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Considering doing a web based banished-like game


So, I'm kinda ruminating writing a web-based game inspired by Banished where everyone's cities are on the same map and you trade with each; the intention is not with the intention of going on it and playing for an hour at a sitting; more being a 15 minute thing each day tops- but also being able to skip a day or two without things going too astray.  (you citizens will just carry on with their current jobs).  My intention is having something that is quick to monitor each day- something people can stick with for months playing and watching their cities slowly grow.

 Now before anyone get excited- or horrified- I'll make the warning that this isn't the first time I've had an idea for a web game; and although I've started on projects several times, I've never finished one... (I started a web based snail racing game last year that I got halfway through but never finished- where you owned a stable of snails and bred/traded/raced them)

I'm curious your thoughts and suggestions though, if you think it is feasible. This is the idea I've had in my head (do you think it would work):

Essentially the first thing you do is pick where to place your city.  You'll be shown a map- (different locations have different advantages).  Coastal regions will have more stable temperatures, more constant rainfall and better trade options: but a higher risk of disease (increased humidity the closer you are to the coast- more mosquitoes) and more disasters (tidal waves, hurricane)- plus less room to expand because your city is against a coast. 

Inland regions will have wider temperature fluctuations (making some crops less likely to grow) and more variable rainfall - but there will be more resources (stone, iron, wood, etc) near your city because your people have a full 360 radius to harvest from- and also more room to expand into in the long run.  If you're suicidal and want to rely on trade for food you can build a city way up in the mountains- colder temps, less fertile soil, but with a resource bonus.

The other factor when building a city is to look where other cities are.  Close by cities mean cheaper trade- but also means you could lose citizens to those cities if they are more desirable.  Also, if a disease starts in a nearby city it is more likely to spread to yours.

You start out with 5 families (you can customize the last names if you like) - and, much like Banished, you assign them jobs (which initially will be things like gathering resources or building homes/buildings/farms).   I'm not planning on having this real time where you watch your citizens moving around- essentially this is turn based with each day being a turn (a week in real life will be a year in game time- so each turn being approx 50 days in game time).  Again, the idea is only to spend a short period of time each day on the app- I figure people will get burnt out if they have to contribute a lot of time each day.  (although you will have the option of looking at other cities- messaging people suggesting trade deals etc and wasting as much time in the game as you like).

I'm planning on having the economy work similar to Banished but with different resources.  The idea is the same; you grow stuff, mine stuff, or trade stuff.
Health will be based not just on proper nutrition, but water supply and sanitation.  To start with you'll be getting water out of streams and ponds (and pooping back in them) - once your population grows if you're still doing that you're going to have one sick city.   Wells are more sanitary sources of water.  Eventually when you're big enough and have enough money- distillation facilities will be an option.  Building enough latrines will help sanitation, as will (when you're big enough) building a proper sewer.

Happiness will be multifactor:
There will be spiritual happiness; enivronmental happiness (the prettier your city); workplace happiness (you can set the workweek of your citizens- but if you're overworking them they'll not be happy- and they're more likely to get sick). 

Your original citizens will be locked to your city, but any born after the game starts, or any that migrate to your city will be likely to move to another city if they are not happy.  (migration can happen as a result of marriage to- if there are no eligible young men or ladies that don't share their last name - they will either marry someone from another city and move there- or have someone from that city move to yours).

Trade will be vital (no city will have access to every resource in the game) - all cities will have access to one type of rock and one type of metal.  Example: marble or granite; iron or gold.  When you have an excess of a resource- you can offer it on the trading board- put up an offer like "100 units of granite for 100 gold coins".

You can also buy off the trading board by looking what other players of the game have offered.  If I had offered 100 units of marble for 200 gold coins, you might select that.  Depending on how far away from you I am - you will also have to pay the traders a surplus in gold- the further the two cities are apart the more gold they have to pay (if we share a river, or both are on a coast, or have jointly paid for a road between our cities, the cost will be a lot less).

I'm not planning anything so lofty as to be able to change angles and zoom around, etc... you'll see an overhead view of your city and that's it.  I'm planning on keeping this simple.  I know I'll never finish the project if I try and do anything like that- plus that's a bit too much for more web browsers to handle on older systems.  That would be a phase 2 type thing to try and implement once I've got it in place if I ever get that far.

But I do plan on having the code available once complete for anyone to plop on their server and easily modify and run their own version (use their own graphics and rules of the world)... plus everything will be data-driven and I'll have an admin console so people can change what buildings there are available and what they do; what resources there are, etc... so anyone with a website will be able to modify the world easily without having to know how to code.

I'm not committed to the idea- just ruminating; and chances are I would start it and never finish it knowing me... but getting back in to Banished makes me itch for starting a project like this.

Jeph Woods:
I like the idea. I would play/test if you got it up and running!

Sounds a bit like Banished+Travian.


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