Advertising For The Megacorps: AdvertCity Released

“This story is dedicated to all those cyberpunks who fight against injustice and corruption every day of their lives.” Every morning I stare in the mirror at those words, from Hideo Kojima’s Snatcher, tattooed across my neck. That’s my credo, man. However, if I were to sell out, I’d be invaluable to the megacorp advertising departments with my snappy copy [give over -ed.]. I might consider cyberpunk advertising tycoon game AdvertCity [official site] a ‘what if?’ scenario. I’m curious is all.

AdvertCity came out yesterday. Across meatspace and cyberspace, you get to plaster ads, build a reputation, beat the competition, influence the growth of the procedurally-generated city, and make a stack of creds. Selling out sounds cybergreat, cyberman.

I’ll dive in for a look this weekend but here are developers VoxelStorm explaining how it works:

“The city will start out small and will grow based on how you choose to advertise. Make it grow by advertising for the housing and construction megacorps , make your money and keep them happy by selling music, booze and other… entertainments. As you gain reputation with the megacorps they’ll give you access to an ever larger arsenal of advertising techniques with which to sway the masses.”

Yep, yep, that’ll do for me. I really dig the idea of the city having both cyberspace and physical layers and the interaction between the two. Good stuff, that. I’m also really into escalating the obnoxiousness of my adverts until the city’s filled with neon billboards and blimps advertising (I hope) a new life awaiting you on the off-world colonies.

AdvertCity is £15 on Itch.io for Windows, Mac, and Linux. In the absence of anything newer, here’s a trailer from an alpha build one year ago:

When the ruddy spammers show up to blast these comments, I will at least laugh at this.

12 Comments

  1. LogicalDash says:

    The page you linked clearly spells the name AdvertCity.

    Much though I prefer yours.

  2. eggy toast says:

    Sounds very cool but I’m not sure the depth will be there for the price, $25 is more than Cities: Skylines on Nuuvem.

  3. Artist says:

    Kinda alarming that theres no gameplay shown anywhere. Doubt that its something you forget to present when making a game about future advertising…

    • Riot says:

      Bear in mind the trailer is an early alpha, over a year old. The current screenshots look nothing like that – not really sure why RPS chose to post that video!

      • Artist says:

        Because theres no other, newer media stuff anywhere – thats what I wanted to point out!
        How can you try to sell a game without giving actual footage – be it pics or vids??

  4. April March says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen a game nail Gibson’s cyberspace so spot-on.

  5. Napalm Sushi says:

    Well, I spent a good chunk of yesterday playing this, and… I guess I’m not getting something.

    I can quickly reach the point of repaying the initial loan and maintaining constant financial growth. I can easily make my rep with a company soar. However, an examination of that company’s status page will show it to be haemorrhaging cash and shrinking, and my prior campaigns for them to have been “largely unsuccessful.” The dynamic city growth that I’ve read about has simply not occurred, understandably given the declining state of the construction company (despite my absolute focus on them).

    Can the dev or another player shed some light on what’s going wrong?

    • Artist says:

      Actually thats what Ive expected when I was following their “development progress”. It already seemed to become a dud a year ago!

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        Harlander says:

        I remember experiencing this in the last version I tried. It’s pretty hard to get enough money coming in to cover your second-to-second expenses. In fact I’ve never managed it in the long run, just giving up as the places you can use the basic ads in dwindle and you can’t really see where you’ve used them already without navigating the slightly twitchy menu.

        I probably should have posted something about it on their forum, but I remember getting on there and seeing it was an empty, wind-blown wasteland and eventually dropping the idea.

        • Napalm Sushi says:

          My problem isn’t making money. That took a bit of figuring out but I can now easily reach a point where I’m collecting skyscrapers like the Gulf states and launching blimps like they never went out of fashion. My problem is the lack of tangible feedback from anything I’m doing. It just doesn’t feel like a living city.

  6. Gibbonius says:

    Can anyone else that’s tried it follow the interface?
    It seems a nightmare to move around the city, make selections, to tell what is going on, to read the text without squinting. I haven’t done as well as other commentators; I wasn’t even able to fathom how to make enough money to pay the exponentially growing initial debt. I had high hopes for this when I backed it but I was really disappointed after an hour’s fiddling yesterday. Someone convince me to try it again?