Dev Diary #8 “Mine is the quarry!” – April 2020

Hi everyone,

Please note: Patch EA 0.9.8 will be released end of April / start of May, if the tests with the new seperated markets system continue to be promising as they are. However, this developer diary focus on a feature of a later update.

In this Developer’s Diary I want to talk a bit about the raw material producers in the surrounding regions of the scenario maps: the mine, the quarry, and the lumberyard.

These three businesses are different compared to other businesses in several ways. First, they produce raw materials only. Then they are located outside of any settlement, with few exceptions. All of them start with transporters already equipped with horse carts so that they can deliver their raw materials to the marketplaces fast from beginning on. And all three are controlled by a master AI. That reminds me of one of the design meetings regarding the new markets system for patch EA 0.9.8 , where we discussed how the AI should try to make money and vanhuiza said: “It’s not like money is growing on trees”, and Tyleet interjected: “Except for the lumberyards…”. But I am getting ahead of myself, sorry… let me roll back my thoughts…

Back in the days of “Europa 1400 – The Guild” (trivia knowledge: the translation of the German title is “The Guild – Trade, Greed & Intrigues”), where I was part of the developer team, it was possible to rent these resource producers. Every once in a while the Lease Master called the important dynasties of the city for a lease auction, where every participant was able to make their bidding. Naturally, the highest bid got the tender. And also naturally there was a lot of bribing, threatening and so on in the run-up and some plans for revenge afterwards.

As we developed “The Guild 2” we responded to the wishes of many fans of the series and we allowed players to own and/or build the raw material producers themselves. In addition, we had to implement watchtowers so that the owner of the mine could defend themselves better against gangs of robbers and marauding henchmen of their opponents, because no city guards were patrolling where those businesses were located. This is why there were a lot of armed conflicts around the resource providers, from which the dynasty with most and best “troops” often emerged as the winner and therewith as the new owner.

After this short history lesson let’s get back to the present… where was I? Ah, yes… The Guild 3 has resource producers like in TG1 and TG2, but you cannot own and/or build them yourself, nor can you rent them to run them for a certain time. The only way you can interact with resource producers right now is by either shopping in their front store or ambushing their carts with your robbers. We want to change that!

We are currently preparing the design and planning for bringing back the renting of resource producers to the game. Core will be that the most important dynasties will be invited again for lease auctions for the city’s mines, quarries, and lumberyards. The leader of the dynasty who wins the auction becomes the renter and thus the manager of the business. The renter can for example affect the prices of iron by flooding the marketplaces with iron or holding back their iron and thus put the competing blacksmiths in dire straits. Or they can store all raw materials produced by that business in their own businesses or warehouses instead of selling them at the marketplace. The rent agreement is signed for a specific time period. When this period is over, the dynasty automatically loses control of a resource producer and at the next opportunity there will be a new lease auction.

We hope that you will like this feature and that it will add a new interesting layer of influencing and controlling the economy. Additionally we are really looking forward to see how the gameplay around it will turn out.

Heinrich Meyer (Producer) & Purple Lamp Studios