Position: Economy and Content Design
Time frame: November 2020 - August 2022
Development Time: Ongoing
Team size: ± 40
Short brief: "A turn-based 4X strategy game with in-depth tactical combat''
Age of Wonders 4 is the latest instalment in the long-running Age of Wonders series of 4X strategy games. The game blends 4X turn-based strategy with in-depth tactical combat. This iteration has a large focus on player customization and freedom, allowing mixing and matching of units, spells and all gameplay pieces to a much larger extent than previous iterations.
My tasks on this title while working at Triumph Studios include:
- Economic System design, implementation and balancing
- Content design and implementation (spells, units, structures)
- Magic System design
- Random Map Generator tweaking
- Collection and implementation of gameplay feedback and balancing
- Economy Design
Continuation of development on how the player's economy can be expanded in new, unique and interesting ways. We decided to go with options that offered more interaction without being too intrusive over the rest of the game. This led to smaller sectors with smaller bonuses for the player, but results in a more continuous growth over the game. The choices made are supposed to influence many other systems, as represented with the Boosting system.
More in depth explanation in this Dev Diary.
While we wanted to keep the choices deep and varied, we also wanted the systems to be accessible to new players. This led to the development of the City Automation system which I helped design, and tooltips in tooltips which I wrote various entries for.
- Content Design
Instead of pre-set factions and tech trees, Age of Wonders 4 offers much more modular choices for faction creation and research progression. I have made content for many of these choices, mostly impacting economic decisions in faction creation, but also complete load outs for various Tomes.
- Magic System Design
An iteration of the Age of Wonders III Magic and Age of Wonders Planetfall Operations, we wanted magic on the world map to be both interactive with other players, but not as chance-based. This led to the development of Spell Shields, allowing players to manually build Magic free zones which protect cities but can be taken down by enemy units.
- Random Map Generation tweaking
The overworld is the main economic engine for the player to explore and exploit. Adding nodes, structures, explorable sites and exploitable features was a key part of building the game's economic system.
- Collection and implementation of gameplay feedback and balancing:
During the Closed Beta, attend to the forums to collect feedback and issues. These need to be prioritized, cased, fixed and marked resolved.
- Designing, balancing and improving on a game wide economic system, the foundations of which were laid in previous iterations of this IP.
- Designing and implementing of unique strategic system in a modular fashion, for the player to mix, match and interact with.
- Implementation and balancing of 4X and strategic game mechanics and abilities.
- Joining a new project at the end of post-production.
- Closed Beta conduction and feedback collection.
- Communication with closed beta participants.
An early review by eXplorminate.