“Hanse – The Hanseatic League” (2018) is a real-time strategy game that is set in early 15th century Europe. The player takes on the role of an aspiring merchant of the Hanseatic League. The game features a dynamic game economy with more than 100 goods, 38 cities and turn-based ship battles between opposing factions. The game was released for PC in April 2018.
I worked on this game as a game designer and project manager.

Genre: Real-Time Strategy, Trade Simulation, Economic Simulation
Platform: PC, Mac
Engine: Unity (3D)
Team Size: 7+
Production time: 1,5 years
Released: 30th April 2018

Feature: Historical economy & sea trading

I worked extensively on this core feature of the game, both as a content designer and systems designer.
• I did historical research on 15th century economy, goods and prices
• came up with ca. 100 goods that the player and NPC’s can trade (names, weight, base prices, rarity)
• designed all production chains for these products: distinguished raw, intermediate and final products, number of goods needed for each production step, types of manufacturing buildings needed for every product
• integrated and balanced the items and their attributes with the ship system of the game (storage space, max. weight)
• distributed goods in the game world to create shortages that make trading profitable

Design tools I used:
• Excel
• Unity 2018

Feature: Dynamic prices (simulated supply & demand)

I was responsible for designing the price behavior of goods in the game. The goal was to have the prices of all goods change according to the supply and demand by the player and NPC traders.

• I came up with a price function that makes prices react according to the produced quantity of a good, the importance of that good for the local population of a city, the NPC behavior (buying and selling) and the player behavior (buying and selling).
• conceptualized the A.I. of NPC traders (deciding what items they want to buy, what trading route to take, if behavior is more aggressive or diplomatic towards the player)

Design tools I used:
• Unity 2018

Feature: Turn-based ship battles

Ship Battles:
The goal of this feature was to introduce an element of combat to the otherwise strategy oriented gameplay. The player ship convoy can be attacked by the ships of another guild, if the Hanse is on bad political terms with it (vice versa the player can chose to attack and loot other convoys). Since a realistic, fully animated sea battle was not an option for the project of this scope, I suggested a solution where all ship battles are played as a “war table”-like mini-game.
The player character acts as a commander on board of his ship and gives orders to his convoy by planning their moves on a game table.

• I designed the concept & mechanics for the turn-based, naval battle mini-game (mechanics, ship types, damage formula, ammunition, visual feedback, playtesting & balancing)
• Paper prototyping, prototyping in Unity3D & extensive use of Excel for balancing combat mechanics
• Designing the loot tables of the enemy ships

Design tools I used:
• Paper prototyping & dice
• Unity 2018 (Prototype scripted in C#)
• Excel

Hanse - The Hanseatic League

Other systems I partly worked on:

Player family: Options for player character to marry NPC’s, deciding how game handles childbirth, lifespan, and randomization of attributes of NPCs at birth

Tasks: Designing a system that generates random tasks for the player to earn money or reputation, incl. writing NPC dialog lines

Tutorial (with Lead Designer): Designing the player onboarding, content of tutorial, writing texts

Worldbuilding (with Lead Designer): Deciding cities, map sizes, names and background of characters, currency, extensive historical research on 15th century Europe

Project Management:
• Setting up and constantly maintaining JIRA project
• Organizing sprint-planning meetings
• Assisting the team making time estimations of their work packages
• writing weekly build reports and milestone reports

Game Design, QA, Project Management