Urban Empire - Kalypso, "City Ruler, not City Builder"

Flash sale? Showing up as $40 for me.

Yeah the sale is over as of 1pm I guess.

I also held off, maybe Tom will review this one soon.

Quill’s videos are all so upbeat, positive, and friendly, he could sell me anything that I don’t want or need, heh.

@wisefool, report in when you get a few hours under your belt, let us know how it is.

Come on guys, maybe a gal or two, no one has played this yet? I really want to know if this is a great combination of some of my favorite genres, or a lite version of all of them that sounds awful like it has been suggested.

I see 5 (FIVE) V , positive reviews on Steam so far!


I’ll let you know if they fixed the tooltips and buggy texts.

I think the biggest disappointment would be if it’s a puzzle-type game. But maybe the devs are going for the King of the Dragon Pass approach? I think I’ll have to try a first run and ‘roleplay it out’, and the second one try to min max and savescum to see the numeric effect of choices. Could take a while.

If you don’t mind going the CDKeys.com route, they still have it for < $28.00

I’m forced to get it during a Steam sale, since I have doubts as to how well it will run on my rig, if at all, and may be needing that refund.


I got as far as downloading it. Does that count?

I played till 1902 (Era 2), beginning tier 2 techs (automobile/assembly lines).

Haven’t found the lack of information too horrible. I decided to play the working class family.

No obvious bugs or broken tooltips so far.

I hit 5 districts and managed to get myself in a 12 million kronerbuck debt. Going to need to restart because with the current 10k surplus will take 100 years to dig out of.

About voting: Era 1 voting was very simple. The only pressure I needed to apply was to raise business taxes in the beginning. I think basically need a surplus and all votes will go your way.

You get a sticker.

Reading the reviews, it looks very close to the original concept of Tropico, and to be departing from the concept of SimCity meets Crusader Kings.
There also seem to be a weird political commentary, again, like Tropico?

Reading the RPS review, and all I can think is: “Another good idea, Kalypsoed.”

Played a fair amount yesterday afternoon and evening. Very interesting idea, although not for the action crowd.

The number one problem seems to be the arbitrary nature of the feedback. Some things you go to do, the choices are clear as to what the gameplay implications will be. Enact this policy, get +4 to city health, but also up the health expectations of the populace by +2… Other times it’s more like you are asked to pick the style of railway station, and what the heck – there may be major implications, but no indication of what they might be, or what various groups might want.

A second nagging doubt involves personality traits. You pick your family, and then you play a different member of that dynasty for each of the five eras. Each character has personality traits that affect various things. Sounds interesting. Quite a few decisions seem to affect your personality ratings rather than the city – so by making decision X, you gain -2 cruel and +2 soft. Still sounds okay. The trouble is that as far as I can see, nothing actually changes until you move a particular meter quite far, and by that time, the era is over and you are playing a new character. Making all the decisions that impact personality a lot less meaningful… Maybe I am misunderstanding something here, but that’s how it looks so far.

I am also struggling a bit with the voting. Sometimes it is clear. but sometimes I get a message that members were swayed by my action… and the vote meter stays the same or even moves in the other direction. Chances are good I am just missing something.

But the main thrust of the game is to provide what the population wants and needs, despite various frustraters – mainly money and irrational political parties. This is striking me as fun.

What’s frustrating me is the economy. Everything is down to money. No money, no easy way to vote. No money, no needs satisfied. The problem with what’s essentially a spreadsheet game behind a pretty interface is that if you look behind and see there’s nothing behind the curtain it ruins the game. There’s also got to be feedback so the player feels their actions have a meaningful effect. If the budget is ‘autotuned’ or something it would be really disappointing.

On my third try I think I finally got it. (thought i am not sure it’s because of the way i played, or because of the leader itself) I tried the Russian Trump guy, left taxes low (13% to start, but there were events to drop it).

  1. build very wide, covered half the map in districts in era 1. No services except for one school. I made all the districts skinny so the covering circle would not be wasted
  2. only increased density on a few districts, because that kills profit. Accumulated ~400 million in era 1.

Finnegan, do you understand Goodwill Resting point? not sure if you are over nudging when you’re already at -10 goodwill. There’s also “wheel of life” which is what the citizen Needs are (health/hearts/happiness/etc.) That seems to be a big buff.

[quote=“wisefool, post:34, topic:78309”]
Finnegan, do you understand Goodwill Resting point? not sure if you are over nudging when you’re already at -10 goodwill.
[/quote] Not sure we are talking about the same thing. It’s not that I am surprised that I have little or no impact when good will is low. Rather, if I try to influence and get a good response – text says that they were influenced, and the number feedback is positive – but when I move out to the pro and con vote totals, things haven’t change, or a couple times got worse.

The money aspect has not bothered me, at least not yet. I take it as a given that money is the primary limit on what you can provide in the city. But it appears to me that they have this basically right: you get into something of a bind because the more you provide, the higher they raise the bar… yet, if you refuse to provide these things, you look bad in comparison to what is going on in the outer world, which the game seems to represent through bad events.

Ah ok. Well, the tutorial mentions you should use your influence early on. I think influence only affects where the undecided voters will swing over in the future. It will not affect already cast votes AFAIK.

Agree completely. But let’s say the proposal just went up and there are 8 No’s, 8 Yes’s, and the rest are undecided. I go and lobby one of the parties and get a response that some of their members agreed with my Yes position. I would then expect to see something like 8 No’s and 10 Yes’s – but too often, that is not what I see. Not then, and not if I go back to the city screen and then return to the vote.

I watched some Let’s Plays, and although my memory can be shaky, I think I saw one of them make a similar observation.

What I cannot even guess is whether this is a bug, or a misunderstanding on my part.

Ah, I don’t expect immediate response! Let me take a closer to look to the feedback screen. I thought the numbers we saw after influence are a change in the party’s stance as a whole - did not think it referred to specific number of members.

AFAIK i only noticed actual vote numbers at the end of the vote (you can tooltip over the shields to see vote totals)

added screenshots of tooltips. Only mentions “change of opinion on the current vote” and goodwill used. I checked and these numbers seem to be directly “appeal influence” (tooltip over party emblem). Takes a bit to affect, numbers don’t show up immediatly. I tested this by having 2 simultaneous votes, one of them I never bothered to influence at all.

Edit: WAIT! You’re right! I influenced someone positively, and ended up with more committed negative votes. Ok. I think what happens when you influence is you force undecideds to commit to one side or the other. That could explain it.

Glad you see it too. Thought I might have lost my final marble. :) Not so sure I can wrap my mind around your explanation, but I’ll have to re-read it all more closely next time with your idea in mind.

Ok, I mean you are forcing previously-hidden votes to show their hand.

Alternatively, it is possible your choices affect other parties as well. For example, you plead with Psysiocrats and tell them it will help workers. The Social Democrats (the leftists with rose) will then hear it and also be affected. I think I saw other party’s icons move in the scale but I could have imagined that as well… Stayed up late.