This gives just enough structure for players to escape the Second Life trap. (What happens to people who have no needs/problems in a virtual world? They go right up the Maslow Need Hierarchy -- to Sex.)
Hopefully, this will provide the right kind of structure to let players game-balance the game themselves. (And give them enough scope to invent their way into and out of corners.)
It turned out to be somewhat pointless because once you know how, you can easily skip the night phase altogether. A game where you can't do that might be interesting.
Also: preparing for floods. What happens when the river overflows or the storm surge hits?
Another idea: build a sand castle and see how long you can hold out against the rising tide. No bad guys involved, just waves. Almost a literal sandbox game.
Hey, it works in Minecraft. (But in Minecraft, you have to earn it.)
I didn't expect I'll be googling that phrase ever in my life. :o.
I'm a big fan of fostering creativity though restrictions, so this makes sense to me. I would be interested in any notes on how you try to realize that goal in the engine. It would be interesting to see the difference between limitations imposed by performance v.s. limitations imposed in the name of a focused creation experience.
In general, any time you're not "simply" (not that the problems are simple) creating a system that exists elsewhere (physics, liquid, etc), it would be interesting to hear your thoughts on where you choose to deviate from the 'norm' and why.
For other things, if I introduce some system I'd like it to be unique and have purpose. Many games do GPU-based particle physics for water, and the ability to have this produce any significant interactions isn't that great. My system is CPU-driven, and contains things that are rarely done in games like simulating pressure and a constant fluid mass, which makes for more interesting interactions (you could pour water down the end of one pipe to raise it at the other end, as just one example). Usually people find ways to modify the system that I would not think of (someone made a roller coaster in Minecraft using water canals IIRC).
Years ago, I loved to read their blog. Lots of interesting technical articles.
But development has pretty much stalled for years.
IIRC, these guys are also behind Humble Indie Bundle, so money should not be a problem for them but it would be nice to finally see them ship the damn game.
But a game needs to be fun and easy to understand. I hope VQ adds lots more fun things. Bombs. Bombs would be fun ;)
I think it's possible to make spending time on the internet trying to figure out what's possible an integral part of playing the game.