First, I’d like to start off with a disclaimer; I am not debating whether or not the next Age of Empires game will take place in the 20th century or not. I am merely proposing an idea that could be used for a game that would take place in the 20th Century.
Now, with that said, hopefully no body shows up here to argue against the idea of AoE 4 taking place in the 20th century…
So now the point of this thread is explain an idea (of mine) on how a game in the Age series style could possibly use a natural resource/villager based economy in a modern setting.
Inspiration of this idea came from another thread about what resources AoE 4 should use, https://forums.ageofempires.com/discussion/2923/what-resources-could-age-of-empires-iv-go-with#latest.
1. WORKERS: In the 20th century, people typically weren’t considered villagers, especially in modern developed countries.
So the idea of calling working class citizens “Villagers” or “Settlers” is rather outdated in most circumstances. Instead, working class citizens should be called “Workers”, appropriately enough…
and I believe that’s something many people living in modern developed countries would consider themselves to be.
2. WOOD: Deforestation is so 19th century. It’s time to think more long term and the key work here is ‘sustainable’.
Instead of workers chopping down a forest with axes and chainsaws in order to help their nation sustain a war effort, they will build and operate a LUMBER MILL.
A lumber mill can only be built on a piece of land if that land has a minimum number of tress on it.
Once built, it can be operated by a maximum of 20 workers, each worker producing a minimum number of wood units per minute; this per/min amount can be improved through lumber mill technologies.
3. FOOD: This resource can be acquired a number of ways. At first, you may want to build a RANCH; similar to how lumber mills must be built on top of a number or tress, ranches must be built on top of a herd of animals, such as a herd of cow, water buffalo, or caribou. Once built, you can research hen coups, pig pens, and the likes, depending on the type of herded animals. These require only 5 workers for maximum efficiency.
Now we move onto FARMS; these are not ranches and do not have animals and can be built anywhere. Essentially the typical mill with crops from the previous games, but using up a larger surface area, housing a few tractors and a barn, and able to operated by up to 20 workers.
And finally we move onto fish, trawlers, and FISH FARMS. Trawlers are work boats that can be used for fishing and off shore construction. Fishing directly from schools of fish will generate the fastest individual food income out of any unit, however it will quickly deplete the schools of fish. However, if you decide to invest in building some fish farms, the school of fish will never be depleted and your trawler will be able to fish a minimum of 10% of the schools fish population per minute; this percentage can be increased by researching fishing technologies at the docks.
4. METAL: This resource will be used for the production of vehicles, artillery, war ships, and bunkers (similar to castles and forts) and is acquired by building a QUARRY.
Quarries are large production buildings similar to farms; like farms they can be built anywhere and also require a lot of space, and like farms they require 20 workers to reach maximum efficiency.
However, metal can also be produced in MANUFACTURING PLANTS. These buildings can only be acquired via a card system similar to AoE 3 and are able to churn out four times the amount a single quarry ever could, however they do require 20 workers to reach maximum efficiency.
5. OIL: Used for the production of mid to late game units, oil can only be acquired by building a REFINERY, however refineries can only be built on top of an oil well and will most likely be fought over heavily. Oil can also be acquired by building an OIL RIG over an offshore oil well, this will require a trawler for it’s construction and will also probably be heavily fought over by naval forces.
Neither of these buildings actually need workers to operate and come with their own built in work force. Production is increased strictly through technologies.
6. GOLD: Finally, we have the age old currency of empires. Gold can no longer be mined, as all gold by this point in time has already been mined and is locked into the currency of countries as coin. To acquire gold, you will need either a MARKET or a DOCK, preferably both, and is acquired by either in-house trading or trading with other players.
Similar to AoE2, trade units can be built, these units will be the TRADE SHIP and the MARKET TRUCK and can be be built at their respective buildings.
The trade ship, just like in AoE2, will move back and forth between your docks and another players docks, bringing a varying amount gold back to you with every trip, depending on the distance traveled.
The market truck however, will be slightly different from AoE2’s trade carts. The market truck does not travel in between markets, instead it travels in between production buildings and it’s market.
With each trip the market truck makes to it’s market, it will bring a certain amount of the resource the production building produces, depending on the distance traveled. These resources carried do not count towards or against your stockpile.
And then, on it’s return trip to the production building, it will carry an equal amount of gold to the production building, which will be added to your stockpile as virtual taxes on surplus resources sold. The amount of gold carried earned from trade ships and market trucks can be increased through taxation technologies.
However, do keep in mind that if any of your trade units gets destroyed by enemy forces, those resources will be collected by your enemy.
A BANK is also another way of making gold, this however is quite simple and requires no elaborate system, just the building and it’s technologies.
This has been a presentation of my Age series style 20th century resource dependent economy.