Nocked’s gameplay moves in cycles. The smaller cycles involve going on a mission, returning home, finding out what's changed, and heading out again. Missions help you gather power and granular resources that you can then use to improve your standing in the forest. The larger cycles of the game are tied to the seasons, and this is what I'll talk about in today’s development blog on resource pacing.
It's helpful to temporarily step out of the videogame space and into the board or card game space. From that perspective, the turning seasons map to end of turn and beginning of turn effects. As the season ends, the Sheriff strikes against you in a variety of ways, but always targeting your structural resources and with the strength related to your bounty (and the game’s difficulty level), or how much of a nuisance you've made of yourself thus far; then your remaining structural resources are evaluated – men join or depart, renown is gained or lost; and finally whoever's left sets out to raid the Sheriff's tax collectors.
At the start of a new season – or the beginning of your turn – your grace is restored (if spent); you gain power and prestige; the very fact of your resistance attracts new recruits depending on the size and choice of base; and you have the opportunity to spend power and aid the various factions with seasonal crises. The seasonal crises are once per season opportunities for you to significantly bolster your standing (or fall out of favor), and your actions therein carry additional weight beyond the pure influence gained.
Then, once more, you find yourself back at your base with all of the day-to-day tasks and quests and intrigues to attend to until, once again, you decide to turn the seasons. But be warned, your time in Sherwood is limited, so make the best of what you have because you never know when the Sheriff will cut it short.
This concludes the discussion of Nocked’s new and revised gameplay mechanics. Next time, I’ll talk about why I decided to rework a game already a year old, and what was involved in bringing it to desktop.
A rough diagram of the gameplay mechanic relationships in Nocked. Note how everything moves to and from story, my guiding principle during development.