Big City Stories Update

Hello Big City Stories fans! We’re here to update you on recent progress with the game.

In the past several weeks our small studio has devoted all our focus to reaching a large, internal milestone. The game is now out of alpha and one step closer to the highly-anticipated beta. This means that much of the game’s final features have been implemented and we are working now on finding and fixing bugs as well as adding balance to different mechanics. Things are moving forward in large steps, and we’re incredibly excited that the game has made considerable progress.

Houses and Town

 

All of our attention has now been shifted to implementing the final features, fixing remaining issues, and priming the game for beta. We want to refrain from giving any hard dates on when the beta will hit or when the official release will be. However, we can say that we are now in the final stages of development and it won’t be long until you are all constructing cities, meeting each other, and personalizing your avatars!

We want to thank you all for your sustained interest in Big City Stories. It is our goal to deliver a multiplayer platform complete with avatar customization, public spaces to chat in, and a robust city-building game to play with friends. That vision takes considerable time and effort, and it is your excitement that drives the team to finish this ambitious project.  We can’t wait for you all to get your hands on it. It’s worth the wait.

That time is getting very close, but until then we will continue to post updates when we have new information to share!

Creating a Booming Economy in Big City Stories

Over the past several weeks we have revealed a great deal about Big City Stories. Switching between planning your city and playing in it comes at the press of a button. The objects system lets you create race tracks or obstacle courses. Activities have you defending the city from zombies, and our social features offer public spaces to find friends to invite into your city. Yet, up until this point we haven’t outlined the inner workings of the economy.


Although Big City Stories has several classes of buildings, the three main types that directly impact your city’s economy are power, commercial, and residential. As mayor, you must determine when, where, and which buildings to construct in order to maximize your city’s economy.

Power buildings produce Energy. These include windmills, power plants, and nuclear power facilities. This Energy is collected and stored in batteries or grids until you are ready to use it. The stored Energy is necessary to construct commercial buildings.

Power Buildings

Commercial buildings are the businesses that employ your citizens and generate Dollars. Banks will hold the Dollars you’ve collected until you’re ready to spend them on things like objects, service buildings, or residential buildings. Most importantly, you need Dollars to build Energy producing buildings. In order to grow your commercial sector, you’ll need the Energy to do so, but you must maintain steady Energy production to support your commercial buildings.

Commercial Buildings With Logo

Residential buildings factor directly into your commercial buildings’ ability to produce Dollars. When you construct houses or apartments, the citizens who move in will work in your businesses. If you don’t have enough residential buildings, then your commercial buildings will be short of employees and their productivity will fall. Commercial buildings that are short on employees produce fewer Dollars which impedes your city’s growth.

Economy model

Adding another layer of consideration are the effects that buildings have on each other. Many buildings have attributes that impact neighboring buildings within their “Areas of Effect” (AoE). There are three such attributes: happiness, environmental quality, and security. Buildings with positive attributes will increase Dollar production in the structures around it, or even attract more citizens to your residential buildings. Negative AoEs will have the opposite effect.

Building AoE

As mayor, you will need to carefully consider how you construct your city in order to maximize growth. You’ll balance Power and Commercial buildings in order to create a steady stream of Dollars and Energy, build homes to supply employees, and consider ‘areas of effect’ when placing your structures.

 

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The Social Features of Big City Stories

Without a community, a city is just a collection of buildings and roads. This is why Big City Stories gives you robust social features which make it easy to play with friends, meet new people, and be a part of a larger community.

In busy cities, public areas are full of potential friends. Likewise, Big City Stories, offers you public spaces to meet and socialize with others. These places are available to all, and serve as an area where you and your friends can meet up and chat with other players. Show off your mayor level, display your best and brightest items, and chat with new friends whose cities you can visit.

Multiplayer

Discovering new cities is an easy venture thanks to Big City Stories’ curation. We highlight the cities with the highest number of visitors, so you can find the party as soon as you log on. Hellfire Games also highlights those cities with eye catching design, extravagant race tracks, or great mini-game arenas.

You can be a part of the Big City Stories community by visiting public spaces and other mayors’ cities. Hellfire will also be hosting special events and contests to bring fans together in a community built on positive interaction.  These social components not only make it easy for you to meet others, but also help us better serve you. We want to hear your feedback and suggestions, and will be hosting meet and greets to hear from you directly.

Navigator

Like all real cities, Big City Stories will be driven by people. We make it easy to meet new friends, visit others’ cities, participate in multiplayer activities, and provide feedback and suggestions directly to Hellfire Games. Your best cities will be brought to the wider community to be enjoyed and shared. Ultimately, Big City Stories will be a great place for you to hang out with new and old friends alike.

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Check Out our Character Creator in this Video

Every person who holds public office knows two things: perception is key and appearance changes perception.  If your constituents view you as out of touch, you loosen your tie and roll up your sleeves.  If they view you as intellectually challenged you don black framed professorial glasses.  As a mayor in Big City Stories you can change your looks with the press of a button.

Male or Female, tall or short, rotund or thin; you can customize your appearance in great detail.  Pick from a variety of hair styles and colors, as well as eye colors and facial hair.  You can also tweak your facial structure, including jaw size, cheek height, and nose length, as well as body proportions like leg length, abdomen thickness, and shoulder size.  Recreate your likeness, emulate the faces of your heroes and heroines, or craft a character all your own.

Once you’ve selected your body type and facial features, you can pick your clothing.  Mayors don’t always need to dress fancy; Big City Stories offers an expansive collection of clothes to express your personality.  You’ll have plenty of accessories like hats, glasses, and coats.  There’s no dress code when you set the rules, so outfit yourself in jeans, shorts, or khakis according to your mood. Dress for the job or show the city your humorous side.

Character Creation

Big City Stories allows any kind of mayor to take the stand and plan a bustling metropolis. How you look behind the podium is totally up to you, and the options for expressing your personality are boundless. Whether you want to dress straight-laced and professional or relaxed and eccentric, your city is ready to follow your lead.

Gameplay Video of Big City Stories’ Object System

While buildings define a city’s skyline, it’s the smaller objects that give a city its character. Cities aren’t just a collection of roads and buildings; they contain all manner of smaller objects like signs, road blocks, landscaping, and art. Inspired by this, Big City Stories, uses an objects system that lets you place a multitude of items in your metropolis. You can place these objects to transform your city into a racing course, a parkour’s delight, a chill place to hang with your friends to watch fireworks, or whatever your imagination conjures.

 

The racing category of objects is perfect for those wishing to create their own road course. Using speed boosts, ramps, traffic cones, and concrete barriers you can craft a personal track to race your friends. If you’re more of a daredevil, you can use these ramps and even a loop to set up massive stunt jumps over your favorite buildings.

Want to jump to the top of buildings and scurry from roof to roof? There’s a category comprised of air jets and planks to let you do that. Once there you and your friends can enjoy the fireworks also found in the objects menu.  Of course, you can also use these jets and planks to create challenging obstacle courses for you and your friends.

Once you’ve configured your buildings just the way you like, you can use decorative objects to add your personal touch. Use customizable signs to show visitors your favorite areas. Flowerbeds, trees, and other landscaping are at your disposal as well, giving you the tools to bring a unique beauty to your custom-built city.

The myriad of objects available in the game make the customization of your city endless. We can’t wait to see what kind of blinding fast race tracks you’ll make, the massive stunt courses you’ll design, or how you’ll reach the tops of your tallest structures. The objects give you an unparalleled freedom to explore every inch of your metropolis alone or with friends. Ultimately, they allow you to breathe personality into your creation in ways only you know how.

 

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Upgrades Take You From Town to Metropolis

Cities are often described as living beings, exuding personality from their streets. Every block tells a story, each building is a monument to those who designed and built it, and all neighborhoods hold corners to be discovered and remembered. Likewise, in Big City Stories, your city is a living, thriving community that reflects your planning and effort. And just like its real-life counterparts, your city will continuously grow and evolve as you play.

Buildings in Big City Stories do more than look amazing, they produce resources and support the overall population of your city. The lifeblood of your city, the people running it, the electricity powering it, and the businesses supporting it all come from the buildings constructed by you. Each resource is tied to a category of construction.

HousesNewsletter House 2Newsletter House 3

When you first take office you inherit a small city with simple but functional structures. As time advances and you’ve amassed the requisite resources, you can upgrade the buildings to reflect your keen management skills.

Public Works     Public Works

Public Works

As your buildings grow higher and higher, they’ll grant you added bonuses. Commercial structures will bring in more money, energy producers generate more power, apartments and homes house larger populations, and banks store more of your cash.

Every building can be upgraded, and you can express yourself by focusing on improving your favorite structures. Visual updates accompany your city’s progress, and buildings become bigger, more intricate, and will show other visiting mayors how prestigious you’ve become. Once your city looks like a modern metropolis, you’ll look back at your humble beginnings with an air of pride only felt by those as accomplished as you.

Skyline

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Fight Zombies in One of Several Activities in Big City Stories

In last week’s feature we spotlighted one of Big City Stories’ main gameplay mechanics: the ability to switch from city planning to third person without a loading screen. We briefly mentioned “activities” that you could engage in at any time. These mini games offer bursts of different gameplay that can be initiated at anytime.

The QA team calls our first activity “Zombie Splat,” but there’s no telling what name will stick. The goal is to protect your citizens from waves of brain-hungry zombies. You can take out the zombies by running them over, or shooting them with fireworks. Yeah, it’s ridiculous, and a total blast to play.

Shoot Fireworks at Zombies

The game is composed of waves, with each more challenging than the last. The zombies run through your streets attacking and infecting your citizens. Make sure you watch the citizen counter at the bottom of the screen because if it hits zero, you lose.

Or just run em over

It’s imperative that you drive through your streets with total mastery, picking up more fireworks, shooting zombies, and barreling over them with your vehicle in order to maximize your score. You can rack up big points by stringing multiple kills together. You can also utilize “bait” to lure zombies into tight spots so you can run them over and rack up massive combos.

This mini game is only one of many to be included in Big City Stories, and illustrates the variety of things to do within the game. You can carefully craft your perfect city, manage every park and building location, and keep your citizens happy. Then, protect your streets from zombie hordes with a firework arsenal and strive to be the champion of the leaderboard any time you want.

Next week we return to the city building component and focus on upgrades.

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Seamlessly Switch From Building to Playing

Now that you know about our newest project, Big City Stories, it’s time to describe how it works, and what the gameplay looks like. Being a mayor is more than kissing babies and driving nice cars in parades. Once you take office in your new city, you will have the opportunity to plan and craft your entire metropolis. When managing your city’s infrastructure, you will view it in “planner mode,” from a top-down perspective.

From planner mode, you’ll be able to construct a wide variety of buildings that produce resources for your city, or keep your citizens happy. Balancing your economy with residential, commercial, and resource structures will be a driving factor in your planning decisions

Planner 2

As mayor, you can place these buildings anywhere you see fit. Organize your city by districts, or mix all your buildings together in order to recreate your favorite real-life skyline. You have total freedom in deciding where your roads go, which buildings stand next to each other, and how you shape your urban landscape.

Planner View

Roads you place will automatically connect to adjacent streets, creating intersections, crosswalks, and stoplights wherever they’re needed allowing you to focus on city planning. Traffic will dynamically build on your streets, pedestrians walk your sidewalks, and as your population grows so does the presence of public transportation.

Once you’re satisfied with the placement of each park, building, and road, a simple button press will bring you street level with zero loading time. Here you will see yourself just as your citizens do, with a fully customizable appearance. Choose to be male or female, tall or short and wear the clothes and hairstyle that suit your personality.

Street Level

After viewing the details of your city from the streets, you can take part in different Stories—structured missions that task you with different mayoral duties. Upon completion, you will earn XP, or other resources you can use to expand your city.

In the coming weeks we will be detailing how the city economy works and what you will need to do in order to plan your perfect city. Soon after we will dive into the different activities you can participate in inside your city!

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