It’s finally time to continue with our ongoing series, covering insights on the key features of Forge of Empires. Today I would like to tell you a little bit about happiness and being a good ruler. As you guys probably already know, maintaining peace and prosperity is very important in Forge of Empires.
When your population grows, the citizen’s demands for happiness increase. And those greedy bastards will massively reduce their effort in producing your stuff, should you dare to make them unhappy. Fortunately, you can choose from a number of buildings to meet that demand such as schools, theaters, public bath houses and even a Tavern! Later in the game, massive great buildings, like cathedrals and castles will boost your people’s happiness through the roof!
But there are also lots of ways to increase happiness in your city by using decorations. Plants, fountains, statues and larger décor, such as aqueducts and ponds are an easy way to beautify a city and please the cities’ inhabitants. There are even different levels of street pavement, which also makes your people happier. Who wouldn’t want to move through a city with properly cobbled streets and think “Ahh, that’s the stuff!”
But with every game, players have to figure out their own style in that matter. It might suitable for some, in order to maximize their outcome, to place the most effective building as often as possible, and then put some decorations in a corner where there is some place left. But keep in mind that efficiency can be a cruel thing to look at. At some point during the internal alpha, lots of our colleagues realized that the blacksmith was way overpowered and started building him like crazy, which led to a couple of cities consistent of only two types of houses and the nickname “Empire of Forges”. This type of gameplay is very similar to winning a fighting game by doing the same move over and over again.
Other players can overdo it the other way, building cities so beautiful and delicate that they are hardly even producing stuff. I saw a couple of those during alpha, as well. To me, personally, gaming should all be about mastering the ruleset and underlying mechanics of a game as well as playing with the formula a little bit – Aiming for a city that is successful and prosperous, as well as beautiful (at least as beautiful as one needs it to be). A place one is proud of having created it, and where citizens are happy and productive.