Thursday, October 30, 2014


At some point in time my brother told me Banished was a good game and I should get it, but I didn't want to pay full price for an unreleased game so I put it on my Steam wishlist. At some point after that it went on sale, I bought it, and promptly forgot about it. Then earlier this week I was over at his place after moving some stuff into storage and he showed me a video of Day[9] playing Banished and again told me I should play it. I didn't really want to go buy a new game, but when I found out I had already bought it in the past I figured I should give it a spin.

The game is a little like a medieval Sim City where you zone areas of the map into housing and food generation and manufacturing huts and the like. The twist is each citizens in your village is an individual actor and follows their own AI patterns based on what job they've been assigned. It feels a bit like how I've always imagined Dwarf Fortress to play, except with actual graphics.

I'm a little disappointed in how little the individual characters seem to matter. Jamie joked that I wanted stats ala Japanese dating simulator, but that's kinda what I want. I want someone who does a lot of farming to be better at farming than someone who brews a lot of ale. But as this game works the jobs are assigned randomly by the game to the individuals. I tell it I want 5 farmers and a brewer and it just picks some people to do those jobs. They're all equivalently good so it doesn't matter who gets picked. But I want it to matter! And I want things to go deep. I want the characters to have stats and get better based on who their parents were since this is a game that goes on for generations. But that isn't to be.

It's still fun even without crazy stats and genetic selection going on. I just want more...

I'm still in my first game, so I guess I learned from watching Day[9] die a couple times. I came close to getting wiped out because I didn't realize you needed to keep building houses or your population would stagnate. I got to the point where I had 37 adults, most of which were about to die of old age, and 1 kid. I figured out what was going on in time to build a bunch of more houses so that after about half my old people died there was room for the few younger people of breeding age to move into a new house and start making babies. My town ended up a little bit inbred as a result...

Mackery and Damaran are brother and sister. Also, Damaran graduated from the school at 17 and was assigned to take over as teacher. Mackery hit 10, went from being a kid to being a student, and moved in with Damaran. His teacher. His sister. And then they went and had a kid of their own. That's... That's not right.

I ended up rebuilding up to about 12 people, and then I built a building that let nomads show up and join my town. They came with 9 people of their own which brought in new breeding stock and made things at least feel like they could be on the level again. And now I'm up over 200 people! With only a few minor starvation issues when I ended up with way too many children and not enough adults to feed them all. Oh well, some of the kids will just go hungry and die and the problem will fix itself!

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