Tropico 4 review


Inscribed layer

The mechanics of the game is quite complex. There are various external factors the player has to interact with. The game is a rough simulation of how to rule a small country in the caribbean. The game’s goal to see how long your country and reputation lasts, while maintaining order and stability in the country. The look and feel of the game responds well to how the player should go about playing the game. The game set-up allows the player to control their resources and control the type of tenants they want. After the player chooses the island they want the landscape and graphics are rendered well with a lot of detail.  The game has no general plot, it basically gives you ultimate freedom on how you want to run your island. The controls on where to build and what areas you want to dig or setup any building or factory is represented on a grid structure that color codes what type of area is good for a specific resource or location. The amount of data and statistics that the game engine runs on is amazing. Every aspect of an island has been broken down into segments that can be manipulated in the game. Playing through and understanding what my island can do was a little difficult to grasp all at once when the game started. I had to keep track of how to maintain my long term based on the island gives me. I could see my horizon of intent increasing with more options. Building relationships with international figures was a good addition to either increase your profit and also build an alliance. As long as the player completes the mini challenge or quest

Dynamic Layer

Once the game starts and you begin to build from your resources the mechanics of the game kick in. I had a island that was rich in bauxite and some iron, so I capitalized on the minerals as a natural resource to create weapons and build more factories. I figured I would want to make as much money as possible. The options in the games are bound to the island and what you can do as a dictator or ruler. The game started to get fun when the satisfaction levels of the people were measured. The more factories I build destroying vegetation, I could a spike in ecologist that were against it. Generally, trying to make money and keeping the people happy was interesting to juggle. I found that powering the cities and homes were an important factor in running an effective country. The main interests came from electricity and roads. Having the people react and in different ways was interesting to see develop over time. Any major factory or decision I made for political reasons, there was always a faction of people that were against it. I tried to balance the the overall public relation and tried not to go past 50% of disagreement among the people.

Cultural layer

The cultural aspect of the game isn’t so much as a dictator themed game, but just a world building simulator game. The “culture” of the game stems from a long line of world building simulator games like sims, rollercoaster tycoon, civilization, rome, etc. Tropico has the same feel to it when playing. There major and minor occurrences that happen during the game, and based on the player’s own cultural influence, they can run a country like North Korea or like a capitalist society. The Game makes you start off as a lowly dictator that could turn into a major economic power if played correctly. The game although might seem a little too similar to civilization or other world building simulator games. I don’t really see a die hard following of Tropico, unlike Starcraft or Sims. The cultural impact of the game, is something that might be unique to a small demographic of players. The game however captures the response of citizens quite well and keeps the dictator in check of their decisions. If the people are not happy they can have a coup or revolt and overthrow the player. The reaction of people in the game creates a special unique culture within the game. The game can be used as a historical demonstration when dictators lose control of their country or island. The game has nice message behind the ways to win and lose. I like how the “happiness” and overall satisfaction of people is a constant theme the game revolves around after a certain time. There are always people that will not like the decision I made, but I have to come to terms with it to attain larger goal that will eventually lower the people’s disagreement. Much like in reality, there is a latency effect. The plan won’t take action immediately, but overtime and with accumulation of money or resources, the plan will work.

World Building Project

Roll a dice.

The number rolled is the number of paper slips that will be drawn from a category.

The order of draws starts with theme, then character, and lastly, setting.

Theme Character Setting






historical fiction




opposite of Sci-fi







anthropomorphic creature







abandoned town

airplane crashed on island



ancient jungle


amusement park



las vegas

food land


Group members: Sarah Meadows, Grant Ng, Michael Roman, Emily Novitski, Maia …


Fallout 4 is part of the Fallout series which takes the player to the future in a post – nuclear world. I agree with the argument the article puts forth that although the game is engaging, it still relies mainly on violence and combat to get the player hooked. Although you start the game as a quest, you are eventually led to situations where violence and killing are the only solutions. The game appears as narrative, only superficially. The author emphasizes his point with reference to Bloodborne’s – Yhaxnam & Watch Dog’s Chicago which also lead to the bloodbath. I agree that though these games are engaging, after a point they all seem repetitive even though the characters & situations are different.

The author contrasts this with Undertake & Day Z, which helps the players interact with the world. I concur with the author that games need to improve their method of storytelling like Witcher 3. Pieces of the puzzle need to come together to complete a quest. A game should should be challenging but not necessarily always lead to combat. It could involve observing and negotiating, planning & execution of the plan. The designer must construct games which reflect human behavior in varying situations and each situation cannot always end in violence or combat.


The game that I played last week was Ghost Stories which is basically a game that has 4+ players and that work together to exorcise the ghosts that appear during the course of the game. My personal review about the game is that the game is very confusing and has to many pieces and rules/regulations! The outside packaging was what drawn me to the game. The box looked very interesting so I thought it would be fun to play but it was a mess! I didn’t like that we work together because I like competitive games and easy to grasp games.

My idea that had to merge a globe within the game was basically it will be 4 different groups and they are on earth trying to turn it into a spiritual world. In order for them to turn it into a spiritual world they must travel this perception of earth given my 2 groups trying to find important crystals. They will have to align they chakras but they must find them on the globe! 2 groups will give a subject while the other 2 groups will have to give their interpretation/visual drawing of they meaning of earth.You would use 1 dice to decide how many cards you have to pick up! (this will help you come closer to finding all the crystals) while trying to align your chakras.

The Ultimate Alternate Reality Gamified Transmedia Classroom Toolkit

Anastasia Salter sketches a concise 5-step overview that will ground you in the basics, while Jane McGonigal outlines a basic 10-step process to designing an ARG in a slideshow format. Christy Dena, an experienced pervasive game designer, highlights some examples of flowcharts and mind maps used in the preliminary design process. You might also want to read Rui Corado’s blog post, where he details the back end of an ARG where you play a forensic investigator.

Source: The Ultimate Alternate Reality Gamified Transmedia Classroom Toolkit

Branding Pratt Gaming & Analysis on Current Developments

A few weeks before midterms, I began a class project to simply showcase what goes on at Pratt Game Club and how it got started. The project evolved into something greater than snapshots and recorded video (both of which are in the editing process) and it is joining alongside the ongoing campaign to get Game Development (as a degree) and the community of Pratt Gaming (P.G) to gain a greater presence/influence at Pratt.

Currently posted is a draft for a website layout and also logo designs for the three co-existent areas of P.G. Although nothing is finalized in terms of design or development, the idea behind creating a brand for the development of P.G. acts as evidence to prove that people from all areas of Pratt’s teachings can have something to contribute to this wonderful community.

See ya ingame soon,

Bradley Railey


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