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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsProject Highrise (skyscraper / business sim)
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Author Topic: Project Highrise (skyscraper / business sim)  (Read 5417 times)
doihaveto
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« on: March 19, 2015, 11:52:40 AM »

Hello World!

Here's our next game: Project Highrise - a simulation game where you build and manage a modern-day skyscraper.

Website: http://www.somasim.com/highrise/
Steam: http://store.steampowered.com/app/423580/
Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/projecthighrise

EDIT: THIS GAME HAS BEEN RELEASED ON SEPT 8 2016. THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR COMMENTS AND KIND WORDS! Smiley

Updated screenshots as of June 2016 (click for full size):







And here's some older concept art if you'd like to see where we started from:

   

I'll be posting details as they develop!  Coffee
« Last Edit: December 25, 2016, 07:01:10 PM by doihaveto » Logged

and
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« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2015, 12:16:58 PM »

Sounds cool, I loved Sim Hotel (or was it called Hotel Tycoon? Clearly didn't love it enough to remember its name)
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TheChaoticGood
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« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2015, 07:57:00 AM »

So basically Sim Hotel Nior? I like nior.
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Shantalya
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« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2015, 06:05:06 AM »

Is it going to be something like the old SimTower or rather like Building&Co: You are the Architect! (that one has a great concept and huuuuge amount of bugs)? Anyway, sounds great so far. Good luck!
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doihaveto
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« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2015, 04:39:09 PM »

Here's another bit of art!

First up is a mock-up of what a single floor might look like:



As you can see, we're going with a flat cut-away view, and a very stylized hand-drawn look.

And here's the first pass at some office workers:



Office workers are just some of the possible inhabitants of the tower.
Also, skin and clothing will be recolorable, so you'll get a huge variety of all sorts of people.

More details in this blog post, check it out: Introducing Office Workers
« Last Edit: October 17, 2015, 09:13:22 AM by doihaveto » Logged

doihaveto
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« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2015, 04:50:01 PM »

And to answer your questions above:

- Yes we're going in more of a "sim" direction. I haven't played Building & Co, but looking at the screenshots, they look more focused on realistic 3d construction and engineering. Our game is definitely more stylized, more abstract, and focused on managing the business side.

- The visual look is evolving: going with less noir, and more illustration-style, something that you wouldn't be surprised to find in an old issue of Popular Science Monthly. So limited color palette, flat hand-drawn look.

How about it?

(I should add: all of the concept art is by the awesome Gediminas Einikis!)
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tupikp (Studio5113)
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« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2015, 03:25:02 AM »

Looks very similar to SimTower with better graphics. Dont get me wrong, I like SimTower, however things are getting repetitive very quick in SimTower. I hope your game could avoid that. Looking forward to play this game!
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doihaveto
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« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2015, 07:05:21 AM »

Yeah, this game will be much more complex than SimTower. Not to knock SimTower, it's a classic and one of my all-time favorites - but the economy was very easy to figure out.

And also, no elevator micro-management. That was pretty annoying. :D

We're going for something very different - actually managing the entire tower "ecosystem" is going to be the challenge. Depending on whether you're going for an office tower, a residential tower, or a hotel tower, they'll require very different approaches. For example, a successful resort hotel will need all sorts of restaurants and entertainment venues, and those in turn will need a support network of laundry services, cleaning, or couriers, restaurants will need gas hookups which are expensive to maintain, and so on. Or if you want to build a condo tower, those residents will be easier to keep happy - they'll just need a cafe on the ground floor and a few other convenience stores - but on the other hand, they're going to be very sensitive to noise and disruption, especially at night time, so you'll have to be careful about how you lay out the tower to minimize disturbances, and how you time construction work. And so on... Smiley
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doihaveto
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« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2015, 12:29:30 PM »

I can finally share some screenshots of the game! We finally reached an internal alpha milestone where a bunch of gameplay systems are in place (employment, economics, utilities, etc) and we can start adding actual art assets, to replace my ugly programmer art :D

Here are some offices where people work.



Zoom in on two of the offices.

Phone and computer on the desks are examples of utilities that the player needs to hook up for the tenants (but - those utilities then cost money...)




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doihaveto
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« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2015, 09:17:53 AM »

Added new tenant types: restaurants.

Well, at least food court restaurants for now. Full service sit-down restaurants will be coming later. Smiley



(Click through for full sized version)

Zoomed in:

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doihaveto
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« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2015, 10:58:55 AM »

Why do they always put the IT department in the basement?  Huh?

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doihaveto
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« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2015, 10:26:00 AM »

Working on weather and time of day recently.
Here's a rainy workday afternoon...

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doihaveto
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« Reply #12 on: August 29, 2015, 09:29:37 AM »

Some updates:

Studio apartments! Tiny solutions for modern living.



Support facilities! I know, laundry rooms and dumpsters are not very exciting, but if you try to rent out apartments where people can't take the trash out, they'll get really upset and move out. I wonder why.



Offices need their own support facilities. Not laundry rooms, but rather shipping services and bottled water delivery.



How about it?
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doihaveto
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« Reply #13 on: September 19, 2015, 05:35:22 PM »

A dentist's office moves into my highrise. Little does he know, but that diner below is going to become the bane of his existence...

(Click for full size)

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QOG
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« Reply #14 on: September 19, 2015, 06:06:45 PM »

This is looking cool. Any chance of learning a little bit more about the AI for individual people? You mentioned trying to avoid upsetting residents, but how much actual AI and individuation do they have?
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doihaveto
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« Reply #15 on: September 20, 2015, 04:59:35 PM »

This is looking cool. Any chance of learning a little bit more about the AI for individual people? You mentioned trying to avoid upsetting residents, but how much actual AI and individuation do they have?

Oh, absolutely. The little NPC people are very important in the game. Smiley 

The scale of the game is such that the player should be able to manage a skyscraper consisting of 1000 people without a problem. So we had to find a good balance between, on one hand, making people matter, but on the other hand, not requiring the player to micro-manage them like in the Sims. So they need to be smart, but not overwhelming in large numbers.

So we settled on the following setup. The different people have their daily routines that dictate how they react to the world. For example: office workers go to work in the morning, and maybe get a take-out lunch mid-day; janitors sleep during the day but go to work in the evening when all the office workers have left; retired people hang out at home, but go out for a walk in the afternoon; college students just sleep and eat and work at unpredictable times Smiley  and so on. We have probably 50 different "career" archetypes that have different expectations.

Most of the time, if people keep their routines they will be happy. But if something interrupts the routine they start getting upset - for example, if their favorite food place is closed or it takes too long to wait in line (they have favorite places), or if they want an afternoon coffee but can't find a cafe in the building, and so on. Also, more generic stuff will also upset them - like the elevator not working, or the office being old and dumpy.

This unhappiness then propagates to the house they live in, or the workplace they work in. And if an office is full of people who are unhappy (because the elevators aren't working or whatever), then they will just break their lease and move out, sticking you with a bill for cleaning up after them.

How about it?
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doihaveto
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« Reply #16 on: October 10, 2015, 07:31:28 AM »

You too can run a dentist's office:

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archgame
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« Reply #17 on: October 10, 2015, 10:19:45 AM »

Have you read Form Follows Finance? I recommend taking a peak at it, it details how skyscrapers in New York City and Chicago developed differently around economics and building codes, could provide some inspiration for office types in your game and give insight into the vernacular of capitalism, which seems to be the aim of the game.
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doihaveto
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« Reply #18 on: October 12, 2015, 03:01:35 PM »

Have you read Form Follows Finance? I recommend taking a peak at it, it details how skyscrapers in New York City and Chicago developed differently around economics and building codes, could provide some inspiration for office types in your game and give insight into the vernacular of capitalism, which seems to be the aim of the game.

@Archgame - yes I have! It's such a good book, and it's been pretty influential in our thinking about the game.

Some specific things that we've learned and want to bring over to the game:

  • The economic profile of skyscrapers - how the cost of building goes up as you keep going higher, and can make the building economically unfeasible beyond a certain size
  • The physical profile - how local laws impose caps and limitations, such as
    • Envelope requirements (like height caps, or setback requirements)
    • Air rights transfers (when there's a height cap, you might be able to buy height allowance from your low-rise neighbors)
    • Square footage caps (eg. that a building's total square footage can be at max 15x larger than the lot size - but if you build a public plaza, you could get an exemption and build a larger one)

That should make for a pretty juicy economic simulation Smiley

That said, I would *really* have loved to also add the simulation of effects of building depth, and things like how distance from windows and light wells affects rentability - but that's getting a little hard in a 2D view Smiley
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doihaveto
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« Reply #19 on: October 17, 2015, 09:19:42 AM »

NPCs, get ready to do some shopping! We now have fancy stores Smiley

(click through for full size)






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