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Steel Tycoon 1

posted Jul 7, 2018, 3:45 AM by Viktor Zólyomi   [ updated Jul 7, 2018, 3:45 AM ]
The following article was penned by Jonathan Parker and was originally published in the Brickton Herald.

Renowned video game developer ConSoft LLC has announced the ongoing development of their new game, Steel Tycoon 1, tentatively scheduled for release in twelve months. Still reeling from the failure of their infamous first person shooter, Koala Hunting: The Game, the company has decided to return to its roots by developing a strategy game. As opposed to the game that made them famous, Conspiracy: The Game, in this you will not be playing a corrupt politician hell bent on world domination. Instead, you will wear the hat of a ruthless industrialist, and your job will be to build an empire in the steel industry at the expense of your competitors and workers.

Set in Brickton, Con County, the game will take place in the mid 19th century and the player will control none other than the infamous Jeremiah Roarke, former Mayor of Brickton and the founder of the Roarke Steel Mill. ConSoft LLC has bought the right to use the Roarke Steel Mill in the game and Jeremiah Roarke as the protagonist from his great-grandson, the current owner of the Roarke steel empire, Vincent Roarke.

`My son, Jeffrey, talked me into it,' Vincent Roarke says about his decision to sell the necessary rights to ConSoft. `He keeps talking about how good Conspiracy: The Game is, and how much it makes him want to run for Mayor when he grows up. Granted, we could use another Roarke as Mayor of Brickton, so I am thankful to ConSoft for planting the seeds of ambition in Jeffrey. And I figure, lots of young people will come to appreciate the steel industry more if they play a game based on how my great-grandfather built his empire from nothing.'

Vincent Roarke's exaggeration refers to the fact that before establishing the Roarke Steel Mill, Jeremiah Roarke began his life as a banker, then went into politics in 1848 when he took the freshly vacated seat of Mayor of Brickton. In Steel Tycoon 1, the player will begin the game as Mayor of Brickton, and will have to pass various new tax laws that will ensure that all existing steel mills and coal and iron mines will struggle to stay afloat. The player will also have to establish a bank account that city officials and the public do not know about, and transfer as much of the collected taxes to this account as possible without arousing suspicion. The goal of the player is to accumulate a large enough starting capital to effectively buy as many of the struggling companies in the steel industry as they can by the year 1853, which is when the player leaves politics and starts the Roarke Steel Mill, just as Jeremiah Roarke did in real life.

`I am glad the developers are dedicated to historical accuracy,' Vincent Roarke states about the inclusion of his great-grandfather's largely unethical reign as Mayor. `Of course, this part of history should be nothing but a prologue in the game. The meat of it should be how the steel mill grew into the biggest in the Republic of North America.'

In the second stage of Steel Tycoon 1, the player will have to manage the Roarke Steel Mill, carefully balancing material and human resources to ensure that the business turns a profit and is able to grow. The player must keep an eye on the yield of the mines and the efficiency of steel production in the mills, oversee construction of blast furnaces, and ensure that workers are utilized to their maximum efficiency. In particular, they will need to reduce working hours before the exhausted workers could go on strike.

`I can give players a free tip,' Vincent Roarke offers. `They would do well not to have the workers in the mill do shifts longer than fifteen hours under any circumstances. But also no less than twelve hours. As for miners, they can take longer shifts because in the darkness they can't really keep track of time anyway. But even they shouldn't work more than eighteen hours a day, because otherwise, they'll become prone to causing accidents, and that would put production on hold. You never want to risk that, trust me.'

The ultimate goal of the game will be to lead the Roarke Steel Mill until all competitors within Brickton go out of business. ConSoft is promising an online leaderboard where players will be ranked in two categories: how long it took them to achieve complete monopoly, and what the annual profit margin is at the end of the game. Top ten players in each category are expected to be given in-game rewards, though the nature of those rewards is at this time not known. What is known is that there will be no DLC for Steel Tycoon 1, and players have Vincent Roarke himself to thank for that.

`I explicitly forbade ConSoft to make any DLCs,' he states. `My son told me all about these things, said it was a way of releasing an unfinished product and cheat players out of their money. Granted, I can appreciate a good monetization strategy, but I will not give my family's name to a half finished video game. Instead, I made an agreement with ConSoft that if the game is successful, they will expand it into a trilogy.'

Steel Tycoon 1 is, apparently, expected to be just the first of many in a new video game franchise. The culmination of the planned trilogy will take the series into the present day, where the player will step into the shoes of Vincent Roarke himself.

`Just another reason not to have DLCs,' Vincent Roarke states. `I would not want a game mode where you play as me to be a cheap add-on. I would want it to be a main feature. And I would want it to be as authentic as possible. We are already in talks about using motion capture technology to put my likeness into the game for cutscenes of board meetings. I am quite looking forward to it.'

And as for why the current head of Roarke Steel didn't want ConSoft to set the first game in the present day? The answer is profoundly disturbing.

`Playing a simulation of the current steel industry, especially in Brickton, should be a very difficult game,' he explains. `Consider, that these days I have to pay my workers for overtime if they pull long shifts. The blasted social media age makes it essential to invest in worker satisfaction. But worst of all, players will have to put up with the extremely unfair taxes of that greedy bastard Stanley Greekhorse. Like I said before, it's high time we had another Roarke as Mayor of Brickton.'