I am an indie game developer creating my first public project. This project is set in a post-apocalyptic world where there is a colony that is walled off from external threats.

Characteristics of the colony to narrow scope:

  • Low-tech: More along the lines of medieval technology. Some knowledge on how things can be more efficient but unable to put into place because...
  • No fuel: Colony does not have any fuel sources. I would like to put in some form of energy such as renewable energy but my understanding is that without the factories producing the materials needed to harness solar power etc, you can't harness it.
  • Military focus: Core goal of the colony is to stay alive for as long as it takes to find weaknesses of the monsters. Once they have that and a strategy, they will seek to venture out of the walls to reclaim more land. However...
  • Sustainable: They do not belief in recreating the cities of lore. Very committed to living in balance and harmony with the land. No intention to wipe out the monsters either.

I am sharing my current ideas on the colony and would like to ask, what basic amenities would be necessary for the colony to be self-sustaining without needing to venture outside the walls and by basic amenities I mean:

  1. Resource Production - Amenities required for the production of essential resources such as farms and mines
  2. Resource Processing - Amenities to process raw resources into usable goods such as blacksmiths and flour mills
  3. Civic buildings - such as schools, clinics etc
  4. Others - Other stuff that is vital for a colony to have without which it dies.

Bit more context on the world-state before diving in:

The apocalypse plaguing this world is driven by a viral mutation. The mutation causes some creatures to turn into huge monsters which end up running rampant. Unfortunately, the abilities they gain results in conventional weapons not working against them which leads to mass eradication of humanity and the fall of countries. There are isolated areas which remain safe long enough for barriers to be put into place. Coincidentally, humans started displaying strange powers quite akin to magic at the same time that these mutations happened. It took a while for humanity to harness it's power but eventually, they were able to do so and used the magic to make their havens safer. Humans now fight with swords, shields and magic.

The magic has also permeated other parts of their life. Wounds and illnesses can be cured by healers though more aggressive diseases are resistant. Everyday activities are boosted by magic to an extent. It is not a substitute for the mechanical machines that once drove the growth of human civilization to the far reaches of the earth but it does make things slightly easier. Combat is the only time that the magic really comes to life.

Speaking of which, technological level is severely limited by the lack of access to petrol and other types of fossil fuel. Life is simple and low-tech, not far off from what you would find in a small town. It is quaint but self-sustaining and clean.

Attached is a draft of the colony; do ignore the blocky nature of it. Topographically, the colony has a huge, unscalable mountain range to the north and the sea to the west which provides perfect natural defense while the east and south are walled off.

As for natural resources, I have included 2 rivers with one passing the village outside the walls and another descending from the mountains, additionally there is a small forest, farmland and a mine. The river is extremely important as its path makes it a natural 2nd line of defense before the wall while also providing the colony with clean water.

The town itself is split into a couple of areas:

  • the Resource Processing Centre for processing resources such as the produce from the farmland, fishes from the sea, water, ore from the mines, lumber and other items from the forests etc

  • the Downtown area where the shops and homes are located

  • the Academy where young hunters are trained and which also serves as the seat of governance

There is a huge area cordoned of for the military which occupies most of the east area as that is where the Gate to the outside world is located. Barracks and defenses are concentrated there. A Main Watchtower sits on the highest climbable peak of the mountain to provide an aerial view of the surrounding are to spot any potential attacks.

Thank you for reading and looking forward to the feedback! :)

Draft of Colony


closed as too broad by Renan, Mołot, Gryphon - Reinstate Monica, We are Monica., Cyn says make Monica whole Feb 7 at 21:25

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • $\begingroup$ What's the technology level for your farming? The farms in that diagram take up a relatively small portion of the area, which intuitively seems undersized for the amount of space allocated to population and 'resource processing'. Consider that in Medieval times, a castle would encompass the 'town', but the farmland supporting it would sprawl over the surrounding land. $\endgroup$ – Dan Bryant Feb 7 at 15:07
  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to WB Kelvin! Your question is interesting but as @elPolloLoco pointed out, the "What" part is very broad. You ought to add your comment to his answer to your question, something along the lines of: "What basic amenities would be necessary... and by basic amenities I mean: <a b c or a list>". You'll get better answers that way. Looking forward to seeing your post as it progresses :-) $\endgroup$ – Nahshon paz Feb 7 at 15:23
  • $\begingroup$ @DanBryant I was thinking farming would be rather basic. They have good crops and irrigation but no tractors etc - petrol is not a resource the town has access too. I'm not well versed in agriculture but could I estimate that the farmland should be double the size of the populated areas? $\endgroup$ – LoRDKYRaN Feb 7 at 15:31
  • $\begingroup$ @Nahshonpaz Thanks for the advice! I will add it in asap :) $\endgroup$ – LoRDKYRaN Feb 7 at 15:31
  • $\begingroup$ Looking at your comment to @elPolloLoco , one would imagine that shelter and waste processing aren't too hard to come by, especially if you have a river, and magic to take care of any "my techno-refrigi-3000 broke, however shall I preserve food now" questions. $\endgroup$ – Nahshon paz Feb 7 at 15:32

The answer to this question very much depends on what you want to provide to the people living there and what kind of weapons you want to give to the military.

Are they happy to be fed? Then you don't need any more than what you already have described.

Do you want to give them a state of the art hospital where you get the newest treatment against cancer? Completely different deal.

Same for the military. Are they okay to use bows and spears or do you want to provide them with fighter jets?

Edit: That sounds like your most important industry will be making and smithing of iron. So you need iron ore and coal (preferably stone coal). For steel you would need a way to produce oxygen, so you better stick with iron.

A claypit would do good for pottery.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the answer. The idea is to provide them with relatively basic amenities. Enough so they can survive with the relative comfort of a small town. No high-tech stuff like state-of-the-art hospitals, cinemas etc. Fighting would be more basic, with a focus on medieval weapons. There will be a system of abilities/magic that supplements that. But nothing really advanced. Swords, shields and magic would be the play. $\endgroup$ – LoRDKYRaN Feb 7 at 12:49
  • $\begingroup$ @KelvinKiranAnthony You might consider adding that "medieval weapons ... swords, shields and magic" clarification to the main question itself, and even flesh it out a little more, to cover areas other than combat $\endgroup$ – Dalila Feb 7 at 14:57
  • $\begingroup$ @Dalila Thank you, I will. Did not think it would have a bearing but clearly, I know not what I am doing. $\endgroup$ – LoRDKYRaN Feb 7 at 15:33
  • $\begingroup$ @KelvinKiranAnthony In your defense, this is a worldbuilding community, where many (most?) of the members think that everything in the entire "world" has bearing. When in doubt, add the detail. Especially when that detail limits the scope of the question as opposed to expanding it. In the case of your original question, limiting the tech level details helps, a lot, otherwise you could get responses ranging from stone age survival to trying to rebuild intergalactic fleets after decimation by alien forces :P $\endgroup$ – Dalila Feb 7 at 19:06

First off, fresh water. Depending of the nature of you apocalypse (I'm thinking with a bit of nuclear - Fallout bias here), the rivers might not be reliable sources without further processing/purification. The fish they provide fall under the same concern.

Otherwise, for basic survival and low tech level, you should have plenty of gameplay options with what you are providing. Maybe you could add a stone quarry if you want more durable buildings, especially the wall.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks! In this world, the apocalypse is driven by a viral mutation. The mutation causes some creatures to turn into huge monsters which end up running rampant. Unfortunately, the abilities they gain results in conventional weapons not working against them which leads to mass eradication of humanity and the fall of countries. There are isolated areas which remain safe long enough for barriers to be put into place. As such, am thinking the water should be fine. I was thinking that stone could be mined from the mountains. Am I wrong in assuming that? $\endgroup$ – LoRDKYRaN Feb 7 at 15:24
  • $\begingroup$ You are right, but just like you get iron from the mountain through a mine, it would make sense to get stone from it through a quarry. And yes, as long as the virus does not affect humans, or at least is not waterborne, the rivers should be fine. What about mutated fish? $\endgroup$ – Sarbus Feb 7 at 15:30
  • $\begingroup$ I was thinking that there would be a huge, reinforced chain net weighted down in the river that would prevent any mutated fish from getting through. So only normal fish would be small enough to enter. However, there might be mutated fish in the sea. And while typing this up, I just realised that I did not account for mutated birds. D'oh! $\endgroup$ – LoRDKYRaN Feb 7 at 15:37
  • $\begingroup$ Also, mutated underground creatures (moles, rodents, etc) and whatever comes your way from the forest. Are you sure that river is enough to protect you? $\endgroup$ – Sarbus Feb 7 at 15:46
  • $\begingroup$ I'm thinking that the monsters that are a problem are the size of a truck at smallest. Not too worried bout smaller stuff that slips through but will need to account for giant moles tunneling their way in. It's easy to say that there can be a perfect magical barrier but that seems uber lame. Maybe round the clock patrols along the wall and and a really active defense force that is always vigilant. Mounted ballistas and the like to deal with the airborne threats. Thanks a lot, hadn't considered these scenarios! $\endgroup$ – LoRDKYRaN Feb 7 at 16:09

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.