Townforge is a blockchain based game where you create buildings which will provide you with income.
Buildings and land cost a one off sum as well as regular maintenance costs. Payout is earned at every game tick, which happens every 720 blocks. A portion of the block rewards go to the game, to be redistributed to players. A research "tech tree" allows players to improve their buildings' efficiency. Peer to peer trade allows players to exchange goods and money. A 3D world view allows players to bring their buildings to life, and a decentralized chat is available in game.
Every game action is stored on a blockchain, ensuring that what you own cannot be taken away from you unless the game rules allow it. No exit scam, no central database corruption, no rules change at a whim without notice. The game state is stored on every game user's copy of the blockchain.


Any wallet may create a game account. Game accounts are linked to the main wallet address. For anti spam purposes, there is a 1 coin account creation fee.
The game account may be deposited to (from its associated wallet or any other) and withdrawn from. Withdrawal is automated, and player controlled. Money deposited into the game is still under the wallet owner's control, not under a third party's control, so you can use your own keys to withdraw at any time. This protects against an exit scam by the game author.
A player may own any number of buildings in the game, in one or more cities. Note that a player can manage only up to 12 buildings before management staff is required (for a fee). This is intended to encourage richer players to go for large buildings rather than many smaller ones. Above 12 buildings, one staff is required for up to four extra buildings. A management staff is also required for every team of up to four staff.
A decentralized chat is available, using transactions in the txpool. They will not be mined, so are transient and therefore not suitable for information you want to be preserved. Notifications about new buildings, new discoveries, etc will also be placed in the chat.
Players can send each other encrypted messages. Those messages are embedded in normal looking transactions, so that an observer is not even aware that a message was sent, let alone the sender, recipient or contents. While those messages are mined on the chain, they are located in prunable data, ensuring they do not bloat the chain forever.
As an anti spam measure, the first message to a player costs 1 gold. If that player replies, their own first message to you will refund that fee. This way, spamming becomes very expensive, while mundate communications are very cheap.

Cities and treasury

The world of Townforge is a large grid, upon which cities may be founded. At the start of the game, there is one single city. Every city is founded by a player, who becomes its mayor, and starts off with a town square. New cities can be bought from the game, with their price depending on the current number of cities and the total economic activity. The more cities currently exist, the higher the cost of a new city. The larger the world's total economic activity, the lower the cost. The mayor of a city may elect to allow only some players to buy land and build in their city. By default, anyone may build in a city. For abuse prevention, if a city restricts access, its shares will only count for half when distributing subsidy.
Each city has a treasury. This is the amount of money in the city coffers. This treasury is managed by the consensus rules, and can only be used by the automated game tick. Every game tick (every 720 blocks, so roughly 4 times a day), about 9% of the block rewards for the last 720 blocks gets awarded to city treasuries in proportion to their economic strength. About 10% of each town's treasury gets distributed to players based on their buildings' economic strength. The city mayor receives 0.1% of the treasury. The game account receives 0.25% of the treasury. The game account will be used for storytelling purposes (prizes for participating in role playing or similar events), expenses like VPS hosting, and other reasons I deem appropriate. It may also be used for bounties.
The treasury also receives money from players buying new land or items directly from the game, land tax, etc. When a merchant ship makes landfall and sells items on the markets, the proceeds also go to the treasury of the town where the ship docked.
The higher the treasury grows, the more attractive it is to build in a city, since that treasury will flow back into player's pockets.
Cities may be bought and sold on the open market.
Cities reach new levels upon reaching a certain size (and will downgrade if they drop below this threshold). Reaching a new level allows players to build new building types in this city. Here are the building types which become available at various levels:

Role Level
Craft 1
Commercial 3
Military 5
Affluent Residential 6
Research 6
Cultural 7
Luxury Residential 8

Flags and buildings

Each city is placed at a point on the world. Players may buy land from the game, from tiny 8x8 plots to the largest allowed, 256x256. Those plots of lands are called flags for historical reasons. A flag is empty when bought, and may be bought and sold on the open market. Flags are always rectangular. Land price is higher near the center of town and drops quickly, then starts slowly increasing again.
Flags pay land tax every game tick. Land tax is based on flag size as well as the flag's economic power. Economic power is a measure of the quality/strength of the building one builds on that land. An empty flag is taxed as if holding a basic 100% economic power building. Land tax also increases very slightly with distance from the town square, to avoid people building things at preposterous distances. Moreover, if a flag stays unbuilt for 10 days or more, it starts attracting an extra 0.1 gold tax per tick (this does not mean it has to have a 3D model on it, just be setup as a building).
Land tax also increases with distance from the city square. The cartography discoveries allow a player to lessen that increase. The increase is also lessened with city level. If a city drops in level, the tax decreases are maintained.
Buildings may be built on flags. There are a few types of buildings. Some buildings qualify for payouts from the city treasury, while some others produce materials instead. Yet others don't do either, but provide bonuses for other buildings. Every new building is assigned an economic power, which is its relative output. It can range from the baseline 100% to a maximum of 300%. A 300% building will yield 3 times the income of a 100% building (at least for buildings getting treasury payouts, it's a little more complex for producing buildings). However, they cost more than 3 times as much to build. At the start of the game, the maximum economic power is only 150. Civil engineering discoveries increase that maximum by 50 each, up to 300%.
A building may be upgraded up to the maximum economic power after construction for 150% of the incremental cost (ie, upgrading a building from 120% to 160% economic power costs 150% of the cost difference between the cost originally paid for the 120% building and the cost to build it to 160% outright).
Buildings have prerequisites to function effectively. Many buildings require being in the influence area of another building. If they are not, they will not be active, and thus not provide income. Some other prerequisites are softer, and only give bonuses and penalties.
Current building types are:

Role Payout
Agricultural -
Craft 1.2%
Industrial 1.5%
Commercial 1.2%
Basic residential 1.2%
Affluent residential 1.3%
Luxury residential 1.5%
Military -
Cultural 0.6%
Stonecutter -
Sawmill -
Kiln -
Smelter -
Workforce -
Road 0.8%
Research 0.2%
Fishery -
Some of those (industrial, kiln, smelter) are not available just yet, and will be made available following a progressing storyline.
For example, if a city consists of two craft buildings only, identical in all respects except one has twice the other's economic power, and the city treasury contains 1000, then the buildings will receive a payout of 1000 * 1.2% * 2 / 3 = 8 and 4 respectively at every game tick.
Producing buildings (stonecutter, sawmill, kiln, smelter, workforce) do not get treasury payouts. Instead, they consume some resources (stone, wood) and produce more resources. Those resources are needed to build other buildings. While it is possible to buy those resources directly from the game's supply, those prices are dear, and players with those producing buildings will offer better value.
Buildings may be demolished. Demolishing a building removes all blocks from its 3D representation, and resets the role to empty. Another building may then be constructed on the flag. The owner recovers 20% of the blocks in the original budget (whether they were used in the 3D representation or not). Any items assigned to the flag other than labour and constructed materials are moved back to the player's inventory.
If a building owner does not have enough money to pay the tax for a plot of land, this plot of land will disappear, along with any building on it. The land is then free to be bought by another player. Similarly, if a building falls to 0 repair condition, it will disappear (the land remains the owner's property). It is therefore in the player's interest to ensure buildings are repaired in time, and to keep enough balance to meet land tax requirements. Repairing a building costs labour and materials. If a building's repair level falls below 70%, its efficiency starts decreasing. Above 70%, no ill effects apply. To disincentivize constant repair spam, repairing a building in 99% condition or better costs as much as repairing it from 99%.
Some building types have restrictions on size, depending on economic power. This should be kept in mind when buying land. The following table lists the minimum size of a plot for building types. The first value is the minimum size of a 100% building, the second value for a 300% building. For other economic power values, the minimum size is interpolated and rounded down.
Role Min size at 100% - 300%
Agricultural 64-120
Craft 16-40
Commercial 16-80
Industrial 40-180
Basic residential 10-12
Affluent residential 24-80
Luxury residential 96-140
Military 24-80
Cultural 16-80
Stonecutter 20-60
Sawmill 20-60
Kiln 28-80
Smelter 28-80
Workforce 24-64
Road 8-36
Research 24-60
Fishery 32-128
Additionally, roads have the extra constraint that their longest dimension must be at least 2.5 times longer than the minimum size in the table above (ie, a 100% road has minimum size 8 x 20, and a 300% road has minimum size 36 x 90).
Similarly, fisheries' longest dimension must be at least 2 times longer than their minimum size, as they are mostly docks and boat shelters.
Some bonuses apply:
  • Buildings of type cultural, affluent residential, luxury residential and commercial get an extra bonus of 0.075% (affluent residential and commercial), 1.05% (cultural) or 0.15% (luxury residential) for each square (up to 100) touching the town square.
  • Buildings of type cultural, affluent residential and luxury residential get extra bonuses if their owner assigns gemstones to them (the rarer the gemstones, the better the bonuses).
  • Some building types benefit from elevation relative to their surroundings. The base elevation bonus is 2% per block of the flag's average elevation compared to its surroundings (measured as 250% of its width/height), up to 50%. Most buildings are not affected by this, but those in the following list are, with varying weights:
    Role Percentage of the base bonus
    Commercial 10%
    Affluent residential 25%
    Luxury residential 100%
    Military 100%
    Cultural 20%
    For example, an affluent residential building on a flag with an average height of 40 and average surroundings height of 35 is an average 5 blocks higher than its surroundings, so gets 10% base elevation bonus. From the table above, affluent residential buildings get 25% of the base bonus, so the final elevation bonus for this building is 2.5%.
  • Stonecutters benefit from direct access to exposed rock, so get a production bonus based on how much bare cliff face lies within their extent, to a maximum of about +42%.
  • The average slope also gives bonuses or penalties to some building types: too high a slope will penalize agricultural buildings, luxury residential buildings and sawmills, but give a bonus to roads, since they're there to allow easier passage over rough terrain.
  • Water is also a major contributor to building efficiency. Most buildings quickly lose efficiency as their underwater ratio increases. Roads are an exception, since overwater roads are bridges. Most other buildings bottom at 0% efficiency (where they become inactive) before reaching 100% underwater surface area, some buildings losing faster than others. Luxury and affluent residential buildings can have some small underwater surface without losing efficiency and even getting a litle bonus, as a seafront or riverfront property is desirable. Similarly, a fishery will lose efficiency if too much or not enough of its area is water.
  • Some items can give bonuses to buildings of certain types. You can assign such items to a building of the right type for the bonus to be applied. Once assigned, items can be retrieved from the building, except for labour and construction materials. Should the building be destroyed, any other item assigned to the flag will be moved back to the player's inventory.

Some buildings are able to offer extra services. These services are always available to the building owner, who can optionally allow other players to use the service for a adjustable fee.

Building Service
Military Firefighting
Fishery Pearl diving
Agricultural Food salting
Research Bonus to research activities
Craft Runestone creation
When a service is used from one of these buildings, the building's efficiency at providing this service again is lowered, and will be regained with time. This means that using the same building's service twice in a row in quick succession will cause the second service to be either more pricey (for example, more stones needed to create a runestone for craft buildings) or less powerful (for example, less chance of extinguishing a fire for military buildings).
A building owner can set the fee for third party use of their buildings.


Shares are the way payouts are calculated. Every building has a number of shares based on its characteristics, and that number acts as a weight when the treasury pays out.
The basic number of shares for a building is its area in squares multiplied by its economic power.
Other things come into play: if the repair level of a building falls below 70%, its share count will start going down. Similarly, if a building's requirements are not met, this building will be inactive, and its shares zeroed until requirements are met.
The number of shares is used to apportion treasury income within a city and pricing new cities.
Roads and discoveries (see below) also affect shares.


Gemstones are rare precious stones. Some can be unearthed randomly as quarries extract stone from the ground. They bring prestige to their owners, or, if assigned to a building, give that building a bonus:

Gemstone Effect
Amethyst +1% cultural
Sapphire +2% cultural +2% affluent residential
Emerald +5% cultural, +5% affluent residential
Ruby +10% cultural, +5% affluent residential, +5% luxury residential
Diamond +20% cultural, +10% affluent residential, +10% luxury residential
The probability of finding a gemstone depends on the area of the stonecutter, its economic power and its age (older stonecutter have reached deeper into the ground).
While technically not a gemstone, pearls also belong to this category. Fisheries can find them when hired to dive for pearls. Pearls give 0.25% bonus to luxury residential buildings.

Time and seasons

Townforge takes a real life week to go through a game year, so time is 52 times as fast in game as in the real world. Game years are divided in 4 seasons, each comprising 3 months (ie, early summer, mid summer, late summer are the summer months). Each month is made up of 30 days. The current date is displayed in the Calendar section of the game UI.
The new year starts with the midwinter month and ends with the early winter month. The game starts in spring of year 950, just in time for the vegetable sowing season.
The game time is divided into epochs of varying length. Those are not set in stone and will appear as the storyline progresses and new features are introduced. Some items created in older epochs may be given a small bonus.

Food and heating

Buildings need food in order to be productive. Different building types have different requirements for food, as shown here:

Role Relative requirements
Agricultural -
Craft 100
Industrial 50
Commercial 100
Basic residential 100
Affluent residential 130
Luxury residential 200
Military 100
Cultural 100
Stonecutter 100
Sawmill 100
Kiln 100
Smelter 100
Workforce 200
Road -
Research 100
Fishery -
If a building does not have enough food to consume, it will be disabled until enough food is available.
Food is produced by agricultural buildings and fisheries. There are four main types of food:
  • vegetables are very nutritious but spoil fast
  • grain is least nutritious but keeps very well
  • meat falls in the middle
  • fish is as nutritious as meat, but has very high spoil rate in summer
Agricultural land produces vegetables from early summer and grain from midsummer.
When consuming food, the game uses the most perishable food type first: fish, then vegetables, then meat, then grain.
Similarly, buildings need heating. Heating is obtained by consuming burnable material, currently only wood. The amount of heating a building needs per surface depends on the current temperature, which fluctuates along seasonal variations and with altitude.
When burning wood, the game prefers firewood, then the cheapest wood first: pine, then oak, then teak.
Any wood type may be chopped into firewood, for a cost of 5 labour per 100 wood. This allows a player to override the priority in which wood types are used for heating.


Agricultural buildings produce food, which other buildings need in order to stay active. Vegetables and grain may be sown at the right time of the game year, and harvested later. The more time a crop stays growing above a temperature threshold, the more food will be produced when harvested. However, temperatures below the damage threshold will cut that yield. Should the yield reach 0, growth till be prevented for the next 180 blocks. Growing a crop on agricultural land depletes that land's nutrients base for that particular crop, so growing the same crop over and over again will lead to diminishing returns. Nutrients recover yearly. If the building catches fire, any crop is destroyed, but the nutrients will not deplete. Geothermal potential gives a small temperature boost. For every tick an agricultural building is not active while a crop is being grown, the final yield will lose 20%. Farming yield is also affected by how much an agricultural building is south facing.
Vegetables Grain
Sowing season start start of march start of may
Sowing season end mid may mid june
Harvest season start start of may start of august
Harvest season end end of june end of september
Damage temperature < -2° < 0°
Growth temperature > 2° > 5°


Moose and bears roam the wilderness. They can be hunted for food. The higher the population, the more meat a hunt will yield, but the lower the population, the more time it will take for it to grow back. Moose population is larger, and thus moose hunts yied more meat, but if the moose population goes too low to support the bear population, hungry bears will start venturing into town in search of food, causing damage and eating what they can find. Players with military buildings have a large bonus when hunting bears attacking a town, and a small one for hunting bears and moose otherwise. You need to have at least one non-road building (active or not) in a city to hunt in that city.


Fisheries allow boats to go fishing when the fishery owner decides to. The fishing expedition leaves for a set number of game ticks decided at the outset. Fishing costs labour, and will yield some amount of fish after it comes back. The longer the fleet stays out fishing, the more labour will be needed, but the more fish is likely to be caught.
An expedition can choose whether to go fishing in close range waters, far waters, or medium range waters. Far range fishing grounds are shared between all cities, while there is one close fishing grounds per city, which can only be used by fisheries from that city. Medium range fishing grounds are a middle ground: there is one per city, but all cities can use it.
The further the fishing grounds, the larger the fish population, but the more labour is needed. Moreover, as the size and economic power of a fishery increases, the faster fish stock will deplete. As the maximum population of fishing grounds increase with distance, it follows that large powerful fisheries will overfish close fishing grounds very fast.
Fishing grounds replenish with time. The more population in the far range fishing grounds, the faster medium range fishing grounds will grow. The more population in a city's medium range fishing grounds, the faster that city's close range fishing grounds will grow.
Note that fish has a very high spoil rate in the summer.


Some building types have an influence over the surrounding land. Influence is a prerequisite for many other buildings. For example, most buildings need to be within the influence area of an agricultural building, and a residential building takes a penalty from being within the influence of an industrial building. Military buildings are even more complicated: most buildings receive a bonus from being under the influence of one military building, but a penalty if the are under the influence of three or more.

Role Agr. Craft Ind. Com. Bas. Aff. Lux. Mil. Cul. Stone. Sawmill Kiln Smelter Work. Road Research Fishery
Craft N1(¹) B1 B1 B1 B1 B1
Industrial N1(¹) B2 B1 B1 B1 B1 B1 B1 B1 B1 B2
Commercial N1(¹) N1 B1P3 P1
Basic residential P1 B1 B4 B2 B1 B1P3 B2
Affluent residential B1 P3 N1 B3 B1 B1P3 B2 B1 P2
Luxury residential P99 N1 P1 B1P3 B4 B2 P4
Cultural P99 P99 B1 P1
Workforce B4 P2
Research B1 B1 B1P2 B1 B1 B1 B1 B1P3 B1 B1 B1 B1 B1 B1 B1 B2P4
Fishery B3 B1 B1 B1 P99

Nx: needs x buildings of that type
Bx: gets a bonus from every building of that type up to x of them (bonus value depends on the building type)
Px: gets a penalty from every building of that type up to x of them (penalty value depends on the building type)
BxPy: gets a bonus from every building of that type up to x of them, except if there are y or more, in which case it's a penalty per such building

The larger a building's plot and the higher a building's economic power, the larger its influence will be.

For a building to be deemed to be under the influence of a given building type, at least 50% of the building's surface area needs to be within the influence range of any building of the given type.
Similarly, to get double bonus, at least 150% of the tiles should be within the influence or any building of the given type (any tile within the influence of N buildings will count N times), 250% for triple bonus, etc.
(¹) Note that fisheries count as agricultural buildings for the purposes of needed influence. That is, if a building needs influence from an agricultural building, being within the influence of a fishery instead will suffice.

Production and potential

Some building types don't get treasury payouts, but consume and produce resources instead. Production goes up faster than consumption with economic power.
Currently, only stonecutter (producing stone) and sawmill (producing wood) are available. Kiln (producing bricks) and Smelter (producing metal) will be available later on in updates.

Potential has a substantial effect on production. Potential is an inherent property of the land a building is built upon. Some land lends itself well to quarrying stone, some other to wood felling, etc. Building a stonecutter on land that has good stone potential will see better returns. For buildings which generate materials, potential is used to determine the quality mix of the materials. Low potential will yield cheap materials (though in larger quantities) while a high potential will yield smaller quantities of more expensive materials Potential also applies to agricultural land, and stability (which controls how fast a building needs repairs).

Each of stone and wood has three different types. The mix of stone or wood a building produces depends on the building's economic power. Higher economic power skews towards the more expensive types of each. Keep this in mind since building requirements depend on role (basic residential buildings only need the cheapest basic wood type, while affluent residential buildings will also require some more expensive wood type) and on economic power, so it is possible that the market gets a glut of one type of wood and scarcity of another. A canny businessman will see the trends to know what to build.

New buildings have to be built close enough to existing resource generating buildings. For instance, if a new building requires some type of stone, it has to be built close enough to a stonecutter (such proximity rule is waived if building at the center of town, since there are no such building yet). The resource availability distance is the furthest away from a resource generating building that can be built without incurring extra labour cost for resource transportation. Beyond 16 times that distance, you cannot build at all without first building intermediate stonecutters or sawmills.


Roads are simple building types meant to link other flags. They provide bonuses to buildings they touch, and get their own bonus from them. The more buildings a road connects, the higher its return will be.
In order to connect to a building, a road must touch it flush. If the length of the connection is smaller than 8 squares, the connection will be more fragile and the bonuses will fall. Commercial buildings get more bonus if they have more connection length with the road, up to 20 tiles, since window browsing space attracts more customers. Affluent and luxury residential buildings get a slightly better bonus if they're on the north side of the road, as the world is in the northern hemisphere, so free space on the south side to let the sun through benefits them. If the difference between a building's economic power and the road's economic power is larger than 50%, then a connection will not be made, even if they two flags touch each other.
Different building types contribute more less to a road's shares, from 40% for agricultural buildings to 150% for commercial buildings. Otherwise, the shares a building contributes to a road is proportional to its area and economic power.
Roads spanning a gully can be used as bridges and thus get an extra bonus. If two or more roads are close to one another, only the oldest one will get a bridge bonus. Bridges crossing water get even more bonus.
Roads connecting to other roads get a bonus based on the surrounding roads' bonuses.
Different building types get more or less affected by road bonuses. Commercial buildings get the most effect, while agricultural ones the least:

Role Bonus
Agricultural 0%
Craft 110%
Industrial 50%
Commercial 150%
Basic residential 100%
Affluent residential 115%
Luxury residential 140%
Military 80%
Cultural 120%
Stonecutter 80%
Sawmill 80%
Kiln 80%
Smelter 80%
Workforce 80%
Road -
Research 85%
Fishery 30%

3D world

Townforge allows players to give a shape to their creations. A block based 3D world show the city and the buildings it contains. Players may freely build on their flags using the budget they already paid for when they setup their building. This is intended to provide an outlet for creativity, and is not needed in order to participate in the economic game. It is nonetheless encouraged, and may be involved in some kind of voting/competition mechanic later on.
To help different buildings keep a similar scale, a block is meant to be about a foot (30 cm) in each direction. Thus, a typical residential door will be 7 blocks high.
Building is done by pressing Q to place a block where the turquoise cursor is or E to remove a block where from red cursor is (move the mouse to move those cursors). The block type to use can be selected by clicking on the player or flag inventories, pressing TAB (if the GUI is not focused or by pressing X to open the material selection HUD and using the arrow keys to navigate, releasing X when done.
Key bindings may be changed in the options menu.
While building, all blocks are kept locally, and will only be submitted to the blockchain once "Approve" is clicked.
You can move and look around the world using the arrows keys, WASD keys, page up/down and by moving the mouse while the right button is pressed. Pressing control slows down movement speed, while pressing shift speeds it up.
Placing a block incurs labour cost as well as the block placed. The higher the block, the more labour cost is incurred. There are currently no architectural/structural rules, so building hovering blocks is possible. It is not encouraged.
Models in the vox format may be imported and exported. This format is from Magica Voxel, which runs on Windows. Note that if you build a model with Magica Voxel, you should match the colour indices to the Townforge material indices (ie, pine is 1, oak is 2, teak is 3, sandstone is 4, granite is 5, marble is 6).
To find your (or others') buildings, you can double click on a building in the player info dialog or the game tick events dialog. The camera will automatically switch to a free camera.
Players may name particular areas of the world. Mayors may name any area within their city. Other players may name any area that is within 5000 tiles of any of their building. To name an area, select it, and click on "Name place". More complex shapes may be achieved by creating several named areas with the same name. Concave shapes can be achieved by naming areas with an empty name on top of the area to carve.
It is not possible to name an area that intersects with another named by another player, unless you are the mayor of the town.
Every game tick, a random place is drawn to receive a bonus of 0.2% of the last subsidy, known as "Odin's bounty". This place is selected by randomly picking squares until one lands in a named place, or until enough attempts have been made without finding a place. Squares nearer city centers have a higher chance of being selected, while squares further away than about 54000 squares from city centers will never be selected. If a place is selected, the namer of the place will receive 5% of the 0.2% payout, while the remaining 95% will be distributed to the owners of all active buildings in that place, weighted by their area within the place. If there are no buildings in the place, the remainder goes to the namer of the place.

User textures

Players may add ther own textures to the game, to be used on their 3D models.
Other players may licence those textures for use on their own buildings too. This provides a way for artistically minded players to get another income stream.
Creating a new texture costs 5 gold, and licencing a texture costs 0.5 gold. This means that as soon as 10 or more players licence a texture, the creation cost is repaid.
The maximum number of textures a player can create is limited by the player's level as well as the number, size and economic power of the player's active cultural buildings at creation time.

User interface

The UI is contained in a shadable widget that can be moved around by dragging it around and resized by clicking on the bottom right corner when it is opened. While some of it can be used in spectator mode, you will need to have a game account before being able to use much of it. Among other things, the camera mode can be changed to a free camera by selecting the desired mode in the Commands menu. The UI's contents may be panned with the mouse if they extend past the size of the actual widget.

Control is by mouse and keyboard. Right click with the mouse to rotate the view, left click to select tiles. Left click on the sky to deselect.
Key mappings:

Mouse Look around
Page up Move up (in free camera mode)
Page down Move down (in free camera mode)
W move forward
A move left
S move backward
D move right
Escape close dialog, or open options
~ open/close in-game chat
F switch to free camera mode or back to walker mode
O switch to orbit camera mode or back to walker mode
TAB cycle through available building block types
Q Place a block at the blue mouse cursor location
E Remove a block at the red mouse cursor location
P Select material from the tile under the cursor
X Open the material selection HUD
Z Add blocks on selected tiles
G Add flat layer of blocks on selected tiles
C Remove blocks on selected tiles
V Remove top level blocks on selected tiles
B Toggle Minecraft style build mode
J Jump to the selected building
[ Jump to previous building (of the same role if shift pressed)
] Jump to next building (of the same role if shift pressed)
L Toggle user light source
T Open the trade screen
N Open the news screen
+ Open all UI panel sections
- Close all UI panel sections
F3 Search flags by name
F10 Open the player info screen
F11 Toggle fullscreen
F12 Toggle UI panel open/closed
Shift Increase motion speed while held
Control Decrease motion speed while held


Research allows a player to make discoveries. Discoveries have a variety of effects, but a typical effect is to provide a bonus of some sort. For example, the "improved plough" discovery gives a 2% bonus in harvest yield for all the player's agricultural buildings.
Many discoveries yield a patent. The patent takes the form of an item that is freely tradable on the open market, and it is this item which provides the benefit. So if the player making the "improved plough" discovery has no agricultural buildings, they may decide to sell the patent to their discovery to someone for whom it will be much more lucrative. Upon a discovery, the discoverer receives 10 patent items. Anyone in possession of one of them will benefit from the discovery. Possessing more than one item for a given patent gives no benefit over possessing just one.
Discoveries are made by paying towards research on a particular subject. Every discovery has a difficulty, which represents an estimation of how much research will have to be made before the discovery is made. Paying towards research gives you a certain chance of making that discovery. The more is paid for research, the higher the chance of discovery. The higher the difficulty, the lower the chance. The difficulty of a discovery goes down with time, as well as with money already spent on research. So if a discovery seems too dear to research, waiting will bring it down to affordable levels, if someone else doesn't beat you to the punch.
Patents last a limited time. After 15 game years (105 days in real time), though this might change in the future), everyone gets the benefit of the discovery for which a patent was awarded. This will prevent the first discoverer from obtaining an advantage leading to a snowball effect, leaving others unable to ever catch up.
Some discoveries can only be researched once other prerequisite discoveries are discovered. When all prerequisites of a discovery are discovered, anyone may start researching that newly unlocked discovery, not only the person who discovered the last prerequisite.
Research buildings provide a bonus to research, essentially making discoveries cheaper for the owner of those buildings. The owner of a research building may also decide to provide this bonus as a service for a fee. A player may pay another player's research building to provide a bonus to research a particular discovery. Once a research building has performed this service, its bonus giving ability will be temporarily cut and it will recover its full bonus power over time.
The bonus given by a research building's increases with the building's size and economic power. Also, large amounts of research funding will need a larger building to get a full bonus.
More discoveries will be added later on, possibly in conjunction with storytelling.

Special events

Special events are temporary alterations to game rules which happen randomly at a game tick boundary. Some events have good or bad effect, providing interest and potential hooks for storytelling. Special events include fire (there will be new discoveries providing protection against fire), time limited bonuses for some types of buildings (bumper harvest increase influence of agricultural buildings), epidemics causing lower payouts for some building types, strikes causing labour shortages, social unrest causing damage to buildings not near a military building, festival increasing cultural building payouts, floods causing water levels to rise, etc. Special events are localized to a particular town. To see whether a special event is currently active in town, see the "Town" section in the UI. If a special event is active, there will also be a "?" button to get more information about it. There cannot be more than one special event active in a given town at the same time.

Fires are a particuarly special kind of special event. When a fire breaks out, military buildings act as firefighters, and can attempt to put a fire out. If a burning building is within 350% of a military building's influence, anyone can pay it to fight the fire. The larger and the higher economic power a military building, the stronger its fire fighting capability. The larger a burning building, the harder the fire is to put out. Once a military building has tried to put a fire out, whether succesfully or not, its firefighting efficiency drops to 20%, and will grow back to 100% over a period of almost a game tick cycle. If a fire is put out for a building, that building will not burn again until the end of the fire event. The fire has a chance to stop at every game tick. If the building drops to 0 repair before the fire is extinguished or fizzles out, it is destroyed.


In addition to construction materials such as stone and wood, various types of items exist in Townforge. Most are predefined, but players may also define their particular choice of items. Those can then be used, given, traded as other items. Possible uses for these player defined items include in-game company shares, lottery tickets. Note that since player defined items are custom, any promise made by players which does not rely on game mechanics relies on trust in that player (for example, if Alice creates a new "Alice Corp" item with 100 instances, then game mechanics ensure no more than 100 instances will ever exist, that players may trade these items. But if Alice says she will pay monthly dividends from her in game "Alice Corp" company, the game cannot and will not enforce payment of these dividends.

Non Fungible Tokens may be created, and linked to arbitrary data stored on IPFS. The item creation form allows selecting a file to upload to IPFS, the hash to which will be stored in the item data on the blockchain. The game only supports displaying some types of image, including PNG and JPEG. Remember that these images are user created, and their creator is potentially malicious.
Townforge will keep that data pinned for a few days after item creation. Beyond this, the item creator (or current owner, or anyone else) has to keep running the IPFS daemon or use an external pinning service to keep the data available.

A player may define items groups. Item groups are items themselves, but with no actual instances created. Any player defined item may optionally be set to belong to a group created by the same player. This may be used to group similar items, for instance to create non fungible items (ie, create a "Animal figurines" group, then two non group items "Cow" and "Pony", each with just one instance). Grouped items may have an amount greater than one, to enable collections. Note that the number of items in a group can go up, even though the number of items of a non group type cannot, since new item types may be created in a group. Item groups may be private of public. If public, anyone can create new items in this group. If private, only the creator of the group may do so.

Player created items may contain some amount of gold in them. This gold will be recovered if the item is destroyed (minus a small smelting fee). Items with gold contribute to increasing the owner's prestige score.

Some items bring extra prestige with them. These will usually be storyline related items, awarded via storyline scripts. Similarly, some items give bonuses for buildings of a certain type. Players may not imbue their custom items with extra prestige or role bonuses.

Collectible coins are a special type of item. New coin designs are created to mark various game events and any player may mint one or more by supplying the gold necessary for the item. Collectible coins are available for minting for a period of one game year (a real week) after they are first introduced. After this period, the only way to obtain this coin is the peer to peer markets. A collectible coin may be smelted at any time to recover the gold (but if the minting window is over, may not be turned back into the original coin). Players receive a randomly selected coin when joining the game. These are not mintable, and the only way to get the ones you do not receive upon joining is to buy one of another player.

Some items may be assigned from the player's inventory to buildings:

    • construction materials: to build larger 3D models
      labour: to build larger 3D models
      firewood: to prioritize heating this building if short of heating materials
      food: to prioritize feeding this building if short of food
      gemstones: to give this building bonuses depending on the particular gemstone
      items giving a bonus to this building type
  • Construction materials and labour assigned to the flag may not be retrieved. All other items may be retrieved at will. Note that when demolishing a building, a player recovers part of the building materials. If the building is destroyed by letting its condition drop to zero, any item left inside are destroyed, though any gold in such items will be automatically smelted and added back to the owner's balance. If the whole flag is removed due to defaulting on taxes, any item left inside is moved back to the owner's inventory.

    Badges, levels, prestige, role playing and attributes

    Badges are a way to track a player's progress through the game. Badges track a particular metric (for instance, the number of buildings a player has) and have a level from 1 to 5. The better you score in a particular badge's metric, the high level you will obtain for this badge.
    Badges are what determine a player's level, giving a numeric value to the player's progression through the game. As a player obtains more and higher level badges, the player's level will increase. At each level, the player may allocate a point to an attribute of their choosing. Some building material variants and chat colours become unlocked at certain levels.
    Prestige is a score calculated from players' precious items, such as collectible coins and gemstones and badges. Coin rarity (ie, how many coins of a given design exist) is the main driver of prestige for coins, with coin age and number of coins owned also having some impact. 0.5% of the the game subsidy goes to the players with the most prestige. Each full set of coins in a runic cycle (a period of 19 years) gives additional bonuses, as does owning at least one of each type of the major gemstone (amethyst, sapphire, emerald, ruby, diamond). Core badges (ie, not the ones awarded for role playing) and up to 5 event badges give a small prestige bonus. The set of new player coins gives an additional bonus. The genesis coin also gives an extra bonus.
    Attributes are role playing style facets of the player, which are dynamically defined by the game account which runs role playing events. These are intended to add some extra interest in the game not stemming directly from the economy mechanics. Those attributes are in turn used in role playing events to influence outcomes of storylines.
    While most badges are managed by consensus, the game account can create new badge types, which will be awarded to players who participate in optional role playing sessions.
    Attributes currently have no effect on the game mechanics.

    Auctions and mortgages

    Flags (whether with a building on them or not) and sets of items may be auctioned. Auctions take place over a time of 2 to 14 days, at the seller's option. Auctions are driven by the game, so bids and the sale are automatic and atomic. If any bid happens too close to the end of the auction, the end is pushed back by another game tick (auctions always end on game ticks). If the seller wants to have a minimum sell price, the seller should bid that price themselves, so they'll basically buy back their own auctioned property if noone bids higher.
    Auctions may be created either for a flag or for a set of items. In the latter case, several items of different types may be sold as a slot (for instance, a set of collectible coins).
    A flag can be mortgaged. This allows a player to raise money from other players in a semi trustless way, since mortgage repayments will be automatic. A mortgage's repayment schedule can be configured by the mortgage issuer on its creation. Once created, the stated repayments (which can be made in gold or other items) will happen at every game tick. Should the creditor not have enough balance to meet a payment, the mortgaged building will be automatically taken by the game and put on auction for a week. Proceeds from the sale will then be distributed to creditors. Any leftover will be given back to the mortgage issuer.
    To avoid order spam, there is a small fee for creating an auction as well as for bidding.
    Note that when a flag is being auctioned or mortgaged, the actions you can perform on that flag are curtailed, to avoid abuse. Such actions include selling, giving, retrieving items, demolishing a building, etc.


    Townforge supports in game scripting, which is used for storytelling and world building purposes, allowing players to play through stories designed by the game designers. Scripts can have effects on players, but cannot create gold or items at will. Anything a player gains will be transfered from the game account. If the game account does not have enough inventory, the script will not start.
    Players can also use this scripting capability in a very limited way. Any level 5+ player may place a runestone anywhere in a building, and attach a message, a script, or both. Other players clicking on this runestone will see the message, and have the option to start the script. To avoid abuse, styling will be enabled only for the current city's mayor and the game account. Additionally, the mayor of a city may enable styling in their city for any account they choose.
    To prevent abuse, players may not write their own scripts directly. Instead, they can submit their script for approval to a game designer, who will vet those scripts first (typically for a fee depending on the script's complexity). Once those scripts are vetted, they can be used on a runestone. It will also be possible to a player to write a complex script, get it vetted, then allow other players to pay the writer a fee to use it.
    Since scripts are state machines with arbitrary branching, it is possible to create scripts that never finish, or do not do what they claim to, thereby defrauding another player. This is why scripts must be vetted before being allowed in game. Automated countermeasures are possible, and may be employed in the future, which would allow any player to write their own scripts directly. However, this is not a certainty.


    Leaderboards track various statistics. It is possible that some small amount of the treasury will be distributed to those at the top of at least some of them.

    Abuse mitigation

    Townforge uses an advisory ignore system. Since this is a multiplayer game where players can add their own content, it is bound to attract people wanting to be jerks. To mitigate this, Townforge maintains a list of players, items, cities and flags that should be ignored by default. Maintaining this list is one of the few powers that the game account holds.
    Being on the ignore list means the game will not display the ignored entity (for example, for a flag, the flag's name will be replaced by a placeholder and its 3D representation will not be shown onscreen). This has no effect on the game mechanics, that is, ignored players, items, etc function in exactly the same way whther they are on the ignore list or not. If you want to ignore the ignore list, since it is advisory, you can either elect to show everything, or maintain your own ignore list.
    What will end up on the default ignore list will necessarily be subjective, but harassment, nazi references, illegal things will most likely end up in there.
    The ignore list is a two way street. It is possible to get off it. If you consider this to be intolerable censorship of your god given rights to be an asshole, go make your own game.


    Townforge is a blockchain based game. The entire game state is stored on the chain. This brings advantages (protection against exit scam, against abuse of power by the game author) but also drawbacks (the need to wait for a block for every action to be recorded on the blockchain).
    The blockchain is based on Monero, so a lot of things will be very similar to Monero. In particular, non-game transactions benefit for Monero style privacy. In game transactions are public, however. Everyone will know that game character Alice just built a new house on that location, with those settings, etc. However, Noone knows who plays Alice, since gameplay happens through blockchain transactions. However, Alice might have more than one character, and nobody will know, assuming she does not do things like giving all of a character's money to the other. It is what the Internet was meant to be: somewhere you can live in without having to constantly show papers.
    Note that the daemon the game connects to will know which player the game controls. As with Monero, you are supposed to use your own daemon.
    Technically, the block target time is thirty seconds. The emission curve is similar to Monero's starting off at about 17 coins per block and decreasing till a floor of 0.5 gold a block, or 1 gold a minute, where tail emission starts. This makes the tail emission about 50% higher than Monero's.
    Game transactions are much smaller that normal transactions. 100 bytes is typical, compared to 2.5 kB for out of game transactions. This is what you get for eschewing privacy (after all, you need people to see your buildings to build a city). Note that in game transactions do not compromise the privacy pool of normal out of game transactions since the in game accounts are balance based, not output based.
    Townforge can be merge mined with Monero, or separately.
    The decentralized marketplace is implemented by transactions which get publicized on the txpool, and mined when they're matched with another.
    A huge number of consensus changes were made: all the game specific rules are consensus changes. These changes have not received anywhere near the scrutiny a Monero consensus change would receive. Since markets allow items, buildings etc to be turned to and from money, this means that there is a non trivial chance that there may be a bug which affects balances. Money supply looks unlikely to be affected, though. This is a game first, and a currency second. Treat is as such.
    Townforge will not be a static game. There will be changes to the game as it runs its course. Some of these changes will be to consensus rules. While the emission will not change, other things might, such as the price of last resort materials, the land tax function, cost of new land, etc. These and others may need changing based on seeing how the game economy behaves with many players.