In 1999, Franz-Benno Delonge's first game, "Big City", was published. It is a game which revolutionized (some would say "created") the modern city-building genre. If you've played any city-building game in the past 20 years, chances are it was inspired by Big City.
For years, Big City was due for a reprint. Through a series of unfortunate events, multiple publishers tried and failed to bring this classic back into print. Sadly, Franz-Benno passed away in 2007, leaving a legacy of classic game designs, but never seeing the reprint of Big City the way he wanted it to be published.
But now, for the first time in 20 years, Mercury Games invites you to help us bring the original Euro City-Builder back to life. And this time, it's going to be a 20th Anniversary Jumbo Edition.
We are so fortunate to have interacted with Franz-Benno Delonge before his passing. Because of this, we are pleased to announce that this reprint will incorporate design updates and new content created and/or approved by Benno. We believe it's Big City produced the way he would have wanted. Will you join us to help make this happen?
THE ORIGINAL CITY-BUILDING GAME RETURNS!
After 20 years, Big City is still treasured as an all-time favorite city-building game. Now it's your chance to try this legendary classic!
In Big City, each player receives property cards and can use them to build all kinds of different buildings. The more adjacent properties you can connect, the more points you can score. You can earn even more points by making sure the best possible structures are next door to your new building - maybe it's best not to build that new shopping mall next to the factory, but it would sure be wonderful next to a park.
In this 20th Anniversary Jumbo Edition, we celebrate this famous game by making the building miniatures extra-detailed and JUMBO SIZED! With more than 60 structures to build among 8 modular neighborhoods, no two cities will ever be the same.
It's time to grow your small town into a BIG CITY!
And we are so excited to announce the first-ever expansion for Big City called "Big City: Urban Upgrade!" with content approved by Franz-Benno Delonge!
ABOUT URBAN UPGRADE
Do you want even more Big City? Then it's time for an URBAN UPGRADE!
In Big City: Urban Upgrade, you'll find 2 new neighborhoods and a brand-new waterfront to build. To help bring all these new properties to life we're also giving you 4 new building types as well as extra buildings. As with the base game, these new buildings look huge and amazing.
This expansion also adds all the pieces you need for a 5th player - now even more people can enjoy competing for the best properties!
This is an URBAN UPGRADE you don't want to miss!
BIG CITY (Base Game)
- 52 HUGE Building Miniatures in 16 different sculpts!
- 17 Streetcar miniatures
- 8 Modular Neighborhood Boards
- 2 Large Player Reference Cards
- 1 Large Scoreboard
- Scoring Markers / +100 Point Markers / First-Player Marker
- 72 Property Cards (300gsm!)
- Game Box / Insert / Baggies for storage
Current expected box size: 12.25" x 12.25" x 4.75"
Current expected weight: A lot.
URBAN UPGRADE EXPANSION (Jam-packed with new content!)
- 15 more large building Miniatures including 4 brand new building types never before released!
- 2 additional Modular Neighborhood Boards (Neighborhood 9 and 0)
- New Waterfront Tile (Brand New - never before released!)
- Additional player markers to add a 5th player (Scoring Marker/ +100 Marker).
- 18 Property Cards (300gsm!)
- Rules Sheet
- Game Box / Insert / Baggies
Current Expected Box Size is: 8.5" x 6.75" x 2"
Expected Weight: Surprisingly Heavy.
We will be using this section to show off some of the amazing miniatures included with Big City. These are unlike anything ever produced before. Keep an eye out here for updates throughout the project!
Between the base game and expansion there are at least 84 miniatures to be built in your Big City!
NOTE: We had these samples specially made for this Kickstarter. They are unpainted. The final versions will solid PVC and will be colored according to their type (red for residential, blue for commercial etc.).
Please note these are not cavity-backed or hollow miniatures. They are solid PVC construction, so while that does increase the weight and the cost it also gives that feeling of quality that our Jumbo editions are known for.
...more buildings shown soon!
ALL STRETCH GOALS ARE IN CANADIAN DOLLARS (w/ Approximate USD Equivalent Listed for Reference)
Approximate USD equivalent: $38,000*
Extra Waterfront Tile! (Added to Urban Upgrade Expansion)
In addition to the 2x4 size Waterfront tile included in the expansion, we will also add a 3x3 Waterfront tile to the expansion.
This will offer players more flexibility on Waterfront placement, and since it both blocks neighborhood placement and provides a bonus to residences placed adjacent, this will be a valuable and strategic decision to make.
Approximate USD equivalent: $53,000*
TWO EXTRA REFERENCE CARDS! (Added to the Base Game)
Big City is a game where understanding the prerequisites for a building and the potential point scoring is critical for a winning strategy. Instead of 2 reference cards we will increase the total number of reference cards to 4! No more passing them around the table!
These reference cards are made from a high-quality cardstock and are approximately 11" x 11" (280mm x 280mm).
Approximate USD Equivalent: $68,000*
FOUR MORE STREETCARS! (Added to the Urban Upgrade Expansion)
In Franz-Benno's notes for the new edition of Big City, he wondered if it was possible to add more streetcars to increase the available length of the streetcar line winding through the city. If we unlock this stretch goal, the answer is YES!
It's worth noting that we're doing everything in our power to make these streetcars a nice shiny silver in an homage to the original version.
Approximate USD equivalent: $83,000*
Two Custom-Made Holding Boxes Lined with EPE Foam!
For this stretch goal, we're taking it up a notch and creating custom Holding Boxes for all of the miniatures! This means a Holding Box for the base game AND a Holding Box for the Expansion too! If you are backing for both, you'll receive both, and if you're backing for the Base Game Only, you'll receive one.
This Holding Box will fit inside the main game box. Lined with EPE foam, it will provide extra cushioning for these amazing miniatures!
These Holding Boxes are quite expensive to manufacture, and upon achieving this Stretch Goal we wish to add them to all copies of the game. However, we reserve the right to declare them a Kickstarter Exclusive after the end of this Project in order to keep their quality as high as possible.
If we do declare them a Kickstarter Exclusive this will also cover our Canadian Preorder partner, Boardgamebliss, so all copies preordered there would also receive these Holding Boxes.
We are mentioning this now in order to allow potential Backers the opportunity to make a decision knowing the best information we have available at this time.
Approximate USD Equivalent: $98,500*
SURPRISE! We have ANOTHER secret stretch goal for you!
This time it's GOLD FOIL LETTERING for the Custom Holding Boxes you all worked so hard to unlock! Let's add a touch of style to those boxes! This Stretch Goal will add some lovely gold foil lettering to each of the two holding boxes - one in the base game, and one in the expansion!
Here is our basic initial design for the lettering and a small sample photo for those who are not familiar with gold foil lettering.
EXAMPLE OF PLAY
Big City is a relatively-easy game to learn. The strategy comes in the timing and positioning of the buildings which form the city, and the decisions each player makes on their turn rewards them with different amounts of points. Patience is often rewarded, but unnecessary delay might be penalized (thanks to the all-new Redevelopment Phase)
In this section, we're going to show you the various options available to each player on their turn. Each player will choose one of the following:
BUILD A BUILDING/PARK/FACTORY
This is a core action in Big City, and how the game progresses.
On their turn, if a player has a property card with the corresponding number (or numbers) where they want to place a building, they simply play those cards onto the table face-up and then select the building to play at that location. That building will score immediately and then never again, so timing is important!
Depending on the exact situation, it may be better to build certain buildings, build on other properties in the player's hand, or choose a different action completely.
Let's look at an example:
On this players turn, they are deciding between building on property 11 or property 15. If they were to build on property 11, a good option might be a single residence, since those score 2 points plus 1 point for being on the outskirts of town.
Now take a look at the area marked in red. That's the downtown area and it's easy to find because the downtown is any property which has no edges touching the outside of the city. The downtown can (and usually will) grow over the course of the game based on the player decision.
Since this player also has property card 15 and sees a single residence and double business adjacent to that property, they are able to build the Post Office (see the player aid above to confirm the prerequisites). This results in 5 points for the Post Office.
It's important to note here that though 5 points is greater than the 3 point house option, that doesn't make it the best option necessarily. It depends on many factors, such as who else has property cards from neighborhood 1 in their hand (card backs show the neighborhood that they belong to in order to give hints to other players). But, even more importantly, if they had been able to wait for another building to be placed nearby or even the placement of the streetcars, they may have received more points for this property.
Still, for this example, let's assume they've built the Post Office. They simply play their 15 card onto the table, place the Post Office, collect their points, and then replace that used card with a drawn card from the neighborhood Property Pool of their choice. Maybe they'll choose to pick another neighborhood #1 card, or maybe they'll take something else?
BUILD A STREETCAR
This is an important action, but one that requires the right timing. The streetcar itself is worth 0 points, but it doubles the value of a lot of nearby buildings. Keep in mind, of course, that buildings score instantly, so if they were built before the streetcar, they won't receive any bonus points. On the other hand, building the streetcar can reveal your plans to fellow players, so a player needs to be crafty in how they choose to position it.
Let's look at an example:
In this example, two players have chosen the streetcar action. The very first streetcar played is always played alone. That's the price for being able to decide where the streetcar line begins. Every other time a player takes the streetcar action they get to add 2 more streetcars to either end of the line. Branching or deadend-looping is not permitted, but players can certainly place the streetcar in such a way to break up double and triple properties which are not yet built (remember how we said waiting too long to build can cause trouble?).
In this case, it appears someone has plans for neighborhood 4 because they've sent the streetcar line South. This potentially doubles most of the buildings that can be built in this area, so players would be well-advised to start collecting neighborhood #4 properties or try to turn the streetcar line somewhere else.
ADD A NEW NEIGHBORHOOD
This action is also worth 0 points, but can be an important way to combine properties that you may have collected.
Let's say that a player has property 41 and has also managed to collect property card 31 from the 3 neighborhood deck (a neighborhood which, in this example, has not yet been placed). Let's take a look at how that player would use this action to maximize the potential points:
As you can see in this example, that player might place neighborhood #3 to create a ready-to-build double property! But, even better, they've managed to grow the downtown area (making sure their property is part of it), and they already got one neighboring building as a prerequisite for building another building, plus they even have their double property (41/31) next to the streetcar for double points! This was a really nice play! Even though they score 0 points for this, on their next turn they'll probably build something amazing on those two properties (double business or maybe even more!)
Normally when a player builds with 1, 2, or 3 property cards they get to refill their hand at the end of their turn by taking any cards from the available Property Card Pool and add them to their hand. The big restriction, however, is that only 1 card from any one neighborhood can be taken, meaning those properties are unlikely to be connected.
One way to maximize your hand is to use the exchange action. During the exchange action you can surrender any number of Property Cards (return them to the Property Card Pool to the bottom of their respective Neighbourhood Decks) and then that player can take the same number of cards back up to a maximum of 2 from any one neighborhood deck.
Let's look at a simple example:
Let's assume that this player already has a single neighborhood 2 card in their hands (not shown above). That player also has a single 1 and a single 4 neighborhood card, meaning a fairly broken up collection of properties. On their turn, they use the Exchange Cards action and surrender Property Cards 17 and 43 (face-down back to their decks) and draws two new Neighborhood 2 cards into their hand. Now they would have three Neighborhood 2 cards and probably have more building options on their next turn.
Be aware that if every player choose this action (or the Pass action) consecutively the game ends immediately!
Sometimes doing nothing is a smart move, especially if you're waiting for someone else to build a prerequisite building next to your property. Though it should be used sparingly, a player can Pass to end their turn without doing anything. Keep in mind that if all players Pass or Exchange Cards consecutively, the game ends immediately!
Finally, once all players have selected an action from above, the all-new Redevelopment Phase takes place. This is a mandatory action for all players, and it's the city's way of asking players to either develop their properties or else allow someone else to develop it.
Starting with the player in first place (check the scoreboard), each player must offer one Property Card (or optionally two) face-down on the table. This means that other players will see which neighborhood the Property Card is from, but not the exact Property number.
Once all players have placed at least one card this way, starting in reverse point order (the player in last), each player takes back the same number of Property Cards that they offered, making sure not to take their own Property Cards back unless there is no other option.
There is one additional option here, however. Instead of placing their Property Card(s) face-down, any player can choose to play them face-up instead. If offering two Property Cards they must both be either face-up or face-down together - you cannot have one of each.
In order to be played face-up, a Property Card must be playable at that time. For example, if neighborhood 6 is not in play yet, a player can still offer Property Cards from that neighborhood, but they must be played face-down.
If a player chooses to offer a Property Card face-up they give away a lot of useful information to other players. However, any player who plays their card face-up gets to select their new Property Cards before any other player who did not play face-up. Let's look at an example:
In this 3-player game, player 1 is in first, followed by player 2 and then player 3.
In the redevelopment phase, player 1 opts to offer a single card face-down. Player 2 really wants to select their cards first, and so they offer 2 cards face-up. Player 3 would normally select first but with player 2 playing face-up they would now be selecting AFTER player 2 unless they also play face-up. However, in this example neighborhood 6 is not currently in play and so player 3 MUST play that card face-down.
In this example, that means that the order to select new cards from other players will be: Player 2, then player 3, then player 1. Player 2 only has one legal choice, and that is to take both cards from player 1 and player 3. Then player three selects either face-up card from player 2, meaning player 1 is stuck with whatever is left. Good thing player 1 is in first place!
This phase is all-new for the reprint of Big City. It eliminates the biggest problem of the original edition where players were tempted to hoard properties which would sometimes crate a stand-off. Now it's much harder to hold onto properties from too long because the city will eventually force it into Redevelopment. Timing is everything!
Shipping will be calculated after the end of the project and paid upon filling out your Crowdox survey (which we will send out closer to delivery).
We are using PSI fulfillment services for our US Backers and Happyshops (Germany) for our EU/AUS/NZ backers.
This chart shows the estimated shipping charge to your region/country. We are subsidizing the shipping rates as much as possible to offer you the best possible rates on what is a very large and weighty product. We will strive to keep shipping charges as low as possible.
If you do not see your country/region listed above, please contact us to see if we offer shipping to your location.
For retailer pledge information, please contact us at "firstname.lastname@example.org".
For Canadian Backers, we invite you to preorder from our friends at BoardGame Bliss. This will ensure that your Rewards ship to you from within Canada, and it will also allow BGB to offer you a very competitive shipping rate and Canada-friendly shipping too!
Head there now by clicking the banner above!
This project is extremely expensive to produce. Publishers larger than ourselves have tried for many years to reprint this game, but all those attempts failed. Part of that reason may have been the lack of a place like Kickstarter to help get ambitious projects off the ground.
Without your support this project cannot move ahead. We're asking you to help us make it happen.
Recently, we announced that our last project, Container: 10th Anniversary Jumbo Edition, would not be printed again due to rising production costs. This meant that edition of the game was only available in retail for a few days before selling out, never to return. But for those who secured a copy they have something to treasure forever.
Given the high cost to produce Big City, we expect to produce only enough to meet printing minimums and Backer demand. Anything left over will see retail release, but we cannot guarantee those numbers and so the game may be in short supply by that time. If you know you would like a copy of Big City (and the Urban Upgrade expansion) we can only be certain that we'll have enough to cover our Kickstarter Backers' needs.
Your support of this project is critical. Thank you for taking the time to consider backing it here on Kickstarter.
Q1) What can I do to help this project succeed?
A1) If you've already backed this project, thank you! If you want to help us out some more, please share this project on Twitter, Facebook, and other social media. There are potentially a lot of people who would consider backing the project, and we would really appreciate your help in reaching them.
Q2) Why don't you offer stretch goals for thicker tiles or a sturdier box?
A2) We're gamers, and we are not satisfied with the rise of low-quality productions that currently plague the industry. We produce high-quality games, and because of this, we won't hold you ransom for "upgraded components" which we consider to be standard. The minimum funding level is what obtains upgraded components for everyone because we wouldn't publish the game without them.
With this campaign in particular, perhaps it's best to think of it as a project where a lot of the stretch goals are already unlocked because the final Rewards will be impressive!
Q3)Why are there so few stretch goals?
A3) This project is very special, but also very difficult and expensive to produce. These could be the largest building miniatures ever seen in a modern boardgame! Needless to say, this requires special and very expensive tooling, not to mention all the other large and amazing components we're seeking to create.
Every time we add another special item for an even smaller group of people (i.e. special backers item), the cost for everyone increases dramatically, meaning our backer levels would be more expensive.
In order to keep the project reasonable for our customers, we have decided to focus on delivering the highest-possible quality game that you'll be proud to have backed.
Q4) When will my Rewards ship?
A4) As Backers of our previous Kickstarter projects know, we take production quality seriously.
In this case, this is a very complex project even for publishers much larger than ourselves. This means we need to be cautious in our approach. We'll always take quality over speed, but rest assured that we won't waste time either.
At this time our current estimate shows that we should start shipping to Backers in August, 2019. Our Backers know that we'll always be open and honest no matter what may transpire.
Having you as a Backer means a lot to us, and we'll give you the best service that we can. As always, Backer copies will ship out before any other copies.
Q5) I really wish you would spend more on a flashier Kickstarter video or more pretty things to look at on the Kickstarter page. Perhaps some laser beams would be nice too.
A5) Mercury Games is known for having some of the highest production values in the industry. Put one of our game boards next to some much larger competitors' boards and see for yourself. The truth of the matter is that Kickstarter videos can cost a lot of money and whether a large or small publisher, every dime spent making a flashier video/campaign page is one less dime spent making YOUR GAME the highest possible quality. In the end, we would rather invest the of bulk our backers' funds into a high-quality product because that's what you'll be spending most of your time enjoying.
Q6) Can I play this version of the game with the original rules?
A6) Though we feel the game has benefited from the years of development, yes, this game is compatible with the original rules. You'll find them available for free download at Boardgamegeek.com.
* EXCHANGE RATES - All CAD/USD rates are current as of November 10th, 2018. Since conversion rates vary each day, we cannot guarantee their exact accuracy from moment-to-moment, so we included them as a guide.
Completion of Survey Time Limit/Other Limits - If you're a Backer of this project (thank you!) you agree that if you do not fill out your Crowdox Backer Survey within 45 days of our "Last Call for Your Backer Survey!" Update your Reward selection will be modified to "No Reward". Further you agree that, after we ship your Rewards to you, you will have 60 days to let us know about any missing/damaged Rewards in your shipment. Finally, you agree that we will be communicating with you via Backer Updates here on Kickstarter, and so we encourage you to check here for updates throughout the campaign and as we approach the Backer Survey and Rewards Shipping.
Risks and challenges
Mercury Games is a professional publisher with many years of experience publishing high-quality games. Some of the Backers of this project will already know our track record for delivering on-time (or even early) and delivering a high-quality product.
With any project, there are risks we cannot control and risks that we can. We enjoy long-standing relationships with our printing partners and, as such, they know we have high standards for our games. We have a lot of experience guiding development, production, and logistics.
Sometimes things beyond our control can go wrong. Third-party suppliers may shortchange us or logistics companies may deliver late. Fortunately, we have the experience to deal with almost any unforeseen issue that may arise, and our track record in this regard speaks for itself. Our Backers know that when something unexpected arises, we respond to the challenge while maintaining our commitment to quality and transparency.
Mercury Games treats your investment as if it was our own.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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