Gameplay introduction

Greetings! It's time to introduce the game a little bit more. Today, I am going to talk about the gameplay and basic features. There are many aspects of the game. Many of them are still under development and they will probably change more or less. I would like to focus on the most important features.

Very basics

As it was mentioned several times, a simplicity is the priority. No downloads, no installations. In order to play this game you need only a modern web browser. For graphics, I used a low-poly design art style. It is a quite popular trend nowadays. It is simple, but it still looks nice.
For this game, I am using many open source tools and resources. Using OSM and SRTM data allows you to play in real world locations and interact with real world elements.

First steps into the gameplay

Next.Land is tycoon, business simulation game. Your primary objective is to buy buildings and to manage them. You choose a location and you can start building your business empire. Almost any location on the planet will be available for the game.

account_balance_wallet arrow_forward buy arrow_forward business arrow_forward profit arrow_forward account_balance_wallet
You start with a small amount of money, so you can buy some properties immediately. There are also some limitations to keep a decent level of competition. Buildings have different values based on a mass, type or location. You are able to upgrade and customize your buildings to increase your income, reduce costs or make your buildings better rated. Your decisions affect your statistics over time. With better statistics and a higher personal rating you can reach the top of leaderboards more easily.

Gameplay basics

Simply put, you buy buildings that generate an income for you, then you buy more buildings and so. Buildings have various types of characteristics and possible upgrades. For example, you can change the focus of your building to residential, if there is a high demand for this type in the area. You can also change skins for your buildings to make them more beautiful and more personal. All these changes could make your properties more valuable.

Slowly, step by step, expand your real estate imperium this way. It is the race to the top. You want to reach the top positions on the scoreboards and become a rich, famous and respected leader.

The game is designed to be fair for everybody. In the real world some locations are more lucrative than the others. In the game, however, a quality of the location is calculated from a number of variables. You can be more successful even in less known locations.
You can explore locations, find hidden opportunities, play minigames and join social events to speed up your progress or receive different types of boosts.

I think that one very attractive feature of this game is the integration of the real world elements. You play on the map with a real 3D terrain and real infrastructure. Real buildings, roads, rivers, forests. All these objects make your gaming experience more intense because you feel like you own some real world stuff.

MMO and RPG elements

Next.Land would be boring as a single player game. The fun part is to compete with other players. Or if you want, to cooperate. Show everybody who is the the most powerful leader in the area.
Many MMO and RPG elements are still under development. To be honest, I want to start with this game slowly. I want players to have enough time to get familiar with the basic gameplay. Afterwards, I want to release regular expansions with a new, interesting and refreshing content. Integration of basic microeconomics is the first of them. This includes several features that will allow players to start simple goods producing, trading or offering services. Later on, I want to focus on the player skill system.

Important restrictions

It is very important to know the limitations of this game. Next.Land is based on data provided by OpenStreetMap. Only objects that exist in this dataset can be displayed in the game. Large areas in the world are still not covered. You may be disappointed when you realize that the building you like is not available in the game. A small satisfaction will be the possibility to build custom buildings in void areas. However, this feature will be not available in the early stage of the game. It is a part of upcoming expansions. You can visit OpenStreetMap to check buildings availability. If you see a building geometry on the map, the building will be available also in-game.

The same limitations also exist for elevation data. Without elevation data it is not possible to display an accurate 3D terrain. The Shuttle Radar Topography Mission collected data over most of the land surfaces that lay between 60 degrees north latitude and 54 degrees south latitude. That's about 80 percent of all the land on Earth. Unfortunately some nice world locations are not covered - north parts of Canada and Russia or big parts of Nordic countries.

Risks and challenges

In every game there are many aspects to be taken into account. Without a knowledge of the player base, it is hard to predict all possible risks.

Some people usually try to abuse gameplay mechanics. Just for fun, because they are bored or because they want to get some advantage over other players. It is really not important why are they doing this. The fact is, this behavior could ruin the game completely. I am trying to be careful during the development process and reduce these potential risks.
Another big issue is to provide the optimal server computing performance. No one wants to play a game that is laggy and slow. It might not be obvious, but the game is pretty resources extensive. There are terabytes of source data to be processed. I need to provide map tiles for entire planet. And that is really a big challenge.

What's next?

Next time, I would like to tell you more about funding this project and upcoming crowdfunding campaigns on Indiegogo and Kickstarter.

Join our mailing list

Receive updates about the game development progress