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Tuesday, February 27, 2001

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More Tropico Details Released
2:58 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Seemingly since the beginning of time itself we have been bringing you news of Tropico, the third-world economic and political sim in development by PopTop Software. At long last the release of this game is on the horizon -- just a few months away, in fact. As part of the ramping-up process to launching the full media hype, PopTop and Gathering of Developers have released more information about this title, including details on resources, their use and the graphics engine. Here is a clip:

Game developer PopTop Software and developer-driven computer and video game publisher Gathering of Developers, both subsidiaries of Take-Two Interactive Software (NASDAQ: TTWO), today released information on Tropico's resources. Tropico is a 3D building, strategy/simulation game that gives virtual dictators the chance to oversee all resources necessary to develop a remote Caribbean island -- from money, labor and time to food, minerals and crops. Tropico will be released in April for the PC and in May for the Mac.

"Tropico's resource management component is actually a great tool for using important real-life skills," said Phil Steinmeyer, president and lead programmer of PopTop. "Just like in everyday life, money and other resources must be utilized intelligently for the island to prosper."
The main resource in Tropico is money, which is earned through successful businesses and trade. The player can choose to shape the islands economy through several industries, including manufacturing, mining, agriculture or tourism.

Money can be spent in three primary ways:

* Constructing New Buildings - Buildings cost money. If the player is broke, no new constructions can be erected.

* Worker Salaries - Salaries are the most important determinant of the populace's happiness. A thriving economy allows the player to raise salaries and keep the people happy. If the money dries up, trouble ensues.

* Edicts - If a dictator wants to pass a new law, a fee must be paid to cover the lawmakers' time.

Tropico also includes other resources such as:

* Labor - Players must have people to work or nothing will be produced.

* Time - Time is necessary for educating workers, constructing new buildings and operating farms and factories.

* Food - If the citizens don't get enough food, discontent and rebellious urges will grow quickly.

* Minerals, Crops, etc. - Mines, farms and ranches produce unique goods that can either be processed into refined goods or exported in raw form. Crops grow realistically. Players need to plant sugar in low-lying swampy areas that get plenty of rainfall while coffee must be planted high in the hillsides. If the player has lots of land and few people, cattle ranches can make profitable use of undeveloped land - players just shouldn't let the cows wander by any tourist luxury hotels.

Tropico is based on an improved version of PopTop's proprietary S3D engine allowing for highly detailed 3D graphics and renderings. The S3D engine was initially used in Railroad Tycoon II. The engine will support hardware acceleration, variable resolution support from 640 x 480 up to 1600 x 1200 and variable color depth support from 8-bit to 32-bit color.

All mockery aside, we are very much looking forward to this title, which looks to be both engrossing and quite attractive. For more information on Tropico, take a stroll through the IMG news database, or visit the Gathering and Pop Top web sites.

Tropico Resources PR at Gathering of Developers
Last 20 Articles on Tropico
PopTop Software
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