Tech Tree Progression


Ambiance is going to have a tech tree. I’d like to do some brainstorming on how this might look.

There are a few options for tech trees in general.

  1. Completely organic, there are no hard restrictions on learning something besides what is necessary to do it. For example, if you somehow end up with a kiln before a campfire, you can cook food in the kiln before learning how to do it in the campfire. Contrast this with being required to learn to cook at a campfire before you can cook somewhere else. I really like this idea, but can’t think of seeing it anywhere…

  2. Level based, this is essentially what Blockheads uses. You can upgrade benches (in Ambience more likely buildings) to increase your crafting capabilities. This mostly works well, but can become boring if there is no freedom to branch out and work on developing the tech most interesting to you.

  3. Age based, Age of Empires 2 used this (tech tree) and it seemed to work fairly well but doesn’t make much sense in the real world… basically, you can create buildings and then once you upgrade your town center building all of your buildings are upgraded to the “new age” level. This seems to be the most common tree used in battle strategy games.

It is difficult to really say which will work best for Ambience, but knowing Dave there will be a lot of freedom in how to play, which I am super excited for.

I just realized this morning that this thread was created when I meant to reply to KP7’s thread since I was working on this then decided to reply to that first… oops! I’ve fixed it up now. If the thread changed a lot, since you first saw it, now you know why.


I was thinking about this earlier. Personally, I think a level-based tech tree would be easier to make and understand. I do like the idea of your first suggestion, where there is a lot of freedom, but it might be complicated to engineer.


I really like the “organic” option, and though it’s uncommon in games it is my favorite. Level based is also pretty high up there, and organic tends to be sort of level based anyway as far as progression goes (iron ore needs to be smelted before being able to use the iron).


I prefer level based. I especially enjoyed it in Blockheads


Definitely like the organic option better than the other two. Although level based would probably be easier, it gets boring and repeatitive after a while, eg civilisation