As someone who loved playing video games like Age of Empires (the original good version, not the silly ‘socialized’ cartoony version) and Settlers it felt like this was a vanishing genre taken over by the likes of SimCity and their ilk.
Banished, by a one-man studio called Shining Rock Software, looks to return us to those original genres, and if the video of the alpha version of the game is any indication it is going to be a gorgeous looking game with true city-building strategies.
The idea behind the game is that you help a group of exiled travelers build a sustainable colony. The key here is that word – sustainability because every action is a balancing act with your decisions having consequences.
If your people hunt too much of one animal or fish too much of one type of fish they will go extinct, which will lead to starvation. You can also have roving nomads join your town in order to increase your workforce but you have to be careful about how many you let in as they can also bring new diseases to your town.
When it comes to professions you have townspeople who can possess any of the 18 available professions, from mining and fishing to hunting and tailoring. Your townspeople will be able to have kids, grow old and eventually pass away. Additionally the landscape will be different game to game, as well as containing varying amounts of resources which will make each of your playthoughs and towns unique.
Banished is currently in development and should be ready for the PC sometime in 2013, and I for one can’t wait. Heck I’d be playing it now if I could.
Here is a video of the game so far.