Machinations is a great tool developed by Joris Dormans (@JorisDormans) which is used to quickly build and test economic models in games. It’s super simple to use and surprisingly powerful, but most of all (personally) it became the impetus for my upcoming game Uffizi.
I attended GDC in San Francisco this year where Dr. Ernest Adams (@ErnestWAdams) & Dr. Dormans (both have PhDs) presented the tool and various ways it can be used. It was extremely interesting and as soon as I got home I started playing around with it.
If you think really abstractly, every strategy game is about economics. Every strategy game is about the transfer of resources from one place to another. Keeping this in mind, I started playing around with it. I built a football game in Machinations… where the ball is transferred between matchups of players, and a random chance determines if the player passes the ball on or loses possession. That was a more abstract model!
The first real GAME I built with it was Cloth & Wine Simulator 2013* and I thought I’d share it here. It’s the basis of what will become Uffizi, the first game out of Virtu.
If you want to give the game a spin, grab Machinations for free and the open the Cloth & Wine Simulator 2013 XML file to play!
As you’ll see over the next week or so. Many concepts from C&WS are used in Uffizi, so this is a sort of pre-pre-alpha version of the game.
*Joke name, it was around the time that Surgeon Simulator 2013 came out!