Sunday, February 7, 2016

Screenshot of the Day: Tropico 3

I was really impressed with the procedurally generated shacks.

Tropico 3 is a simulation game much like Sim City, but instead of playing as the mayor of a city, the player is a dictator of a small island nation during the Cold War era. This means that in addition to running a stable economy and providing civil services, you also need to work to stay in power and manage relations with the US and the USSR, who will send heaps of development aid if courted properly.

I personally tried to stay in power by being a good leader: providing education and good fixed salaries to my people (there was even free food and housing for all students, a matter close to my heart). Educated citizens can produce processed goods, which are more profitable than the raw materials my economy would depend on with an unskilled labor base. Because of all this, I was liked enough that I could hold free elections and still stay in power. My democratic tendencies led to good relations with the US, which was nice.

That being said, I did play into the dictator persona a bit: on of my favorite systems in Tropico 3 is the dictator's personal Swiss bank account. Your score in game is increased by running a successful country, but also by funneling as much money as possible to your secret account. Under my mandated permit policy, 10% of the cost of every building project went to my account, and I paid bankers to divert a small percentage of each yearly national budget to my account as well. It was almost a victimless crime until I found out that I hadn't built enough housing and the professors I had hired were living in shacks behind the university-- I knew I had forgotten some part of the budget.

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