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GDJ#4 - Technology tree in Robinson Crusoe

For the Robinson Crusoe Collectors Edition campaign that is happening right now on GameFound I write a short story about the rules of the game - how they work and how I developed them. I thought I will share them on my blog too. I hope some of you find them interesting

Today we will be discussing Inventions in Robinson Crusoe. But before we talk board games, we will talk books...

And we will start with the Positivism movement in the literature:

"The English noun positivism was re-imported in the 19th century from the French word positivisme, derived from positif in its philosophical sense of 'imposed on the mind by experience'."

Julius Verne lived in the second half of the XIX century. The era of great technological progress, great minds coming up with life-changing inventions, and bright minds of the era bringing one revolution after another. Verne, like many others, was fascinated by it. He strongly believed in science and knowledge.

Mysterious Island is a few hundred pages adventure that on every single page praises science. Characters change their dramatic situation into safe and comfortable with their knowledge and science coming up with new inventions and tools in every chapter.

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I had to bring it to Robinson Crusoe. Technology tree, creating tools, using resources found on the island to create items - that was essential for the genre!

In the game, we have 5 different terrain types (Mountains, Hills, Rivers, Plains, Beach) and each of these types unlocks a chance to build different tools.

If you find Mountains, you will gain access to Fire because you will find flint among rocks.

If you find River, you will gain access to Map, because it is easier to draw a map of the area, when you go along the river and won't get lost.

If you find Plains, you will gain access to Cure, because on plains there are herbs you can gather.

If you find Hills, you will gain access to Bricks, because there is clay on the hills.

And so on, and so on.

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And when I say technology tree, I mean it.

If you build Bricks and Fire, you can now build a Fireplace.
If you build Cure, you can now also build Poisonous Weapon.
If you build one item, you can unlock access to another Invention. As you play you decide what Invention to build not only based on the function of the tool and how it helps you, but also by what other inventions you will unlock and get access to. It's a pretty cool choice for all players.

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I might be wrong, but I believe that if Julius Verne could play the game, he would like it. I did my best to appreciate the spirit of his novels.


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