ECONOMY – Citystate – New Indie City Building Game


Create a 21st century micro-nation and experiment with your political ideals. Citystate is a 2018 city building game, a Political-Simulator with a highly economic system. #Indie-Management-Game-2018 #Sandbox-Game

There is no right way to grow and plan the city-state. This is a sandbox game that provides complex dynamics and mechanics to experience with.

The main goal of Citystate’s game design was to offer to the players an economic simulator that is not trading off realism for convenience. Being the leader of a State is a tough job, many things are going on and most of them are hard to understand. Although you won’t be guided step by step, you won’t get through a mandatory tutorial, Citystate is throwing you in the arena just like the leaders of the real world when they get into power.

Modeling a whole nation’s economy definitely comes with synthesizing things up and making some choices. Most building games give to the player a considerable power of intervention on the economy as if there was not any other stakeholder involved. That is not the philosophy of Citystate, here the economy is represented as a highly responsive and fragile system. The game’s logic imitates the real world motions, all the pieces are closely interlinked to one another and nothing is always straightforward. A new political decision, a tax raise or a cut in the education budget will have effects everywhere.


The Demand

That’s where everything happens and the main indicator of the state’s health.

First of all, the demand bars should not be understood literally but more as the overall investment capacity: this is how much extra money currently in the citizens’ pockets ready to get invested anytime. In other words, a healthy economy will generate extra cash which will grow the demand bars accordingly.

The demand is divided in 3 parts: the low-end market, the middle market and the high end market.
– A growing low-end market means that more citizens are now looking for buying cheap products. Either there are middle classes with diminishing purchase power or new and uneducated citizens looking to move in. Cheap houses, old condominiums and basic factories will be developing around the city.
– A growing middle market means that poor citizens are getting more opportunities to make more money or maybe that state subsidies and allowance allow the citizens to get a better life. Typical suburb houses, contemporary condominiums and factories will be developing around the city.
– A growing high-end market means that more people are able to benefit from the state’s expansion. Less business and trading barriers usually allow the most successful citizens to thrive and invest in the city. Luxury houses,futuristic high-rise buildings and I.T. companies will be developing around the city.

The industry evolves through 6 stages from basic factories to high tech companies. To reach the highest stages of development they require a healthy and balanced economy: a high education rate, a good local land value and positive demands. Early industry stages require low and middle demand whether advanced stages require middle and upper demand. The industry also require two other fundamentals: enough trade capacity and enough workforce.
The trade capacity is how much goods can be exported and imported through the available infrastructure. Ports and road connections at the border of the map increase the trade capacity. When the latter is smaller than the total amount of trade, industries will decay and the agriculture won’t expand.
The unemployment rate when getting too high will alter the population approval rate, when too low industries will leave and won’t grow. The State’s spendings, mines, government buildings, arcologies, farms, special buildings and industries create jobs. Richer and more educated a population becomes smaller is the part of the population in need of a job.


3 budgets have to be defined: Education, Health and Security. All of them are expressed in $ spent per inhabitant and are directly related to their respective score on the main interface – this is all about macro management and not about plopping schools and hospitals. Budgeting is a very powerful tool to be handled carefully and that can seriously alter the overall budget equilibrium.
The amount of money spent by sector in addition to the effects of the legislation will progressively affect the quality and the level of performance of each score. Consequently and depending of the scores, underlying mechanisms are transforming the society. For instance, an educated population will get richer, as much as an unsafe state will undermine businesses and investments.

Production and trade

The balance of trade is a significant stakeholder to a state’s economy. A wide deficit usually lower the value of a state’s currency.
In Citystate the citizens are in need of 3 main commodities: food, iron and oil. Each of them can be directly produced locally and in specific biomes.
– Iron: mines can be built on top of mountains. Consumed by most factories.
– Oil: can be found and exploited in the deserts. Consumed by some factories and by the population.
– Food: grass areas of the country can be open to farming. Consumed by the population.
Gold: can be exploited in the jungles. Consumed by high tech industries.
– Manufactured goods: produced by the industries using iron, oil and/or gold.


Stock Market and Loans

When a State spends more than it earns taking a loan is an option. Therefore new investments can be done to ensure future profits. Taking a loan or, more specifically issuing bonds is more or less costly depending on the State’s financial health. Foreign investors will provide cheap loans to a State that is surely not about to bankrupt and that is open-market oriented.

The stock market index is an indicator of how local and foreign investors respond to the political decisions and to the overall quality of the management. It has a greater impact on higher social classes growth and partly influence the interest rate.
As of today, “net change” is the indicator to follow while the global index has no direct consequences on the economy.

Get to know how the simulation works:

How do politics affect the State?

How does a city grow?

What is the world made of?

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