Technological Progress and Ideas

Technological progress is obviously a must in a game like this. As such, there needs to be a way to achieve it. However, how would that be possible? Making a Sapien sit down at a bench and write on papers for hours on end would be boring. The same goes for a “tech tree”, where you just select a new technology and simply wait.

A much more interactive idea would be to have a more personable approach. For example, what about your own sapiens having ideas and acting out on them, such as, as you progress on and on through the Stone age, someone might get a random idea and decide to act on it. At that point, it either doesn’t work or they learn something valuable and share it with the rest of their kinsman.

Another way of executing this could be coincidences. An example of this? Suppose some tribesman named Jerry decides to bang rocks together because he’s bored or because he just… Feels like it. And then they shatter and become blade-like. Jerry sees this and realizes he can make tools from it. So, he goes on to share it with the rest of his tribe. Pretty soon it catches on and everyone is making stone knives! And all of that just because some dude was bored.

Yay or nay?


Yay (for the most part).

^Dave about a year ago talking about how he sees skills being learned and passed on.

From what he’s done so far, it seems it will be much more organic than manually selecting a tech and waiting. As a Sapien uses a skill, they improve at it which eventually allows them to try out new things. For example, working with fire enough would make them better and faster at building fires, then eventually allow them to try new things involving fire, such as creating a torch to carry fire with them or understand how best to build a fire to be used for cooking.

As a Sapien learns more about a particular branch of skills, they would become “specialized” and devote more time to working on their specialization. If they see someone building a fire who isn’t good at building a fire, they could take over the task. The original Sapien might get something else done or they might watch the specialized fire maker and be able to learn the skill more quickly than if they had fumbled around on their own.

All of this can happen naturally, or the player can guide the tribe in particular directions which would likely progress the tribe more quickly since the player is a somewhat omniscient being.

Just imagine a Sapiens thinking, I wonder if this log would float? Then puts a log in the river and realize oooo it does. Then the Sapien think, Can I float on it then? What i’m describing could be a really interesting way for the sapiens to discover boats. But this could work for anything. For example learning to cook. I wonder what would happen to this peace of meat after I hold it over the fire? etc.

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Like the way that sounds. A variation that might make this more realistic and unique is ‘hidden’ skill trees.

In most games you can see all the way to the top of the specialisation tree, so that you’re able to pick and choose from the get go what your goals are.

This has upsides but in real life a tribe’s skills would derive from their pool of previously mastered skills. If you had a hidden tech tree, you would only be able to see previously acquired skills and the next available level in that skill area.

This might also open up possibilities for skill sharing between players/tribes. Perhaps you first have to discover a skill before your sapiens can learn that skill. One tribe may live by lots of rivers and become very specialised in fishing, and be able to share that with new tribes that they come into contact with.

Ultimately, it would be nice if the skill levels took time to achieve. This would correspond well with the fact that the world is so huge and it takes time to travel. It would also mean that you do have to actually think about what you’d like your Sapiens to specialise in, rather than knowing that eventually you’ll have them maxed out in everything anyway.


I really the idea of educating younger sapiens and having skills passed on, this would make progression more complicated for advanced tribes, e.g. when they are in the industrial ages etc.


Regarding the latest video update,

  • Having sapiens know how to plant seeds and grow a farm with fences immediately is kind of “against” evolution.
    And, even if that alone is not a valid reason, I think gaming wise, there is a lot to be lost if you skip the hunter-gatherer phase and jump straight to agriculture.
    Also, the thrill would be great when a Sapien finds out that rotten fruit causes trees / bushes to grow in that place, learning that planting them is an option.
    I imagine that, after a couple seasons / years, when some rotten food had happened, a particular sapien with the right skill would learn about planting seeds (and this no small freat could come with an accompanying message, explaining this very important step in our/their evolution).
    Once a Sapien learns this and plants the first seeds, it’s expected that the whole tribe is able to do that as well.
    The gameplay associated with hunting and gathering should be explored.
    Like having groups of excellent hunters with better tools, groups of gatherers with baskets and ladders to reach the higher trees.
    Only then, when the storage area is full of fruit, would more trees start appearing around the village (marking a large amount of seeds falling in the ground around the paths sapiens create).

  • I think it would be better if stuff that Sapiens don’t know how to build does not appear. When they learn the “idea” behind a certain item, only then it appears.
    (I don’t think it should appear as “blocked”). If it appears, it signifies they “know” it, hence they are able to build if they have the necessary ingredients.

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I like the idea, I just don’t know how fun it is after the tenth restart of the game.

And could you write “Regarding devlog #49,” instead of “Regarding the latest video update,”. (number is most likely wrong). If someone watches it a few months later it is difficult to find out which the latest video is.

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I don’t think that hunting and gathering would be less fun than a stationary farming based society per se, I think the important part is to allow for interesting interactions, such as interacting with a combination of other tribes and wildlife at the beginning.

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You are right, hunting can be as fun as farming. What I think can get boring is when the beginning of the game drags on. If the player can skip or speed up stuff with more knowledge then it isn’t a problem. But if you are forced to spend a few hours in early game doing stuff that you will do in later stages of the game as well then it can get annoying.

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