Beauty School Lag Dropout? Beauty Factory Demo

The Staring Eyes

Perhaps inevitably after casting my eye over My Dream Job: Babysitter, in my continuing attempts to get in touch with my inner teenage girl, I’d find myself urgently downloading the new demo for Beauty Factory. Which sound distasteful, but far preferable to me trying to get in touch with any outer teenage girls. Or, at least, preferable for the outer teenage girls.

Impressions below. Of the demo. Obv.

For a start, anyone attracted by the pouty ladies above – either wanting to be with them or be them – is going to be sorely disappointed. This is what the game tends to look like…
Actually, girls in lab coats are hot. Hottt even.

Sexy lab coats.

The idea is basically you have multiple departments to develop, make and market your fine smelly-stuff. The production and marketing sides of the game are familiar to anyone who’s played a Tycoon game – one is about making enough stuff for people to buy and the other is about making people want to buy your stuff. Though the latter does show some astute understanding of the art of marketing:
Advertise with RPS. We need your money more than Gamespot.

Yes, everyone should advertise on the internet for impressively low rates to reach more consumers. Ideally, on this part of the internet.

The key element is the perfumes themselves. You have to mix the three ingredients in differing proportions and then test with consumers – with only a couple of clues to what’s in fashion right now. Each test costs a little money, so encouraging you to limit your guesses before you go broke by paying for mass-sniffing. You then sell it until the fashion changes – which it does every ten turns or so – when you mix up a new batch. At this point, all your previously made perfume in your warehouse magically turns into your new batch, so you can continue to sell it without pouring it all down a sewer in the middle of the night.

But bar this one element – which actually brings to mind Patrick Suskind’s excellent Perfume, if only because it’s the only piece of perfurme-based pop-culture I know – it could be any other cheap Tycoon game. Which means I walk away feeling a little sad, as I was hoping for something hilarious. At the least, I was hoping for animal testing.

(Which actually in it by implication as there’s an event where protestors turn up outside a competitor’s factory, complete with angry placards. Presumably annoyed about flopsy having his eyes turned red raw with stinky stuff)

To its credit though it does have one of the cuter “Demo over” screens I’ve ever seen.
Aww.

Anyway – here’s a video of it in action, complete with great LA Law-esque saxaphone also appears out of nowhere half way through the trailer…

In other associated news, I danced with a worrying level of commitment to all of the Grease megamix with my girlfriend at the previously mentioned RPS wedding. This wasn’t included, but gave my the title-gag, so gets linked.

For no real reason at all, which is the only reason worth a damn.

24 Comments

  1. Carra says:

    One line about Suskinds novel and then a scene from Grease.

    Enough culture for me today.

  2. Chris Evans says:

    That first in-game picture reminds me eerily of Theme Hospital…

  3. Gap Gen says:

    Can you perform horrific experiments on animals? Humans?

  4. The Poisoned Sponge says:

    The Horror…the horror… the horror…

  5. MisterBritish says:

    You know what else has a beauty factory? WORLD OF GOO.

  6. cliffski says:

    The thing that amazes me about management games like this is why they bother with an isometric world at all?
    Surely people can see that running a business is basically a matter of charts and graphs and statistics, with some agonizing choices thrown in. The heads of companies don’t stare at factory floors thinking “Those new machines would look cool, lets put some over there!”
    Management/tycoon games are inherently a 2D spreadsheet style design. Publishers panic that nobody buys games that don’t look a bit 3D so they make them 3D or isometric.
    Except those football management games. They seem to get by with decent sales though :D

  7. James G says:

    Does it allow you to slowly eat into the self esteem of your customers by convincing them that they have horrible problems that they hadn’t noticed until they saw your product. Which is a good thing, because it is this problem which your product hopes to address. No longer will they be a worthless person. It should even have a mode whereby which pump research money in to ‘discovering’ these problems, “Our researchers have discovered that some people have eyes in which the whites are slightly off white, we can sell them eye bleach.” You’ll also have to track the rest of the industry to discover exactly which unecessary yet fashionable ingredient is being added to their cosmetics. Oh, and after years of research your razor marketing department decides to add, another blade!

    Seriously though, the other day I saw an advert for some facial creme that promised to reduce ‘face shinyness.’ I mean, before this advert did anyone ever look in the mirror and think, ‘y’know, If only may face was a bit less shiny.’

    Disclaimer: James may have serious and slightly disporortionate issues with the cosmetics industry.

  8. Klaus says:

    Hmm, now that I think about it, my face seems a bit shiny…
    Some eye bleach would be nice too…

  9. Pijama says:

    Cliffski: The guys from Football Manager are certainly earning their share of the pie, hehehe…

    Dunno why but after seeing the screen, I have now this sudden urge of playing Theme Hospital…

  10. TooNu says:

    what is this? just, no.

  11. Chris R says:

    I’ll give you a shiner! YEAH!!! Take THAT internets.

  12. tmp says:

    The thing that amazes me about management games like this is why they bother with an isometric world at all?

    (..)

    Management/tycoon games are inherently a 2D spreadsheet style design.

    Graphics do make good feedback source — if a game shows you say, company garage with one large truck and two small ones, one looking worn down and broken, that gives you instant idea of the state of your company transport fleet. Something that otherwise you’d need to work out from chart listing owned cars, their capacity and condition.

    They can also help to create a more intuitive UI as well — being able to access aspects of your venture by clicking on them directly can augment the regular navigation through the million of similar looking buttons.

  13. sinister agent says:

    Why throw in an isometric view? Simple really: I’d rather play with Theme Hospital than Microsoft Excel.

  14. perilisk says:

    Oh, was that Gavin and Stacey’s wedding then?

  15. Alex says:

    I was going to do a rant about the name ‘beauty factory’ and its implications, but I’ve been beaten to it. Damn.
    What does that leave me with? Not much. Just praising the alt-text, and pointing out that you can have it appear on mouseover with title=”” so I don’t have to keep right-clicking on things. Grr.

  16. lungfish says:

    i hear the film was a bit of a let down, any insight? Perfume, not grease.

  17. DRcancerface says:

    If you can give them penis yum. I am sold.

  18. x25killa says:

    Let’s spray dodgy liquids into people’s faces!!!
    Thanks for reminding me to do some xmas shopping again this year, errrk. Now where’s that gasmask…

  19. Muzman says:

    cliffski says:
    The thing that amazes me about management games like this is why they bother with an isometric world at all?
    Surely people can see that running a business is basically a matter of charts and graphs and statistics, with some agonizing choices thrown in. The heads of companies don’t stare at factory floors thinking “Those new machines would look cool, lets put some over there!”

    While the sentiment is probably correct as far as game design goes, I really wouldn’t know, most factory managers I’ve encountered (particularly older guys in large old firms) do absolutely love rearranging stuff, getting new toys, playing around with their own personal dolls house/ant farm and watching it work.

  20. PetitPiteux says:

    about the ads on the site: I dont know who you buy them to, but you might want to reconsider: the one I see are more often than not quite unlikely to interest gamers (if anyone)(things like ‘green card’ things, ‘1000000th visitor this is not a joke’ or ‘send your photo to Voici ‘-a french crap tabloid-), and closer to outright spam.

    Ads are bad (if a necessity), but would be slightly less bad if on a game site they could be about, like, games. (or interpretive dance maybe, but definitely not about supporting a collapsing US economy dragging the whole world with it after having polluting it with its ultra-liberalism propaganda for years. But I digress…)

  21. Zsinj says:

    For some reason, I really want to play this. Really I do.

  22. myname says:

    stupid misuse of what could have been a hit game with girls! A Virtual dressing up/making up thing would attract lots of female customers.

  23. Finc says:

    I would have to wonder about the quality of the game when the trailer they produced has “business” misspelled in the opening scene. I understand typos happening, but surely this was worked on/looked at by more than one person.

  24. Michael says:

    Is the girl on the left in the banner related to Michael Jackson in any way? I can’t imagine anyone wanting to be her/with her wouldn’t be pretty impervious to disappointment already, or they’re of the type who get off on choosing the disappointing option.