It’s not often that playing a game results in a revelation. Usually the thought processes that occur while sat at a computer go little further than “there’s no way that guy shot me!” or “why the hell can’t I build any more tanks?” and let’s not forget the classic “ooh, that was a pretty explosion!”. But playing The Settlers 7 made me realise something that is all too often ignored in our modern world of immediacy and convenience. Put simply, bread is a real bitch to make.
To start with, you need space, a large amount of empty space on which to build a farm. Then you need grain fields, because it’s no good having fields full of grass. You can’t make bread out of grass, at least, none you would want to eat. Next you need a windmill… Wait, sorry I missed a step. Next you need workers for your grain fields, which means building some houses for them to live in, which in turn means you need a quarry and a woodcutter’s lodge to provide building materials. Oh yeah, and a sawmill to turn your wood-cuttings into planks. In fact, it might be an idea if you build all of those things first, because a farm made out of sticks and dandelions probably won’t last long. Once you’ve done all that, then you can build a windmill. Finally, unless you enjoy the taste of unprocessed flour, you need a baker to turn all that hard work into that most basic of foodstuffs. Told you it wasn’t easy.