Friday Facts #63: The Man Behind the Curtain
A lot of people learned about the stock market this week. NewCity features an economy that is influenced by the NewCity Stock Market Index, known as the NSMI in-game. Since the game’s launch, it has had a negligible effect on the player’s local economy. Now that we’re well underway for the Tourism feature release and the Municipalities patch is being planned, we are dreaming up the economic improvements to come shortly thereafter.
Disaster systems for city simulators can be divisive. Natural disasters such as floods and earthquakes can be disruptive and unfair in an unfun way. Our approach to the idea of a disaster has always been focused on the humanity of it all; if a NewCity city is going to be going through hardships, it will not be by force of nature.
NewCity has a lot of variety in its level of challenge as it is. Adding another full system of added instability could be integrated into the current difficulty options. But, what if we unbound it and let the disaster system dynamically shift according to player skill? What if the AI Director from Left 4 Dead was suddenly the NewCity equivalent of the SEC?
Our hope is that trade embargoes, real estate bubbles, and hyperinflation can engage players in some unique city management. When there is a gas shortage and your citizens have difficulty filling their tanks, will your public transit be able to manage? Would tourism dry up? How would you power your leaf blower?
There’s a lot going on behind the scenes of NewCity. Like a TV show: for every half-hour of content you see, dozens of hours of production went into it.
As our most Swordless of Mimetowns points out, there’s an economic simulation driving the ebb and flow of your city’s growth, financials, and even the inevitable crashes. It’s a complex, interwoven spiderweb of factors affecting factors, with a dash of random chance and the player’s own inputs to the simulation.
So yeah, it’s bound to backfire now and again.
With each new update we end up adding new elements to the simulation or tweaking old ones. Sometimes this results in surges of homelessness, inflation, or Thanos-approved waves of death. This is still an Early Access game of course. Better we make these sorts of shock-to-the-system type changes now than after version 1.0.
But the simulation isn’t the only thing seeing mechanical changes at the moment. So is the dev team behind the scenes.
We’re four strong now: with Lone Pine leading the team, me assisting with development and design, Gainos working magic with the artwork, and Swordless Mimetown as our most distinguished Community Manager. And we’re still figuring out what it means to be a team and how we can best work together.
Believe it or not, teams don’t simply spring from the ground like Dwarves, fully formed and ready to swing a pick in the game mines. Teams must be forged. They take time and effort to develop, requiring constant care and attention to prune and guide them from a sapling into a tree strong enough to weather the storms of development.
The Lone Pine Games team in its current form is just a few months old. But I think what we’ve been able to accomplish in that time speaks for itself. NewCity is better than it’s ever been, with improved stability and more shiny new features joining the fold every patch. As each one of us tends to the team tree, it will grow stronger and taller for our contributions, empowering us to build a better NewCity.
Growing a strong team takes time. It simply can’t be rushed. And Early Access is the proper place to set ourselves up for a brighter future. Thank you for your patience and pardon our dust as development continues. There’s a lot more NewCity on the horizon that I’m certain you’ll enjoy.
And maybe some surprises as well.
Questions? Comments? Feedback on the game? Sound off on our Discord.
As always, we’re incredibly thankful for our great community across the web. We love seeing the hard work and attention to detail you pour into your cities, and it inspires us every day to keep building. Thank you again for your support.
If you want to play the game and haven’t got it yet, head over to our Steam page. We’re also on Reddit and Twitter. Give us a follow if you haven’t, and we’ll keep you up to date on what’s new with NewCity!