SimBlob: Background

SimBlob is a strategy/war game.


My favorite games include Railroad Tycoon, Populous, Transport Tycoon, Civilization, SimCity, Dune 2, and Galactic Civilizations. (Quake is not in my list!)


I wanted a simulation where the environment is dynamic. In SimCity’s map (land, water, and altitude) or Civilization’s world map (continents, rivers, oceans, mountains, and so on), the world won’t change by itself. SimCity 2000 lets you change the terrain but nothing happens otherwise. Civilization has occasional changes, such as rising oceans during global warming.

In SimBlob, rivers actually flow, water levels are simulated, floods and droughts can occur, fires can spread, erosion can create canyons, and so on. Trees and grass grow, rain falls, and seasons pass.

I have found that in simulation+war games, I usually like the building phase more than the war phase, so I am putting more emphasis on building and simulation than war.

Most of my previous games were text-based. With SimBlob, I learned about graphics, GUIs, multithreading, and more object-oriented programming. My main goal was learning and having fun. I never finished the game, but I had a lot of fun and learned a lot.

Original Scenario:

You and several other people are starting towns in the wilderness. Farming and lumber are the basis of the economy. After a period of town growth, you find that your town and other towns are competing for space and resources. At this point, walls are built to protect their towns, and military forces begin to build up. You must respond with your own walls and military.

Through economic, military, and political means, someone must conquer the other towns and unify them into one city. To win, that must be you!

New Scenarios:

The scenario described above was too much for my limited time. Instead, I had decided to create two simpler games. In one, you are starting a town in the wilderness, and farming and lumber is the basis of your economy. Your goal is to harness the natural resources available to you while being resistant to natural disasters such as flooding and volcanos.

In the second game, the emphasis isn’t on building a town, but instead on building a kingdom with several cities. Forests, mines, and rivers provide natural resources that you transform into goods needed for your towns. You can choose to cooperate or compete with local industries and other kingdoms. The design of this second game has not been worked out yet, so it may be somewhat different from what is described here. You can see a list of game ideas that are being considered.

I’m sufficiently addicted to Transport Tycoon that I had considered making the second game have a lot more economics and almost no war.

Unfortunately, after four years I stopped working on the SimBlob project, and I never got very far with the second game. (I also did not finish the first game.) However, I think the project was a success in that I learned a lot and had fun working on this game. I also released the source code so that perhaps others can use these ideas or code in their own games.

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