Design Dawn of Civlization

The Design

As a Game Designer, I designed and prototyped the following elements of Dawn of Civilization:

  • Building System

  • A.I. behavior

  • Dialogue System

  • Quest System

Below you can find a more detailed description of each of these elements.

Building System

Goals & Requirements

The goals of the Building System were as followed:

  • Give visual feedback on the progression of the player's civilization.

  • Create a manageable challenge for the player in the management perspective.

  • Give the player freedom of choice to build their civilization in their own way.

The requirements of the Building System were as followed:

  • Each building has to be built by the player and cost resources.

  • The player had to have freedom of choice where and how to place buildings.

  • There had to be clear visual feedback when a player could or could not build.

Iteration 1

For the first iteration, I started with a simple building menu in which you could choose which building to build. In this menu, I added the setup which later became the place where the player was able to see all the necessary info for each building before they wanted to build it.

Besides that, you could click anywhere on the ground and place the building there. This placed an actual Actor in the world, which had all the functionality of each building.

Iteration 2

For the second iteration, I wanted to add the first visual feedback.

First of all, the player had to see the building they wanted to build before they placed it, with a sort of "blueprint" material on it. Normally, this would be a blue color, but once it collides with something, then it will turn red and the player is not able to build the building.

This color switch became the setup for other checks like:

  • Does the civilization have enough resources?

  • Is the slope of the ground too steep?

Iteration 3

Besides the clear visual update in the video, the building system also had several upgrades.

First of all, building a building actually costs resources here. It reduced the number of resources of the civilization and if the player did not have enough resources, they were unable to build the building.

Secondly, the player had more freedom as to how they wanted to build the building. Here they were able to hold the "placement" button and rotate the building to however they wanted to.

A.I. Behavior

Goals & Requirements

The goals of the A.I. Behavior were as followed:

  • Give visual feedback on the progression of the player's civilization.

  • Create a manageable challenge for the player.

  • Create a personal connection between the player and the A.I.

The requirements of the A.I. Behavior were as followed:

  • The tasks they were given had to come from the player.

  • They had the have a certain autonomy for the tasks they'd perform.

  • Their actions had to be consistent so the player would not have to guess what they were doing.

Iteration 1

In the first iteration, I wanted the A.I. to move to specific locations and gather resources and deliver them to the storage. With these actions, the player should be able to build more buildings and expand their civilization.

The player can select the A.I. and click on a resource (in this case: a tree). The citizen knows that this is a tree and uses pathfinding to find a good spot next to the tree. Once they are near the tree, they will overlap with a collision box. This will start the function of gathering the resource (wood) from the tree. Once their inventory is full, they will find the nearest storage to drop the resource off. Then the will move to that storage and empty their inventory into the building. Here it will be added to the overal civilization storage.

Iteration 2

In the second iteration, I added a bit more complexity to the A.I. We wanted to have specific jobs for each of the A.I., which would differentiate them from others a bit more. In this video, you can see a Lumberjack and a Transport job. The Lumberjack chops the wood and brings it to the woodcutter building. From there, the transporter will move the resource from the woodcutter building towards the storage building.

This added a bit more autonomy to the A.I.s because now they had a sort of "routine" they would go through every few actions.

After this, more buildings and jobs were added. With each A.I., the player could also have a conversation. All of these extra elements added more complexity to the final product.