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As a company, Nitro Games has a reputation of listening to players. For example we received a huge amount of positive feedback when releasing patches for “East India Company”, and these patches resolved many player issues and or added elements that our players wanted.
As we prepared for our next game, it was obvious that we would do something with the same elements: age of sails, trading, and naval battles. The Americas was an obvious way to go and the game even had working title “West India Company” for a short while.
In the design meetings we went through all the feedback from EIC we could get our hands on, “I mean all”, beta testers, media, forums, direct emails from individual players so on and so on. Naturally we had a bunch of our own ideas too, but still, it was nice to realize that both our players and ourselves were actually on the same page with many issues, and shared similar view on how EIC could be improved.
Perhaps the most important issue we shared was that there should be more to do, more meat. What was really unique about EIC was the combination of a trading game and a war-game. It felt very natural to build up on the management side of things. Especially as the New World, unlike India, didn’t have any large settlements to begin with.
So, this time around players will need to found and establish their own colonies. This gives you the option to go where you want. Cluster all your colonies together or spread them all over the game world. Which, by the way, reaches all the way from the northern coast of South America to the Hudson Bay.
By the way, shipping colonists from your Home Port is very important. A Colonies population determines the area, and sphere of influence, that the colony is able to receive resources from. Most of the management is related to the colonies and new production chain of items.
Another major thing that we revised completely was the whole campaign logic. In EIC we had strict import quotas players had to meet, if they wanted to stay in the game. While that gave a clear goal at all times, it got too repetitive and restricting. We came up with the idea of advisors. These are four advisors responsible for different fields and they monitor all issues that they are related to their field.
They each give you feedback and missions. You have a standing with each of them. Advisor’s standing decreases if he is not happy with your performance. If too many of them are become unhappy enough, it’s game over.
There are much more of course, like the naval battles. I’ll go into more details on the key features in future dev diaries.