Buildings Have Feelings Too! Preview: Building Manager
Kalvin Martinez / Oct 25th, 2018 No Comments
Simulation games are all about building things, but not necessarily about the buildings. What if a simulation game took a different approach? What if buildings acted as characters rather than props and objects?
Buildings Have Feelings Too! is all about exploring what happens when buildings have personalities, likes/dislikes, needs and wants and, more importantly, feelings. The novel approach fuses an arcade-y simulation style with a story centered around these buildings. The result is a charming presentation with an excellent art style and a lot of personality.
Tend to the Buidlings
In the demo, we got a small taste of what the full version of Building Have Feelings Too! will offer. You control a building who helps wrangle the other buildings and make sure they are taken care of.
The game inverts the typical sim dynamic of building as resources by making the people resources. As a building, you go around gathering up people and distributing them to buildings. Depending on the people you pick up, they can help staff a building, provide medical care or simply act as sweet, sweet dosh.
Since people are resources, they help buildings achieve their full potential. All buildings have wants and needs. In the demo, we saw a discotech next to an industrial factory. The discotech didn’t like being next to the factory’s fumes. It harshed the mellow. To make the discotech happy, I had to move the factory away. But then, the factory became sad because it liked being near the music. That’s where the potential for the game is. It isn’t solely about making sure businesses within a building are able to thrive; it’s about making sure the buildings are happy, too. That tantalizing prospect of caring about more than what resources a building can produce is what gives the game such promise.
It goes further than simply a building liking music, though. Buildings have desires. For example, banks in poor areas will need you to gentrify in order for it to be happy. There are obvious moral implications for that, but development isn’t always pretty.
Buildings Have Feelings Too! allows you to create specialized districts — like a financial district or a downtown — when your city gets big enough. How you decide to build is going to be a balancing act.
While the demo only gave a small feel of the game, there is a whole lot more in store in the final version. Besides trying to ensure buildings thrive and creating specialized districts, you’ll be able to invest in new industries and types of architecture. Since time marches forward, world events will also affect buildings, and some may be so devastating it can cause buildings to fail and go bankrupt.
Most importantly though, players will have to tend to the city’s needs on top of the needs of buildings. Contending with noise pollution, electric supply and transportation adds to the complexity of managing the city.
The coolest thing about the game is how many of the buildings are based on real buildings in the developers’ hometown of Belfast. One of the buildings in the game is even based on the office building where Blackstaff Games is developing Buildings Have Feelings Too! The exploration of Belfast’s rich architectural history adds another interesting layer to the game.
Buildings Have Feelings Too! is set to launch late spring 2019 on Xbox One, PC, PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch.
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tags: Blackstaff Games , Buildings Have Feelings Too! , Buildings Have Feelings Too! preview , Merge Games , preview