I wish Game Mechanics Complimented Mood.

Content of the article: "I wish Game Mechanics Complimented Mood."

I've really enjoyed frostpunk and had fun going from the whiners of new london to the convict fiesta of New Liverpool's construction site. The one big thing I wish the game, and the developer in general, addressed is using the game's mechanics to back up the mood they want the player to feel.

The biggest of these is Hope and Discontent. They really dont do anything unless they're too high or too low. I get that I'm supposed to feel some sense of sadness for forcing people to work 24 hours, but given that they work 24 hours or they die frozen in the snow it's pretty hard to be upset.

Now if discontent caused sabotage, for me to lose supplies, for people to choose not to follow laws I'd passed, for problems then I'd be less inclined to keep the thing in the red as much as possible. If hope functioned as a sliding productivity meter with 100% giving 50% more productivity and 0 -100% productivity then I'd probably try to keep hope high instead of stringing people along.

Another good example is child labor. Child labor is always the best choice in the game as those little hands pluck coal and the more actions you're able to take the better. But they could give me a real choice if it reduced the effectiveness of parents. If they're in safe homes the parents worry less, and if down the line it was a better deal to go with apprenticeships then great. Right now though there's only one right answer.

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Same with radical treatment/sustain, same with the snow pit vs funerals. There's no real choice other than "Do I want to make poor decisions because I can?"

I do very much like this game, I also think "You're supposed to get into the mood of the game!" is not a good enough argument over tuning the development and balancing of the game to enforce the players immersion. My immersion is that I am the Captain. The city Must survive even if that includes back to back 24 hour shifts.


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