Suppose Arks was the first scenario, and some small parts were restructured and some of the story text was changed. It's best if Arks is just presented as the starting point, and the scenario selection scene isn't available until after it has been completed – that's what most plot-driven games do already, because there's no need for a scenario selection screen when only 1 scenario is available. And this would give people more to do before asking for a sandbox version; and by the time they finish they'd understand why a sandbox isn't really possible. Probably half the negative reviews on Steam are for the lack of a sandbox version, so perhaps this would reduce a portion of that.
Chronologically, it makes sense for the events in Arks to happen first. The scientists saw the problem coming before anyone else did, so they would have started their preparations earliest. So, the it's with the scientists that the game could start first.
And when you discover New Manchester, you want to look at that city and see what it's like, but it's just not possible in the game. But, you know you could run it better than whatever people are running that place (because the game tells you so). So, after the Arks scenario is completed, what's the next place you want to see and the next challenge you want to try?
New Manchester! If the game put you as the head of New Manchester in the second scenario (so, rename "A New Home" to "New Manchester" and set it as the 2nd scenario), you now have the knowledge to run it a lot better than whatever was happening when you were in the Arks city. So, your New Manchester won't need to send out scouts requesting rescue. In fact, if you're in New Manchester, it's the scientists at the Arks who are now leaderless – which means they are in trouble. And what do we know happens in the late game of A New Home? We meet and rescue scientists who are in trouble! So this time, the scientists are coming to you.
So, how could we tie the Refugees scenario into this? That would be Winterhome. Remember all the little groups scattered around Winterhome? Those are the refugees who were not allowed into the city, or who didn't reach it in the first place. Remember the cave full of children? Isn't that a close match to the description of the last group in Refugees – Craven and the orphans? Honestly I'm surprised that the scenarios are not tied together like this; it makes a great dynamic, without requiring any changes to gameplay and instead just modifies a bit of the story text.
And for the player, this obviously means the player is excellent and amazing, because cities can only survive with the player's guidance. Which makes us feel all
warm and fuzzy livable and non-frostbitten.
© Post "If Arks was the first scenario, the game could have a plot-driven progression between the scenarios, and probably a better Steam score" for game Frostpunk.
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