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Second Lieutenant
93 Badges
Mar 24, 2012
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I've been thinking lately about gangster themed strategy games, and I noticed I only really liked Gangsters: Organized Crime, and perhaps Gangland a bit. Omerta had a cool idea but implementation sucked. City of Gangsters is really a logistics tycoon with some gangster paint, not an actual mafia game. I admit I haven't played Empire of Sin, but I watched a few gameplay videos and I didn't like that it seems to be basically a X-Com2 lite with some basic empire management stuff.

I tried playing recently the GOG version of G:OG, and although it worked and I had some fun, I kept getting frustrated by the ancient UI and aggresive AI. This made me think about what I would like in a hipotetical, modern Gangster strategy game/simulation. Here are some things which I think are important:

- a large(ish) city. Must be continuous (i.e. no teleporting between districts, your gangsters can cross the whole city on foot)
- preferably pausable real-time gameplay (merge the Planning and Actions phases from G:OG, but don't remove any options/orders, which Gangsters 2 did, sadly)
- a lot of varied criminal actions available (beatdowns, intimidation, bribery, ambushes etc), each having it's own set of costs and consequences/effects
- a lot of different legal and illegal business, each having at least a small twist/hook to them, for example money printing press can boost income of legal business, while brothels can be used to bribe/persuade police officers, judges and other characters
- a lot of personalization: you can create your Player Character, name him/her, name the gang, choose your clothes and gang colors etc.
- immersion: seeing your gangsters walk around, doing your orders, getting handed envelopes with money from "protected" businesses, having your gangsters put a witness inside a car trunk, driving to a desert and then the gangsters whack and bury the witness.
- combat, but not too complicated. I don't have any good ideas for combat really.
- a whole justice system, with each crime committed possibly creating some evidence (like witnesses etc), which then gets investigated, the police will start looking for suspects, if they arrest a suspect then there is a court trial with a judge, jurors, lawyers etc. At each step of the way you can intervene to make sure your gangsters can evade responsibility for their crimes
- a cool mafia organisation tree, like in the movies, with a boss, capos, soldiers.

basically a sandbox gangster game, with no pregenerated missions, to make the player feel like a boss.

What are your thoughts and ideas?
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I'd definitely like to see environmental effects, including civilians getting caught in the crossfire, the lack of which is one of the immersion-breakers in Empire of Sin.

The gangsters may or may not care about civilian casualties, but they might have effects (pressure on politicians and cops to do something, relatives out for revenge, etc.)

That also makes me think it'd be interesting to do this sort of game with a Tropico-like system where everyone you see is an identifiable individual with a job, family members, etc.
  • 2Like
2, Combat based on DK or Hot Brass (real time with environmental effects like bullets going through doors and windows and crouching to make a smaller target)
I'd definitely like to see environmental effects, including civilians getting caught in the crossfire, the lack of which is one of the immersion-breakers in Empire of Sin.

G:OG kinda, sorta had it, during shootouts gangsters and police men kinda moved around a bit during combat and they left chalk outlines on the pavement if they died. Though yeah, expanding that system with exploding bottles, windows, people crouching behind crates would be cool.

3, Random city generator from City of Gangsters (especially like how it turns the focus from individual buildings to corners but still keeps importance of individual buildings)
Yeah, procedurally generated cities are a must, although I would prefer the classic building approach, instead of using corners. Would be even cooler if there were different city types, like: Chicago, New York, Florida, LA, San Francisco, maybe even Havana or a small Sicilian town with mafiozo villas in the countryside?

4, Bagman mechanic from Legal Crime (Businesses don't teleport money to you, they generate a unit with a briefcase that automatically walks back to your HQ, you can set up collection centers to shorten the route, but it introduces a logistical target for your organization and enemies)
Nice, but I think even nicer would be a lieutenant/capo system, where a capo gets assigned some businesses/rackets by you, and he would be responsible for collecting protection money and patrolling. This would reduce tedious micromanagement, but you would still be able to personally collect protection money from your own district/turf, if you wanted a more hands-on approach.

5, Character customization and health system from Rimworld (some backstories to adjust starting stats, if a guy gets shot in the arm, that arm loses function until healed or maybe permanently)
I like this. Backstories would be cool, for example you could have different starting scenarios, like Origins in Stellaris. For example:

- Childhood Friends - you grew up with a bunch of tough guys in a neighboorhood. But you are grown ups now, and you now want to finally get a piece of the criminal pie for yourselves. You start with a few extra loyal gangsters and have some initial contacts.
- Exiled Mafiozo - you were exiled from a town in Silicy because of some "issues", and you have to start a new life in the US. You start with less people but get more respect from various actions + shopkeepers of Italian/Sicilian ethnicity will be extra afraid of you and will cooperate easier.

also stats and traits for gangsters:
- I would partially keep the star system, but I would make it easier to read by using a 0-10 rating instead of start + cleanup the skills themselves, for example knifefighting should be a perk/specialization for close combat skill, while arson should also be perk/specialization, but for demolitions/(heavy weapons?) skill.
- for traits, which G:OG didn't have I think, a simple system like CK2/CK3 would be good. Just a few traits, like Greedy, Bloodthirsty, Cowardly etc to make each gangster more interesting and unique, and to even spawn random events, like a mob soldier has an affair with a boss's wife and drama ensues.
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Well! to rule over the empire one could have to play like a pro gangstar , think like a gangster and act like a gangster with this strategy extremely powerful idea would pop up in our mind and will certainly help to get level up.