Jobs are a very important part of Goblin Camp; after all, they’re how everything in and around the camp gets done! That’s why managing your jobs is a key skill in playing the game.
Your goblins aren’t stupid. Or, well, everything is relative, of course. But when they know how to make something, they understand how to get the components they need for it. So for example, suppose you go to the stock manager and order up some digging sticks. This generates jobs at the carpenter and requires branches. If there aren’t enough branches in storage, goblins know they can get branches from trees, so in that cases, jobs are also generated to cut down the required amount of trees, and then carry those branches to the carpenter.
But that’s not all. Goblins are also tidy creatures, who don’t like to leave things just lying around. If there’s room in an appropriate storage, they’ll also try to store any extra branches or logs left over from the woodcutting. So you can see that even a simple order for digging sticks can actually end up creating quite a number of different jobs.
Things can get even more complicated when you tell your goblins to build a structure. They’ll need to prepare the ground, possibly clear undergrowth, cut down trees and clear stumps, and haul over the various materials needed for the structure. You don’t have to have the various components ready before you order them to build, as goblins can figure out they need to get branches, or chop a log into planks and so on. But again, this all means that there can be quite a lot of jobs involved in building just a single building.
Goblins do understand how to prioritize jobs. Sowing and harvesting are very time-critical jobs, so they’ll be prioritized over things like building. Storing things and general tidying up are low-priority jobs. This means that in addition to being your primary food source, farming also provides a structure to the year: it’s simply not a good idea to try to do anything labor-intensive at harvest time, for instance.
Finally, goblins are also very conscientious creatures. If you give them a job to do, they’ll do it. This means that jobs can pile up, keeping your goblins very busy and sometimes even stopping them from getting important things done. To help you keep the number of jobs in the camp at a manageable level, we’ve provided you with a jobs counter on the upper bar.
The counter keeps track of the number of jobs in the camp, and is color-coded relative to the camp population. Green means the number of outstanding jobs is low, yellow means that it’s somewhat higher, and red means there’s quite a lot of undone jobs per goblin. For example, when I order my goblins to build a carpenter at the edge of the woods, the jobs screen tells me I’ve just assigned 41 jobs to my goblins. At about 8 jobs per goblin, that’s enough to turn the indicator yellow.
Controlling the number of jobs in the camp at any given time is an important skill in playing Goblin Camp. If the goblins are very busy with a big project, like clearing a field or building lots of structures, it’s usually a good idea to give them a while to get finished, or at least for the job counter to fall to a more manageable number. This way a backlog of unfinished jobs won’t build up, and the goblins will be able to do the things you want them to do.