Urban Empire FAQ
City Ruler / Political Management Simulation
What is Urban Empire?
Urban Empire is a ‘City Ruler’, a new breed of strategy game that combines city builder features with political scheming and adds profound social and historical events into the mix, creating a whole new gameplay experience where players must employ strategic planning and political savvy to successfully grow their cities in their role as Mayor.
What are Urban Empire’s main features?
- City Ruler, not City Builder: Urban Empire offers a unique combination of classic city building and political management gameplay. Take on the role of a mayor, be a political mastermind and prove your skills by prevailing against opposing parties and guiding your city through technological evolutions and ideological revolutions.
- Choose from four ruling families, each with five characters: such as the equal rights and social justice advocates the Kilgannons, or the Sant’Elias, who focus on scientific progress and the pursuit of knowledge.
- Create and manage city districts on a large scale and fulfil your citizens’ needs – such as happiness, safety, and public services.
- Introduce new ideas and technologies: like the electric tram, antibiotics or video games, and use your power to convince the city council of your political agenda.
- Up to 800 dynamic events represent the twists and turns of urban life: make and influence decisions on issues such as women’s rights, the hippie movement, and child labour.
What platforms will Urban Empire 4 release on?
What engine does Urban Empire use?
Urban Empire uses the Unity engine.
When will Urban Empire release?
20.01.2017 for Windows PC.
Will there also be a physical version?
Yes, Urban Empire will also be released as a physical edition at most major retailers, for PC. The details will be fleshed out closer to release.
Will Urban Empire include modding support?
No, there is no support for mods planned at the moment.
Will there be DLCs or add-ons?
There are many ideas for additional content, but nothing is set in stone, as of yet. For now, we are concentrating on the main game itself.
What languages will be available in Urban Empire?
At the moment, we are planning to support English, French, German, Russian, Chinese and Korean localization. At the very least, the English and German versions will also have voiceover localization.
Who is developing Urban Empire?
Urban Empire is being developed by Reborn (formerly Fragment Production Ltd.) in Tampere, Finland. The company currently has 17 employees and was founded in 2012 by former members of Colossal Order (Cities series). Re-branded in 2016, the studio’s track record to date consists of the emergency services real time strategy and simulation games like the Rescue: Everyday Heroes series.
Why do you use the term City Ruler?
Since Urban Empire does not fit the classic City Builder or Political Management Simulation genres, we decided to give it a whole new twist by creating the City Ruler genre, where players must employ strategic planning and political savvy to successfully grow their cities in their role as the Mayor.
It perfectly combines both genres, creating a challenging and fresh gameplay experience – especially when it comes to the political elements. In Urban Empire you are not a ‘god’ or almighty entity who has the sole power to rule over everything and whose decisions and actions will never be put into question by others. That’s where Urban Empire comes into its own: most of the things you’ll do as a mayor will be put to a vote. You do have the power to overrule decisions, but you shouldn’t exercise this power excessively. Otherwise, the opposing parties and the people will teach you a lesson, the hard way. Without losing sight of your own ideals, your supreme goal should be to listen to the needs of the people and the other political parties and to try and keep them happy. You’ll need to keep a close eye on your political partners in the city council – you won’t be re-elected by being a loner.
Balancing these different needs and alliances is more challenging in Urban Empire than it is in classic City Builders. We want players to have to make a decision about what they value in life, considering equal opportunities in terms of happiness for the different social classes, which may lead to some citizens being content, while others suffer.
What is the event system?
Events are critical part of the gameplay, and currently there are more than 800 already in place. Most games use relatively simple event systems, however Urban Empire’s is more dynamic and more central to the overall game experience. Our events are narrative functions, where we add variables to the game world, thus providing a ‘living’ world where almost anything seems possible. There are several different categories for these events: World Events, City Events, District Events, Player Events, Political Events, etc.
What is the mechanic behind the behaviours of your citizens and the different political parties?
We call it the ‘Wheel of Life”. It’s the basis of our ideological simulation – a life coach and psychiatrist's tool for introspection. Both citizens and political parties have their own ‘Wheel of Life’, which determines what they value in life, and measures their current status in those goals. The more satisfied a citizen is in relation to each category, the happier the citizen is. We divide the Wheel of Life into eight categories, where each category reflects a certain element in the game. The categories are: Happiness, Social Life, Security, Environment, Health, Personal Growth, Money, and Fun.
What are the conditions for winning or losing a game?
There are five winning conditions and only one losing condition – losing the elections. To achieve one of the five winning conditions up to 10 steps are required. The five winning conditions are:
- Science Victory (Establish a Science Centre)
- Economic Victory (establish a Stock Market)
- Political Victory (have average Happiness at ‘superb’)
- Remarkable City Victory (have a movie made about your City)
- End of Time Victory (stay in power beyond the year 2020)
Will Urban Empire feature a multiplayer mode?
No, there will be no multiplayer mode in Urban Empire. We want players to get the best possible individual experience, playing the game at their own pace and focusing on their own playstyle when it comes to making tough decisions and influencing their political career. Being able to survive the political and social challenges will be hard enough without being distracted or interrupted by other players!
Are there any other game modes?
Besides the campaign mode, Urban Empire will feature a special ‘Scenarios’ mode. When playing Scenarios, players will be put into a particular situation, where they have to deal with set circumstances and achieve a specified objective in order to win. One example would be the space race during the Cold War – pressure, suspicion, and secret agents are everywhere on both sides of the Iron Curtain – who will come out on top to and be the first to explore outer space?
Is Urban Empire 100% historically correct?
No. Since Urban Empire is set in a fictional country called Swarelia, your story is not set to rigid historical timelines. Nevertheless, we have tried not to stray too far from actual events. For example, major global events, which often trigger advancements through the eras, are based on well-known events like World War, Cold War, etc.
Is there a specific time period that Urban Empire takes place in?
The campaign has a set timespan from 1820 through to 2020 and is split into five distinct eras:
- Era 1: Industrial Revolution
- Era 2: National Identity
- Era 3: Conflict of Values
- Era 4: Dualism
- Era 5: Fragmentation of Values
How many families are there, and what are the differences between them?
The families work as an anchor for the player to understand the changes that takes place during 200 years of history, and how the families also have to adapt to the changing times. There will be four different families to choose from: the aristocratic von Pfilzens, the artictic and cultural Shyuskys, the tech-savvy and innovative Sant’Elias, and the working class Kilgannons. The families then consist of five characters – one per era – each with its own mindset, traits ad values.
How much replay value is there?
With the massive amount of dynamic events, the variations between the different families, and the different winning conditions, we want players to experience a different outcome every time they play the game, and encourage experimentation with different playstyles and strategies – whether it’s being more aggressive or by trying to be all things to all men. The way you build your city is another aspect – bigger cities play differently to smaller ones. The more citizens you have, the more requirements and demands there will be across the different social classes.
What are twin cities and business delegations for?
Sending a business delegation allows player to boost certain business areas. The bonuses acquired by these delegations depends on the target city and which delegation the player chooses. Twin Cities work similarly to business delegations, but provide bonuses to the public sector – such as municipal services and institutions.
How do inventions work?
Each Era has its own invention tab, called the ‘Progress Cloud’. These inventions are somewhat true to the common timeframe in which they were originally invented, in the real world. These inventions can be researched one after the other, but how much time this will take depends on your accumulated brainpower (collected by building schools and universities, and the happiness of your staff). The more brainpower you have; the less time it needs to research an invention.
If you haven’t researched all the inventions in one era, you will automatically receive them in the era after the next one
FAQ UPDATE 07.11.2016:
Will the city council grow in size to represent the city’s growth?
Currently, the actual council size does not change as you progress through the game. But the number of differing parties will grow. This means that players will have to be really careful with specific decisions – the primary objective of the game is to stay in power, so players must ensure they meet the needs and demands of their citizens as well as those of the various political parties. The choice to either support or oppose these different parties will be a huge challenge.
When it comes to specific numbers, it does not matter if there are say, 1 out of 10 members of one party in the council or 10 out of 100. Percentages play a much bigger role in determining the result, and this will definitely change over the years and through the different eras.
Will the game depict real-life political issues, such as economic depression, an ageing population and unemployment?
There will be economic depressions in the game – not only influenced by global conditions, but also if individual business areas in your city are suffering or dying out. Different businesses will also require different types of workforce – for example, the labour-intensive industries from the early eras have a greater need for the lower working class, whereas in later eras the need for middle class workers will increase. Unemployment is naturally an issue that players will need to deal with no matter which era they’re currently playing in.
Will you be able to undertake investment schemes, such as investing tax money in the stock market?
We’ve put a lot of thought into balancing the economic challenge of the game, particularly to avoid exploits that would make earning money too easy. Much of this challenge is tied to the progression of time – as time progresses, your city will grow, with society in a state of constant change. As your city grows the needs and demands of the citizen will become more complex in kind, resulting in the need for extra services that will require additional levels of income. However, we are not currently planning an option for loans or investments, at least in terms of a stock market. Your ‘investments’ will be in the choices you make for developing your city itself rather than external forces/revenue streams.
Will there be a military aspect to the gameplay, as the World Wars are part of the eras featured in the game?
There will be references to war in Urban Empire, and players will potentially encounter right wing extremists and communist parties in the political side of the game. There is also an arms industry, which will inevitably flourish during periods of war. However, there will be no military action as such, with most of your involvement coming from a business perspective.
Can your family dynasty gather wealth independently, or own a business in the city?
Yes! Your family will have its own private funds that you can choose to spend on building or enhancing districts on your own, independent of your role as mayor and of your political funds. You will also be paid a salary for being the mayor.
Can family members marry other citizens?
Each family, and each member each has its own story to tell and decisions to take, which influence the ongoing storyline. We don’t want to spoil anything, so we want you to experience those stories yourself and see how they are influenced by the decisions that you make.
Can your mayor gain new traits during his/her era (like level-ups, or rewards for accomplishments)?
Yes – and you’ll be able to choose how and which traits your family member will get. After choosing your starting family (each of which features very different characters, political values and storylines), you will play through each era with a different member of your chosen family. Each family member will have several predefined traits, which can and will be enhanced during their time as mayor and affected by the decisions that have been made during this time.
Will the game have multiplayer, either on release or afterwards?
No, there will be no multiplayer mode in Urban Empire. We want players to get the best possible individual experience, focusing on their own playstyle and not being influenced by other player(s), which would result in rushing through the experience. Multiplayer would simply alter the game too much, away from its core appeal and our original vision for how the game would play out. We think this is the best approach for ensuring that players always in charge of their city and master of their decisions at all times.
Can family members die?
Urban Empire is a story-driven game, with the current mayor/character changing with each era of history. With each new era, a successor will step into the role of mayor, and you will get to know what has happened, who the new mayor is, their background and ideals, etc. So yes, there will be deaths within the families.
Will there be crimes that you (as mayor) will be expected to deal with, like in Tropico?
In a sense, yes. As mayor you must ensure that your citizens have everything they need to live their lives. As with any growing city, security and health are key parts of that. Security can be achieved by supplying services such as a police force – so in this sense, crime is a part of the game.
However, bear in mind that you are the mayor of the city, not a police chief. So you will not be addressing any specific crimes or villains yourself, but will instead be providing services and the funds to enhance and expand those services, as and when required.
Will there be Steam Workshop integration for modding?
We are not currently planning any modding support for Urban Empire.
Please be aware that this game is still in development and the FAQ work in progress and will be updated fruther on up to the release of the game and after release.