Juraj Rolko

[WIP] Next.Land - property tycoon browser game

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Hello friends,

I am developing a simple browser game called Next.Land. I would like to ask for some feedback here. I’m looking for inspiration and new ideas. There is a playable demo available so you can try the game right now (very limited gameplay).

Links:

 

Basic features: Property tycoon. Free to play. Browser game. MMO. Simple and casual. Business simulation game. Real world elements and 3D terrain.

Description: 

Next.Land is a property tycoon browser game. It is based on Three.js (WebGL javascript framework), OpenStreetMap - OSM (map data for real world elements like buildings, roads, forests, ...) and SRTM (elevation data for a real 3D terrain). The gameplay is simple and easy. Buy and sell properties, manage your finances and grow your empire. Play in the actual world locations with an accurate 3D terrain. I think this is a very attractive feature. You can play in the area you like the most. Next.Land is quite similar to one older game called MonopolyCityStreets. Of course, I want to keep developing this game after the initial release. I want to provide regular expansions with new game features (microeconimcs, enhanced trading, various in-game events etc). It is too early to be more specific, the game needs to be finished first :)

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Feedback:

I have created a short priority list of topics that interest me the most.

  1. Do you like the game idea? Do you think this game has potential? Do you think that the gameplay might be fun? 
  2. Do you prefer casual or hardcore gameplay? My intention is to create a casual game. Fun for few minutes a day. I don't like the idea that you will play this game for hours a day.
  3. Would you like to see tablet/smartphone versions? It is difficult to create the same design for every device. The game is designed for desktops right now. Smaller devices have lower performance and the gameplay, user interface and graphics need to be reduced.    
  4. Everything else. Any others ideas are welcome.

 

Other:

There is an active crowdfunding campaign for the project right now. I think you should know about this. I don't want to provide the link. It is just my another attempt to get more feedback from people. 

 

I am very grateful for any feedback. Thank you very much!

 

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Hello,

just my little bit here.

1/ Potential - yes I guess, haven't played yet that much just played around a little. I'm intending to come back to it later.

2/ I'd prefer something more than just casual but no need for some real hardcore gaming too.

3/ I wonder if they can even offer enoughperformance to support the title?

4/ For me a big thing would be if you used actuall 3d models (for example extrated from google earth or similar product). Right now it doesn't feel attracting enough (understand different from many other tycoon games), just kinda have a hard time having any personal feelings when playing with it.

I don't know about local rules for kickstarter but I remember seeing a post or two with it in the past so try asking admin/mods if you can actually post a link here.

 

Just a question, how do you pick which cities you can select?

 

Btw it's nice if I didn't make it clear above :-).

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Hi Azrael. Thank you for your feedback.

  • I can't use copyrighted resources. The game is based on open source OSM data. There is only a footprint geometry available for the majority of buildings. I am calculating an artificial height for these buildings. However, many buildings in the dataset have more complex geometries with additional material specifications. They look more realistic (popular skyscrapers in New York, other popular buildings, etc). I want to make regular monthly updates for the demo. The next one will be exactly about buildings improvements. 
  • There is also one game feature called building skins. You can change the color and the shape of your properties to make them more personal. I have about 15 new building skins ready to show for the next update. 
  • It is hard to find a balance between a graphic complexity (texture quality, level of details, ...) and the performance. WebGL in browsers is still very limited compared to standard desktop games posibilities.
  • I am not sure what do you mean by the city selection. In the demo, there are about 30 example locations available. Just click on the icon/marker on the 2D map and then click "Go the the location". If you are asking which locations will be available when the game is finished. Well, almost entire planet. I am processing more than 1TB of raw source data and converting to the game friendly format. This is a quite automated process, but it is also the most time consuming part of the game development.  

Thank you again for your feedback. It is priceless.

 

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- Ohh I was just googling around for a bit before and it seemed there is an API for google earth and there is even an official way to get to the models as well. Well, it was just a thought I don't know exact details but from the rules on google site(s) it seemed to be possible. But if it's not possible then let's pretend I didn't mention it at all ;-).

- By selection I meant which cities are available. I checked my country and there was one city though I was kinda expecting a capital so I was just curious if there were some variables which decide which cities are open from your side. But now I understand :-).

- Btw you said you are processing 1+ TB of data can I ask where do these data come from? I've always been curious about these things but never got into it because it seemed like a lot of work - well more importantly a lot of time.

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- I am a big fan of open source projects. Thats the reason for using OpenStreetMap. Also, this project started only as a simple experiment to demonstrate WebGL possibilities. TBH I am not sure about Google services. It is usually not possible to obtain full database for experimenting and there are often many limitations for API. I will definitely take a closer look.

- I have several criteria for selecting demo locations. Smaller towns to show the city and a nearby landscape together. Locations with rivers, forests, farmlands, meadows, lakes, mountains and costal areas. You are right, I was tempted to provide capitals, but they are many times only large flat areas with buildings. I was also inspired by several blogs like The most beautiful small towns in ...        

- you can find OSM data here: http://planet.openstreetmap.org/  check the project wiki for more information

- srtm data are available here: http://earthexplorer.usgs.gov/

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Very impressive looking work Juraj!

I like the idea. There are definitely audiences for management tycoon games. However, I think the game's aesthetics are not quite appealing for the average mass market casual gamer. At first glance it looks complex and intimidating because of its business-y look. Perhaps I am wrong but that is what it felt like.

I could see this game being played by a more mid-core audience that are looking for a somewhat interesting experience (not overly casual) but that do not have the time available to play something that eats up a lot of their time. For them I think the game looks good. It feels a bit more sophisticated as opposed to overly casual.

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this is a very impressive demo. Overlaying OSM data with elevated 3D buildings, it's really awesome. On top of that, tie-ing in gameplay. I salute you!

I am okay with the graphics. These days, audiences come with different tastes, so mass market is being redefined every single day by unique ideas. Low detail buildings do just fine, trust me! (you can always include a unique building or two later -> that'll delight the user for sure!). Low LOD, i think pulls the user more towards the gameplay.

PS: I bought a few buildings, the experience is quite pleasant.

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Hi RenStimpyShow,

thank you for your feedback. That's the exact way I want to keep developing this game. Start slowly with simple things. Like you said, the preferences of players are changing every day. It is a challenge to find an adequate balance. It is also quite a calculation from me not to release everything at once. I need to have some gameplay elements in reserve to keep players interested in the future. 

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