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Buildings in modern day empire builder?

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Im doing a total war-style empire builder where you fight for control of cities on a map, develop these and raise armies. Setting is near future (some light scifi features) using real world maps (one scenario is entire globe, another Europe only etc).


The scale is large and stuff is slightly abstracted. Its a global world-wide war and orwellian, hardline governments in control that employ WMD, brutal rule and slavery. I have problem finding good ideas for "buildings/projects/infrastructure" that develops your cities. The inspiration is chiefly total war/europa universalis and such games, but modern setting is a bit different...


Plz comment what i have so far and suggest more! (most buildings should be upgradable but im thinking some can simply be in the style of factory->large factory->huge factory if no unique names can be found such as church->cathedral)



City guard - allow more training of militia regiments

Military base - allows training of regular infantry regiment and allow other military buildings

"Walls" Defensive network? Forts? - gives bonus to defending units.

Turrets - acts as defending units when city defends itself



2 resources: "funds" from taxes, agriculture, logging, mining and drilling (oil/gas). "Tech" for unlocking technologies/empire-wide bonuses.


Better agriculture - Grain storage? Food mills? Harvester workshop?
... Logging - sawmills, lumberyards etc

... Mining - foundry?

... Drilling - refineries?

Port/airport/markets - funds income

Tech labs, research centers, library, university - more tech income



Allows more workers assigned to construction (new buildings) and get more production points per worker assigned


Material plant / concrete factory

Builders barracks



Allows workers to manufacture non-infantry military units.


factory (unlocks manufacturing) - builds simple vehicle and allow the following

large factory etc - more output per worker/more max workers.

land addon - (NOT a good name. Vehicle depot/plant?) allows factory to also build advanced land vehicles

naval addon (drydocks?) - allow factories to build ships

air addon - allow factories to build aircrafts

Problem is a general factory could build most things, but i want cities to specialize/invest to unlock certain units. An airfield/hangar/helipad doesnt make sense, this is not where aircrafts are constructed, only maintained/operated. What can it be called?



City "order" drops with higher taxes as well as other effects (city size, empire size, unrest from occupation etc). Too low order = problems, riots, drop in efficiency, hostile armies spawn

Entertainment - pubs, arenas, TV networks

Control - police station, mass surveillance, prisons, public execution squares



You control a central part of each former city (rather than the entierty of cities), they are largely destroyed by nuclear war etc. By constructing more buildings you "attract/get access to" more workers (you place workers and they earn you resources in the city such as within agriculture). Some buildings add workers (this is how cities "grow"):

religion - churches etc

civil - townhall? Worker barracks, slave camp etc



My question is maybe rather vague. The hard thing with these ideas for buildings is to go from a medieval/antique setting to a modern (since cities are not really as small and distinct anymore). Some fantasy stuff may work in this setting, such as forts as seen in warhammer 40K (forts have  been outdated for quite some while already so not entirely realistic).


A hope to find some way to do it. Plz comment what i got so far and add your own ideas and suggestions!




Edited by suliman

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Noone? (so many visits)


Any example of a similar game i can look at? Modern/near future empire-builder. (many RTS:es are often modern but they work differently so they have different buildings, such as command&conquer generals etc). I looked a bit at rise of nations but its still a different kind of game.

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I tried to design a TD game a couple of years ago. I had 6 buildings with 3+1 levels each. By the time I hit alpha I was 4 building with 1 upgrade.


This stuff is hard. You want less stuff, not more.


Your reasoning so far seems to be based on what the player sees but that's not what it counts for you. What counts is the role a building has.


Consider walls vs turrets. Leaving aside that walls themselves have stopped being useful a couple of centuries ago they have the same effect: makes your city more likely to survive attacks.


Mining and drilling makes no sense without additional value. If what you have is 'taxes raised' then their different is cosmetic.


What counts is numbers. You will have to test, test, test and test again. It took me one week to tweak the ROF of 1 of my towers and I had to re-balance it when I added the second tower (splash). Again, you want to extract your minimal feature set and explore the roles. I'd you seem to have a good idea of what the roles for you are. No idea why you even want to have more buildings than you already have, they're already plenty to me.

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Not necessarily more, but the "names" or what the buildings actually represent is important (and doesnt feel quite good as it is). (I HAVE less than many games of the genre:))

I presented most of the mechanics of the cities, and presented where i have difficulties finding real buildings that could match those mechanics.


Did you play the total war games or similar? Or civilization or masters of orion? A TD-game is VERY different. My buildings will actually not be represented in the gameworld other than as a list describing the current infrastructure in each city.


Turrets would add DPS (damage per sec) to a fight. "walls" would modify the strength of other units already in that fight. Of course they would not be the stone city walls of old, this is why i asked here: maybe even radar or something could help the defense bonus, i need more input (cannot only rehash stuff from medieval setting empire games).

I want players to have the choice to invest in defense, or put their resources into something else.


Why doesnt mining and drilling make sense in economy? A city in Kuwait may have good conditions for running a drilling industry (so the player can focus technology in that direction) but mining and particularly logging may be useless.


Some stuff is partly cosmetic I agree, but such are most good strategy games of scale (this is very different genre compared to starcraft). You want to convey a feeling of simulating a large, breathing empire, including the population.

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No idea about these things (just reading to get a feeling for the kind of problems you encounter here), but to me, it seems you should try to make the game playable as quickly as possible, in any way you can. Pencil and paper, spread sheets, ugly graphics, whatever it takes to make it playable in some way.


Then the problem shifts from lists of stuff to tried and tested ideas, as you find out what works and what not.

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Command, control, and communications


And Spying and intelligence gathering (and counter intelligence)  has always been important


Technology advancements (some completely obsoleting the opponents weapons/tactics)

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