I have been checking my Steam to see what games I’ve purchased along the years, but haven’t played yet for some reason or another. Just need a short break from my Age Of Empires II itch. I have heard good things about This War Of Mine and decided to give it a try. As a business fanatic, I was given quite a shocker after my first failed run.
A short rundown how This War Of Mine plays. There is a civil war going on and all the places are in shambles. You start with a small team of survivors in a house, with each of them having unique skills and status ailments. It is up to you to decide where to scavenge and what to craft to make sure your survivors will keep on surviving. Along the way, you need to figure out where the danger areas are and how to keep your base safe. Resources are scarce and your survivor capabilities are limited during war time.
This War Of Mine is definitely a different kind of fun game. It challenges players to be mindful in what they choose and the consequences that follow up. Your decisions might turn out to be good, but most of the time they are fruitless – I believe that is one of the many perspectives of war. You can sleep well for one night with a full belly, but then you have to deal with the remaining 364 days.
Now I haven’t been able to play that well. On my first run, I couldn’t survive past 10 days. I started with three lads and ended up with only a cigarette greedy guy who was depressed and badly injured. I was allocating and hoarding the wrong materials. My final inventory was filled with materials and items that I couldn’t use until I upgraded and made the required workshops. Consequently, I had nothing to trade or to bargain with other survivors in the game. I was a sad man, even with business economics background.
My impressions of the game aside, let’s dig in how much fun the game design is. I think it all boils down to resource management. Simply said according to resource management, there are four key points: people, visibility, collaboration and transparency. It is pretty interesting to see how real management knowledge could be used/ applied in survival games like this one.
People are important. Even though they are characters in a game, they are designed to act like real people. They have unique skills (like cooking or scavenging) and certain needs (smoking or regular coffee intake). As a player, you want to have your survivors to stay in high morale, otherwise they will end up being depressed or even broken.
Visibility takes the perspective of what your people are doing; what projects are they working on and the resources they need. This was especially important later in the game when you are starting to upgrade your workshops to do such things as make more medicines and improve herb production for food. Before you head to scavenge, be aware of the resources needed for upgrades. As a player, you need to use your survivors effectively too – tired survivors need to rest, but they also need to contribute by doing small chores.
Collaboration implies the effectiveness of working together. Surprisingly, collaboration is very effective when dealing with sad or depressed survivors. In the game, the player has the option to start a conversation between team mates. You can actually see how the dialogues converge. Sometimes it goes well, sometimes it will get worse. The important variable for helping low morale team members is to look into the biography of the certain survivors. Some of them have hidden skills like active communication. I guess the developers want to imply that the best solution for depression is to talk and care for each others.
Transparency requires the player to decide how they play the game. Do you want to prioritize surviving and staying out of trouble? Or do you want to gather weapons and start to raid military camps? Both ways work perfectly in the game, but there are risks. High risk locations for scavenging will give ample resources to survive and to trade, but it is highly possible that your survivor won’t make it back home …alive. Low risk locations will supply your home with the basic materials, but you will have a hard time keeping everything together.
Hopefully, I am equipped with some proper guidance and should be able to survive longer now. By the way, I have totally the ignored the tips and hints from wikipedia or forums. I believe it is much more interesting to explore and know the game your own way.