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Dev Diary: Village Management

In Nested Lands, trying to survive alone is a fool’s errand. If you truly hope to stay alive in the plagued hellscape of Norovellir, you will need to go far beyond simply filling needs like hunger, thirst, warmth and others. To survive, you will need to create a functional village out of the remains of the old world . As we’ve said before:


“You must survive to grow your village, and you must grow your village to survive”.



The Village


In many ways, developing your village is one of the main goals of Nested Lands. Everything, from the quests to the exploration and even your own survival, are all linked to how well you manage your settlement.


It is there that players will be able to properly rest and prepare to set out, creating a loop of exploration and management which, if done successfully, will allow for your priorities to shift from purely surviving day-to-day in the beggining, to eventually thriving and discovering the dark secrets of this new and corrupted world.


That means aspects like the following would have all become both positive and, more importantly, stable.


  • Protection, which measures how well your settlement is equipped to deal with threats on its own;

  • Decoration, which makes your villagers happier and, because of that, less likely to cause problems;

  • Warmth, which measures how prepared your villagers are for the cold nights;




Ordinances


While stability and abundance are the end-goals for any new settlement in Norovellir, the process of achieving such a desirable outcome can be extremely challenging. To aid with difficult times, players may choose to enforce certain rules and laws, called Ordinances.


They change the functionality of the village itself, setting extended work hours, food rationing, order maintenance and many other details. These laws provide a breather for the player in times of need, or, in more specific cases, may be a way for players to engage in their own forms of rulership, choosing whether to focus on one aspect of their society or another, completely different.




Still, no matter how large the village becomes, it is important to always remember that the Plague will never cease to be a threat, nor will the different enemy factions around Norovellir. In fact, the longer you go and the bigger your village becomes, the more these enemies will take notice of you.


Raids


Raids are special randomized events that may happen while you are in the village, as well as when you are away. In these, enemies will organize a strike force against your settlement, seeking to destroy your buildings, steal your supplies, and kill your people. If you are present, you can fight to repel these invaders. But, should you be away, the consequences will be entirely up to the defenses built beforehand, as well as the villagers assigned to be guards.


Still, should you be close enough, a warning bell will sound the alarm, indicating that a raid is in progress, so you could rush back to the rescue.



Villager NPCs


There are lots of different valuable resources a village needs to be able to grow. Access to clean water and basic resources, like wood and stone, are a must, but you’ll also need seeds to grow food, metal ores to turn into weapons and tools, and, of course, a variety of medicinal ingredients to treat those affected by the Death Plague. Still, there is no greater need than the simplest one of all: people.




Villagers are the heart and soul of any settlement. They keep the wheels of progress turning, and the more of these allies there are, the more the player will be free to focus on other, more pressing matters.


In total, there are dozens of jobs and occupations for NPCs, ranging from basic ones like gatherers, hunters, cooks, blacksmiths, guards and farmers, to complex ones  such as nurses, brewers, miners, herbalists, priests and even tavern keepers, all with related buildings and workplaces.


Where to assign each person, of course, is your decision to make, but wise leaders are always aware of their people’s strengths and weaknesses, which, in the game, are characterized by both skills and traits, some positive and some negative.




We’ll tell you more about these villager characteristics at a later date, as well as how recruitment will work. For now, we’ll just say that each recruitable NPC will have a total of three survivor traits, which will define not only what occupations they are good or bad at, but also their reaction to other gameplay features, such as raids, the plague, the story and even their own goals and objectives.


While some traits are known as soon as you meet a particular NPC, there are others, rarer and more impactful, that will be revealed only after you have earned that person’s trust, or, if you’d prefer a more ruthless approach, that person’s fear. It is then up to you to decide if that person will continue living in the village, or if it’s safer to be rid of them.




Managing the village will require careful planning and execution, as well as a heavy dose of decision-making. The game’s official reveal is arriving soon and, as we’ve said before, it will not be long before we dive more deeply into the ins and outs of how Villagers will work in the game. 


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