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The Village game


This is a game whose development was started at the ILXO game jam.

Village is a economics simulation game. It explores the idea production and trading.

A major inspiration for this game is the 1983 game 'M.U.L.E.'. Other influences are 'Settlers of Catan', 'Oregon Trail', 'Animal Crossing' and various first generation simulation games like Hamurabi.

The object is for the village to succeed and for you to be the richest player at the end of the game.

The initial version will be human player vs. computer. It intended to become a collaborative game with players on different XOs competing.

The basic gameplay is to develop or exploit resources and to buy, sell and trade them, Players can compete, collude and cooperate to reach their goals.

The game play is turn based.

The following is idea capture, not all to be initially implemented

Supporting Documents

I'm trying to break out the design for this into some more formal, level appropriate, design documents. Discussion of the methodology behind these documents can be found on this Talk page, and the Talk pages of the individual documents.

Learning Objectives

Pitch to teacher/educators

  • Teaches basic economic models -- for example, situated around a rural village.
    • Balance -- manage supply and demand, investment choices, and cost/benefit analysis
  • Competitive and cooperative gameplay options. Motivation: primarily self-driven (get a good score for ones settlement), but also cooperative to see the village as a whole do better.
  • central village = market; all students share
  • Buying and selling takes place at the market - auction format
    • can lead to productive class discussion

Pitch to the Student

  • Compelling backstory?
    • Recruited to study farming practices/start farm
    • new land form appears, need to settle? (overpopulated earth?)
  • You are in a village (follow up are failure modes)
    • You have to survive - land is worn out
    • Village survives - run out of food
    • Make $ - run out of $

The Game

Elements of the Game

  • Play limited # of turns
  • Play ongoing -- endless simulation
  • Content related to each land type - clickable, tool-tip-ish
    • exploitation methods
  • End scenarios -- things to consider in wrap-up: land, resources, values
    • User says "Quit"
    • User loses
    • Time expires

Land Types

  • Arable
  • Mountain
  • Tundra
  • Water containing arable
  • Forest
  • Village


  • grow food
  • mine
  • Cut wood


  • Labor
  • mechanization
  • water
  • pesticide/fertilizer
  • food
  • seed
  • wood
  • Animals/Livestock

Random events

  • Adverse weather
  • Adverse actions occurring to food and livestock

Not players, we don't want the kids to die.

  • Rich mineral deposits
  • Space Pirates (sorry, couldn't resist)


to deal with different levels of experience and user sophistication

  • Basic

in basic, at least, the game cheats, untoward events don't happen to the player in last place. Ties in auctioning are resolved in favor of the lower ranked player. This is to level the playing field, and to avoid discouragement.

  • intermediate
  • Advanced

Game play

The game is turn based, except for the 'auction' phase which needs to be simultaneous


repeat for each turn


General program progress

initial screen

for each turn

phase I: player actions

random event
equip =
equip a plot
reallocate resources
sell land

phase II: production

computer generates what your production is from your land factoring in:

  • appropriateness of the land for the purpose
  • economies of scale
  • learning curve of production
random village wide event

Phase III: auction

  • for each resource, buy or sell
  • figure out if we bomb out
    • can a player 'die' or will he just muddle on at near zero efficiency?
    • if a play can die, the game is over when the last human player dies

End of game

  • show final scores
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