Soren Johnson has written another blog post about how the different yields in Old World were developed, and what considerations the developers had.
“In contrast, Civ has relied on a much more abstract model that shifts around from game to game. In Civs 1 & 2, resources like Iron and Stone were turned into generic “production” which just determines how fast anything can be built. Civs 3 & 4 made resources national booleans which turned certain units on or off (no Chariots without Horses). Civs 5 & 6 went further by allowing only X units per resource. (Only Gathering Storm added a true stockpile.) These systems avoided a stockpile model because it felt too awkward in a game about all of world history. Old World can get away with just Food, Iron, Stone, and Wood because they will all be relevant throughout the game. Civ needs to make Iron and Copper and Horses matter but also Saltpeter and Oil and Rubber. Keeping the list from exploding (and minimizing obsolete entries) was certainly a fear I had as a designer.”
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