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Author Topic: [PC] Project Highrise - Skyscraper Construction & Management  (Read 393 times)
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jztemple2
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« on: September 07, 2016, 03:24:00 AM »

I have pre-ordered Project Highrise on Steam, 10% off through it's release this Thursday September 8th (actually until sometime on the 9th). It somewhat reminds me of SimTower and Yoot Tower and I'm willing to give it a try. Here's some blurbs from the store page:

Quote
About This Game

Your job as the architect and developer is to build world-famous skyscrapers that will be the envy of the entire city, masterpieces of art and engineering. But a skyscraper is more than just steel and glass, it’s an intricate ecosystem, full of people that live and work in the building. They become a complex machine that needs your steady hand to keep it running smoothly and efficiently.

From the moment you break ground, every decision rests with you. As the architect you must coordinate the construction of everything - every wall and wire, every office and apartment. As the building owner you must keep your tenants happy - and paying rent on time. As a savvy developer you must keep an eye on the bottom line and invest in the future. Succeed and you will reap the rewards of a prestigious address where everyone will clamor to live and work. Fail and you will watch tenants leave in disgust, taking their business elsewhere and leaving your reputation in tatters.

Will you create an exclusive office highrise that attracts business leaders from around the world? Will you construct luxury apartments in the sky, penthouses for the elite and playgrounds for the famous? Perhaps greed will get the better of you and you’ll build a tenement building that trades tenant happiness for loads of cash? All these choices and more are yours. Success is entirely in your hands.

Features
   
  • Deep and complex simulation of a modern skyscraper.
  • Huge variety of tenants with their own unique characteristics, from restaurants, to offices, retail stores, or residential apartments.
  • Open sandbox play with several difficulty levels and starting conditions allowing you to build your dream skyscraper towering above the surrounding city.
  • Campaign mode that tests your skill at building a successful highrise in challenging scenarios.
  • Test your management mettle by keeping up with your buildings diverse population and their ever-increasing demands.
  • Hire specialized consultants to increase your building's curb appeal, operational efficiency, and pull with city hall.

The developer is SomaSim, who did 1849. This is 2D rather than 3D like 1849, but from the store page images and video you can get an idea of how this works. Also there are some pretty good Let's Play videos from Dad's Gaming Addiction here.

There's an FAQ for further info. A couple of things I like about the game so far; it will have Steam Workshop support, and it's not being released as Early Access.

One question that was asked of the developer was regarding elevators, specifically if there would be elevator management like there was in SimTower. In that game it was necessary to place multiple elevators and landings to try to handle foot traffic in a smooth way. The developer responded that this type of elevator management would not be present in Project Highrise, as the game is designed more as a business sim. After looking at the Let's Play videos I'm fine with that decision. The game doesn't track individuals, rather you are managing tenants and services.

Overall my impression is that this is a rather nice looking game which while not necessarily having long term appeal certainly looks to provide some relaxing gaming. I'll be posting my first impressions on Thursday afternoon.
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Victoria Raverna
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« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2016, 08:26:48 PM »

Gamingtrend's review:

http://gamingtrend.com/reviews/towering-above-project-highrise-review/
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« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2016, 08:42:47 PM »

I gotta find a game soon to renew my joy of gaming. Gone off everything. And this is a genre I would never play.
So what the heck, maybe its what I need. retard
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jztemple2
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« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2016, 03:56:31 AM »

Just a bit of news before the game is released tomorrow. The developer has posted information on how to mod in Project Highrise. Basically they point you to this page which includes tutorials, assets, templates and reference charts. Mods for the game will be available through Steam Workshop.
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jztemple2
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« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2016, 04:11:55 AM »

Over at the OpenCritic page for the game, right now there are four reviews, two with scores. Gaming Trend gives it a 90/100 and says "For the curious and the creative, brimming with replay value, and fairly priced, Project Highrise is the game that SimTower should’ve been". Meantime, GameWatcher gives it a 6.5/10, noting "Project Highrise takes obvious inspiration from a cult classic, but struggles to build compelling mechanics around a proven concept. Constructing a tower still offers its own simple pleasure, but there’s not enough depth here to keep you building a skyline’s worth of high-rises". Or in other words, one man's treasure is another man's trash.

Impressions coming in about 15 hours....
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"Books are the perfect entertainment: no commercials, no batteries, hours of enjoyment for each dollar spent. What I wonder is why everyone doesn't carry a book around for those inevitable dead spots in life" - Stephen King
jztemple2
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« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2016, 04:33:12 AM »

Oops, just noticed this. If you are a Green Man Gaming VIP (in other words, you have an account there), you can get Project Highrise for 19% off, rather than the 10% off that Steam is offering till 1pm EDT on Friday. I could have saved myself an extra $1.70 USD icon_confused. As usual for GMG, there is no indication how long this sale will last, probably till they run out of keys. Again, I haven't looked at the game myself, so it's still a pig in a poke right now. But you can get it a bit cheaper at GMG rather than Steam should you desire to.
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"Books are the perfect entertainment: no commercials, no batteries, hours of enjoyment for each dollar spent. What I wonder is why everyone doesn't carry a book around for those inevitable dead spots in life" - Stephen King
jztemple2
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« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2016, 04:44:10 PM »

Got the game and installed it. I noticed that I didn't get the pre-order bonus of the different menu background, the developers are aware of this issue (apparently no one got the bonus) and they are working on it. The game is a bit over 300 MB, which is nice. The graphics are nice and pleasing and looks very retro; I think the developers said they were going for a 1950-60s feel, hence no internet hook-ups or cell phones.

It took me 22 minutes to get through the five tutorials. The UI seems pretty logical and you can mouse-over items for more info. I'm going to try a scenario or two right now.
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"Books are the perfect entertainment: no commercials, no batteries, hours of enjoyment for each dollar spent. What I wonder is why everyone doesn't carry a book around for those inevitable dead spots in life" - Stephen King
jztemple2
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« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2016, 05:42:44 PM »

Fifty-four minutes into the game, which means I'm 32 minutes into my first scenario. Here are the objectives:


And here's the building (click image to enlarge):


The building is losing money, $2,345 a day, and I've only got $15,000 cash. Using the various overlays available, I'm finding that the four food locations are losing money because they are grimy and they think they are playing too much rent. I agree, so I focus my maintenance staff on them and also lower their rents 25%. You can alter rents globally by store/office/apartment type or by each individual unit.


I now have enough prestige, due to my 40 tenants and the artwork mural in the lobby, to open a medium restaurant. Problem is, that size restaurant needs a water feed and a trash bin on the same floor. Since I don't have a water system in the building yet, I have to add an additional bit of structure on the back of the building to provide room for water piping and meters:


The new restaurant is a hit and it is generating Buzz. Buzz is a currency in the game which when spent gives you a boost in things like visitor attendance to shops or restaurants or maybe getting a vendor to put up signs for free that will generate you some income.

The scenario is rated easy, but it's no pushover. It will take some thoughtful planning to improve things without going negative on cash flow.

Overall so far I'm pretty pleased with the game. It's early days but so far there are no red flags with performance or game design. More impressions to come.

Oh, and we are having a bit of a situation in one of the elevator cars:
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"Books are the perfect entertainment: no commercials, no batteries, hours of enjoyment for each dollar spent. What I wonder is why everyone doesn't carry a book around for those inevitable dead spots in life" - Stephen King
jztemple2
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« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2016, 08:06:07 PM »

I'm a couple of hours in and still working on that first scenario. I can see how one review said the game was too difficult. To achieve the revenue and population goals I have to get more tenants, but I can't simply add more simple offices and stores, since from what I'm seeing, too many of the same thing tends to cut down on the business income to those places, with the result that they become unhappy. So I have been adding medium offices, but they start needing things like janitorial, water bottle and other services. Also the dentist I added to the fifth floor needs piped in water, which means I had to add water closets (not the WCs the Brits think of) to each floor going to that office, so I can lay pipes.

This game reminds me a lot of Prison Architect. Poor planning on early layout will cost you later on. So far, about an hour and a half on my scenario, I've avoided a loan, but I'm to the point of needing to build some apartments and it's going to take some cash.

The game definitely is fun if you like these building and management sims. It does require planning and money management, but it doesn't seem like it will be tedious, since everything like offices, stores and restaurants have increasing needs the larger they get and it's getting those services to them without breaking the bank that's the challenge.
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"Books are the perfect entertainment: no commercials, no batteries, hours of enjoyment for each dollar spent. What I wonder is why everyone doesn't carry a book around for those inevitable dead spots in life" - Stephen King
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« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2016, 04:34:24 AM »

I finished the scenario "Neighborhood Revitalization" in just about seven hours. And it was a lot of fun biggrin. Here are the medals:



The game design is such that to build the high end apartment type you need to not only have built examples of the lesser types, but you also need to have built a variety of stores, restaurants and services. And the game doesn't spell out some of the items you need, it just says you need "a greater variety" of, for instance, stores that sell food and groceries or ones that sell housewares and appliances. And you'll also need a greater variety of cakes  slywink. So it's more than just connect the dots, which is fine. I did post a suggestion on the Steam forum that there ought to be a way to highlight the different sizes and types of stores/offices/restaurants or at least put that information on the ADA/360 report (which, btw, is sortable).

The game does hit a Goldilocks spot for me; it's not too easy or repetitive in the build process that you become bored, or too hard and brittle so that if you make an early mistake your scenario is doomed. I ran into an issue where I had built services such that I had a negative cash flow and couldn't take out any more loans; I assumed I was cooked. But by fiddling with rents and adding some tenants I got over the hump and went back to a positive cash flow. It speaks well of the game that it wasn't till the sixth of the seven hours it took me to play it to completion that I had so much money rolling in that I could quit having to carefully monitor my expenses every day.

I'm looking forward to starting another scenario. Post any questions you may have.
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« Reply #10 on: September 09, 2016, 03:27:41 PM »

Quote from: jztemple2 on September 09, 2016, 04:34:24 AM

The game does hit a Goldilocks spot for me; it's not too easy or repetitive in the build process that you become bored, or too hard and brittle so that if you make an early mistake your scenario is doomed. I ran into an issue where I had built services such that I had a negative cash flow and couldn't take out any more loans; I assumed I was cooked. But by fiddling with rents and adding some tenants I got over the hump and went back to a positive cash flow. It speaks well of the game that it wasn't till the sixth of the seven hours it took me to play it to completion that I had so much money rolling in that I could quit having to carefully monitor my expenses every day.

That is all a really good sign to me!  That kind of balance to keep you interested but not overwhelmed can be rare, and a real deal breaker if done wrong.

And thanks for the impressions!
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jztemple2
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« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2016, 03:52:51 PM »

Quote from: EngineNo9 on September 09, 2016, 03:27:41 PM

And thanks for the impressions!

You're welcome. So many other folks have taken the time to post some early impressions on other games I'm just happy to be able to return the favor nod
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"Books are the perfect entertainment: no commercials, no batteries, hours of enjoyment for each dollar spent. What I wonder is why everyone doesn't carry a book around for those inevitable dead spots in life" - Stephen King
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« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2016, 08:38:03 PM »

A few more items...

I've started another Easy scenario, The Merchandise Mart. This one seeks to recreate the concept of Chicago's Merchandise Mart, a not very tall but very wide building with a focus on stores and offices. I've noted that the contracts for this scenario are different than the ones for the first scenario I played, Neighborhood Diversification. That's pretty cool, since it helps focus the player on what to do earlier in the scenario when you might be sure of what to build next. For this reason I would suggest that new players do a couple of scenarios first, rather than jumping into the sandbox mode.

Also the first community guide has been posted with lots of info on the sizes of tenants and other rooms in the game. If you are the type who hates to waste a single space packing in the tenants, the guide should be of help.

Also some Steam Workshop items have shown up. Remember if you do subscribe to a mod, you must also activate it in the Mod menu, found under the main menu of the game. Here is Van Gogh's Starry Night in my lobby... it does look a bit large, but it's free!
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"Books are the perfect entertainment: no commercials, no batteries, hours of enjoyment for each dollar spent. What I wonder is why everyone doesn't carry a book around for those inevitable dead spots in life" - Stephen King
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« Reply #13 on: September 10, 2016, 08:52:50 PM »

Version 1.0.3 update has been released, all patch notes in spoiler tags below.

Spoiler for Hiden:
Project Highrise™ Release Notes

Copyright © 2016 SomaSim


*** Version 1.0.3 (September 10 2016)

Improvements
- Increased capacity of certain services
- Increased height caps in sandbox mode

Bug fixes
- Text fixes in multiple languages
- Fixed a bug where bulldozer tool had slightly different removal behavior
  than clicking "evict or remove" button in the unit's dialog
- Fixed a bug with some decorations leaving behind boxes when they're removed
- Fixed a bug with 2-story plaza decorations leaving behind boxes that float in the air
- Fixed a bug with construction workers floating mid-air if you deleted the floor
  around and underneath them, now they get snapped to the ground
- Fixed a bug with deleted floor tiles showing "destination unreachable" warnings
- Fixed a bug where broken elevators sometimes did not get fixed
- Fixed a bug where trash boxes sometimes did not get collected
- Fixed a bug where time like "4:30" would be displayed incorrectly sometimes
- Fixed a bug where some restaurant workers were not getting dinner and complaining
- Fixed several tuning problems with media campaigns
- Fixed a pricing discrepancy between 2BR and 2BR Lux apartments
- Fixed out of bounds pathing anchors in several restaurants and retail stores
- Fixed gourmet restaurant goal not accepting seafood restaurant
- Fixed requirements for finance HQ office requiring too many financial offices


*** Version 1.0.2 (September 8 2016)

Bug fixes
- Text fixes in multiple languages
- Steam: fix for game not getting past main menu, gibberish text showing in lower right corner
- Steam: added background image switcher for the preorder bonus background in the main menu


*** Version 1.0.1 (August 26 2016)

Improvements
- Added support for GOG Galaxy client
- Different main menu background for players who bought the preorder edition
- Updated "about" text

Bug fixes
- Fixed loc bug in Spanish
- Fixed feedback about overcrowded restaurants
- Fixed some services reporting work hours "0:00 - 0:00"
- Fixed unnecessary build ribbon highlights in two tutorials and four scenarios


*** Version 1.0.0 (August 22 2016)

Improvements
- Scenario tuning adjustments
- Some additional sound effects (different bulldoze sounds, etc)

Bug fixes
- UI fix for some scrollbars displaying incorrectly
- Fixed a bug with save files that included preorder content, if player disabled it
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"Books are the perfect entertainment: no commercials, no batteries, hours of enjoyment for each dollar spent. What I wonder is why everyone doesn't carry a book around for those inevitable dead spots in life" - Stephen King
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