Tennō is the master's graduation project of Alexander Auberger (Game Design, Programming), Thomas Schneidergruber (Game Design, Programming), and Stefanie Thiel (Art Direction, 3D Modelling) at the Salzburg University of Applied Sciences. The goal was to make a city-building RTS Game with Unity, focusing on resources and worker management without conflicts and fighting. Therefore, feudal Japan during the Edo period was chosen as the setting, a time without war or civil unrest, where Japan's economy was flourishing.
In the game, the player starts with the gathering and cultivation of basic resources like wood and rice to fulfill the needs of their citizens who are the workers simultaneously. Citizens live in residential buildings that need to be upgraded to a higher tier to hold more inhabitants and therefore provide more workers. Each upgrade to a higher tier requires a specific and growing variety of resources. This requires the player to carefully manage resources, production costs, and workforce.
Each production building requires workers to function. If there are less than the minimum number of required workers in a building, the building cannot function at its highest capacity meaning that it won't produce the maximum number of resources it might be able to. This process is handled by residential buildings, which inherently provide workers in exchange for food and the satisfaction of different needs that become more difficult to manage as the buildings evolve. Residential buildings have multiple upgrade levels that provide more workers without the need of placing additional buildings, thus conserving space and the necessity to reconstruct certain city elements. Markets deliver goods acquired from storage to nearby residential buildings. These goods range from basic tangible items like wood and rice to more abstract concepts like Shinto or Buddhism.
One of the main challenges was the design and modeling of a variety of buildings by one artist alone. Therefore, we chose to use Houdini’s procedural modeling system, giving us the possibility to make fundamental changes during every stage of the production.