SOME THINGS ARE JUST WORTH WAITING FOR
Tycoon City: New York - diary entry by Luigi Fusco, DesignerNovember 2005
Quality! Now, there's a word that's bandied around this industry like a pigs bladder around the Roman streets of Peterborough! This month on the 'Tycoon City: New York' (TCNY) project, all the talk has been of 'quality'. We were due to hit Beta at the end of September. The date was set in stone. With two weeks to go, the powers that be decided that the game simply wasn't ready yet. In a move, straight out of a very well known lager advert, they shouted 'shtop, shtop, this game jusht ishn't ready yet'! Our chiefs spoke to the publishers’ chiefs and explained that, whilst the game was pretty incredible as it was, we felt there were a few things that we just needed to fix before unleashing the monster. We hold TC: NY in very high esteem - and for good reason. We genuinely believe that it will be a landmark title. No world building game has allowed the player to recreate a real life metropolis city like New York to this level of detail. Our city has just under sixty five thousand citizens living there. No, that's not a typo, I really did say 65,000 unique citizens. They all live in separate houses and they all live day by day. If you click on a person and follow them, you'll watch them going from their house, going shopping, going to work, going to eat, socialising with their friends before coming on home as well as anything from going to get a manicure right up to watching the sports match at the New York Arena.
Deciding to not release the game before we're ready is a very big step. It's brave, it's brash and it's a wee bit cocky. But we're desperate that when gamers see it on their screens, for their jaws to drop and that the first words to be uttered by them are “Bloody Hell. How the hell did they do that”!? This is the response that we've been getting used to when we show journalists, PR and marketing people the game. We're a very bashful bunch of guys and our main priority is to release the best game that Deep Red has ever made. I believe we've achieved that and the extra development time we've been given has allowed us to put in those final touches of ‘polish’ that make everything even more believable and from a design point of view, more 'playable'.
From its inception, TCNY has been designed to appeal to as many different people as possible. We didn’t want to make the game a 'hard core' world builder that only people with PhD’s in business studies would understand & play. However, it was just as important not to exclude those clever clogs. We wanted to make a game that almost anyone could pick up, play and enjoy. The game can be played in many different ways; the hardcore gamers can analyze each citizen type, study the different accommodations as well as looking at the financials of the many businesses and landmarks. Each building comes with it's own unique statistics, characteristics & values that can be analyzed in order to build the city in a highly intelligent way that will ensure higher profits & happier people thereby expanding the city quicker and achieving that coveted title of 'Richest in New York'!
For the casual player, analysing to that level of detail is not required in order to still successfully play the game. A basic understanding of the relationship between accommodation, business & citizen types is still enough to get you through. As this relationship is based on a real world economy, most of it is second nature. So the students prefer the cheap bar as opposed to the exclusive one & the celebrities prefer the exclusive restaurant with the famous TCNY chef and not the cheap tiny place on the corner with the broken chairs and rude waitress. Traditionally, the casual player prefers more handholding than the hardcore & this is born out in TCNY with our 'story mode' which has been implemented to be fun, challenging as well as always giving players something to do.
So what about children? How will they play TCNY? Well, we've even taken young 'uns into account! We believe that children will enjoy the TCNY experience at its most basic level. That is; placing down buildings according to their own personal tastes, such as the video arcade, or the comic shop and then placing the upgrades, again down to their personal tastes. So they'll be happy to place the large green space invader on the front of that comic store as well as the fire breathing street artist in Washington Square Park. The AI will take care of other needs.
As we get closer & closer to our new Beta date, the game is coming together in such a way, that we believe will make it an extremely enjoyable experience by all. We’re still a month or two from the shops and we’re running at full speed to make sure that TCNY will be the best game we can possibly make.There are more exclusive screenshots available in our Tycoon City: New York screenshots section here.