I've actually been working on the game a lot lately, and talking to Ex-B about it.
Right now I'm working on sorting out the database infrastructure for the towns and villages and buildings so they'll work in a totally awesome and organic way ('cause I got fed up with the static way the towns I got are operating when I finished the weapons and armor stuff and I started messing with the merchants).
I wanna make it like this:
At some level, your Wizard gets granted the right to build his own Wizard Tower out in the wilderness somewhere.
And then a village will grow around the base of your Wizard Tower, sorta like a lawn ornament, at first.
But since you can upgrade your Tower into a Fort, and your Fort into a Fortress, and your Fortress into a Castle, and since the Hamlet at its feet also has all sorts of upgrades (like irrigation and pig farms and silver mines and whatever), which will make it attract and keep more villagers, which will eventually make your Hamlet Lawn Ornament upgrade from a Hamlet to a Village to a Town to a City, capable of holding more buildings at each stage along the way (which may be used for special upgrades, like an Inn and a Bank, or may be used for houses for your other characters, or characters of your buddies (although I'm not exactly sure if that's all that great, unless you need a high level wizard in a town to have a Great Library or something, which is used as a prerequisite for something else, or something like that).
And the villagers will go out every day and make whatever they make, and some of 'em will travel to nearby towns and trade the stuff their village makes for the stuff their village needs, and that gives me hooks for escort quests and stuff like that, where you, being the Big Hero Guy, need to keep the frontier safe for your little pets.
And it also sets the economic stage for players that wanna do the Rogue Trader caravan runs and help villages out while making moolah and fighting monsters along the way.
And maybe you'll be able to invest in things like road-building, between your village and the nearest Big City, and upgrade that to a railway systyem or add road wardens or something to it, or set aside money from your treasury to pay player adventurers to do stuff like that for you, and every time a thing like that is accomplished, it lowers the chance that there'll be a bad encounter in the future (sorta like completing the "patrol quest" for your fort would make the area safer for a while).
And I definitely wanna make it so that you can schedule things, for when you know you ain't gonna be playing for a while, so you can tell your villagers to only dare a trip to town when you are around to escort them, or set a list of upgrades you want 'em to do, in a certain order, by pulling money of the treasury.
This is all easy and fun programming stuff, its just a lot of easy stuff to hold in your head all at once, and I need to think it all out so that I make sure I don't forget any of the fields I need in the tables heh.
Y'know, just from the crap I been talking about so far, I know I need to keep track of the treasury, the tax rate, the population, the health and productivity and morale of the population, the things it needs, the things it wants (once its got all the things it needs heh), the stuff it makes, the stuff it needs to make the stuff it makes, the stuff its "merchant" is moving back and forth between the Big City and the Village, the stuff in the village storehouse, the upgrades it has, both for your Tower, as a building, and the Village, as a Town, the state of the upgrades (as far as how completed they are), the slots for adding more buildings to your Village (which are separate from upgrades, although they might be occupied by certain village upgrades, 'cause some of those are buildings), and a bunch of attribute slots I can use to store things like the "danger level" crap that gets set from doing patrol and escort quests for the village.
And some other stuff I'm probably forgetting or haven't even thought of yet.
Like making the first upgrades be made out of wood, and require wood, instead of just money from the treasury, which would be handy for a lumber town that produces wood and just kinda cool all around for trader types.
Or, if you are lazy, you can just pay for everything, but I can still calculate the price dynamically dependent on the wood supply, by forcing your villagers to actually get the wood (and tools and whatever else it takes to complete the upgrade) from somewhere.
This is all fundamental stuff to my game, 'cause I want my "starter city" to work like all the other cities, for the most part (although it'll probably have a few more failsafes and cheats in it than normal, I'd like to keep that kinda junk to a minimum).