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Tropico 3

Platform(s): PC, Xbox 360
Genre: Strategy
Publisher: Kalypso
Developer: Haemimont Games
Release Date: Oct. 16, 2009

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'Tropico 3' Developer Interview #3

by Rainier on Aug. 14, 2009 @ 8:52 a.m. PDT

As in the original Tropico, the player will again be able to play the role of “El Presidente” taking over the control of a tropical island. You decide whether you want to use your army to secure your power base in the best traditions of corrupt, unscrupulous tyrants everywhere, or alternatively to lead your people to prosperity in your role as generous elder statesman.

As in the original Tropico, the player will again be able to play the role of “El Presidente” taking over the control of a tropical island. You decide whether you want to use your army to secure your power base in the best traditions of corrupt, unscrupulous tyrants everywhere, or alternatively to lead your people to prosperity in your role as generous elder statesman.

Danger lurks on every corner. There are militant rebels planning a Coup d'État for a communistic Junta, while in the background there are two lurking superpowers, the USA and the Soviet Union, who would perhaps prefer a more pliable president in the strategically important island of Tropico!

Q: Will you be able to build structures like fountains, plants, parks and statues and will these have an effect on your residents?

HMG: Certainly, players are able to improve the aesthetics of their island with structures such as statues, fountains, and gardens. My favourite is the statue of El Presidente that looks exactly like your customized avatar.

The decorative structures will have an effect on gameplay factors such as beauty and liberty.

Q: Will your individual residents improve their working skill over time or gain reputation? What are the exact attributes for each resident and will you be able to rename them?

HMG: Tropicans gain skill and become better at their jobs over time. They have individual attributes like courage, intellect, and leadership. Citizens with a high intellect will develop employment skills faster; citizens with high courage are more likely to become rebels, and so on. Every Tropican has his own political views and personal preferences - one may value his job above all else, another may place more importance on housing and religion. The education level of the citizen determines what jobs are available to him. There are a multitude of available attributes, so two citizens will never be exactly the same.

You are able to rename your citizens. There is even a campaign mission where this feature will play a part in the fragile political situation.

Q: How many nations will there be in the game that can influence your own island?

HMG: The superpowers that always influence your island are the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. We toyed with the idea of adding a third superpower for some time, but this idea didn't really fit with the whole Cold War theme, so we abandoned it during the development.

In certain campaign scenarios you will have to deal will other countries and even other Caribbean islands, similar to yours.

Q: Will there be assassinations in the game? Can El Presidente be assassinated?

HMG: Some subversive elements will try to make assassination attempts on the life of El Presidente, but he is tougher than he looks, and the long-reaching arm of the Secret Police will protect him. A cunning Presidente will be able to even gain political leverage thanks to the attempts on his life.

Q: Who will succeed El Presidente? It would be great if El Presidente had a lifespan just like everyone else. Can we appoint a successor or will El Presidente have a family and rule like the island as an absolute monarchy - with his children succeeding him?

HMG: Although it will be possible to play longer sandbox games, most campaign missions will be over in 40 years or less, which is a reasonable term of office for an authoritarian ruler. The game does not answer the question "Who will succeed El Presidente", but I strongly suspect that the successor will be his ambitious advisor Penultimo...

Q: Will people go on strike if they're dissatisfied?

HMG: Yes, there are both organised strikes and individual protesting citizens. El Presidente is able to interact with the protesters personally and calm them down. He can also choose how to respond to an organized strike - send the army to quell it down, wait it out, or just meet the demands of the protesters.

Q: Does the Timeline Editor support action based triggers, or is it only time dependent?

HMG: The timeline editor supports action based events. These are scripted as a repeatable event that checks for a certain condition flag over time and will trigger only when the condition becomes true.

Q: Will the 360 version lose anything from the PC version in regards to the multiplayer options?

HMG: Creating and sharing custom challenges is the only PC exclusive game feature. This decision was made due to technical reasons.

Q: Do the taxicabs in the game have any real functionality (e.g. transportation of tourists)? Is there a system for public transportation?

HMG: There is a system for public transportation, and an island with good road connectivity will be at a significant advantage. For example goods will be transported more efficiently, and constructors will reach the construction sites faster. As for the tourists - the transport system will allow them to quickly visit attractions that are further away, thus maximizing the profit from their vacation time.

Keep in mind that it is not trivial to setup an efficient transportation network. Since not every building has its own built-in garage, you will have to use the special Garage buildings as hubs, thus investing both workforce and building space.

Q: How is the day/night-cycle going to work in the game? Do we have individual days instead of months and years in Tropico now?

HMG: The game time is measure in months and years, as it was in Tropico 1. Although the environment light model changes during play for purely aesthetic reasons, there is no day- night cycle.

Q: Can you customize your own insignia and national ensign and will these be visible in the game (on buildings, military units, planes, etc)?

HMG: No, but we like the idea.

Q: How will the presidential speeches be represented in the game? Will there be voiceovers or cut scenes?

HMG: The election speeches are represented with voice-overs. We recorded different voices for male and female rulers.

Q: What language do they speak on the beautiful island of Tropico?

HMG: The official language is Tropican. Only a handful of specialists can understand the subtle difference between Tropican and Spanish, but the key difference is that Tropicans pronounce certain words with more flaming passion. Tourists use their own language.

Q: Can you tell us anything about the unique features of the new interface and the changes from Tropico 1 and 2?

HMG: The new interface is inspired by the interface in Tropico 1 and we are certain that veteran players will quickly recognize familiar elements such as the Almanac yearbook and the citizen infopanel. Some changes were made to ensure easier play. Others to incorporate the new gameplay features like avatar creation and election speeches, and improve accessibility.

Q: Do you already have plans and ideas for possible expansion sets in the future?

HMG: It is still too early to talk about expansion plans. However, we have lots of cool Tropico ideas which couldn't make it into Tropico 3, and would love to work on an expansion or sequel at some time in the future!

Kalypso's Tropico 3, developed by Haemimont Games, is scheduled for release Sept. 2009.

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