In essence, Tribe of Pok is a tribal survival simulation/strategy game inspired by games such as Dwarf Fortress and the Cultures series. It's about a tribe of hunter-gatherers trying to eke out an existence in a savage environment.
You will make the important decisions such as where to gather resources, which animals to hunt and what items to craft while your tribe carries out their duties autonomously.
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Simulated Natural Environment
The natural environment is heavily simulated. Water flow, ground saturation, evaporation, fertility, temperature and humidity all contribute to shaping world. Cut down all the trees and eventually they will stop regrowing. Use up all the water in a pond and it will be dry until the rains return.
Day/Night and Seasonal cycle
Temperature and humidity are affected by the time of day and season. Winters can be harsh with below-freezing temperatures, so keep the camp fires going to prevent hypothermia. Summers aren't much better, with the possibility of heatwaves causing strokes.
The Circle of Life
Plants and animals adhere to the circle of life. Plants absorb organics from the soil as they grow, produce fruit during maturity and return organics upon death. Animals travel in herds around the map trying to fulfill their own needs. For predators, this means hunting other animals when hungry. For prey, this means running away from anything that wants to eat them.
Nature is the Ultimate Provider
Almost everything you need will come from nature. Plants are harvested for their produce, animal carcasses are butchered for materials and rocks are broken down to make tools.
Craft the Tools of Survival
Craft spears to defend against wildlife and other tribes. Axes to cut down trees and awls to make clothing. Some tools are even capable of performing several tasks. The stone knife speeds up fire creation, but can also be used as a weapon in a pinch.
Stop the Decay
Food left in the open decays very quickly. Build pits to slow down this process. Don't place it too close to camp, or the warmth from a campfire will speed up decay. If the pit gets wet, any food inside won't last very long either. It's all part of the deep simulation that drives Tribe Of Pok.
It's been over three years since I started working on Tribe Of Pok. Over that time I've grown as a developer and found better ways of doing things. One example is water flow mechanics. It's one of the first things I worked on and has undergone several iterations.
When I was a newbie programmer with barely any experience, I was creating a new object for every unit of rain that fell and then destroying it when it evaporated or soaked into the ground. If you have any experience as a programmer, you'll know how disastrously bad of an idea it is to create/destroy hundreds of objects every second. That implementation was quickly scrapped when my frame rate dropped to 10 FPS every time it rained.
Next, I tried storing the amount of water in each tile and performing water calculations only on the tiles. Performance was much better. All I had to do was +1 for every unit of rain that fell and -1 for every evaporation/saturation event. Simply calculate the height of each tile to determine if water can flow into it from an adjacent tile.
However when it rained, the ground would become blanketed in a layer of water. Hills would be just as saturated as valleys and there was nowhere for Pokians to hide. As a side effect, dry ponds would never completely refill since much of the water was stuck on higher ground. I fixed this by introducing movement to saturation. In effect, the water in the soil was "flowing" downhill just as the water above ground did.
Now water was flowing somewhat realistically and wasn't hampering gameplay.
A year or so later I added rivers. Rivers form long, narrow paths that move in one direction. However with the simulation as it was, water moved in a random direction with each update. Sometimes water would flow into an adjacent hex. Then on the next update it would randomly decide to flow back into its starting hex. The result was water taking too long to go downriver. For particularly long rivers, the water evaporated before it even reached the other end of the map!
To fix this, I'm cheating by teleporting water from the high points to the low points along the river. Eventually I'll replace teleporting water with a better method. In the meantime, I'm iterating and improving other aspects of the game.
Latest tweets from @parsleypwg
Weekly activity summary posted T.co
Apr 26 2015, 8:00pm
@TynanSylvester Look at the top-scoring complaints on Reddit! Let the players tell you what's unbalanced
Apr 23 2015, 5:24am
Working on getting the alpha demo set up. I feel so close to a public alpha release, but there's always more to do
Apr 22 2015, 4:28pm
Weekly update is posted T.co
Apr 19 2015, 8:58pm
Finally got tool tips working on the setup pages - required quite a bit of engine rework.
Apr 16 2015, 8:40am
Apr 14 2015, 9:35pm
Weekly activity summary posted T.co
Apr 12 2015, 7:38pm
Apr 9 2015, 8:36pm
Re-factoring the map menu today, lots of ancient code to sort through
Apr 9 2015, 12:10am
If you like management/economic sim games, Capitalism Lab is fantastic. Stayed up playing for hours last night T.co
Apr 3 2015, 7:44pm