The interface would be pretty basic as any simulation game : a giant square with tiles.
The square would represent a town, with all building (or crops, forest, etc.), and peoples.
But, on the border of the square, would be represented the 4 neighbor towns (1 on each side), on which the player would not have any control. There would be some people crossing to go inside or outside, so it would be necessary to check the situation on towns asides
Some indicator above would be shown : population, revenue, mean health ratio, mean wealth ratio, and progression of the collapse.
Before starting the game, the player can choose, for his own town and for each of the 4 neighbors :
- The ratio of urbanization (high density building, to agricultural lands, to complete desert)
- The fertility of land on a 2 dimensional slide : (iced to hot desert / rocky to swampland). This would mainly be a cosmetic change, the fertility being given by a balanced choice. The ratio of urbanization also decrease the fertility
- The speed of the collapse
Theses choices done, the map would be randomly generated with building and population at start.
The player would only control industry and administration, but cannot control people.
He will control each industry to make them slowly turn into self-sufficiency toward their suppliers, and direct production for people. Industries will be classified into services, technological industries, basic industries, and farms.
The player would also control public building (police, hospital, school) to decide on their activity. On the opposite to standard simulation with growing revenue, the initial situation will consist into the delivery of the full panel of services, and the player will have to decide which to stop to keep up with the declining revenue.
Then, slowly, major companies will disappears :
- local industries relying on them will be unable to keep working, with sudden downsizing, production halt, and taxes revenue cut. The player will have to put in place alternative solution to keep part of the business running. Some industry would not have any solution, while others will be lightly impacted
- depending of the company, some range of goods will also turn unavailable. At first, if will be banking services, at last, it will be foods.
- the disappearance of services, people will turn angry and violent. Depending of the population density, they will kill each other (reducing the population) and flee to neighbor town. The town control by the player will also receive violent and angry population from other town asides
In the same time, the money value will be reduced : anything still existing (like petrol) will get more and more expensive to get, reducing even more the efficiency of all local activity.
The wealth of every citizen will diminishing from the action of decreasing salaries.
The player will have to find solution to keep some local services to run and keep the population employed and feed. Depending on area, the main activity will consist into managing the bloodbath, while desert area can be the place of a gold rush to create new farms.
The goal for the player will be to find a way to keep a maximum of citizen alive, with a decent life level.
After a long while, depending on the situation, the town will be a place where new industries will emerge : from dumping ground where people will have the less wealth and education, to some new industries looking for educated and low salaries employees.