I found myself on Steam again this past week.

My daughter (14) has developed a fixation on Sonic the Hedgehog.    Other than knowing he exists, I was completely ignorant of the Sonic franchise at one point; no longer.     I am treated to discussions of his characteristics and all the other hedgehogs regularly.     One outgrowth of this is she wanted to get Garry’s Mod (“Get me GMOD, Dad”), and eventually I went ahead and got her a Steam account.

Waiting for sales is foreign to little miss “I want it all, and NOW” so we paid the full $10 out of her money and I got to look at it.    It seems like a well done FPS sandbox game, but she wants to use it to make videos and is finally starting to dig into the computer and learn the technology.    Thank you God !

And so, after fiddling around with that, I began to wonder why I’ve not gotten Banished going and loaded that up.    Banished, you’ll remember, is the single player game that gives you a few families which you need to build up into a functioning village among a random map.

After a couple new false starts (all my previous saves are on another computer, and not valuable, as apparently I’d rather start over than dig any of them up) I think I have a good village started.     I went with “Super Easy Mode”, selecting no disasters in addition to easy.    Stebbingdon has a population of 34 and is built with a few strategies in mind.

The first one I've saved.

The first one I’ve saved.

First, is the idea of using a forest carefully for multiple needs.      If you build a herbalist, gatherer’s hut, and hunting lodge, you can overlap the three of their forest circles for min-maxing.   Add in a forester’s lodge just to plant trees and you keep a really nice forest for this use.    Just next to this big circle I built a second forester’s lodge for gathering logs.

The cluster to the left, and the village right and up top.

The cluster to the left, and the village right and up top.

After a while I found my starting storage barn to be filling up, so I built three more homes and a new storage barn.    The population started eating more than we’re bringing in, so the next step is more food.    But the other key item is the trading hut – the best way, so I’m told, to gather stone and iron for the long term is to trade for it.    Probably by using the renewable resource of trees, and selling firewood for them.     My traders hut is completed, but no traders over the short period of time I had it running before logging off.

Stebbigndon so far.    Storage barn is offscreen to the north.

Stebbigndon so far. Storage barn is offscreen to the north.

Many sales were had since I’ve last really looked at Steam, and I find myself putting a ton of stuff onto the wishlist in case it goes on sale.    Then I’ll get an email telling me “Hey!   Buy this !”.    I’ve missed out on several, including for Beyond Earth and a couple other things.     And installing a bunch of stuff onto a new computer can be a bit of a pain.    But there’s no question that Steam is valuable for building a game library, being exposed to new stuff, and getting things cheap (on sale).