Kalypso Media today releases the first of three parts of a Tropico 3 developer interview. In their first fifteen answers the developers give information about the online functionality, tell us more about diplomacy and the politic system, weather effects and natural desasters and give examples of production chains as well as an overview of the powerfull timeline editor.
1. Ulf (German):
Q: Is Tropico 3 going to be more complex than its predecessors? Will it still be accessible to casual gamers?
A: One of our goals during the development of Tropico 3 was to make the game even more accessible than its predecessors without sacrificing the gameplay elements we all love. While Tropico 3 has cool new features and expanded mechanics in addition to the classic Tropico gameplay, we are confident that the game is still accessible to regular gamers.
2. stefan-313 (German):
Q: Will there be an overview of your people's status (happy/neutral/angry)?
A: It is possible to monitor the happiness satisfaction of every individual citizen in several categories. Various overviews summarize this information.
3. cccp232 (International):
Q: What new edicts will there be?
A: Just recently El Presidente firmly denied the rumors of nuclear testing on Tropican land and the establishment of a Secret Police in Tropico - http://twitter.com/el_prez
. And, as you know, when the government denies something, it is probably there. Don't tell anyone, but these are two of the new edicts we are working on.
4. Buddy3101 (German):
Q: In the multiplayer component, will you be able to visit islands of other presidents and help them with their administration or start trade alliances?
A: After the successful completion of any game scenario or player issued challenge, you will have the opportunity to share your country and island online and invite other players to visit it. Visitors have the opportunity to take over and reign in your place after your mandate is over - this is just for fun and doesn't grant score, campaign progress, or any other in-game benefit.
This should be the island you are most proud of and want to identify with - the one with the biggest population, the most beautifully decorated, or just the most challenging scenario that you've ever completed. Of course, you are always able to change your mind and invite visitors to another one of your islands.
There are no trade alliances between players.
5. DJKRose (German), ElHoneyBadger (International):
Q: Since music was such a big and impressive part of the game (more than graphics, which is rare), how will this aspect be handled in Tropico 3? Do you have any plans concerning the soundtrack?
A: The music was one of the most important parts of the game's unique identity and we are staying true to the style established by it. Certainly, to feel like Tropico, the game has to sound like Tropico.
6. cccp232 (International):
Q: Will diplomacy and the education system in this game be expanded upon?
A: Veterans from the original Tropico will quickly recognize the base mechanics behind diplomacy and education.
Players have to balance the external affairs of their countries between the cold war superpowers USA and USSR, possibly even allying with one of them. A ruler who disregards the foreign politics will receive less foreign aid and may even have to face the threat of an invasion. Diplomatic negotiations will be themes for several missions in the campaign.
High-school and college education are still required for the prestigious jobs such as doctors, engineers, soldiers, and generals. Qualified foreign experts may be attracted, but it is often better (and cheaper) to educate your own people.
7. stefan-313 (German):
Q: Will there be "political" events such as a world finance crisis?
A: Yes, there will be many such events in the game. Furthermore (see question 15), players will be able to use them to create their own scenarios with the Timeline Editor.
8. Buddy3101 (German), dav90 (German):
Q: Will weather and/or natural catastrophes have an effect on the game and what will these effects and catastrophes be?
A: Various crops require different humidity and soil conditions. The Caribbean winds spread the effects of industrial pollution. There will be various disasters such as Earthquakes and Tropical Storms, but they will function differently than the disasters in the original Tropico. Players will be able to play and create both scenarios without any disasters and disaster-themed scenarios.
9. stefan-313 (German):
Q: Will your people be able to express their complaints directly to their leader (for example by petition or open letter)?
A: Factions will express their major concerns by petitions. Individual people are able to protest, and if their demands are not met they may even become rebels and take arms against the government. El Presidente is finally able to personally meet the protesters and calm them down in person.
10. Ulf (German):
Q: What will the production chains in the game look like? Can you give an example?
A: A classic example - Logs are produced from nearby forests by a Logging Camp. While the player is able to export them directly, it is more profitable to convert them to Lumber in a Lumber Mill. Furniture, constructed from Lumber in a Furniture Factory, is an even more lucrative export.
Another example would be Oil that is found in two types of deposits - both in sea and on land and may be refined into advanced Oil Products.
11. El Dave (International):
Q: Will Tropico 3 be presented tongue in cheek like the last one?
A: We are currently replacing the hamsters powering own patented tongue-in-cheek humor generators. We are assured by our finest experts that the new hamsters are of the highest quality, so we hope they will do their job well.
12. ElHoneyBadger (International), CoconutKid (International):
Q: What kinds of new industries (aside from the ones already in Tropico 1) will we be seeing in the game? Will there be new things to mine? Different kinds of gems for instance? Maybe "advanced" metals such as titanium, or maybe radioactive metals such as uranium/plutonium/radium or even oil that the Superpowers might take a lot of interest in?
A: Oil is a new natural resource found both in water and on land. Players will be able to export it or process it into advanced Oil Products in their refinery. As mentioned in another question, prices of Oil generally go up over the years, so it is wise to save your Oil reserves for later in the game, instead of exploiting them instantly.
13. cccp232 (International):
Q: Will there be political parties/factions and elections? If so, how will elections be handled? Will there be campaigns, debates or interviews? If there are political parties, will these replace generalized citizen factions, or be in addition to factions?
A: There are political factions - the six from the original Tropico and one new. Factions have leaders and their own agenda, so they may be perceived as a generalization for political parties.
Election Speeches are a new feature for Tropico 3 that allows the player to sway voters in his favor before the elections. He is able to make election promises (and bear the consequences from them at the next elections), praise a faction or foreign power, or address a hot issue by blaming it on someone else.
The player will be able to listen to his own election speech just before the elections.
14. stefan-313 (German), Ulf (German):
Q: Will there be a trade system with import/export goods?
A: Goods export prices change over time. For instance a lucrative trade agreement will adjust the prices of processed goods in the player's favor, but the rumors of a mad cow disease will lower the price of beef. As said before, Oil prices generally go up over the years.
Like in the original Tropico, there is no general mechanic for imports.
15. Buddy3101 (German), ElHoneyBadger (International):
Q: Are there any plans for building a community through modding and scripting support? How "open" and customizable will Tropico 3 be in this regard? Will you provide an easy to use map editor?
A: The Timeline Editor is a powerful tool allowing users to create their own custom scenarios called challenges. Events in these challenges will be very customizable, right up to the flavor text. So if you want to create a challenge about aliens abducting Tropican citizens, or to recreate a historical event like the Cuban missile crisis, you can now do so. The game will fully support sharing and rating user created scenarios online.
The players will be able to customize some aspects of the maps. The Map Generator allows you to quickly create a wide variety of random islands by setting various parameters such as map size, elevation, vegetation and natural resources.