Posted by Jeff Posey President and Co-founder, Hellfire Games, Inc.
Hi, I’m Jeff, president and co-founder of Hellfire Games. We’re an indie studio in Austin, Texas, and I’m excited to announce the launch of Big City Stories on August 23.
For the past eighteen months we’ve been working on Big City Stories, a new type of console game. We like to think of Big City Stories as the fusion of some of our favorite genres: city-building, open-world, and MMO.
City Building and a Whole Lot More
We’re big fans of city-building simulators, but we wanted Big City Stories to be more than that. We wanted you to have the power to interact with and enjoy the city you created via third-person. This was an incredibly challenging task. Most city-builders give you a bird’s-eye view of your city, which is relatively straight-forward. Our game, on the other hand, lets you drop down to street level with the touch of a button and no load screen.
Besides the inherent art and engineering difficulties of moving between two very different modes of gameplay, our approach also required us to add much more functionality. There are many systems necessary for a third-person game that are not present in traditional city-builders, and we saw this as an opportunity to redefine a genre we love so much. Here’s a short list of the additional systems that we had to design and engineer for our unique game:
- Highly customizable avatars with a large selection of clothing items and emotes/animations.
- A vehicle system that lets you commandeer and drive vehicles.
- Interactive objects such as stunt ramps and air jets that you can place anywhere.
- Action-packed mini-games.
With the Social Element of MMOs
I was one of the original developers of Ultima Online, and I’ve always wanted to take the MMO experience to PlayStation consoles. We accomplish this in Big City Stories by adding multiplayer features normally not found in city-builders. For example, we’ve made cities persistent spaces so your friends can hang out with you; they can even check out your city when you’re offline. We’ve also added public spaces like a train station where you can make new friends.
Like MMOs, Big City Stories is designed to grow and evolve. We intend to constantly update and improve the game, adding more content and features.
As you can tell from this description, Big City Stories is much more than just another city-builder! Big City Stories gives players the tools, freedom, and control to build their dream cities, and we can’t wait to see what you do with it!
Big City Stories is free-to-play, we are launching on August 23 first in the USA, but we will expand to other regions soon.