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City building in Kaiserpunk

Overseer Games

2. velj 2024.

Check out what the you'll have at your disposal to build the best possible capital city in Kaiserpunk

The first diary, blog or whatever you want to call it went through the 5 key elements in Kaiserpunk.  With this one, we’ll begin going through the points one-by-one. Topic of the day: city-building, what is it good for and what do you actually do?

What’s there to do?

As one would suspect, you build a city. No surprise there. Or in the case of Kaiserpunk, you build a city-state, your capital city to be more precise. To make it clear, the city-building part takes place in one city, one map. We don’t want to cause any misunderstanding about this. You have ONE city to take care of in that scope of micro-management. That said, we’re making that one city as big as we can, and hopefully we’ll make it even bigger (more on that later). You might be asking the question: why one? The answer is simple: so you can focus on that one city instead of building a series of identical (or too similar) cities across several maps. What would be the point of going through the same procedures, the same… well… gameplay over and over again? Focus on one city and make it the best one ever. Another plus on the side of one city to rule them all is less loading. Switching between the city and the globe is seamless. It’s all there in the beautiful world of digital memory all the time. No wait until I load up the other city… oh, you didn’t want this one? Tough luck, let’s do some more loading then… Is it doable? Sure, but is it fun? A caveat here is that this doesn’t mean Kaiserpunk will never ever involve another city, along with your capital. It more than likely will, but the idea is to quite drastically alter the gameplay of that second map so you’re not doing the exact same thing.

In the beginning of the game, you’ll have serious problems with resources and workforce (manpower). You’ve just returned from the frontlines with some of your surviving comrades only to find your village / town in ruins. A brutal gang is running the show in the area now. Your plans and ideas of a peaceful living is hardly possible if you’ll constantly be harassed by these foul creatures. Your first order of the day will be to survey the area (map) and see all the locations at your disposal where you can make a foothold. This making a foothold is basically making a choice of which location currently controlled by the aforementioned gang, you’ll attack and take over. Each location comes with some pros and cons, but once you’ve made your choice, your battalion will take care of business and you’ll have a dilapidated, but functioning centre of your new town, your very own capital. From this point on, the game pretty much opens up and gives you the freedom to do what you want. Periodically, as you fulfil some criteria (like population) new options will be unlocked. For example, as your town progresses and you realize you’re actually building up a new nation-state, you’ll get the chance, the ability to design/choose your flag. You don’t do this at the beginning, back in the menu, but here, during playing. The difference may be seen as simply symbolic, but we felt it matters. But I digress…

So, problematic resources… Yup. You have no production, the people you do have don’t have a place to rest or live in, or food to eat. And to organize all that, you need more people because you don’t have nearly enough workforce to cover all the necessary production… It’s a vicious cycle 😉. This means that in the very beginning you’ll rely on scavenging the ruins scattered across the map. Some will offer badly needed resources, some will house people that you can convince (or pay in resources) to join you. Some locations you’ll be able to clear out and repair, making them the first functioning building in your city. It all depends on a number of factors (again, this is where those stories we mentioned in the initial blog come into play… already from the start, no point in wasting time). There will also be a problem with space, building space that is. Although this greatly depends on the map you choose to play, don’t forget that the world in Kaiserpunk has been embroiled in constant war for many years. That’s bound to leave scars all over the landscape in the form of trenches, ruins, wreckages… Before you can build something on a piece of land, you’ll likely have to do some clearing first. Before you welcome your first residents, you’ll have to rely on your trusty battalion to pull some weight. Clearing, repairing, salvaging… it all takes time (and manpower too, and in some cases resources) and time is a resource you’ll be very short on at the start of your journey. The more people you take in, the more food you need, more housing etc..

Let’s say I got the fundamentals going; what’s next?

Great job! Your residents, the little you have, are fed (to a degree) and have a roof over their heads (may be leaking in some places). Your next job is to keep the engine going. This means your newly minted town will gradually grow, it will accommodate more people and they will all need some things, want some services and be more than happy to get their hands on some things of the more luxurious kind. In general, your lovely citizens come in 4 types: Laborers, Manufacturers, Technicians and Specialists. Yes, you could look at them like classes, but that’s rude :P. Let’s just stick to the important elements: more advanced buildings don’t necessarily require a “higher class” of workforce. It all depends on what the building is, what it does, what it’s used for and how. This means that you’ll need to accommodate a healthy (and happy) population of all the four types of residents to keep the city running properly. That doesn’t mean it’s that simple of course. Laborers, are let’s say, easier to accommodate and easier to find. Specialists are on the other side of the spectrum, well… their name implies it too. And as such, specialists will have different, greater needs and wants. To be more exact, Laborers have the least number of needs, luxuries and public services they want in their lives to be content. Manufacturers want a bit more on top of it, Technicians even more and the apex predators are Specialists. They want it all 😉.

As is customary, it is your job to make all of that happen. You’re the big boss, the governor. It’s up to you to develop the necessary tech and organize the production and distribution of both needs and luxuries. And of course, it’s up to you to build a sufficient coverage of public services so everybody’s happy.

OK… How much of that is there?

In short, a lot. Laborers start off easy: only two basic needs and two luxuries. Add a single building to cover public safety, health and education and you’re done. The numbers go up of course and once Specialists enter your city-state, you’ll have to make sure they have all 10 basic needs and luxuries covered as well as 10 public service building coverage. I told you they want it all and I meant it. All that combined takes a whole lot to organize, produce, build and sustain. If you don’t, your residents will pass through all five stages of grief and enter an additional last one: rebellion. If they rebel, your head is at stake, and can possibly end up on a stake if the rebellion is successful. Yes, you can lose the game by failing to be a good governor. And that’s only taking the city-building into account. We haven’t even reached all the repercussions and potential issues that can arise when the whole I’m going to create a new world order kicks in.

That only covers the residents’ needs and wants. What about your mighty war machine? Well, provided you actually assemble one. You don’t have to, but keeping larger territory under control without standing armies is going to be a stretch, even for the most savvy diplomat. Armies (army unit) don’t have needs and luxuries; they have supplies. You need to produce all that and make sure they get to the armies in need. Without supplies, your armies will be pushing daisies pretty fast, if they don’t turn on you beforehand.

Interesting. Tell me more. When does it kick in?

Pretty early actually. Remember that I said you’ll have problems with resources and manpower in the early stages of the game? The manpower bit is a touch more important when it comes to the global order of things. Namely, your main source of new residents is immigration from the regions under your control. That by extension means you absolutely should control more than your primary region. You will have an influx of new citizens even without expanding, but the more territory you control, the greater the influx. Likewise, holding territory also requires resources and if in danger, armies to keep them safe. And to create armies, you need manpower again. Another vicious cycle 😉.

That’s all fine, but gimme more info on what I can build, where and when

You construct various types of buildings.

  • Housing is to accommodate your residents. Each of the four types require their own level of housing. Housing comes in both low density (houses) and high density (residential buildings).

  • Production buildings, which we’ll just call factories in this text, as the name suggests, produce goods. Input resources go in, output resources come out. Simple and efficient. Well, there are also factories that don’t require input resources like mines and farms. Mines have to be placed on top of ore deposits and farms just have to be built (on land of course). The latter usually requires quite a bit of space.

  • Depots deploy transport trucks that carry all those goodies all over the city.

  • Public service buildings like Fire and police stations or Clinics and Schools provide their invaluable public services to the population in their work areas. There are also special buildings, like the depots mentioned a moment ago, that don’t fit into any of these standard categories.

  • Tradeports, markets and airports are used in trading for example.

  • Military, naval and airbases are used to station and train armies.

  • Naturally there’s also a plethora of decorative elements that you can use to make your city-state shine with all the glory of your new and proud nation. Decorations are actually a special topic so we’ll cover that in a separate blog, but what we will say at this moment is that we’ve decided to put quite a bit of effort and attention in this part of the city-building gameplay.

But wait! There’s more! No matter when you get the game (because it’s a part of the game), you’ll also get roads, bridges, tunnels, quays and canals at the same price (because it’s a standard part of the game man… what are you taking about… stop writing like you’re on a freakin’ TV shopping network…). Anyway...

  • Roads connect everything and come in three nifty types: dirt, gravel and asphalt, each one faster than the one before it.

  • Bridges do what bridges usually do: connect two sides of a body of water. They also come in threes, just for the fun of it.

  • Tunnels go through mountains. There’s nothing more infuriating than having to place a road go ALL AROUND a mountain. It's the 20th century. We knew how to punch big holes in large rocks and we got better at it over the years. 

  • Quays make it possible to Dutch the entire map if you want to. By Dutch I mean “I see water, I remove water, I build” or in the case of Kaiserpunk, you’ll simply build over it. A nice layer of quays goes first and then pop a building on top and you’re good to go. Cheers to the Dutch by the way!

  • And the last one mentioned was canals. Canals won’t have a gameplay element. They will be strictly a visual addition. A nice one though.

Oh and almost forgot about the when bit. New buildings are unlocked over time, depending on what you’re doing with your city. The more agricultural buildings you have, the faster you’ll develop further in agriculture, meaning better agriculture buildings get unlocked for construction.

Sounds good. What maps are there? How many? I want the numbers

To infinity and beyond! Kaiserpunk will sport a nice mix of premade maps and a ready-to-go procedural map generation. We couldn’t agree on which is better, so we’ll make both. In short: 4+ terrain types (relief types? Not sure how best to call it) and 4 biomes. If the first determines the shape of the terrain, the second determines what it will finally look like (textures, trees, grass, rocks, all the nifty li’l details). The final number of premade maps is yet to be determined and will primarily depend on what maps we’re happy with. We’ll be adding more premade maps over time in any case.

There’s another bit we need to mention here. Some additional challenges will be active depending on what map you’re playing. If you’ve taken on the challenges of a desert biome, you can expect to have problems with farming. An archipelago can have crude oil deposits, but probably won’t be rich in traditional ore like iron. Though, we’ll make all the difficulty options available for tweaking if the previous two sentences cause anyone fits of rage.

You’ve written a bunch of text but didn’t tell me enough. What’s the gameplay like?

This blog doesn’t tell you everything about the game, nor is it intended to do so. This blog covers the city-building “pillar” of Kaiserpunk. If you’re wondering more about the production, logistics and choices matter, that’s a valid question. We’ll endeavor to answer it as soon as possible, but please allow us some time to write everything down. The next blog we plan will delve into the intricacies of the world map, the Grand strategy part of Kaiserpunk. Production, logistics and causality will be covered after that. Until then, I can tell you that in terms of city production management in other games in the genre, Kaiserpunk is most like the Anno series. We love it and we couldn’t help it.

Cheers to all and hope to see you in our next blog. Until then, join us on the forum and discord and follow us on the various other channels to get the latest updates and more dev diaries! We’d love to have a chat 😊.

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