Game model

Ok I’m wondering how this game is supposed to be played.
Are you a character in the game (like entropia) or are you commanding units/people around (like blockheads)?
It sounds like the movement being used is a first person model. If this is the case can you zoom in and out or are you limited to a “through character eyes” view.
What other games is this going to be comparable to? Sounds a little like a Civ model mixed up with a first person world explorer game.
Also will there be a VR version?

You command characters, take a look at Dave’s latest devblog.

Mind the Vikings is similar to Dave’s vision for the game.


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Ok, so what makes this game different enough that we’ll pick it up?
For authors of books, it’s great to be able to say this book is like Game of Thrones meets The Simpsons, but there’s always a “but” that tells how it stands out and is really going to have something to add to what has been done before it especially if you want people to pay for it.
So what would make me stop playing X for a while to check this game out? And what’s going to get me to come back for more?

That’s difficult to say. The game is still in such early development Dave doesn’t really know what direction it will go.

For me there are a few things that I know will make me stick around.

  1. Mod support - knowing Dave this will be done very well, and as a hacker, I love being able to manipulate the game so that it plays like I want.
  2. Majic - Seriously. Dave has a history of making great games, and making them rich enough that you can play for a year and still learn something new. This is great for retention. (Example: In BH, you can use the heat from the center of the world to create a healing pool)
  3. Replay - This is pure speculation, but I suspect Ambience will end up looking something like one of the massive Minecraft modpacks that focus on development. This results in there being so many ways to do something that it is really fun to try to figure out which way is the best, and try new ways when starting a new world.

So Looking at this it sounds like

  1. Modding
  2. Depth
  3. Replayability

It sounds though like most people here are looking at the multiplayer aspect of it. Typically a mod has to be installed by everyone in the multiplayer world for it to work properly if at all.
Depth is good but frankly that’s not something I’m seeing here yet. Massive size is more obvious.
I’m wondering how replayable it really is. Adding in a tech tree is going to limit how fast you can do things and slow the game down a little. Starting over from I can’t do much because my tech is gone is going to be pretty limiting.

It also still doesn’t answer the question of, for you personally, what game are you going to put down for a bit to play this one?
A better question might be what games won’t you put down?

For blockheads sometimes the game is more a mode of chatting than actually playing the game. It’s frankly the main thing that has kept me playing on and off.

The game I’ll put on hold to at least try this one out is Entropia.
Similarities: Massive, Tech Tree, First Person, 3D World
Possible Similarities: Multiple Development Paths, Graphics
Differences: Not Controlling units, Goal Oriented, Established (someone’s always on)


True, right now there isn’t a lot of depth. My claim that there will be a lot is primarily based on experience with Blockheads. Specifically, expert mode. (Will be obvious once the update comes out)

The biggest change in expert mode is that the crafting recipes have all changed significantly to create a carefully designed progression of goals. - majicDave

True, if you start from ground zero every time. However I expect that this won’t be a problem since you can always copy worlds to get a jumpstart, or use mods to put you into the part of the game you enjoy most.

I’d like to try to answer this, but I really can’t since I don’t play any games much. I have a cycle of maybe 6 games I cycle between, playing each for a week to a couple of months before getting bored and leaving until it comes up again. I can pretty much guarantee that whatever I’m playing when Ambience releases will be dropped for at least a couple of weeks.

  • Blockheads
  • Minecraft
  • (Several tower defense games - still bouncing around trying to choose my favorite)
  • Chess (online)

What I know I won’t put down is code - I always have at least one project going on. Currently I have 4 (2 which are directly related to Blockheads). However I can get my “code fix” in many ways. I expect mod development in Ambience will be one way I do that.


Now at least I see a bit more where you’re coming from. Not so much a gamer as a coder.
I’m coming from the basic Vanilla Gamer prospective. I like to play the game first and foremost without mods, often the challenge is how fast can I complete something. In one game the self imposed goal was complete it without firing a shot.
Playing from a saved point isn’t really replayability, almost more like nostalgia or a cheat jump so you don’t have to do X again. If you deleted the program and started from scratch, that’s replayability. Would someone go back to it in that case. Lots of blockhead players would probably fall off if all of their saved loot was suddenly gone and they had to start all over with no way to get it back but grind. There’s lots of things you can do with mods, nearly make games the same with different engines, but a mod isn’t the game. You seem particularly excited about the mods alone, being a coder, which makes sense.
Interested to see this expert mode though.

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You may be surprised, but many people enjoy challenging themselves in the blockheads by making a WFS (world from scratch), which is basically a complete restart of the game (in that world), with no Portal Chest / TC horde / etc and getting up and going from nothing. I realize that there are many who wouldn’t do this, and some who have never even started like this in the first place (due to servers where things are provided or illegitimate methods of play). But there are still many players who do, and with expert mode (though not a lot of people will probably go through expert mode a whole bunch of times), this will pretty much be the case any time you begin a new world. While not everyone will enjoy this, I suspect many will. If they don’t want to start over, then just like in most similar games they’ll probably be able to continue amassing millions of resources without restarting. These points won’t appeal to everyone.

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Of course there are. I said “lots” not “most”.
I wasn’t implying that it wasn’t a good game, just that mods don’t make a game. If you need mods to keep people’s interest then you have failed in making the game you should have.
There are plenty of gamers who love the game.

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My primary enjoyment of The Blockheads comes from starting from scratch and advancing. It’s that process, rather than the end goal, that keeps me interested. I’ll probably do a lot of that in Ambience too.


That’s exactly it. You play for the non modded version, that is to say, the game itself. And the speed at which it advances is a big part of that. You can advance back up practically in a week.

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