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Overcrowd Is A Mass Transit Station Management Sim That Looks Very Promising

Overcrowd Is A Mass Transit Station Management Sim That Looks Very Promising

I’ve been totally hooked to tycoon games these days with the release of Two Point Hospital. It really does seem like the tycoon genre is making a bit of a comeback. One game that has caught my eye is Overcrowd… and I’ve never seen anything with its setting.

With the subtitle ‘A Commute em’ Up’, Overcrowd isn’t a transport tycoon. It’s not about building your transportation network. It’s about building one… single… mass transit station.

The main premise is centred around crowd dynamics (hence the title Overcrowd). You are tasked at whisking off the commuters to the train the want to take as speedy and efficient as possible using the limited space given to you.

While it may look like it’s similar to Theme Hospital or Two Point Hospital mechanics-wise, it’s actually pretty unique.

There’s are stuff you plonk down that makes you more money or improves the commuters experience. There are staff for you to hire and run the operations of your station. There are procedural terrain that presents a tactical challenge on how you will utilise the space.

All that sounds pretty familiar to tycoon game fans. But unlike most other tycoon games, you directly control your staff. Yes, it’s a pausable real time game.

There’s also detailed micro simulation going on. Every single action from emptying the bin, the crowd AI, staff activities are simulated down to each individual.

The developer says this leads to lots of emergent experiences. Surprising and unpredictable events occur due to the interplay of all the systems and AI simulation.

This is exactly the type of game I get totally addicted to trying to optimise and experiment with new ideas.

Overcrowd: A Commute Em’ Up is planned to enter Steam Early Access sometime in the near future… although no details have emerged about the release timeline for it. I’m crossing my fingers and hoping this one will be available soon on Steam for us to check it out.

Check out the list of features the devs have highlighted:

Features

Old school isometric pixel art

Overcrowd uses high res, handmade pixel art with no 3D engine shortcuts. View from four angles with high level zoom to see all the detail.

Procedural spatial puzzles

Each level has procedurally generated terrain, offering a fresh spatial puzzle about which to design and run your station. With a choice of entrances and tracks, physical obstacles, and limited space and money, you'll have to weigh up your decisions carefully.

Unique multi-floor building

Sculpt your station concourse down to 4 levels underground. Escalators and lifts are planned for Early Access.

Tactical staff deployment

In Overcrowd you have direct control over your staff. You’ll need to assemble a crack team, tool them up and deploy them to run your station in real time. You can also assign them multiple jobs with different priorities. Pausing the action by hitting space gives you time to react and plan.

Detailed micro simulation > emergent gameplay

Everything from bin emptying, generator refueling, power, litter collection, commuter AI and staff activities are simulated down to the individual level. The huge range of interacting systems gives scope for emergent and unpredictable gameplay.

Heat signatures

Anyone who’s ever travelled on the tube in summer knows the heat can get out of control. Overcrowd models temperature and gives you thermoimaging, air con and fans to help keep your station cool.

Unique crowdflow mechanic

Manage the flow of your commuters via station layout, user-defined directional signage or by ushering them with staff.

Unlocking, upgrading, expanding

Unlock better equipment, shops and tools via the procurement (tech) tree.

Turning a profit

Overcrowd features an economy driven by live commuter purchasing. Set shop prices and restock rates in order to make a profit and expand your station further.

Commuter AI

Commuters respond to their surroundings: different environmental insults will affect them in different ways - making them angry, panicked, unhappy or even diseased. Everything that happens affects your station reputation.

Criminality

Early Access will see a range of criminal behaviours introduced to commuters including theft and fare dodging. You will be able to use staff to incarcerate or eject law breakers.

Staff behaviour

Your staff have needs too. Build a comfortable and well stocked staff room to keep them happy, rested and nourished. They also have skills and attributes which can be levelled up or improved through practice.


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