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!
– 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?