This week in Something's Brewing we're verging on the subject of player investment and engagement. Mainly, what will be expected of you and how your time and decisions will subsequently be rewarded. We're also following up on the last week's question on playtime, playthroughs, and available content! Also, on the brewing front, today we touch the subject of water and its quality's importance in a brew!
On today's banner, Dr. Hogan's new research material!
-- Would I be able to play Ale Abbey as an idle game? What level of my investment should I be expected to give to the game?
Over the course of the last few weeks, we did talk quite a bit about Ale Abbey's genre (tycoon at heart!) and how we take our stab at it throughout its development. By the genre's definition, when it comes to your involvement, you will - of course - have to assume a managerial role. But this does not mean you'll be limited to a bird's eye view of the operations or virtually stirring the brew yourself. You'll have your happy monks and nuns for some tasks and you'd still need to manage the various intricate operations that are necessary to produce those divine brews!
You will also need to make some higher-level decisions, especially when it comes to the expansion of the Monastery and which quests/adventures/paths your monks and nuns will eventually follow. There is some downtime expected to be experienced in between tasks or moments of indecision, but your monks will definitely let you know by making their - idle - state very obvious!
-- Will there be achievements to be achieved in Ale Abbey? Will those achievements be tied to story/game progression or based on my personal decisions as a player?
Following on the previous question, we intend to make achievements more valuable than just badges of honor and proof of accomplishment. We're thinking of implementing some progress/story checkpoint achievements as well, but the exact implementation is yet to be decided!
Some achievements (or all, not decided yet!) will have in-game bonuses attached to them; think goods that provide a boost to your Monastery. The player will be granted the achievement the first time their decisions lead to certain outcomes, the achievement will of course be registered on the Store or platform you play Ale Abbey on, and the bonus will be granted in-game. On following playthroughs, although the achievement itself won't be "re-granted," the bonuses attached to their relevant outcomes will!
-- Would I be able to complete 100% of the game over the course of one playthrough, or can decisions lock me out of content?
That's actually a pretty good question, especially in connection with last week's post on playthroughs. Planning to create content that will make demanding players spend 30-50 hours of playtime on Ale Abbey means that we will have to think of ways to make that time frame not only possible but kind of guaranteed, regardless of playstyle. To achieve that, more content than one playthrough could potentially cover needs to be created. From all that available content, some will become available based on player decisions and some will be discovered by chance. Two birds, one stone... we're sure a second, third, or even open playthrough will give a better glimpse of Ale Abbey in its entirety!
-- How important or even necessary is water treatment for your brew?
Water is possibly one of the most complex yet least discussed topics in brewing. It involves tons of chemistry and also creates quite the "great brew" barrier for homebrewers, due to the lack of specific (aka expensive) equipment used for measurement and treatment.
In theory, with some effort and a few chemicals, you should be able to create your ideal water profile using water from your tap. This would of course involve a mix of boiling and adding distilled water, adding minerals and other substances, etc. On the other hand, you could even buy some reverse osmosis water to use as a base and build the water profile you are looking for on that.
A beer's unique character is heavily influenced by the profile of the water used; some beers will benefit from harder water (hop-front beers), others could use softer water with specific minerals being more present, etc. Besides some carbon filtering and making sure there's no chlorine in your brewing water, you can absolutely ignore treatment for years if you are happy with the results. All in all, by the time you reach the level of specificity and sophistication that would require you to shape up your water profile, you will probably know many ways of countering this as an issue.
Now, excuse us as we delve deeper into this weekend's research!
Thanks for your time and see you all next Friday!
-- Hammer & Ravens
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