Article source: The Little Black Box – JackieMishka
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Hello everyone, I’m Misha, a red bear.
TFM: Ancestors, a hand-drawn, top-down, base-building and classic role-playing game will hit Steam on November 3.
If you are a fan of base construction and management games, you will definitely feel familiar when you see the game screen of “TFM”: a bird’s-eye view, simple two-dimensional graphics, two-headed villains… Starting from “Ring the World”, I’ve seen too many games with similar graphics, and many of them simply change the background, and don’t have many other features. So, when I started trying the game in front of me with my preconceived notions, it exceeded my expectations by a wide margin.
“TFM” is the abbreviation of “The First Men”, which is temporarily translated as “the ancestors” in Chinese. Why not just call it the full name but make an abbreviation with unclear meaning, I don’t really understand it. However, the name “the first men” does describe the characteristics of this game relative to other similar works: other games such as “world” in “Ring the World”, “medieval” in “To the Middle Ages”, “Clan”‘s “world” “clan” and even “Famine” and “Oxygen Deficient” are based on the world, environment, and ethnic groups, and often reflect a more macro perspective; and in TFM, although players want to manage an entire ethnic group, the game The foothold of the basic logic lies in the “men”, in the person itself.
In the game’s tutorial, you see a lady waking up on the coast of an island, and the next task is to kill all the gnolls on the island – when I get here Shocked: Isn’t this a base building game? How did it become an RPG? Next, my starting character found the lost companions, and I manipulated them to hurriedly eliminate the enemies in the cave, and the tutorial ended inexplicably. Despite going through the tutorial, I am still at a loss and have no clear idea of how exactly the game “plays”. It wasn’t until I started a campaign that I roughly figured out how the game was played.
The core setting of the game is “five colors” green, blue, red, white and black. They correspond to the five elements of ground, water, fire, light, and darkness, and also correspond to the five basic attributes of the game character’s body, mind, mind, soul, and self. And all other occupations, technologies, jobs, buildings, buffs, etc. elements in the game are also related to these five colors. When any of the attributes are reduced to 0 (not the “endurance”, that is, when the stamina is reduced to 0), the character will die.
Through activities such as work, a character can accumulate skill points (called “path points” in the game), and after accumulating 100 points, they can level up and obtain a new skill (called “passion” in the game, passion). The “passion” here could be a new trait, a new class, a new technology, or a new combat technique. Each passion also corresponds to an attribute. Generally speaking, the higher the corresponding attribute, the better the effect of the passion.
Different from the common ones in similar games, where the ability value of the character is set according to the “job type”, the character value system in “TFM” is quite RPG. This is first reflected in the combat system: “TFM” has a diverse, traditional role-playing game-like class division, including berserkers, fighters, rogues, and more. At the same time, the characters in the game also have multiple equipment slots, and the equipment also has its own skills or effects. This makes the battles in the game more strategic and challenging, and also makes possible the PvP mode planned by the production team.
What’s more interesting is that the passion system is not only integrated into the combat system, but also integrates the technology tree. There is no “tech tree” in the true sense of “TFM”, instead “tradition”. “Tradition” is a new content that you can choose to unlock when the tribe develops to a certain level, which can unlock new passions for characters to pursue. Characters use “passion” to acquire new careers and master new technologies. Only roles with a professional passion can engage in the work of the corresponding profession.
For example, to make a quarry pick, you first need a clan member who has the passion of “artisan”, and secondly, you need to meet the materials needed to make it, and it can only be made by this artisan. And once the only craftsman in your tribe dies, the craft is temporarily lost.
So, how can the tribe’s skills be passed on?
The answer is education.
“Nursers” (male Caretaker, female Nursemaid) is a very important class of occupations in TFM. First of all, this profession allows women to conceive and produce offspring. My first archive was because I didn’t figure out how to have children, and the residents all ended up dying of old age. Second, the education of future generations also depends on this profession. In the game, the newborn will have an innate passion and a speciality, which determines the attributes it is good at; when children grow up to 6 years old, they will get the first passion, and then they can do some simple jobs until they reach adulthood. You can also receive education from elders. Education accelerates the growth of teenagers, allowing them to acquire more passions than previous generations. So theoretically, the ability value of the next generation will get higher and higher from generation to generation, and your tribe will become stronger and stronger from generation to generation. Of course, the premise is that you give the teenagers enough attention.
In another archive of mine, there is no person dedicated to teaching and educating people, and I have not yet chosen a career passion for the children, resulting in several tribes that did not develop a career that they were good at until adulthood. They can’t work, they can’t get more waypoints, so they can only — play. Which brings up the situation described in the title of this article: I found that, in a corner I hadn’t noticed, there was a clan member crying; and when I selected him, what he was doing was “playing”— – and that’s the only thing he does.
Humans transitioned from the Paleolithic to the Paleolithic about 10,000 years ago, and then human history began to accelerate and roll forward. When we look back on this period of human childhood, we can find out many reasons that make modern Homo sapiens stand out, but the rearing of offspring is undoubtedly a very important part of it, and “TFM” has a very interesting design showed this.
It’s important to note that the game is not a traditional base building game. The “campaign” mode of the game, that is, its main mode provides several fixed maps without randomness; the “custom” mode is similar to a small RPG level; other modes have not yet been opened. The limited base construction plays not only the terrain, but also the rigid placement of buildings – “TFM” not only can’t turn the map, but also can’t even turn the buildings, they only have a preset direction.
Moreover, the current localization of the game is very incomplete. As a game with a large amount of text, it basically only realizes the Chineseization of the UI and the main framework, and it is easy to feel cloudy and foggy when playing.
In addition, the game has not yet been released, and will enter the EA stage after the release. This means an incomplete gaming experience, suboptimal optimizations, and game content that changes from time to time. Within a few days of my experience, an update invalidated my previous save, and some systems were heavily tweaked, forcing me to re-write parts of this article. In short, if you are interested in this game, be prepared for such a situation.
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