Alternative core mechanics for Salem-like game

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Alternative core mechanics for Salem-like game

Postby elidmw » Tue Nov 24, 2020 12:14 am

Hey folks! I will start a bit from afar - it seems important to me that you understand my logic.

I used to be a simple player. Even though my hermit gameplay in Salem has worn out over years, I return from time to time for the unique feeling of exploration. I think even Haven & Hearth doesn't bring it as well as Salem.

I am still a simple player, but I also work as a game designer. And I have two wishes: a personal project and recreation of these exploration vibes. This leads me to an idea of creating a game about exploration. In order to keep my wishes realistic, I am thinking about simplifying the possible game structure. For example, I don't think I can handle much 3D on my own. And creating an open world 2D game isn't easier. So I wonder if it could be interesting to play a game with such features:
- Wild America map, divided into numerous tiles, with each tile having some set of resources
- A player starts from a coast
- He moves around the map as a figurine
- He can settle anywhere
- Settlement... well, should have some size limitations unlike Salem so I can keep it balanced
- Exploration works like going to a point on the map, and there some encounter happens. And here come many ideas. For example, it could be either a puzzle-like screen-clearing (like Stardew Valley but with levels similar to match-3), or clearing a 3D location like you loot a base or exploration event, or many other things. The main requirement - you come there, take everything, and go back to the base. And that is the cycle I'd like to recreate in a pleasant but simple way.

And my main question to you is: What simple game mechanics could could bring the feeling of exploration to You? Since many of you are explorers in your hearts, you could have the best ideas to make an addition to the genre :)
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