Oh, building a new city is easy. Roads, houses, factories, offices, rubbish dumps, hospitals, schools, foolishly expensive tourist attraction, bish bash bosh you're done. I could build a city tomorrow, mate. Running a city, ooh that's a trickier one. Committees, meetings, politicians... no mate, you can handle that side. But if you'd like to simulate the thrills, chills, and coffee spills of a town council, you might want to keep an eye on Urban Empire [Steam page]. Announced yesterday and due to launch later this year, it'll mix a bit of building with all the political wheeling-dealing and wrangling which goes into keeping a city running, dealing with its changing needs as technology and society progress. Might be interesting?
Urban Empire is being made by Fragment Production, who so far have mostly made emergency services RTSs. But Kalypso, the folks who publish the Tropico games, are publishing Urban Empire, and I'd like to think they're working carefully to add another urban 'em up to their catalogue. Kalypso say in the announcement:
"Take control of a mayoral dynasty at the start of the Industrial Age. Establish infrastructures, plan city districts, debate political decisions at the town council, bribe or blackmail your opponents, empower the democratic rights of your people or ignore them and reign supremely by yourself – the decision is yours! Master the challenges of 200 years of societal changes: face political struggles, experience world-changing events and pioneering inventions, and eventually, Be a Mayor Player and create your very own Urban Empire!"
Heck, I'm just fascinated by this... it can't be a tech tree, can it? I'm fascinated by a tree which manages to include outsourcing, automation, pop music, sexual revolution, video games, and electro-optics. Y'know, city stuff.
Urban Empire is due either in autumn or some time from the start of July and the end of September, depending on where you're looking. Overlapping those two, September sounds likely. Anyway, for now, here's a trailer: