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Project Highrise Aims To Be A Modern SimTower

Yoot Saito’s SimTower is one of those games I return to every so often, for the pure satisfaction of building something and watching its simulation flourish. In recent years it has increasingly become a game I wish someone would make a modern version of – and no, various mobile genre-mates don’t count.

Good news! The makers of gold prospecting town sim 1849 are now working on their second game, and it’s called Project Highrise [official site]. There’s little information so far, but there’s enough to make me excited.

From the sounds of the game’s site, all the old SimTower strengths are planned. You’ll start from nothing and build your tower layer to layer; you’ll need to keep residents happy as you do; and everything is underpinned by a rich simulation.

Everything else I know comes from the game’s development log. There are posts explaining how you can attract famous and fancy restaurants to your tower by increasing your ‘prestige’:

While money can’t buy fame in Project Highrise, it can buy famous art pieces – from fountains to paintings to statues. Small artworks will add a minimal amount of prestige: they’re nice pieces for the tenants and visitors to notice as they walk by, but nothing too terribly impressive in their own right. By contrast, large works of art will add significantly to your prestige level. You can project your fame by placing a statue in your plaza or commissioning a famous mural for your lobby. These will not only impress the tenants, but they’ll attract visitors in their own right to come and behold your good taste.

And about how your tower will not only be home to residents, but visitors drawn to your tower by another metric, called ‘buzz’:

Also, some of your businesses will begin to draw in clients, patients and colleagues from the city for appointment and meetings. Once the appointment is concluded, they may grab lunch. Or if the meeting wraps up, it may be time to head to the bar to continue discussions over a beer.

As well as vital information about how your tenants will be impacted by bad smells:

No one wants to live near a trash heap of fish heads and eggshells. Trash stinks, so you’ll have to be careful about where you locate trash and recycling facilities. Here’s the building with an overlay in red showing the impact and extent of the smelliness generated by the trash. While the elevators don’t care so much, the people to the right might be a little upset by the constant odor of everyone’s garbage next door.

Which all sounds like exactly the kind of thing I want. There’s no release date, videos or GIFs yet – or maybe even an official name – but if it simulates people as much as it simulates their environment then I’ll be a pig in the city.

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Graham Smith

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