“...it’s about creating human habitats amidst climate chaos.”
April 25, 2019 6:03 AM   Subscribe

Lichenia: A city building game for the Anthropocene. [Release Notes] “Lichenia is a new web-based game from game designer Molleindustria (Paolo Pedercini) that’s about “reshaping the natural and built environment, reclaiming dead cities, and growing sustainable ones.” It takes a few minutes to get going, but what else would you expect? Resurrecting a poisoned world is hard. Presented in an isometric perspective (and playable online for free), Lichenia tasks its player with placing some strange tiles on a polluted and ruined landscape. We don’t know what these tiles do. [...] Playing Lichenia is all about trial and error, but that’s because Pedercini wanted there to be an unclear relationship between what you were doing and the effects you had on the world.” [via: Waypoint]
posted by Fizz (14 comments total) 28 users marked this as a favorite
So remember how in Sim City games you'd sometimes force a disaster to take place (big lizard, earthquake, fire, meteor shower, robot attack, tornado, zombie attack) and destroy your city because you're a god of chaos. This is kind of like that, only it's dealing with the impact of your actions post disaster and it's dawned on you that you've inflicted devastation and destruction that you may never be able to fully recover from. Good times.
posted by Fizz at 6:17 AM on April 25 [1 favorite]

Is it possible to turn off the blinky water animations?
posted by mittens at 6:43 AM on April 25

I don't seem to have any real ability to control what happens in this 'game' - maybe that's the point?
posted by dbx at 8:18 AM on April 25

This seems super preachy.
posted by Nelson at 8:27 AM on April 25 [1 favorite]

I'm probably supposed to be taking this more seriously, but it's really pretty and the descriptions of random artefacts that show up are hilarious. I ended up with a nice, apparently stable city around a lake and both bars maxed out, which felt successful.
posted by lucidium at 8:51 AM on April 25

After a while, I ended up with a perpetual Zone of Chaos that I just kept luring around the board with white cubes. Am I doing it right?
posted by BrashTech at 9:11 AM on April 25

I ended up with a perpetual Zone of Chaos

Just like 2019.
posted by Fizz at 9:18 AM on April 25 [2 favorites]

I think a trap that many games that try to be progressive fall into is that, because they're explicitly concerned with creating a specific outcome, they don't give their rules room to breath. That is, while Sim City 2000 embodies many beliefs in its rules, it wasn't designed from the top-down to result in the entire play field covered with arcologies: that's just the extension of the rules to their absurd limit. But many progressive games go the other way: they start with the objective, for example, that a city in balance should be the ideal end outcome, and then work their rules backwards from that.

This often results in rules that are simpler, less productive, less messy than the games they are responding to, and frequently makes these games seem painfully didactic, because people are fairly perceptive and can see when the rules are trying to force a certain outcome.
posted by Pyry at 11:13 AM on April 25 [4 favorites]

I think a trap that many games that try to be progressive fall into is that, because they're explicitly concerned with creating a specific outcome, they don't give their rules room to breath.

I'm thinking of games like Frostpunk & This War of Mine which both have something to say in a very political/social/cultural way, and yet still allow the game to shine through, they're not hemmed in by their politics (despite the politics being heavy and apparent). @Pyry said all of that up above, only better, but a very good point.
posted by Fizz at 11:39 AM on April 25 [3 favorites]

Of note is that the tileset used (named Mushy) was created by Everest Pipkin, whose generative artwork has apeared on the Blue several times previously.
posted by Nossidge at 3:06 PM on April 25

I really like it even though I can't tell if I'm good at it. It's pretty (except for the overly blink water) and hypnotic in a Stardew Valley sort of way.
posted by hydropsyche at 3:34 PM on April 25

Ugh, that tile set is not good.

This seems super preachy.

That’s pretty much the defining feature of Paolo Pedercini’s games.
posted by Going To Maine at 3:40 PM on April 25

36 hours ago I had to delete Cultist Simulator, and now you guys feed me this? I have work to do!

Small mercies, all I get is the perpetual loading screen. Thank you Chinese shitty Internet.
posted by Meatbomb at 10:36 PM on April 25 [1 favorite]

This was beautiful and hypnotic, thanks for sharing.
posted by pinothefrog at 9:36 AM on May 7

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