Our power storages do more than just store power. They also reset the additional power cost for buildings more than two tiles from a power plant, which is a pretty easy concept to grasp in our game. And a power storage has access to all the power you have, even if it is not connected to a power plant, which is much harder concept to grasp in Powargrid. I wrote an earlier blog post about the design decisions that went into this choice.
Unfortunately we found, in our (still limited) playtesting, that the concept of power storages that get power 'magically beamed' to them was too confusing for our test subjects (read: our friends during a LAN party at my place). The strange thing is that none of them have ever found it the least bit strange that in games like Supreme Commander power AND metal get magically beamed between buildings and moving units. The difference of course is that Powargrid only lets you build in places where you have power, not wherever you have an engineer or some such.
That initially lead us to the depressing conclusion that the confusion is something inherent in the mechanics we designed, which would mean that the problem is unsolvable without changing those mechanics. But since such a change would add a lot of unfun to Powargrid, this is not a road we're willing to follow.
Eventually it dawned on us that there IS something in a name and that changing the name could make the whole thing less confusing, even though a power storage would explode as sweet by any other name. The name power storage implies not only that it stores power, but also that it can be emptied. So we decided to change the name to substation. We hope that with this much more general name, the functions of the substation will become more intuitive to grasp. Only testing will tell.
The names have been changed in the missions (though not yet in the build on the site). Turned out that doing so was very little work, even though I had to rewrite parts of dialogues here and there. The hard part was actually making the decision. The hardest part will be to stop referring to power storages.
We're Michiel and Willem. Hi!