I’ve recently gathered a bunch of ideas that I thought would improve Idle Miner Tycoon, one of the mobile games I’ve been playing and wanted to share them. Here goes:
Before I start, let me introduce you the game and why I think the changes would benefit the game. Idle Miner Tycoon is an “idle” game, where you focus on gaining more and more resources. I believe this sub-genre was started by the cookie-clicker.
The system is pretty simple. You have three islands and on each island a few mines. Each island has its own resource, so gaining resource on one mine can help other mines in that island; but not the others. For each mine you dig up to 25 or so shafts, which are holes parallel to the ground, each deeper than the one before. Miners dig the shafts, then put the ore in a box. Then the worker in the elevator intersecting the shafts will collect the ore from the box and take it to the ground level. Someone will pick it and move it to the warehouse, which then turns into resource. Each shaft, the elevator and the warehouse can all level up, which increases various things such as amount of miners, amount of ore possible to carry in the elevator, amount of ore carried by workers from elevator to the warehouse etc.
Normally you have to click for each dig, each elevator move etc but the game allows you to appoint managers, who automatize the gathering. In fact, different managers have different bonuses (such as movement speed, faster digging, loading more than usual to the elevator etc) and by using the resource you get from a 4th island (sort of), you can get super-managers who have very powerful and sometimes unique bonuses. For example, one of them will take the ore instead of letting it in the box, multiply it and send it as a resource right away, allowing you to get multiple resources and without worrying about elevator/warehouse capacity.
The game also has secondary systems: One is the skill system. There is a tree that has upgrades like better bonuses from managers, more efficient workers and even some that allows you to get better outcomes from watching ads, e.g. you can watch adds to increase your income for a while. You can have better bonuses for longer time with these skills. To get these skills, you need resources from the island mines. Of course, the costs go higher and higher and gaining them becomes hard. For this, the game presents a prestige system where you can reset your mine but give you a higher multiplier. So if your very first miner granted you 100 resource, after the prestige your first miner will grant you maybe 120 resource. This requires a hefty amount of resources, but makes it worth on the long run.
It’s a pretty good game for what it is trying to do. However, the game becomes stale once you unlock all mines. Because after that, you just do prestige to get skills and you get skills to pretty much do prestige. While the devs are active, new features or some change is sorely needed once you play the game for a while, unless you have some level of OCD to max things.
The problem is, you can’t always add new features and completely new things, but you want the game to be fresh. The answer I have isn’t really unique, it’s just adopting some modern tactics.
A radioactive vein is found and the ore here keeps changing! (because reasons and science, mutation and half-life and whatnot)
Each month, there is a new set of rules in this mine and it resets. For example, managers can spend time in elevator/warehouse/shafts without interruption can level up. Or everything is cheaper, or more expensive! Managers have no active skills but have good passive skills. Or maybe you can use all super managers, but you can’t apply regular managers, so microing is needed. Maybe even and odd shafts have different currencies. Or managers have massive bonuses but your passive income (when the game isn’t open) is reduced greatly.
There is no end to the rules here and the favorite ones could always be brought back or even added somehow to the core!
Shaft, elevator and warehouse managers provide some nice bonuses but they are only effective in their locale.
Mine Managers are long term mine leaders. They are assigned to the mine, and get better and better as time passes. Maybe a super manager version could even last through prestige. There would be a cost to install and remove them as well, so best would be to recruit early and keep them. They would have global bonuses such as reduced costs, better bonuses on a certain type of manager, bonuses on certain locales (better elevators, better shafts, better shafts until 5th shaft etc), ad bonuses etc
This would be a separate mine similar to the one you use to earn super managers that has power-up rewards. Power-ups give you extra resource multiplier or some amount of resources directly. You would “end” the mine to get all your resources and depending on how “complete” it is your resources would change. You could make it slow to grow with good rewards or fast to grow with moderate rewards. Probably think about prices to “pay” your way through it to allow spenders to quickly get some power-ups as well.
- Ad Choice: Watch a longer add for more bonuses
- Item: Idle Boost 1/3/7/30D, Automatically uses managers
- Item: Akme Shaft Setter 10/25/50, Shows up as manager, spent when used, sets shaft to corresponding level
- Super Manager: While active, other managers cooldown twice as fast
With such changes (of course to be balanced correctly), I think the game would be more interesting, have more things to do and always have something fresh for new and existing players alike.
As a final note, I’d also suggest checking Idle Factory Tycoon, their next game. Instead of doing a more or less re-skin, they took a different path. The game is still being developed but I think it looks interesting.