Tech Tree Progression

Ambiance is going to have a tech tree. I’d like to do some brainstorming on how this might look.

There are a few options for tech trees in general.

  1. Completely organic, there are no hard restrictions on learning something besides what is necessary to do it. For example, if you somehow end up with a kiln before a campfire, you can cook food in the kiln before learning how to do it in the campfire. Contrast this with being required to learn to cook at a campfire before you can cook somewhere else. I really like this idea, but can’t think of seeing it anywhere…

  2. Level based, this is essentially what Blockheads uses. You can upgrade benches (in Ambience more likely buildings) to increase your crafting capabilities. This mostly works well, but can become boring if there is no freedom to branch out and work on developing the tech most interesting to you.

  3. Age based, Age of Empires 2 used this (tech tree) and it seemed to work fairly well but doesn’t make much sense in the real world… basically, you can create buildings and then once you upgrade your town center building all of your buildings are upgraded to the “new age” level. This seems to be the most common tree used in battle strategy games.

It is difficult to really say which will work best for Ambience, but knowing Dave there will be a lot of freedom in how to play, which I am super excited for.

I just realized this morning that this thread was created when I meant to reply to KP7’s thread since I was working on this then decided to reply to that first… oops! I’ve fixed it up now. If the thread changed a lot, since you first saw it, now you know why.


I was thinking about this earlier. Personally, I think a level-based tech tree would be easier to make and understand. I do like the idea of your first suggestion, where there is a lot of freedom, but it might be complicated to engineer.

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I really like the “organic” option, and though it’s uncommon in games it is my favorite. Level based is also pretty high up there, and organic tends to be sort of level based anyway as far as progression goes (iron ore needs to be smelted before being able to use the iron).

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I prefer level based. I especially enjoyed it in Blockheads

Definitely like the organic option better than the other two. Although level based would probably be easier, it gets boring and repeatitive after a while, eg civilisation

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I would like to offer you a look at my technology tree.

  1. The Stone Age
  2. The Copper Age
  3. Bronze Age
  4. Iron Age
  5. Steel Age
  6. Information Age
  7. Space Age
  8. Silicon Age
  9. The Stellar Age
  10. Sub Light Age
  11. Gate Age
  12. Warp Age
  13. Warp Age of Sufficient (Galactic Conquest Present)
  14. Warp Age of Indulgence
  15. Warp Age of War Like
  16. Warp Age of Noble Aspiration
  17. Warp Age of Violence
  18. Warp Age of Enlightenment

Each Age would be a technology tree and was meant to serve as a pre requisite for starting point for a new game. and function like a level progression system.

A quick example would be stone tool crafting unlock stone age. Copper tool crafting unlock copper age. A requirement for copper age is access to copper as a resource.

The game that I am designing had two tech trees. Your tech tree and your nations technology tree. and a global tech tree.

Ever nation in the game world would be researching different technology. Your empire/ Nation could trade for a technology but not have access to the resources to use that technology. as an example your nation could not have access to the resource copper but then could trade for the copper crafting technology.


I agree, i think there should be a system like this. I just think that its quite a big jump in technology 1 age between Iron age and Information age.

Shouldn’t there be an medieval age, renaissance age, age of exploration, industrial age (i guess that’s what you mean with steel age).

I also want to have some space exploration in this game at least were you could colonize the star system. But with your ages half the game plays out in space. I just think that’s a little overkill.

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