GoldStruck is a project in collaboration with cookiemonger.

> examine ranch house

You scroll around the in-game map. Your exploration is limited by the FOG OF WAR that shrouds the area beyond the RANCH HOUSE. You surmise that you will need to send a SCOUT or build SOME KIND OF TOWER in order to reveal more of the map.

The RANCH HOUSE appears to be at the center of the map, surrounded by an ORCHARD with a SIMPLE ROAD that connects it with the dark world around it.

You center the game map on the RANCH HOUSE and ZOOM IN. The roof and walls cut away to reveal the interior, which is ironically full of ROOSTERS for some reason. You immediately think of LANEY’S SISTER, and laugh to yourself. There is a YOUNG WOMAN at a computer in what appears to be a STUDY.

> order woman to explore

You try to issue a move order to the YOUNG WOMAN at the computer, but appear unable to interact directly with the in-game characters.

You locate a list of in-game units, complete with health bars and more indecipherable icons. You aren’t sure what to make of them.

Maybe there’s something you can build that will help?

> what can i build

That sounds like a question, but who are you asking?

> build something

You try to place several objects on the map with little success. You grow frustrated and consult the game’s documentation. After several minutes of searching, you intuit that the majority of the game’s buildings must be placed underground. With a game about digging, you would think that would have been more obvious.

To be able to build underground however, you must place a MINE ENTRANCE and then somehow excavate the area from the entrance. You wonder if it wouldn’t be simpler to start the player off underground and excavating rather than forcing them to build an entrance, but maybe there’s another reason for including the surface.

You place a MINE ENTRANCE near the RANCH HOUSE, and a new icon appears in the user interface. The new icon allows you to scroll through various floors. Currently there are two floors, including the SURFACE.

Well, now you’re playing! What will you do now?