Thomas Slade

Silkroads

Silkroads

 

Silkroads was my final year's research project at Abertay University; the development of a strategy game, aimed to study current techniques regarding strategy game design.

The project saw the creation of a codebase aimed at supporting the iterative development of a small strategy game. It was also my opportunity to gather the industry standards on strategy game design - meaningful decisions, tactics vs. strategy, economic balance, and counterplay - and assemble them into a framework. This project sharpened my sense of what strategy games are composed of, and how to build them.

To play Silkroads, the player establishes a bronze-age trading company in an ancient city of their choice. They can build caravans to purchase goods where they're cheap, and sell them where they're expensive. Shrewd players can use their profits to build infrastructure, extending the range of their trade network, and building more caravans to support more routes.

  • Made use of spreadsheet-based balancing to establish trade routes that avoid major exploitation, which would otherwise ruin the challenge of the game.
  • Researched current strategy-design thinking to inform the project's development.
  • Programmed gameplay systems, focusing on producing an adaptable and clean codebase that can support quick iteration.
  • Programmed a codebase to support a data-centred game.

To find out more about Silkroads' development, see my development blog.

 
Pentagrab

Pentagrab

Geodesic

Geodesic