A friend of mine mentioned the web based game Travian recently and I signed up on a couple of servers. Mostly to get an idea if the Geeklets would be interested in playing, and at least partly because I have often dreamed of creating my own web based RPG or MUD like game. Travian is a resource gathering strategy game similar to, but simpler than most of the AoE and Civ type games.
At the beginning of the game I chose to be a Roman. The Gauls and the Teutons are also available. Each tribe has it’s own strengths. You can read about them in the manual if you want to make an informed decision, or just randomly poke a button and forge on like I did.
As you progress through the tutorial, (aka quests) you’ll see how to gather resources, construct buildings, and train troops. The game play is relatively simple. There are only 4 resource types, Wood, Clay, Iron, and Wheat. Building up resources takes time, but thankfully each resource tile (i.e. forest) can be upgraded to increase production. I haven’t seen any signs of depletion yet.
Game play seemed tedious to me because of the length of time required for things to happen. Building things can take from around 5 minutes to over an hour of real time. I wanted to produce a few low level troops to send on a raid and it literally took 4 hours to get the resources to do so and even longer to train them. Balance the resource gathering with other villages raiding your warehouse and it can be an exercise if frustration.
As for the Geeklets. I don’t think they will be interested. Travis, 9, thought it looked cool until I showed him the mechanics of the game and how long things take. As for the older kids, I suspect teens with more free time and a better memory would enjoy the game most. I’ll keep plugging away on the S3 server for a while, and if you find yourself near Hodhrberg, drop me an Alliance request.