From Soren Johnson on the Mohawk Games blog.
The campaign is a special, single-player mode of Offworld Trading Company which provides an overarching goal to be achieved over multiple Missions – to be the last Corporation standing on Mars. The player controls one of eight Corporations, which over the course of multiple Missions will increase their income by investing in Martian Colonies, will hire more labor to improve productivity, and will raise their stock price to position themselves for victory.
The campaign is split into three rounds:
- First Round: During this round, the player’s Corporation helps grow a Martian Colony, which then increases the Corporation’s income between Missions. Each Mission last a specific numbers of days, with the winning Corporation being the one which acquires the most Colony Stock.
- Elimination Round: This round functions just like the First Round, except that at the end of each Mission, the Corporation with the lowest stock price (and which did not just win a Mission) is eliminated.
- Final Round: Once all but four Corporations are eliminated, one final Mission is played, with all remaining Corporations participating. Unlike the previous Missions, this final one allows the participating Corporations to buy stock directly in each other, with the final winner being the Corporation able to buyout the other three.
Unlike the regular game, all buildings are not available by default. Instead, each Corporation needs at least one worker to unlock each building. For example, Water Pumps are unlocked with Water Pump Engineers, Pleasure Domes are unlocked with Pleasure Dome Managers, Offworld Markets are unlocked with Offworld Market Astronauts, and so on.
If more than one worker of a specific type is hired, the building’s productivity increases; each Water Pump Engineer increases the output of Water Pumps by +30%. (Please note that all buildings start off with a -30% production penalty compared to the base game.)
Extra workers for the advanced buildings (Pleasure Dome, Industrial Lab, etc.) all increase output by 50%. For the Pleasure Dome, this bonus increases the money generated. For the other advanced buildings, this bonus increases the speed. (Thus, a second Offworld Market Astronaut will allow an Offworld Market to ship resources offworld 50% faster.)
The Labor Pool consists of ten randomly chosen workers and is reset between Missions. Each worker requires upfront money to hire and also has a salary that needs to be paid between Missions. (For example, the Water Pump Engineer costs $200K to hire and has a salary of $50K per Mission.)
Each Corporation must select a Mission to help grow a Colony on Mars. Missions (except during the Final Round) last a specific number of days, with the Corporations working together to grow the Colony while also trying to buy the most Colony Stock.
These Missions each have a set of parameters, such as Terrain (for example, “Plains”), Map Size (“Medium”), Resource Level (“Low”), and Scenario (“No Black Market”). Also, each Mission has a special Perk (“Free Metal Mine”) which is given to the winner – the Corporation which purchases the most shares of Colony Stock by the end Mission.
The Colony is composed of a set of Modules in the middle of the map. These Modules determine how big the Colony’s Population can grow and whether there are enough Jobs to attract new colonists. The are four different Module types:
- Housing: +1 Maximum Population (consumes Water, Food, and Oxygen)
- Office: +1 Job (consumes Power and Electronics)
- Leisure: +1 Job (consumes Power and Water)
- Laboratory: +1 Job (consumes Chemicals and Glass)
The Colony will grow as long as the Population is less than both the Max Population and the number of Jobs available. If the prices of life support resources (Water, Food, and Oxygen) are too high, the Colony will grow slower than normal.
The Corporations buy these Modules for the Colony, and each Module purchased provides one share of Colony Stock. Each Mission has a maximum limit of Modules which cannot be exceeded, so once all Modules are purchased, the Corporations can simply buy shares of Colony Stock directly.
At the end of the Mission, the Colony starts producing residual income for all the Corporations involved in the Mission. The amount of income is relative to the total Population of the Colony, and the income is then divided in proportion to the shares of Colony Stock owned. For example, if the Colony produces an income of $500K, Corporation A owns 6 shares of Colony Stock, and Corporation B owns 4 shares, then Corporation A will receives $300K while Corporation B will receive $200K.
After each Mission, the money the player earned and the debt they acquired are added to the Corporation’s overall money and debt. Next, the income from all existing Colonies is generated, and the salary of all workers is paid. Finally, the Corporation’s total debt increases by 10% because of interest. If the Corporation has extra money, it can now be used to either hire new workers or to pay down debt.
Before starting the campaign, the player selects one of four CEOs, each of which has a different workforce and set of Perks. These CEOs can also only use one specific HQ type (unless a Perk is acquired during the campaign to unlock more).
For example, Eleanor Preston can only use Expansive HQs, starts with the Extra Claim Perk, and has the following workforce:
- 2 Solar Panel Engineers
- 1 Water Pump Engineer
- 1 Hydroponic Farm Engineer
- 1 Electrolysis Reactor Engineer
- 1 Metal Mine Engineer
- 1 Steel Mill Engineer
- 1 Elemental Quarry Engineer
- 1 Glass Furnace Engineer