What is this game exactly? What other games is it like?

Dream Engines: Nomad Cities is a survival city-building game with a player-controlled avatar. It combines base-building and automation mechanics from games like Factorio, survival base-defense elements from games like They are Billions, and action-RPG style exploration and combat. All this with our own unique twist of entire cities lifting into the air and flying.

Does having a player avatar make this an action game?

It is primarily a city building and management game. However, due to the unique twist of having your city fly from area to area, there is also plenty of exploration, searching for resources, and action-RPG style fighting to be done. The fighting is fairly simple and more reliant on equipment than skill in action games, but it's still an integral part of the game.

How similar is this to Factorio and They are Billions?

There are similarities to both, but it's also very different. Resource production does use automation and transport-line mechanics similar to Factorio, but their level of complexity is lower. It's also similar to They are Billions in that you have to build defenses and keep your city safe, but it's not an RTS game, you don't have free camera and you don't control any units. You defend your city using Tiny, your steam-bot avatar and by building defenses.

Can you pause and move the camera freely?

In short - yes. Originally you had to move Tiny in order to see different parts of the map, but in one of the early access updates, due to popular demand, we added a way to switch from character control to overseer mode, which lets you pause the game, speed it up, and move the camera freely when managing your city. For those up to the challenge, some difficulty settings disable these features and then you really feel the pressure of hte Dream Plagues breathing down your spine.

Can you upgrade or replace Tiny?

Tiny is the only Avatar, but you can upgrade him through a skill-tree like mechanic and also craft new equipment. Making Tiny stronger as you progress is crucial for surviving in the later parts of the game.

How does the flying part work?

The main game takes place with your city landed, where you can build within it, expand it, build on the land around it, and explore your surroundings to find and exploit resources. As long as the city is landed, enemies will raid it in increasing numbers. Eventually, their numbers will be more than you can handle, at which point you will have no choice but to fly away, or risk being destroyed.
Once you fly away, you will choose a new area to land in, each one procedurally generated, where you will begin anew but everything you built within the city before will still be with you, as well as all your construction materials, research progress, equipment, and other upgrades. The game spans over many landing zones until you either manage to win the game by completing the story missions, or your city is destroyed.

Are all the maps the same?

Not at all. Each landing zone is procedurally generated, and there are several different biomes that affect the visual appearance, the available resources, and other gameplay elements. In addition, each one of the landing zones that you can choose from has different random traits that can have a variety of effects on your next landing, and which can significantly affect your strategy for the next map. All these make each playthrough a whole different challenge.

Can I just relax and play creatively?

We have many difficulty customization options, including modes that completely disable raids on your city or the world difficulty increasing over time - which allows for more relaxed and creative gameplay. Keep in mind, however, that the game was primarily designed as a survival experience.

How long does the game take?

A single playthrough can take upwards of twenty hours before you can beat the game, and that is assuming you already know what you're doing. Difficulty customization and unlocking additional tribes to play with allow for even more replay value, and more content will be added throughout the early access.

What kind of cool things can we find when exploring the area around the city?

Other than lots of Dream Plagues trying to devour you and your city, you'll find resource nodes to exploit, debris that you can scavenge, and ancient ruins that you can interact with to craft unique equipment or scavenge for even more loot.

Is there modding?

Yes, there is modding support in the game. You can find more information in our wiki.

Will there be multiplayer?

No, this is a single-player game with no plans for adding multiplayer support at the moment.