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Thursday, October 11, 2001

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Tropico Postmortem
9:35 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Brent Smith of PopTop Software has written the latest in the excellent series of game postmortems for Gamasutra, looking at his company's most recent title, Tropico. The article goes through the basics of the game's creation, including their inspirations, what went right, and the mistakes made along the way. It's a fascinating look at the inner-workings of the game development process, and Tropico fans should be even more interested in how this dictatorship/simulation was created.

Some of the good things in the process included already having the Railroad Tycoon II engine as a basis for the game, the tight workplace, and generally fun topic. The complex design also proved to be one of their biggest obstacles, as many employees had different visions in their head of what the game should be. Here's a clip:

Now we found ourselves with a blank slate, an original idea where every gameplay detail had to be created from scratch. Unfortunately, we approached this in much the same way as we had approached RT2. Rather than settling on a unified design, or even trying to create one, each of us ran back to his workstation and began to create what we thought the game would be.

It quickly became apparent that we were not all moving in the same direction. People had very different views of where the game should go. Decisions had to be made on the fly. Some people's visions were cut out entirely, while others had theirs altered to the point that it became something entirely different.

Head over and read through the article to see how they got around this and other issues. Be aware that Gamasutra is now requiring free memberships to read their stories, so login first.

Poptop Web Site
Download Tropico Demo (170MB)
IMG Review of Tropico
Tropico Postmortem at Gamasutra
PopTop Software
Buy Tropico

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Neverwinter Dev Update, Media11:18 AM
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• Tropico Postmortem9:35 AM
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