Hello There Unreal Forum
My name is Steve and I’m a amateur game dev with skills in 3D art and UE 4. This summer, I am going to start working on a late 19th century themed city building game inspired by Kingdom’s and Castles - Kingdoms and Castles! Building a Medieval EMPIRE! (Kingdoms and Castles Alpha Gameplay Part 1) - YouTube - If you are interested, do let me know, either via PM or by posting here.
The idea is, you are plopping down roads and buildings in an old fashioned square-grid, graphics are 3d, low-poly, though with an artistic touch and nice shading, with pleasant music playing in the background. Now, I realize there already some games like this (especially crappy freemiums on mobiles), but I think there are very few good ones with unique themes and game mechanics. I think there is plenty more room for city builders, and although this is not primarily a commercial project, If we happen to somehow make money out of this thing, it would be shared among teammates according to share of work and contribution.
Now, since the project is very, very early in development, I am open to new ideas and themes, but to kickstart the brainstorming, here is the original concept, game mechanics and theme which is as follows, without going into too much detail:
Simulation: (Programming) Residential buildings (or homes) spawn citizens (Imagine small, blocky characters hopping around) according to their size and type. Citizens have stats, a “task” and a simple AI attached that governs their daily behavior based on what task they are assigned. Based on the time of day, these citizens will search the town for workplace buildings where they are assigned further tasks, such as extract or carry resources, build buildings or simply staff a workplace where resources are converted to goods or services. Each citizen has money in their pockets, which they earn by working and can spend to buy goods that replenish their stats. As the town grows, so does the needs and desires of the populace, so more and more resources and industries are introduced, while initially, there are only very few. The plan is to make the simulation component in stages, starting with only a few types of resources, stats and tasks that allow for the game to be played through its early stages.
Architecture: (Programming and 3D Art) In order to avoid the city looking too cookie-cutter, instead of having complete models for buildings, 2-3 or more “building parts” are to be modeled randomly put together when placing buildings. Each building has a square or rectangular foundation which the player can place from the build menu onto a part of the square grid. At this point, the game randomly selects which building parts to use from the available poll (these parts can range from larger sections of a building to smaller details). Roads follow a similar idea, but instead of having random blocks of roads placed, their arrangement depends on neighboring roads. The game check whether adjacent tiles are roads themselves, and if so, the model of the road in question changes accordingly. For example, and L shaped road would spawn if there is a road block to the right and to the top. I’m pretty sure this is how its done in most such games. The style of the buildings should be victorian-esque, level of detail and (whether we have) textures may vary based on the number of artists.
Story: (Programming and 2D Art) I love story-driven city builders, or anything story driven. What this would mean is that, instead of having random disasters and events, there would be an overarching plot being slowly revealed as the city grows in size. I am not very fond having to start over my town too often or having to follow strict objectives, so if we decide to make a proper campaign mode, I will advocate for few, but longer scenarios without any predetermined objectives.
Programming the simulation, modelling the building parts and creating some kind of campaign are probably going to take up most of our time, though the latter could be sacrificed for more of an open-ended sandbox game. Smaller jobs include fixing bugs, camera controls, user interface. The latter is where I have the least experience in, I hope to create something unique, though I’m not sure how to accomplish that without confusing the players too much. Then there is also music and sound design which I hope would be something that goes well with the overall theme, but will leave to whomever hopes to fill the position.
Finally, I have a Twist in mind for the game, which has to do with the story and the victorian setting. Something that should make it significantly more interesting, but I do not with to reveal what it is this time. Its not that I fear it might be stolen, in fact it might have already done in some other city-builders, I simply wish to keep things simple for now.
For now, that is only me. I am the only dedicated member. I can fill any, but not all of the 3 primary roles listed below. I’m available 10 - 20 hours per week (not day) during the summer for this project, and I would ask you you to only apply for primary roles if you have similar availability (or better). I’m not looking for AAA developers here. I’m not into high LODs and fancy shaders, All that matters is that the game’s art is made in a consistent style and that the code is not full of bugs. When it comes to sound design, writing and music, I would however ask for something above average, since these are relatively easy fields (Compared to simulation and AI programming) that I myself also have experience in and there are a lot of writers/sounds guys out there. So, here is the list of people needed:
PRIMARY ROLES (10+ Hours per week, Would get the majority of Rev-Share)
- Unreal Programmer/Blueprinter or other - Anyone from those being able to connect 2 functions together in blueprint to blackbelt C++ programmers, preferably the latter. I for one believe that compared to other projects, a square grid city-builder is gonna be a piece of cake programming wise… but of course, I might be wrong there. We shall see. Having other, non-programming skills in unreal (level design, configuring scenes, building terrain) is also welcome, although you will probably not have much to do.
Should there be many applicants for this position, The most experienced applying programmer (if any) would be designated as technical lead and would have control over what parts of the code is to be added to the core game project and what needs reworking or is better discarded.
- 3D/2D artists - We are going to need a ton of assets so I’m looking for as many of these as possible. Buildings modules and props will likely take up most of the time, so make sure you like modelling architecture before applying. Concept art would be nice too, but not essential.
The most experienced applying artist (if any) would be designated as creative lead with similar powers to that of the technical lead.
- Sound Designer/Composer - Both sounds and music would be nice to have, but the real objective here is to make a “click” sound that doesn’t drive players mad 2 minutes into the game.
SECONDARY ROLES (Whenever you are available. Smaller portion of Rev-Share )
Legal Consultant - Someone with legal know-how so we won’t end up breaking any laws while making our game.
Writer - Create lore, stories and a wiki with which to spice up the theme and help players better understand how the game works.
- Playtester - Find out if the game is fun. This can be hard to do by the developers themselves. Also look for bugs and tell us the frame-rates on your rig to help with optimization.