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A cyberpunk advertising tycoon strategy game, set in massive procedurally generated cities with a retro vision of cyberspace.
A cyberpunk advertising tycoon strategy game, set in massive procedurally generated cities with a retro vision of cyberspace.
A cyberpunk advertising tycoon strategy game, set in massive procedurally generated cities with a retro vision of cyberspace.
211 backers pledged £4,477 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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£4,477

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"Broke? Looking to work from the sky? Join us in AdvertCity! A huge, procedurally generated place, just waiting to be sold all kinds of junk by YOU!"

Hi, we're VoxelStorm - a small English indie game studio.  We'd like you to help us finish AdvertCity - a cyberpunk advertising tycoon game, for Windows, Linux and OS X.

Overview of a procedurally generated city
Overview of a procedurally generated city

Gameplay

Explore a massive procedural city, and plaster your adverts all over it.  Float around cyberspace and get paid for posting links online.  Make your mark on a complex economic ecosystem, direct the future of the city, and cunningly work your way to the top.

The city will start out small and will grow based on how you choose to advertise. Make it grow by advertising for the housing and construction megacorps , make your money and keep them happy by selling music, booze and other... entertainments. As you gain reputation with the megacorps they'll give you access to an ever larger arsenal of advertising techniques with which to sway the masses.

You can switch your perspective between meatspace and cyberspace at any time.  The aesthetic of the physical city is a permanently-dusky neo-noir inspired by everything from Blade Runner to Dark City.  The digital space is a bright neon retro-vector fantasy reminiscent of the Gibson in Hackers or the glimpses of cyberspace in Ghost in the Shell.

A glimpse into cyberspace
A glimpse into cyberspace

Megacorps

This world is inhabited by huge, faceless, morally questionable megacorporations.  You can sell advertising to them, and buy special technologies and advertising space from them.  But choose your clients wisely - you have a reputation to uphold.  Once you have enough resources, you can even take over other megacorps and grow your own empire.

  • Megacorp: Domestic Edible Deliveries
  • Megacorp: $MUSIC$
  • Megacorp: Loudmouthfrog Ltd
  • Megacorp: Desperate Designers
  • Megacorp: Posters Of Interest Inc
  • Megacorp: The Narcotics Cooperative
  • Megacorp: friendFACE
  • Megacorp: Personbox PLC
  • Megacorp: Planks Planks Planks
  • Megacorp: Happy Banking Corp
  • Megacorp: Blimpy Bros
  • Megacorp: 50 Shades of Hats
Picking out a building
Picking out a building

Technologies

You have a world of advertising technologies at your fingertips - deploy anything from plain posters in meatspace, and text ads in cyberspace, all the way through to massive video screens and giant advertising blimps ("A new world awaits you in the off-world colonies")... or go black-hat, with beaming advertising directly onto peoples' retinas, or hack their cyber-brains to spread your message.  Nothing is off-limits, but all actions have their repercussions.

  • Tech tree: Flyers
  • Tech tree: Posters
  • Tech tree: Billboards
  • Tech tree: Blimps
  • Tech tree: [secret]
  • Tech tree (cyberspace): Text ads
  • Tech tree (cyberspace): Image ads
  • Tech tree (cyberspace): [secret]
  • Tech tree (cyberspace): [secret]
  • Tech tree (cyberspace): [secret]
Deploying ads in cyberspace
Deploying ads in cyberspace

Music

The game features entirely original music by two awesome professional musicians, Waveland and DorianSRed.  The music switches between two parallel synchronised soundtracks as you alternate between meatspace and cyberspace, which is made possible by our unique built-from-scratch HDR sound engine.  A lot of effort is focused on sound design. 

You can hear a preview of the soundtrack, streamed on our bandcamp:

The final game will have more of the same - a deep, moody atmospheric soundscape that follows you around even after you finish playing.  We'll expand the soundtrack to add more variety and length, as well as remastering and polishing up the existing work, and release it for streaming online.

An advertising blimp floats by the shore; rooftop flags mark out megacorp headquarters
An advertising blimp floats by the shore; rooftop flags mark out megacorp headquarters

Stretch Goals

Our initial goal is ultra low to reflect the fact it won't take us much to get the game finished - but we can do a lot more than that, with your help:

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=245157825
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=245157825
  • + £150 New megacorp: Cybernetics
  • + £150 New megacorp: Pharmaceuticals
  • + £150 New megacorp: AI research
  • + £150 New megacorp: Banking
  • + £150 New megacorp: [secret]
  • + £150 New megacorp: [secret]
  • + £150 New megacorp: [secret] 
  • + £150 New megacorp: [secret]
  • + £150 New tech tree: Spam
  • + £150 New tech tree: Event sponsorship
  • + £150 New tech tree: Sky projection
  • + £150 New tech tree: Graffiti
  • + £150 New tech tree: Astroturfing
  • + £150 New tech tree: Virus advertising
  • + £150 New tech tree: Brain implant adverts 
  • + £150 New tech tree: [secret]
  • + £150 New tech tree: [secret]
  • + £400 Mac OS X dev license, build and test environment
  • + £1800 Online Multiplayer!
  • + £600 Android Client
  • + £700 iPhone Client
  • + £200 Razer Hydra support
  • + £200 Leap Motion support

(Each stretch goal is the step up from the previous amount, with the first being the step up from the campaign goal)

A busy scene with several megacorp headquarters in cyberspace
A busy scene with several megacorp headquarters in cyberspace

Background and Development

AdvertCity was conceived of as a jam game for the Cyberpunk Game Jam, and the prototype featured in these screenshots was created in just one week for that jam.

Now we'd like to take this game to the next stage and evolve it into a really fun gameplay experience.  We're going to develop the AI to be more competitive, improve the way the city adapts and evolves due to your actions, increase the number and range of technologies and create more wild and dark megacorps to compete against.

We'd ideally even like to adapt the game to provide a full multiplayer experience, but for that we need your support!

A cyber site plastered with ads
A cyber site plastered with ads

Technical

  • Procedurally generated cities built on sophisticated algorithms, including input from dozens of academic papers and realistic population and terrain effect simulations.
  • Completely custom original graphics engine written entirely in-house for AdvertCity.  No off-the-shelf engines such as Unity used, no shortcuts taken.
  • HDR sound engine, with multi-track synchronous "deck" crossfade capability, and full support for EBU R128 2011.  Again, totally original in-house software.
  • Built with VR support in mind from the start - full Oculus Rift support planned as part of the basic package.
  • Older machine compatibility - no special shader requirements, runs on Windows XP upwards, no library requirements or .net.
  • Commitment to open-source tools and platforms - built entirely using Code::Blocks open-source IDE, and compiled with GCC, graphics using OpenGL.  A native Linux release will accompany every Windows release.
Overview of an entire city from afar
Overview of an entire city from afar

Risks and challenges

We're confident we can make this work. This isn't just some dream project - we already have a playable demo; now we need to expand on the functionality that's already there.

The original demo was assembled in just one week; we're aiming for a release on the 1st of June and we can definitely turn a cool demo into an awesome game in that time.

We'll be sharing weekly snapshots of our development progress with all beta tester level backers, so you'll know exactly where things stand. We'll be relying on your feedback on those snapshots throughout the process to make sure this is the best game it can be!

For more screenshots check out this album: http://imgur.com/a/SHE3d
Screenshots of the development process up to now: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/…

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FAQ

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £5 or more About $8

    Thanks + Wallpapers

    You have our eternal gratitude! Your name will be featured on our website (only if you want!) and you'll receive a pack of screenshots and wallpapers for the game.

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    Pledge £8 or more About $13

    Full game - early bird offer!

    See below for full details

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    Pledge £10 or more About $16

    Full game

    You'll get a download of the DRM-free full game plus access to private backer updates with development news, screenshots, videos and gameplay previews.

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    Pledge £15 or more About $25

    Become a beta tester - early bird offer!

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    Pledge £20 or more About $33

    Become a beta tester

    As well as the full game, you'll get weekly beta test pre-release snapshots of the game in progress, and access to a special beta testers only forum for the duration of the development process. Your input will be vital to shaping the game!

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge £25 or more About $41

    Building named after you

    In every procedurally generated city, one random building will be named after you. You also get everything above.

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge £35 or more About $58

    Collector's USB drive

    You'll receive a USB thumb drive with a DRM-free copy of the game, plus the official soundtrack in FLAC (lossless) format, mailed to you on release, as well as two download keys for the game and the soundtrack that you can give away to your friends. Plus everything above.

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    Pledge £50 or more About $82

    Collector's CD

    A limited collector's edition copy of the official soundtrack on CD as soon as it's finished, individually numbered. Plus everything above (including the USB stick).

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    Pledge £65 or more About $107

    Street named after you

    In every procedurally generated city, an entire street will be named after you. Plus all the rewards above, including the USB stick and the collector's edition CD.

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    Pledge £80 or more About $132

    Poster

    You'll get a beautiful professionally printed limited edition A0 sized poster, signed by the developers, and numbered, as well as all of the rewards above.

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    Pledge £300 or more About $494

    Design your own megacorp

    We will work with you to design a new megacorporation that actively participates in the game, which the player can take over, and which will have a unique special ability that will affect gameplay. Of course you also get all the previous rewards.

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Funding period

- (20 days)