City of Gangsters - a crime syndicate business sim

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jztemple2
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City of Gangsters - a crime syndicate business sim

Post by jztemple2 »

Since I've pre-ordered this game and intend on being the pathfinder to check it out and give impressions, I thought I'd start a thread for it so folks who might be interested can get some info and if desired pre-order the game, as there are pre-order discounts on both Steam (15%) and Green Man Gaming (32%). There may be others.

Regarding pedigree, City of Gangsters is being developed by the same folks who developed Project Highrise, which I thought was well done.

City of Gangsters links: publisher Kasedo, Steam page, Green Man Gaming page.

Blurb from Steam Page:
Start a crime syndicate from nothing, and grow it into a well-oiled money machine. Build speakeasies and illegal distilleries. Manage production chains and resource distribution. Smuggle goods from out of town and bribe the police to look the other way.
The Steam page has a lot of text about the game. For developer updates about the game via their Steam new hub page, go here. For the developer's video blog playlist, go here.

Some trailers:





There are more videos and screenshots over on the publisher's page.
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Re: City of Gangsters - a crime syndicate business sim

Post by IceBear »

This is bothering me now. Wasn't there a game like this released last year? Controlling a mob or gang in a city. Wanted to say it was by one of the Doom developers and it didn't get great reviews?
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Re: City of Gangsters - a crime syndicate business sim

Post by IceBear »

Empire of Sin...now I remember
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Re: City of Gangsters - a crime syndicate business sim

Post by Max Peck »

Yup, Empire of Sin from Romero Games. It appears to be actively supported by the developers still, with monthly dev diaries and such, but I haven't dusted it off since back in December so I don't know how much they've been able to improve it since launch. It didn't feel like a horribly bad game to me, but it also didn't really engage me at the time. I bounced off it after just a few hours of gameplay and I've never gone back to give it a second look.
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Re: City of Gangsters - a crime syndicate business sim

Post by jztemple2 »

IceBear wrote: Wed Aug 04, 2021 11:14 am Empire of Sin...now I remember
Yeah, I picked up Empire of Sin last year and found it a disappointment. I should have been concerned when I saw so many of the developer updates were about the characters of the gangsters and their special powers :roll:. Trying to combine tactical combat with a business sim just didn't jell. Paradox has been putting out updates to try to get it to be a better game but I've burned out on it.

Folks on the Steam discussions for the game have been talking about COG and EOS and the general consensus seems to be that COG is focused on the business sim side of the situation. The developers have confirmed this approach, saying that while fighting between gangs and against the police is in the game, trying to run a successful gangster business means avoiding conflict as much as possible.
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Re: City of Gangsters - a crime syndicate business sim

Post by Max Peck »

jztemple2 wrote: Wed Aug 04, 2021 11:41 am trying to run a successful gangster business means avoiding conflict as much as possible.
Unless, of course, your dream mobster business is Murder, Inc. :wink:
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Re: City of Gangsters - a crime syndicate business sim

Post by jztemple2 »

With release coming in a couple of days, the devs have posted a Gameplay FAQ & Guide that walks a reader through how the game is actually played. It's a faster way to get a feel for the game than going through a bunch of videos or blogs. Some screenshots:

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Re: City of Gangsters - a crime syndicate business sim

Post by jztemple2 »

I just thought I'd post this answer I got from the devs about how much procedural generation there is of the map on each gameplay:
To take Chicago as an example, the lake, the river, neighborhood locations and 3 or 4 iconic streets are set. The rest re-rolls and is completely procedural. Street layout. Rail network. Buildings. Businesses. Families. Social connections. Everything that's not nailed down (the lake, river, 'hoods and a few streets) is all procedurally generated each time. Buildings are all randomized and compsed from pieces.
That's pretty cool from the standpoint of replay.
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Re: City of Gangsters - a crime syndicate business sim

Post by Max Peck »

I get the impression that the game is focused on bootlegging rather than all forms of organized crime. Is that accurate?
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Re: City of Gangsters - a crime syndicate business sim

Post by whispa »

Looks really good! I think I may just pick this one up.
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Re: City of Gangsters - a crime syndicate business sim

Post by dbemont »

Looking at a couple videos, seemed interesting. I'll be looking forward to your impressions.
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Re: City of Gangsters - a crime syndicate business sim

Post by jztemple2 »

Max Peck wrote: Sun Aug 08, 2021 8:34 am I get the impression that the game is focused on bootlegging rather than all forms of organized crime. Is that accurate?
I don't recall mentions of other businesses but I might have missed them. I'll post about them as I come across them.

Oh, there are protection rackets, I do remember that.
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Re: City of Gangsters - a crime syndicate business sim

Post by jztemple2 »

Was at the beach, so I'm a couple hours behind on playing. Here's the main menu shot. I'm going to use the bigimg tag since I'm planning on posting a lot of images.

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Right now I'm going through a tutorial that really does a nice job of showing you each element and explaining what you're seeing and what it means in the game. On this next image is something unusual in these strategy games. Usually money is an omnipresent value, it isn't kept in any particular place. Here I've got $850, $300 on me in the car, $550 at my business.

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It's currently June 1st, 1920. Each turn is one week and the game runs till 1933, so there are going to be a lot of turns :D

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Re: City of Gangsters - a crime syndicate business sim

Post by jztemple2 »

This is kind of cool. When you interact with other characters it is in the form of a dialog. Like an isometric game of Fallout.

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Re: City of Gangsters - a crime syndicate business sim

Post by jztemple2 »

This is an important screen. There are the people who my neighbor Bejamin Mitchell knows, as far as I (as John Smith, the player character) am aware of. This is important because if I need supplies for my business, especially less than legal supplies, or I want to sell my goods, it is safer to work with someone I know, or someone who a friend of mine knows.
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Below is another business on the next corner over. If I want to talk to them I have to send someone there (including myself).
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I should point out that the City of Chicago is divided into corners... basically the intersection of two or more streets. Businesses and other buildings that are within a half-block of that corner are part of that corner. So each corner is a node, connected to other nodes.

On the next image I've gone over to see Harvey Moretti who runs the Little Budapest Newsstand. After some dialog he says he's willing to take some of my homemade beer I have off my hands. I drive back, put some in the car and then bring it back to him. As you can see, not only did I make some money, but now he owes me some favors since the beer I sold him will make money for him.
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In the next image I'm using a favor to find out from him if there's anyone he knows who might buy what I'm selling or might sell me something I need. Again, it's all about the personal connections.
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And finally, here's where I use a favor to get the address of someone who Harvey thinks will take more inventory off my hands. I'll be using up one of the favors that Harvey owes me, but if I can find another customer it would be worth it.
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Re: City of Gangsters - a crime syndicate business sim

Post by jztemple2 »

And if you don't have a friend who knows a friends, why you can just explore the nearby corners. I've come across a barbershop which offers their waiting customers "The Special" they keep in a hidden cupboard. Maybe I can offer to sell the barber something?
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And as my Aunt Catherine explains below, while you can drive around, explore and find new business opportunities, it's a lot easier to start off a relationship with someone who trusts you already, sort of a "friend of a friend".
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Re: City of Gangsters - a crime syndicate business sim

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Now for the real money making part, setting up your own operations. I return to my aunt's delicatessen and I'm checking out her back room, a good place to set up my first operation.
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As my auntie points out, these are the operations I know how to set up right now. Later on no doubt I'll be able to set up more and bigger operations, but I start small for now.
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Oh, that's how you make home brew :wink:
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While I'm waiting for the brewery to be built, I need to go out and find some more stone crocks. Auntie is showing me how overlays work in the game which will help me find things.
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A look at some more overlays...
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And some reports to keep a handle on things.
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And finally we have the "Prohibition Encyclopedia". Entries about concepts and gameplay. Cool.
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Re: City of Gangsters - a crime syndicate business sim

Post by jztemple2 »

OK, my brewery operation is being built right now, but in the meantime I'm learning about respect and territories, but I'll post about them when I get some solid examples. I'm also learning about extorting local businesses for cash :ninja:, but again more on that when I get some examples.

And now, how about fronts? Fronts let me control corners by establishing a presence through an innocent looking business. I'm asking my friend Harvey if he'd like to let me use his business as a front. The dialog in the image really explains it well.
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Harvey agrees to front for me (for cash and I use up a favor). But I want to increase the respect for me at this corner, so I ask Harvey if he has any ideas. He does, he thinks if there were a lot of American flags put up and folks knew that I was behind it, I'd gain more respect at this corner. And all for a measly $8 up front and $8 a month to Harvey :wink:. And by gaining respect, soon I'll control this corner. Sounds good to me.
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Meanwhile all this work I'm doing means I can improve one of my three skills to a higher level.
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Still waiting on the brewery. Meantime I run into Officer Laskey who is patrolling the neighborhood. I suggest a bribe. Officer Laskey suggests I get out of there before he gives me a beatdown. I'm still a small time thug not worth his trouble.
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And as I run around selling my homemade brew out of my truck, I'm reminded by my aunt that I need to visit my fronts and give them their monthly payoff to keep them working for me as well as their respect. Or I could extort money from local businesses on the corner, which would be paid to my front who would get his cut from the envelopes before letting me pick up the rest. Ain't free enterprise grand? :D
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Re: City of Gangsters - a crime syndicate business sim

Post by Baroquen »

With this being on sale at GMG for under $20, I'm going to pull the trigger. It looks interesting enough for me at that price point.

(EDIT: I did have to log in to get that price... maybe an email offer? That's where I saw the deal).

Now back to jztemple2's Chicago Saga. :D
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Re: City of Gangsters - a crime syndicate business sim

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Oh, extortion? My auntie is filling me in all about it.
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So I go over to this ice cream parlor and let him know for just twenty smackers a month nothing bad will happen to his banana splits, if you know what I mean. He does.
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Meantime Harvey has found another corner that might be interested in becoming part of our territory if we supply them with some "refreshments". For a measly $10 up front and $10 a month, Harvey will take care of this. Harvey is good at taking care of things.
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Re: City of Gangsters - a crime syndicate business sim

Post by jztemple2 »

Baroquen wrote: Mon Aug 09, 2021 6:25 pm With this being on sale at GMG for under $20, I'm going to pull the trigger. It looks interesting enough for me at that price point.

(EDIT: I did have to log in to get that price... maybe an email offer? That's where I saw the deal).
There was indeed an email sent out, the basic and deluxe versions are on sale at 34% off.
Baroquen wrote: Mon Aug 09, 2021 6:25 pmNow back to jztemple2's Chicago Saga. :D
Thanks, I'm enjoying doing it.
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Re: City of Gangsters - a crime syndicate business sim

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jztemple2 wrote: Mon Aug 09, 2021 6:32 pm
Baroquen wrote: Mon Aug 09, 2021 6:25 pmNow back to jztemple2's Chicago Saga. :D
Thanks, I'm enjoying doing it.
Sure... for now. Once he gets us hooked though, he's going to start charging us so nothing bad happens to this thread... if we know what he means. :wink:
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Re: City of Gangsters - a crime syndicate business sim

Post by Baroquen »

Made it through the tutorial, and it's pretty slick. Guides you through the UI (as we've seen in this thread), and gradually expands the scope of the game as you do it. So far so good. I stopped and saved there, but when I start up again, I've got to figure out what to do with my second crewmember, (perhaps a delivery route?) and look at possibly expanding to a second building. Might just upgrade my first one? Not sure yet.

I'm also toying with starting a new game/world now that I know the basics, rather than starting with the given tutorial neighborhood...
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Re: City of Gangsters - a crime syndicate business sim

Post by jztemple2 »

Baroquen wrote: Mon Aug 09, 2021 8:48 pm I'm also toying with starting a new game/world now that I know the basics, rather than starting with the given tutorial neighborhood...
I'm thinking of doing the same thing once I'm done with the tutorial.
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Re: City of Gangsters - a crime syndicate business sim

Post by jztemple2 »

Max Peck wrote: Sun Aug 08, 2021 8:34 am I get the impression that the game is focused on bootlegging rather than all forms of organized crime. Is that accurate?
I found a post by the developers that indeed the game is focused on bootlegging, including homemade stuff and smuggled in stuff. Other activities might be added by DLC of course. But they wanted the game to be a tycoon sim rather than something broader like Empire of Sin.

Of course there are already people whining on the Steam forum for the game about how they are getting ripped off because they can't run casinos or prostitutes :roll:. And most of those posts are by people who haven't even bought the game :|
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Re: City of Gangsters - a crime syndicate business sim

Post by jztemple2 »

New update released:
New build just went live: Version 1.0.4 - Build 20210809

Retuned post-extortion "peacemaking" quests to be more expensive
Fixed skill conversation bug, which sometimes offered zero choices for one turn
Fixed rare bug with two victory conditions not displaying correctly
Fixed various typos in missions and elsewhere
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Re: City of Gangsters - a crime syndicate business sim

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So I've expanded enough that I'm now finding out from Aunt Catherine how to hire more crew. I've got a prospect.
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And with the new person hired Aunt Catherine is off to Florida for a well-earned vacation. Meantime I'm going to continue with this game and see how things go.
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Re: City of Gangsters - a crime syndicate business sim

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Things are sure picking up. Folks want me to do them favors, but I'm a bit strung out. Hiring a second person helps, she's making the beer deliveries. Now my front man David wants me to help out his brother Vernon set up a legitimate business in a nearby empty building. I could then use the back room for an operation of my own.
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And then the heat gets too much and Jean gets arrested. She's released, but I lose everything she had on her.
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Re: City of Gangsters - a crime syndicate business sim

Post by jztemple2 »

And one last update from my first game. I suddenly lost one of my fronts due to the appearance of the boss of another outfit. We had a fight, my first one.
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I won :D
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And I got the loot from her car:
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I'm going to stop playing on the tutorial as I have been promising a lot of money going outbound without a corresponding income. I need to start a new game and be much more careful with money. So far I'm enjoying the game, but there are a lot of plates that need spinning :think:
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Re: City of Gangsters - a crime syndicate business sim

Post by Baroquen »

So last night I wrote a big long post about starting new games, and how that differs from the tutorial. Then, right as I was previewing and adding a sentence or two, my whole computer locked up and crashed. So here are abbreviated thoughts on fresh starts in this game...
  • New games are more random than the tutorial.
The tutorial sets you up pretty nicely with your first business, while the new games don't always do so. You'll always have the skills/materials for a specific booze manufacturing operation, but you won't necessarily get the one you want. Might need to "re-roll". Likewise, your nearby suppliers and customers are random so they may or may not be optimal for what you're trying to get going. I tried one game where I needed neutral alcohols, but only one person sold them (that I knew of) sold them, and the supply was slow. Likewise, in my latest - it took some time for me to uncover customers for my moonshine but eventually, that worked itself out. It took me awhile to finally get to the point where the tutorial ends (extra crew member/second building). So for an easier start - stick with the tutorial. For a more random, interesting start, go fresh. It lets you pick one of three different cities too, rather than just Chicago.
  • The cops suck.
They can swoop in and bust you, taking everything you have on you (money/materials/weapons). I was recuperating from a fight, and they came out of nowhere and got me. I should have left everything in my safehouse, but I didn't see them anywhere on the map before hitting new turn. I got some favor with them, but haven't been able to bribe them so far.
  • $%!+ happens, so save often.
With the autosave only happening once every 5 or ten turns, things go south quickly. I had a anecdote about a series of unfortunate events last night, but I forget a lot of the details now. But the RNG in this can be strong, and your decisions can have a major impact on your game so be careful.
  • Don't take this post as criticism of the game.
While this can sound like I'm bashing the game, I'm not. These are just the parameters of how the game plays out. Things to be careful about. I'm really enjoying the discovery of the neighborhood, building up a base of customers and suppliers, and navigating the police, hoodlums and other syndicates. It's well done so far, and it was 2am when I had decided to stop last night.

After a few false starts - I'm about to hire a new crew member, and have bought my second building. I also have learned the skills necessary (through an earlier mission) to set up a brick wine operation to go along with my moonshine. Today I'll get those tasks done, and see how things roll. There's another gangster's operation a half dozen blocks away from mine, but so far, little contact. The cops are letting me alone so far. And one of the hoodlums was giving me gifts of free beer to sell. So we'll see. A good start so far.
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Re: City of Gangsters - a crime syndicate business sim

Post by noxiousdog »

Anyone know who sells bats?
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Re: City of Gangsters - a crime syndicate business sim

Post by LordMortis »

I just want to pop in say the jztemple has really picked up the slack since tgb retired to some lost part of the world and jz has bought and posted impressions on like everything. And I, for one, appreciate it.

(and Baroquen letting me know I can get this under $20 is dangerous)
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Re: City of Gangsters - a crime syndicate business sim

Post by noxiousdog »

You'll totally get $20 out of it. I haven't had enough time to play, but it's going to give me 10 hours in my first real session.

It's really deep without being overly complex.
Black Lives Matter

"To wield Grond, the mighty hammer of the Federal Government, is to be intoxicated with power beyond what you and I can reckon (though I figure we can ball park it pretty good with computers and maths). Need to tunnel through a mountain? Grond. Kill a mighty ogre? Grond. Hangnail? Grond. Spider? Grond (actually, that's a legit use, moreso than the rest)." - Peacedog
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Re: City of Gangsters - a crime syndicate business sim

Post by malchior »

LordMortis wrote: Tue Aug 10, 2021 9:26 am(and Baroquen letting me know I can get this under $20 is dangerous)
Indeed. $20 is what cracked it for me.
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Re: City of Gangsters - a crime syndicate business sim

Post by WYBaugh »

LordMortis wrote: Tue Aug 10, 2021 9:26 am I just want to pop in say the jztemple has really picked up the slack since tgb retired to some lost part of the world and jz has bought and posted impressions on like everything. And I, for one, appreciate it.

(and Baroquen letting me know I can get this under $20 is dangerous)
tgb posted on the Steam forum for the game complaining about the lack of being able to save during the tutorial.
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Re: City of Gangsters - a crime syndicate business sim

Post by LordMortis »

WYBaugh wrote: Tue Aug 10, 2021 10:40 am
LordMortis wrote: Tue Aug 10, 2021 9:26 am I just want to pop in say the jztemple has really picked up the slack since tgb retired to some lost part of the world and jz has bought and posted impressions on like everything. And I, for one, appreciate it.

(and Baroquen letting me know I can get this under $20 is dangerous)
tgb posted on the Steam forum for the game complaining about the lack of being able to save during the tutorial.
He left us for the Steam forums?

Shame! Shame! Shame!
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Re: City of Gangsters - a crime syndicate business sim

Post by Baroquen »

noxiousdog wrote: Tue Aug 10, 2021 9:09 am Anyone know who sells bats?
I think it's a random thing like the other supplies/commodities. I found a guy selling them in my recent game with other weapons. Not sure if they always operate out of a certain type of establishment (like the auto/truck guys).

It also might be possible to use your favor option to get weapons for your crew? I did that once and I think they offered a knife, but bats might show up? I don't know on that one.

Otherwise, I don't think I tried to save in the tutorial so I can't verify that. I'd like an autosave that is a bit more frequent, or adjustable. Like in Eador - it does the last 5 moves, which would be helpful here I think.

Side note - I love the RNG in this. While checking out potential new members for my crew - the first guy I looked at was mentally slow, had a strong moral code and was clumsy with a weapon. The second guy was Organized, Hardworking and Strong. Yeah... I'm thinking I'm going to choose guy #2. :D
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Re: City of Gangsters - a crime syndicate business sim

Post by noxiousdog »

Baroquen wrote: Tue Aug 10, 2021 10:46 am
noxiousdog wrote: Tue Aug 10, 2021 9:09 am Anyone know who sells bats?
I think it's a random thing like the other supplies/commodities. I found a guy selling them in my recent game with other weapons. Not sure if they always operate out of a certain type of establishment (like the auto/truck guys).

It also might be possible to use your favor option to get weapons for your crew? I did that once and I think they offered a knife, but bats might show up? I don't know on that one.
I've never seen it on the weapon list and it seems static with the non-buyable weapons gray.
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"To wield Grond, the mighty hammer of the Federal Government, is to be intoxicated with power beyond what you and I can reckon (though I figure we can ball park it pretty good with computers and maths). Need to tunnel through a mountain? Grond. Kill a mighty ogre? Grond. Hangnail? Grond. Spider? Grond (actually, that's a legit use, moreso than the rest)." - Peacedog
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Re: City of Gangsters - a crime syndicate business sim

Post by jztemple2 »

First of all, thanks to LordMortis for the compliment. I do what I can to give back to the community :D

You can save in the tutorial, I did it.

You can buy bats from a business in the tutorial, I finally stumbled over one near the end of my time there. The devs did answer this concern on the Steam forum yesterday that the bats mission wasn't required by the tutorial, so it can just be ignored.

Baroquen is right about the new games being randomized, I mentioned that in a post above, the devs confirmed that except for the rivers and lakefront and a few major streets, everything else is randomly generated. I started a new game last night and it was really interesting how different things were. It's not an optimal starting location, I'm backed up to the river and my first expansion took me across police precinct lines, so I have two cops to bribe. Also there aren't a lot of businesses nearby to sell my hooch to, so I'm having to range afield. But I'm liking the challenge.

The cops can be tough, so it's important to immediately work on bribing them. I quickly found someone who I knew who knew the cop and who owed me a favor. That's a really cool mechanic of the game, exploiting personal relationships to build up positive feelings towards yourself. I'm getting a lot of protection money because I used people I knew to convince local businesses that I was someone to trust to give protection money to.

I did go through a couple of combats. I had to deal with a corner hooligan that just wouldn't listen to reason :wink:. I double teamed him with my player character and my one and only hired crew and eventually killed him. I didn't get much loot but now I can freely visit the businesses he was blocking from me.
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LordMortis
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Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 11:26 pm

Re: City of Gangsters - a crime syndicate business sim

Post by LordMortis »

jztemple2 wrote: Mon Aug 09, 2021 6:32 pm
Baroquen wrote: Mon Aug 09, 2021 6:25 pm With this being on sale at GMG for under $20, I'm going to pull the trigger. It looks interesting enough for me at that price point.

(EDIT: I did have to log in to get that price... maybe an email offer? That's where I saw the deal).
There was indeed an email sent out, the basic and deluxe versions are on sale at 34% off.
Baroquen wrote: Mon Aug 09, 2021 6:25 pmNow back to jztemple2's Chicago Saga. :D
Thanks, I'm enjoying doing it.
That must have ended yesterday because now they are 15% off. Bummer
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