Track how many citizens we've recruited

I think it would be neat if one of the accolades the game tracked was how many new citizens you’ve recruited to Siralim through those recruitment duties.

In the far future, maybe that could tie in to some sort of kingdom development mechanic, or at least a Steam achievement. But in any case, just having it tracked would feel nice.

If you happen to be interested, here’s the quick-and-dirty beginnings of a kingdom development mechanic. I tried to make sure it doesn’t add any complexity on the player’s end, should be quick to implement, doesn’t change the balance much, and is a minimal framework that can be extended on later. But no worries if it doesn’t mesh with the vision you have for the game!

Step 1:
– Add an accolade keeping track of how many citizens the player has recruited.

Step 2 (possibly in a later version):
– Give the player a small discount on resource costs in town based on the number of citizens they’ve recruited. Some or all of castle upgrades, summoning new creatures, enchanting, blacksmithing, etc. I’m thinking you could start with something like 0.998 to the power of the number of citizens (so, a multiplicative discount – each new citizen gives you a 0.2% discount on costs). But that could be tweaked in future versions.
– Change resources-explaining guy in the throne room to give you three options: “How does my kingdom fare?”, “Could you remind me what all of these resources are?”, and “Never mind.” If you choose the first option, he says “You have recruited 37 citizens to join our growing kingdom. Their hard work has allowed us to lower costs in town by 7.14%.”

This is a sort of “minimal releasable change”. It’s a simple system that makes the player feel like they’re “making progress” by doing the Duty but doesn’t mess with game balance much.

In later versions, if you decide you want to expand it, you have options like:
– Maybe start tracking some of the other duties too, and possibly offer other discounts or split up the existing ones. Finding a bunch of scrolls for the library could lower ritual costs a little bit? You could change it so that blacksmith discount depends on duties like gathering artifact pieces instead?
– Add some achievements or creature unlocks or shop unlocks based on number of citizens?
– Maybe tie this in with castle unlocks eventually? Like, you have to have finished 5 “gather the artifact pieces” duties before you can unlock Blacksmith Upgrade 1?

That’s a good idea!

I eventually want to add a tax system into the game based on the number of citizens you’ve recruited. My only concern is that this would inflate the amount of resources you gain for doing nothing, and you’ll eventually have infinite resources.

Okay, so, off the top of my head…it sounds like you’d want taxes to be a once-a-day collection (probably from the “how do resources work?” guy). Balance-wise, I think it’s perfectly fine to have “I remembered to check in for 60 seconds once every day this week, and then played for two hours on the weekend” give comparable results to “I played for three hours today.”

I think as long as the tax income doesn’t directly increase itself, that’s the important thing? Like, you wouldn’t want to have it be based on a percentage of (total resources ever collected, including taxes). But if it’s scaling with something like player level or (total number of monsters killed) or (total resources ever collected not including taxes), that should be fine.

If taxes were put in, they should be a very small percent. But how much and of which resources? Perhaps brimstone and crystal, since those are used on reforging and such that I find I burn through more quickly. If you’re worried about resources getting too much, that wouldn’t happen until very late game, which happens then anyways. I don’t really see that as the problem. Perhaps make it something really small, like one or .5 brimstone and crystal per citizen gained. That’d keep it from getting too crazy at a crazy rate. I’d see the tax as more of a nice little boost over time, so those who play each day will be the ones who get a great use of it.

Systems like the taxes tend to be less for the people who are already going to play every day, and more for the people who are on the borderline. You’re doing it to increase your game’s stickiness. It’s for the week days when the player might not actually have time to play your game, but you want to make sure they still feel like they’re actively engaged with it when the next weekend comes around.

So I guess it feels to me like the rule of thumb is, you want it to be enough that if the player just “checks in” for 5-7 days in a row, and then comes back for an actual play session, they feel like they’re being rewarded. They have something moderately noticeable to spend. I dunno, I guess I’d say that “checking in” once should be worth maybe 10 minutes of moderate-skill play?

I’m not sure about taxes, but it would be cool if you had to develop your kingdom to a certain level in order to unlock some late game options. Maybe you can’t unlock the Daily Duel that was suggested recently until you have recruited 100 citizens, because you have to gain renown for your kingdom before powerful mages are willing to come and fight in your arena. Or maybe once you’ve grown to a certain level, a new creature type shows up and asks to become a citizen (that is, join your stable as a playable creature). Lots of new features could be tied to this, to make it feel like the growth of your kingdom is opening up your options.