Play as a fledgling tribe who needs to harvest resources as they develop and work to build a great monument.

Manage your tribe:

  • Gather resources
  • Construct huts
  • Research tech
  • Build the monument

Made for Ludum Dare 52 with the theme of 'Harvest'

Andrew Donnermeyer - Programming, Art, Design
Jacob Donnermeyer - Music, Sounds, Design


The Gatherers (Windows).zip 37 MB


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I really like this game. Good work and thank you for uploading!

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Soooo I kept thinking this was a loading issue on my end, and some quirk of Unity. But in case it is a bug, I have loads where the starting cycles for the fastest build/harvests take two seconds, and where they take one to nearly two minutes. And the buffs don't seem to make a substantial difference either way. 

So in the slow cases, those games take 10-11 minutes at my quickest hack. Or there's  the speedy ones that take 5-7 minutes, and that's with everything producing so fast that I lose all my mined stones from overflow and had to start from scratch* at the last moment. And right now my connection keeps cutting out and I have a ton of programs and tabs running concurrently. So it can't be on my end. That is... a significant discrepancy in gameplay. *If I'd started over mining on a 'slow' load, that would've taken nearly 12-13 minutes.

I say 'loads' bc this one has been sitting in tab for my whole session, and it's still fast. If I were to reload, I might get another fast one. Or more likely it would be molasses.

Thanks for letting us know about this!

Definitely something we'll look into and sort out if we get to continue working on this project.


It feels so promising! I really wish you continue working it out and adding to it! Pleease (:

Thank you for such a nice comment!

It's definitely a project we plan on continuing after we finish our current project.


Please tell me you haven't forgotten!


We haven't forgotten! Our current project (Castle Constructor) is nearing completion and once that is done we will be taking a look at this again to see about improving and extending it to a full length game.



I don't know what a full version of this game looks like, but if this was the demo, I'd buy it. 

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Thank you that's so encouraging!

We're thinking a kinda through the ages format for a full version. There would be new webs/tech trees for each age. Prehistory > Early agriculture > City State > etc....


Fun! hope it gets updates!

Thanks! We have a lot of ideas for updates, hopefully we'll have time to do them soon!

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Enjoyed this a lot! Not having clear spots to put people stymied me for a second, but I think a little flashing indicator would clear that up, I do like the aesthetic of *not* having cubicle type jobs. It seems more true to life. You just do the job that needs doing next. btw your farthest lake on the left is off the screen in regular mode.

Edit: first a couple of picks. I really think the elders are requiring two wood too many. On a speedrun I'd have to open three areas before I can get to the elders, who hold the exploring bonus. It's unbalanced. Also there is an issue with the game not actually restarting a new run, or zooming in and then getting stuck instead of loading.

That said, this is a brilliant game in its simplicity. It demonstrates how peoples have been rotating hunting and gathering grounds, how to allocate resources, how the same people fulfill different roles. Even a little feel for how seasonality works, without any artificial four-seasons set changes. This is all in direct contrast to what capitalism has wrought of our segmented, consume-till-it's-gone-and-move-on system. It makes the player apply thought and balance - why cut more wood when there's no need for it? The direct result is a naturally forested environment that's ready for future harvesting. It's also an economy that shifts *back* to food production, instead of 'progressing' into making objects no one needs. 

Rearrange this into more of a vertical format - mobile users will love you - and you'll have an easy winner.

Thank you for playing our game and for such a nice and constructive comment!

I agree about the balance, it's something that's going to take continued refinement. And thank you for letting us know about the problem with restarting.

I'm glad you enjoyed the theme of the game. That contrast between our current lives and the lives of hunter-gatherers is something that really comes through in the gameplay and I also really like that about the game.

For future plans for the game we're contemplating additional ages after the hunter-gathers such as early agriculture and then city-states with the same worker placement and research mechanics plus some new ones. Trying to design those while being true to the reality that many of those "advancements" weren't much of an advancement at all in terms human wellbeing (in fact they were a detriment) is definitely something I want to accomplish. 

Another option for expanding the game would be simply a bigger version of the hunter-gathers tree. One that leaves them there, satisfied as hunter-gatherers and avoiding the western centric view that sees them as just a primitive stage in human advanced. A view I think we'd both agree is totally incorrect.

A vertical format could be a bit of a challenge but I think I agree that this would feel great on mobile!

Anyway, thanks for your thoughtful comment!


You're welcome, I'm one of those who finds these relaxing. I beg you to keep a short mode available, a ten minute bite is so, so nice for a sim.
There are enough gameplay branches just from this that it's entertaining. (I despise math but sometimes math is good to me, haha.)

I recommend looking into communities which were not driven by wealth accumulation, especially indigenous ones which managed entire environments to live *inside and alongside*, and well. Unless there was a war on, the city-states were abandoned because they just didn't work out in the long run. Kind of the antithesis of most sim games!

One really interesting feature is the fire in the center, which actually connects to a lot of ancient religions. Not the, ah, granola cottagecore set, but more that everything was a gift that was to be sacrificed first, and then partaken of. It's hard to describe? We tend not to have a frame-of-reference when we're so removed from food production. But it's pretty common in the old religions. And fire is a repeating theme there; I dunno if it was deliberate here, but I liked the echo! (Unfortunately, while there's many sources on those, do keep an eye out for the authoritarian types when digging through them. I mean, besides the personal harm, their injected 'philosophies' could also affect your gameplay criteria.

Another possible twist is are they nomadic? If they are, they're not building permanent structures. Now that would be ambitious, to have both available paths.

If you do want to up the ante on complexity, without making it an accumulation thing - I recommend trade. There was a lot more cooperation among different peoples than really expected. I still get excited when people find sea shells from thousands of miles away - the beads! I mean wow, the beads. Because that means extensive trade networks were totally normal, even among 'primitive' peoples. Cooperation was *normal*. (And besides, as I noted in some other sim games, without preservation methods, you couldn't hoard perishables. If we changed all the billionaires' legal tender to dried salmon and pemmican, they would not be keeping it that long.) 
I'm no expert, btw just enthused.

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We'll definitely keep this version on the game up! If we continue to develop it we'll make sure the OG version is always available.

That's really interesting about the fire. We put that in the center just because it seemed liked a natural thing for the whole web to be built around.

The nomadic idea is a very interesting one. One concept I was contemplating was two different versions for the Agricultural stage, one with stationary agriculturalist and one for nomadic herds-people. How exactly that would work mechanically idk but I agree it could be very interesting!

Trade is a great idea and something I would like to add also. It could work like something to do with surplus resources. Say trading ten foodstuffs for a set of beads. 

I agree about the perishable nature of accumulation in previous modes of production. Wouldn't it be nice if billionaires' wealth was perishable! 

You've piqued my interest in these prehistoric societies. There's a lot there to inspire some features and mechanics if we find time to work more on the game!