move units and play cards.
      Current art is partially placeholder, partially original (contributed by some friends),
      but we'd love to have somebody joining the team and taking care of the visual side.
      Main tasks are drawing cards, objects on the board and interface elements.
        A prototype is available here https://lords.world (needs at least two people to play properly, but you can play against a dummy bot to get an idea).
      Please pm if interested. Best regards,
      Andrii and Serge

    • By Octolancers
      Hi there, my name is René, and Im a pixel artist, this is my first post here and Im kind of exploring my own freelancing possibilities in the field.
      Please excuse my english, Im from the chaotic Venezuela, I'm currently living in Colombia, and looking forward to know another beautiful country and culture.
      I have years of experience working professionally on 2d and 3d animated pieces for a wide variety of cases, but I'm a bit tired of rendering times, illumination artifacts, rigging and binding stuff here and there, processor slowness, plugins mismatch, plugin bugs, plugins outdated, licensing updates, corporative projects, that's a good reason, and found a lovely branch on the field that embraced my like a cotton cloud on a shiny day, Pixel Art.
      Then I begun a surprisingly productive journey on Fiverr a few months ago, until a guy got my attention with a interesting project that I'm about to begin. So I had to put my Fiverr status on standby for a while.
      While we take our time to start that project, my mind and hart asks for a taste of the Patreon experience, and so I've been thinking for a while of doing something related to the Cyberpunk dystopia, but as I have no time to do another project, I thought releasing graphic assets packs in some way, so I've been relating this and that and figuring maybe in some developers community I could let know this to begin with.
      There are so many styles and mechanics on the gaming possibilities that I want to release a wide range of assets for general purposes, but inside a unique world theme, so I made my mind over this Cyberpunk topic now, but if things go well, I would need to ask to the audience for a new Theme.
      This is my on my avatar hehe by the way, just a pic to express a bit of my animation skills.
      I established my corner on Patreon already, but I have little knowledge of the platform, so any suggestions are welcome, and you are welcome as well to visit and comment any inquiry related to the topic.
      Check it here: My Patreon
      Thanks for reading. Have a nice day!

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