Hello Seasteaders! Today I'm happy to introduce a game mechanic that we haven't really seen in many management strategy, real time strategy and city building games - concrete time. What this means is that the Seastead operates as it would in real life. Employees have set work hours that they need to be at work for to produce their goods and collect their hourly wage, and the time outside of these work hours is used for satisfying their needs.
The significance of this game mechanic is that you don't need to deal with arbitrary "catchment areas" or "radii of effect" for buildings. Every building is theoretically accessible to every Seasteader. This creates an additional layer of strategy and planning insofar as poorly laid-out Seasteads will lead to lots of lost time to commuting. This has the potential to lead to lower happiness as your worn-out Seasteaders will not have enough time to relax at home. And so you need to constantly tread the fine line between zoning areas for certain functions (residential, industrial, etc) and making all services close and accessible.
Setting up shifts is another element that needs to be managed carefully. Some buildings, like the canteen, will work 24 hours a day, even if there's no worker present, as long as they're stocked. Most buildings, however, will only provide a service while they have employees at work. By default, entertainment buildings hire workers for the swing shift (17:00 to 01:00) to serve all the production and manufacturing workers working the day shift (09:00 to 17:00), but that leaves the swing shift workers without the option of satisfying their own needs a lot of the time. Any building can have any number of workers in any of the three shifts (the last one is graveyard shift, which is 01:00 to 09:00), and a balance will be needed to make sure that all your Seasteaders have access to your Seastead's service sector.
We're very happy with how this game mechanic is working out, and hope that you'll all enjoy playing with it as much as we enjoyed designing it. Keep checking the website for more dev diaries and don't forget to follow on Twitter for updates!
Note: The game is still in development and features are subject to change before release.