While I didn’t get to play Buildings Have Feelings Too! what I saw of it was absolutely wonderful. It’s one of those titles that just makes you feel good with its charm and soul, and that speaks volumes for what this title is trying to do.
In a quick demo I got to chat with Benjamin Donoghue, the creative director behind Buildings Have Feelings Too, and he took me through what it’s all about. You act as a small apartment building, an anthropomorphic building walking around, chatting it up with other buildings who also walk and talk and have cute little legs, managing your city. Yes, this is a city management game way you play as the very literal and embodied city.
Ben explained that you start at the beginning of the industrial era, and take your city through the many different times and eras of the world up until our modern era, spanning about 100 years of different architecture, design, and jobs and places that would fill a city. And your building will remember that and carry through it. An old 20s building may get short shifted when a bunch of high rise apartments that have a sleek, newer look to them, and their feelings may suffer because of it.
The city management comes into positioning the different buildings and their different wants/needs to parts of the block you work in at a time, then filling that building with the right people and the right storefronts to make them fiscally successful. There is a timer in the top right corner that cycles the currency you earn on a loop, and that amount is dependent on the stores assigned to your buildings. Maybe you can rent them out as apartments, set up a cafe in them, or turn them into a factory. Each of those different storefronts may have side effects though, like smog coming from a factory, which will lower the efficiency of the adjacent buildings. And on top of that, maybe a certain building doesn’t feel good about its neighbors, its storefronts, or what it’s being told to do. You have to talk to them and get a good idea of what’s the right fit for what building.
To be clear here, you’re finding people, citizens on the street, and assigning them to these buildings to build these stores, and you can move people and buildings around the block you’re working on as needed.
Ben told me there are different areas or boroughs to the city that you expand and unlock as you go along, with different attributes like a beachfront area that gets more tourists, and can thus be built up on differently. The buildings are charming too, with their personality types coming out as reflections of their architecture and era. Ben also told me that they paid a lot of attention to different architects, their work, and the era that their work corresponds to, meaning there is a lot of care put into just the little minutia of your city’s occupants.
What I saw of Buildings Have Feelings Too! Seems awesome. It’s a totally different take on city management, and it’s far more “ground-level”, getting you more invested in the emotional aspect of things, optimizing that for the most efficient city possible. I liked what I saw a lot, and I’m excited to see more when it comes out sometime next year.