Banished is a city building game. The game starts with a few skilled laborers that have been banished from their homeland into the wilderness with only the meager supplies they have left after their travels. Resources used to build the town, such as wood, stone, and iron are severely limited. Care must be taken to properly use and restore these resources while at the same time using wildlife, fertile land, and other natural resources to survive in the harsh landscape.
Banished differs from other city building games. There is no money involved in building anything, and there are no taxes. There is no build order. The player can build any structure at any time as long as the man power and construction materials are available. The difficulty is in keeping the people alive. Each citizen in the town is simulated. They work in player assigned jobs, have homes and family, and have needs of food, warmth, clothing, health, and happiness. It’s the players job to provide these things while building their city.
The game is still in development. The tentative completion of development in June of 2013 with a release sometime after that.
Citizens are what make the town work. They are born, work, have children, and die while the player manages the town. The townsfolk perform all the work to build the city as the player directs them, by cutting trees, building structures, farming, and so forth. Each member of the town has a specific job such as farmer, hunter, doctor, miner and more.
The land that the residents of the town start in is covered in a variety of natural resources. These include rocks, trees, iron deposits, berry bushes, roots, and herbs. The residents can harvest them as needed, but can only replenish the fast growing resources, like trees. When stone and iron deposits run out, trade for these items or expensive and dangerous mines will be needed.
A home is placed where residents live. The house provides them with warmth and shelter, a place to raise a family, and a place to store goods that they use, such as food and firewood.
A stone home serves the same purpose as a regular home but uses less fuel to keep it warm. However it requires a large amount of stone in construction.
The storage yard is built as a place to store bulky raw materials such as logs, stone, and iron. As builders, woodcutters, and blacksmiths use these goods to perform their work it’s ideal to place it near respective workplaces.
The storage barn is used to store finished or harvested goods, such as food, tools, firewood and others. Residents need to live in proximity to a storage barn to quickly collect items they may need.
A field can be created to grow different crops that can be consumed by the residents. Planting time, soil quality, and weather will affect how well the plants grow. Crop rotation and letting a crop wither to revitalize the soil may be required from time to time.
An orchard can be placed to grow fruits that can be eaten by the residents. While fruit can be harvested each year, the orchards have limited yield until the trees become mature over many seasons.
A pasture can be placed as a location for livestock such as chickens, pigs, sheep, and cows. The animals can be used as a meat source, or as a source of eggs, leather, and wool.
Placing a Hunters Lodge allows hunters to move through the forests and plains searching for deer and other wild animals that can be used as food. Care must be taken not to over hunt, or the population of wild animals will decline. Large expansion into previous undeveloped areas will also case a decline in the number of animals.
A gatherer shelter provides a location for gatherers to search forests for edible roots and berries. The amount of food available depends on the health and size of the forest.
A fishing dock can be constructed to allow people to fish on the rivers that may flow through the area. Too much fishing in any one area may lead to poor fish harvests in the future. Along with farming and hunting fishing provides another food source for residents.
The blacksmith creates tools using wood and iron ore. These tools are utilized by citizens to perform their work. Axes to cut down trees, shovels and hoes for farmers, pickaxes for stone workers, and tools for carpenters. Tools created last for many uses but wear out over time and must be replaced.
A forester plants new trees and cuts down trees old enough to harvest in an area around the forester outpost. While it may take many years to become established, a forester outpost can provide enough wood for both firewood and construction of a decent sized settlement.
A wood cutter chops logs into firewood. The residents use this wood to keep warm in the cold winter months. Without a heated home in winter, citizens will freeze to death.
An herbalist searches old growth forests for herbs and natural remedies to keep the population healthy. Using these plants, an herbalist can cure some diseases and provide a health boost to citizens that may otherwise perish from poor conditions.
Roads and Bridges:
Roads and bridges can be created to allow paths of faster travel for citizens. Residents will prefer to travel on roads if the road is the most efficent way to get to their destination. Bridges can be created over water to link pieces of land separated by rivers.
A Town hall can be placed to allow records and ledgers for the town to be kept. The town hall records history of population, food reserves, resources, census and other historical and current data.
Physicians can cure diseases and ailments that effect the population. Sicknesses and plagues left untreated will result in the death of citizens. A physician paired with an Herbalist will keep the population healthy.
Schools educated townsfolk in all the professions that they may perform when adults. A educated citizen will create more resources out of the same work as an uneducated citizen. While they will create more resources after being educated, young citizens do not perform any work for several years while being educated.
Markets provide a centralized location for citizens to collect everything they may need. This can save the people many trips to several different storage barns, but requires vendors to work at the market to keep it fully stocked.
A trading post allows traveling merchants to visit the town and sell their wares. Besides bartering for raw materials and food, merchants will trade for seeds and livestock, allowing the town to expand its agricultural diversity.
An iron mine can be built to dig iron out of the ground when the loose ore on the surface is depleted. While this can give a vast and long term supply of iron, it requires many workers and the chance of accidents and death in the mines is very great.
An quarry can be built to cut stone from the earth when the loose stone on the surface has been used. Like mines, a quarry can give a vast and long term supply of stone, but it comes with dangers. Once a quarry is cut into the ground, the land can no longer be used for other construction, farming, or forest.