The current campaign of Strategic Primer recently finished its tenth turn.
There were two notable changes this turn that, as they happened to all the players, are safe to tell you. First, just like I started using a more detailed and (I hope) realistic model for hunting and fishing last turn, this turn I started modeling the food output of herders properly. I’d previously given a nominal amount of food for each worker assigned to herding; by contrast, I now model how much milk (or, I guess, eggs or whatever—but no-one’s yet domesticated any food animal that isn’t also a dairy animal) the herd produces, and how much of the herders’ time this takes. As you might expect, this is far more than the previous amount.
And second, I’ve gone back over the last several turns and given the players advances based on what their Gatherers have brought in and their explorers have discovered—when a Food Gatherer brings in food from an abandoned grain field, some of that can be used to seed another farm, and when an explorer comes upon a grove of fruit trees, he would probably take cuttings. And so now the players can use those.
Populations keep rising. For most of the players, I’m about to abandon my use of PCGen for generating newcomers, as some populations are on their way past sixty workers, a “party” size that PCGen is entirely unsuitable for. Now, that size is rather unwieldy even for players, so before we begin the next turn I’m working on updates to the viewer that will include helpful unit management capabilities. (Read more about that in my development progress report earlier this month.)
Speaking of population, this is as good a place as any to give fair warning: in a few turns—maybe at the end of the game-year, after the fourteenth turn—I’m going to start tracking other constraints (direct and indirect) on population besides food more strictly. These will include living space, morale, clothing (though each new worker does come with his or her own first set of clothes), resource storage space (including barrels), tools, and the like.
Players continue building, or at least preparing (several of those in forest are constrained by the surrounding trees until those have been cleared), as their still somewhat limited labor supply allows. And they continue to investigate the hints their explorers have reported, which is forcing me to develop ways of determining what an abandoned fortress, for example, would contain, and what might still be found there.
As I keep repeating, this campaign is becoming more exciting by the turn, so I’m constantly looking forward to seeing what the players come up with next. If you’d like to join this campaign, we still desperately need more players, so please contact me.