Video Games


An indie video game shows the follies of central planning


Dorfromantik is an indie video game from Germany. (The name translates to "Village Romanticization.") The player is fed a randomly generated pile of hexagon tiles, each representing a different physical feature: a town, a forest, a field, a river, a railroad. The challenge is to place them, one by one, onto the playing field, lining up matching features so that a handful of trees becomes a forest, a couple of houses become a village, and so on. Gradually, the player builds a fiefdom.

You start with a limited number of tiles, earning more of them—and increasing your score—by carefully completing challenges to create lengthy rivers and large, connected tracts of forests and towns. Over time, the randomness of the tiles you receive makes it increasingly hard to place them in an ideal matching pattern. Ultimately, no matter how devoted you are to centrally planning your bucolic village, there are just too many variables. You will be unable to make that perfect match, and your tiles will run out. There just might be a lesson there.

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  1. Meh. Unless they have tiles for factory workers, government housing, and bread lines, how realistic can it be?

    1. Wait for the update: Dorfromatik Skylines

      1. Is it on Steam?

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  2. But next time you’ll get it right.

  3. So we have two paragraphs from the article. Where are the rest?

    But I like the premise. It’s rather like Carcasonne but with hexagons.

    I’ve love central planning games, even as I abhor the fundamental idea behind them. Stuff like SimCity and Civilization are right up my allow. My Fallout 4 town is a marvel of suburban wasteland planning.

    But it’s all based on a stupid premise. I once thought about creating a game that would let emergent behavior dictate the town and economy. Then I realized it would not be a game if there was nothing for the player to do but watch. Which is why these builder games are about being in control. To the player can do things.

    1. I’ve been playing a lot of Satisfactory lately as I prefer imposing a perfect order upon the world. It’s nice to make everything exactly how it should be.

      If there’s a libertarian premise in builder games, it’s the fact that you can load other people’s save files and see the worlds they have built. There is no one single way to order the world. If you respect individuality and fully enable it, you’ll be amazed what people can come up with.

    2. That would be an excellent mod to Civilization. Emergent behaviors.

  4. You really should have mentioned James C. Scott’s “Seeing Like a State”.

    One of his examples of central planning folly is the German fondness for “scientific” forestry. i.e. planting trees in lines.

  5. I would love to watch Biden and Trump go head to head playing this game. In fact, I would like every governor and member of Congress to play the game. There must be a way of scoring performance.

  6. And yet I’ll bet that the video game itself was made by central planning. And do you really think the outcomes would be better by making it a team effort by multiple players? If so, let me introduce you to the concept of “a committee.”

  7. Hello everyone! There are many computer game development companies. I myself worked for a long time in one of them. And this is very cool. The work is interesting and always enjoyable. Often you have to deal with new tasks and work with the team. I advise everyone who is involved in the IT sphere to work in game development.

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