Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Banished: Still in Alpha, looks better than many games at Launch

Greetings all, today I am going to talk a bit about an upcoming game from Shining Rock Software called Banished. This is a game that I believe I stumbled upon thanks to the wonders of YouTube, in the recommended video links I saw the lovely trailer that will be embedded below. As you watch, please take into account that this is Alpha footage from May 20th 2013.


As you can see, Banished is a city-building game that is already looking rather impressive. Thus far in terms of total sum information, a lot is already known. The developer has been making regular blog posts on their site for the last couple of years, chronicling the stages of development up until this point. While I drum up a list of some of the awesome features the game is boasting, check out this recent (again Alpha footage) gameplay/building demo.

Features of Banished: Even though the game is in Alpha, it is nearly feature complete, as the developer behind the game has a good grasp of what Alpha and Beta stages of software are really supposed to mean. Here is a short but sweet list of some of the features I find most impressive.
  • Disease: Yeah, an odd one to start with, neh? But you have to worry about your civilians getting sick and dying. Interacting with traders from off-map is a worry thus, as they can import more than just their goods when they come a-visiting. Same problem (presumably) when new migrants arrive.
  • People are a Resource: It looks like each and every entity in your settlement has a name. They seem to develop family units and live in houses and, unlike in a certain recent city building game, you can follow an individual around, see their profession, etc. It really sucks when one of your people dies in Banished, because it takes time to replace them. That's right, natural population growth via the old-fashioned method of breeding.
  • Real Consequences for Actions: Want more firewood? Cut down some trees. However the deer that used to live there (that you could hunt for venison) no longer have a home. Want to mine out an area for more stone? Say goodbye to ever using that plot of land for something else again. Farm the same bit of land too often with the same crop? Leech the nutrients out of the soil and ruin the soil. Overfishing? Check.
  • Eighteen (18!) Different Professions: Laborer, Hunter, Vendor, Builder, Woodcutter, Trader, Farmer, Forester, Miner, Herdsman, Stonecutter, Blacksmith, Gatherer, Herbalist, Teacher, Fisherman, Tailor and Physician. Yup, a good list.
Banished, a survival sim crossed with a medieval-tech era city builder. If you are still reading this, go check out the information on the official site and swing by the community forum at: