For those following the luscious Death Inc. Kickstarter campaign, you may be interested in reading an interview with Creative Director Daniel Leaver where he discusses the business side of things in the forthcoming strategy, it may just be because the word simulation is used, but I'm getting excited for the game already.
- So Daniel, for those not in the know, what's the setup for Death Inc's business game?
So the game is part real-time strategy and part business simulation. Grim T. Livingstone's office space starts out as a couple of rooms in his Nan's basement. And in the business of reaping, the cold, hard corpses get exchanged for cold, hard cash. And the player can spend this cash to expand their basement and to hire new employees.
- So how does a player earn money?
They reap humans from the main levels of the game. Even if the player doesn't complete a level, they'll keep the corpses they reaped up to that point and those will get exchanged for cash. In addition, each level has 3 special Black Hearts, belonging to the most revolting, despicable humans in the land. They're always going to be well protected behind armies or castle walls.
- Sounds tough. Can you complete a level without getting all 3 Black Hearts?
Sure. And they're unique so you can only ever get 3 from each level. It's unlikely that a player will be able to get them all in one go without unlocking new abilities.
- To encourage experimentation?
Absolutely. It's just another part of the puzzle for how to fully complete a level, and really adds to the replayability.
- Right, so why's a Black Heart different?
Normally you spend your income on everyday business expenses - paying salaries, a reaper's gotta eat. But Black Hearts are used to unlock new rooms for the Death Inc. office. They're rare enough that players will need to make tough choices on what room to unlock next.
- And what are rooms for?
Well there's three types: Office, Research and Lounge. You need Office space to hire employees, Research labs to unlock and improve abilities and Lounge rooms to improve in-game and employee stats like morale and energy.
Underlings, minions... You employee them through the office space - the more you spend on hiring, the better the quality of the worker. Each potential underling has two stats to compare on their employee card: Reaping Proficiency and Research Competence. Once they're hired, they get a desk space along with a motorised scythe sharpener, World's Best Dead mug, you know.
- And what do you do with them once they're hired?
You have two choices as you might have guessed: Reaping or Research.
Selecting Reap presents you with 3 options - side quests if you will - and they vary in duration. The longer it is, the larger the Corpse Haul you'll get from it. But obviously it costs more to do the mission, and there's always the risk they'll fail the mission if they're overworked or over tired.
- And this is where the Lounge spaces come in?
Exactly. And then with each successful mission you'll get Work Experience Points, XP. Earn enough XP and they get additional proficiency points and can do better missions, and so on.
- So that's Reaping. What about Research?
With this you can send a minion to a specific piece of research, like the Rat Zoo. Researching here enhances the Plague Rat ability. Each upgrade needs a certain number of research points - and each employee generates research points according to the number of skulls of Research Competency on his employee card. An employee with 3 skulls will research something 3 times faster than an employee with one.
I don’t know about you, but I’m loving this game more and more as the information rolls out, there’s nothing better than a good old business simulation, and the Black Heart system sounds like a great mechanic of a rare commodity required to progress through the game as successfully as possible.
With balancing your books for your business, hiring employees to improve your company and expanding your premises, the business side of Death Inc is sounding marvellous!
In Death Inc. death is big business, and the Ministry of Mortality is the agency that deals with finding the recently deceased, and helping them on their way to their afterlife. It’s not a multi-million pound making business, so when times get rough in Medieval England, you’ve got to try your best to spread the bubonic plague across the small island, and reap the most benefits!
The aim of the game is all about infecting as many peasants, serfs, wenches and nobleman as you can get your hands on and thwarting the forces of good while you’re at it! Sounds fantastic? To make matters even better the game is a strategy, and will include all of the business aspects as mentioned in the interview.
If Death Inc sounds interesting to you, the Kickstarter is now live, and has another 22 days to run, help fund them out for a unique and interesting new strategy to play on your PC!