[Project] Jozi Crime Spree

edited in Projects
Jozi Crime Spree(working title) is a game about becoming the most successful crime boss Jozi has ever seen. Navigate the city, buying chop shops. Manage them in order to increase your wealth. Highjack your way to fame and employ a mass of criminals to feed your greed. But beware, the police are vigilant and in the end crime doesn't pay!


So this is the project I'm working on at the moment. To get the playable version in it's current incarnation please see the post below. I will keep the post updated with the latest build as I get them finished. This might be a sporadic process as spare time is a fickle thing.

If you feel inclined to give it a play please do. And feel free to break the game, become aggravated by the bugs or maybe even enjoy it. Please, leave your comments and thoughts about the game below, and don't feel like you need to spare my feelings. I assure you that I have none. Suggestions are welcome too, but be warned that I will use the good ones and claim them as my own. :P
Thanked by 1mikegeyser


  • edited
    Latest Build

    Please drop me a message if the link is not working. The download is(still) about 8MB. Please remember to leave any comments and feedback you have. I greatly appreciate it. :)
    [center]Notable Changes[/center]

    Very basic starting and ending screens/menus added.
    You now start the game with one shop.
    Employees with different abilities added.
    Major rework of the shop GUI.
    Created new jobs to assign employees to.
    Removed different shop sizes.
    Shops no longer increase value over time.
    Basic end of turn report implemented.

    Changed the sliders to personnel that can be assigned to different jobs.
    The current month is now displayed in the top right corner.
    The shop values now increase each 3 months.
    Getting raided now decreases lucrativeness as well as increasing risk.
    Not getting raided increases lucrativeness.
    Personnel can now be hired inside each shop.
    3 Different shop sizes that determine the starting values as well as the maximum amount of personnel that can be hired.

    [center][b]Previous Builds

    You can let me know if these links are down and I'll try to fix them. But check out the latest build at the top of the post. :)
  • Will give it a run this evening when I eventually get home, but the link definitely works.
  • My game went on until I was turbo clicking the end turn button :) Feedback other than stuff we spoke about at the meet follows:

    1) Should be some kind of turn-by-turn feedback summary. Turn number X, how much money made in total, how many shops got raided

    2) Some kind of finality would make me think about what I'm doing - shop gets raided x times, it closes for good, or something. Right now I've had a shop at 55% risk for like ever and it's still making money.

    3) Differentiation between buying one shop versus another... I can't really tell the difference between them, as they're all a balance of numbers, and they all seem like the same balance to me. Maybe some kind of "modifier" that's visible to the player that summarises a shop - "dodgy" = high risk, "commercial" = steady income less chance to be raided, etc.

    4) more variety, maybe random events that influence things.

    5) Simplifying the numbers - instead of % out of 100 in everything, a simpler representation would benefit engagement - 4/5 stars in risk, 5 people on hijacking, etc. All those numbers confuse me :)

    6) Good start, it could turn into a great casual high-score game :) Maybe this is where we as a newly born entity can approach officially DTI for some funding for doing something social aware in the new tech arena? :)
    1059 x 830 - 105K
  • @Tuism, first! :P(for playing anyway)

    Thanks for giving it a play.

    1) Definitely, I haven't gotten around to it yet though. It's one of the reasons why the game is technically not ready for testing. Not enough player feedback.

    2) I was trying to go for something like that with the risk that keeps increasing each time the shop gets raided. But I will have to rethink it if it's not having the desired effect.

    3) It's true that the shops all kind of feel the same. The bad part is that it was actually what I was trying to accomplish. I was trying to create the shops as blank slates so you can customize them like you want, but if there is nothing inherently different in them, they will all tend to go towards the same customization anyway. This should also help alleviate the problem with the three stats feeling the same.

    4) I will defnitely work on this for future builds as well. Was planning to do something like it from the start, just haven't gotten around to it yet. Things like certain areas getting riskier. Or cops actually closing down your shop...stuff like that.

    5) Hmmm, this is interesting. Do you mean that I should simplify the numbers or only the display? Simplifying the numbers may lead to less fine tweaking from the player. Which is not neccesarily a bad thing, just something that I would have to consider.

    6) Thank you. I appreciate the kind words :) Forgive my ignorance, but what exactly is DTI?
  • 5) Well the fine tweaking a player should do shouldn't be deciding between 55% and 54%, or 40%, etc. It should be distributing and dividing your attention and resources across a bunch of options. So simplifying the decision and the interaction will make the decisions seem more meaningful even if you don't change the actual maths behind the mechanics.

    DTI = department of trade and industry - apparently they support various projects, and one of the goals - if I remember correctly - of mgsa is to become an established body that can represent game dev as a real industry towards the government.

    It's a long term goal but any start's a start :)
  • Yeah, that makes sense. I think the thing I have been missing is the idea of a resource. That's why the suggestion about only having a limited amount of personnel is something that I am going to implement next. Just pushing sliders left and right doesn't really require any thought and doesn't make for meaningful decisisions.
  • To chip in something slightly different.

    Crime is done for an end goal. In the game this is give the player money as a reward, but money is also a mechanic for buying new shops; there is no reason for the player to hoard it for personal wealth, which is what — I suspect — a criminal would do in real life.

    So what about prestige? You start off as a lowly chop shop owner and work your way up to being the don or some such thing. The player accumulates a list of crimes over time that they have committed to keep their business going, and when they eventually fail they see the prison sentence for each crime they have committed scroll across the screen.
  • I updated the second post with a new build! Go check it out :D

    @Tuism, I get what your saying. I'll try to work my way to something like it with each iteration. It might just take some time. And thanks for the DTI clarification.

    @Karuji, The thing I want the player to have at the end of the game is a high score. Thus far I have been using the score as the only score in the game. After your suggestion I have begun to think of other interesting things to add. Along the lines of achievements and exceptional (criminal) behavior. I'll try and implement them as I go along. So in the end your score will be made up of a lot of different things which will include your money.
  • Achievements are a great idea - especially if they suggest things that the player should explore - like having the most shops, or having the most employees, or having the lowest risk or highest risk shops, or having everything in a rich or a poor area, or whatever. Achievements are a great way to "tutorialise" without building a complex tutorial :)
    Thanked by 1Rigormortis
  • edited
    Hey everyone! New build ---> SonOfOdin Build, aaaaaaw yeah! :D

    So I used the time I had over the long weekend to make some major updates to the game. It looks like something else completely, hopefully for the better. I wanted to implement more stuff, but that will have to wait till the next update. The new jobs system that I implemented brings a lot more depth to the game.

    I will expand and refine the concepts as I continue with the project.There is a semi-detailed change log here, for those of you that likes that kind of thing.

    I still have a whole list of stuff I want to implement but I'm trying to break it up into updates to make more manageable. Most of my time is spent on changing things however. Every now and then I gain a level in Unity or C# and then I have to change stuff to make it super better. I'm currently level 12 and 23 in Unity and C# respectivly(in case you were wondering). :P

    Please give it a play and remember to post your thoughts/feedback, it's good practice for my english reading skills. :)
  • Hey everyone,

    I didn't have much time to work on this since the last update. Too much real life stuff getting in the way. But I'll be putting in more effort from Monday again. So I'm bumping it to get some awesome feedback before I start up again. :)
  • edited
    Downloading it now :D

    Looks quite interesting. I normally get addicted to these type of games. I have to note though that I really suck at it. What's the strategy? I can't get enough income in time to buy a new shop (I guess I get raided or something, but my cash suddenly drops below 0 after a few turns then I lose.)

    Also, the game has been freezing on me a few times. Once after a restart, and once after I ended my turn.

    Keep it up :)

    Ok so I think I finished it. I got all the shops. My only criticism for now is that it feels like it could be too difficult to start. If you randomly get raided and you don't have enough money, well there is nothing you can do about it. And after you got a few more shops it becomes a little too easy. I'd say say focus on adding some more mid - late game challenge to make it worth playing. Could be fun :)
  • For some reason completely missed this one when it was doing the rounds online. Will grab this build on Monday. :)
  • @Denzil, thanks for giving it a play. I totally understand what you are saying. The balance is a bit shoddy. But I plan to have a new system that doesn't actually affect your money when you get raided but rather makes it more difficult to continue playing. I want to have a slippery slope effect when you start to get raided, but I have to think about how to do it.

    The game freezing is a bit disconcerting. I have no idea why it would do that. I will have to look into it.

    I definitely have to look at the progression of the game. At the moment the start and the "finish" is basically just more of the same. Thanks for the feedback :)

    @Nandrew, please do :). I have to confess I still need to go check out miniciv, but I will. :)

    I want to ask a specific question about this build as well. Did the people that played this notice the arrows in the top right corner when you are in the shop view? That basically indicates how the different proffesions influences your money? It was supposed to be simple but I guess I didn't place enough emphasis on it(my playtest of one person couldn't figure it out).
  • @Rigormortis Cool, I'll check it out more as you update it.

    And yeah, I noticed the arrows. I looked at them constantly as I was hiring, etc. One question though, what does lucrativeness do?
  • I am planning to put in more explanations in the next update. I need some way to at least explain how to play the game :P

    Lucrativeness is basically a multiplier for your profits. So if you have a R100 profit, but 50% lucrativeness you would only receive R50. I think the problem is that the flat profit value is hidden from the player. That's why it doesn't make sense.
  • Okay, cool-looking system! :)

    I have a couple of suggestions off the top of my head:

    (1) Making secondary traits have some sort of effect on individual job portfolios would go a long way towards making employee hire decisions more interesting. Right now, it feels like I'm just looking for the highest number in each category and going "yarp, that one". Granted, there's some interplay in the areas where one fellow has two things that they're good at, but for now it seems rather cookie-cutter regarding who goes where. In fact, I'd recommend a basic system where someone in, say, Agile Accounting still has half (or a third) of their other traits affecting different areas of the chop-shop business, so you wanna figure out whether you hire the accountant with additional experience in investing, or the one who has background experience as a thug. :)

    (2) Right now, switching up employees and optimising for the highest numbers in each shop is a bit time-consuming and "obvious" as a best route. I'd suggest offering some barrier to change: once-off hiring fees, for example, or experience gain / special abilities for employees who work long-term in a particular position without being swapped out. Or maybe even just an overall higher maintenance cost for chop shops that are working at full capacity as opposed to a leaner, more efficient shop with fewer employees.

    (3) What Denzel mentions about the early-game raids is pretty spot-on. You want the game to be easy at first, and significantly more challenging as it progresses (making it almost trivial to maintain one chop shop, and bloody difficult to sustain ten). One simple way to go about this is to increase overall "police attention" per shop owned -- so having only one in existence doesn't draw the attention of cops at all, while a sprawling criminal empire will draw the attention of special forces and whatnot. The penalty for raids can also increase at with your "empire level": if you own only one shop, you'll suffer an arrest of one or two employees and a slap on the wrist for your business. Once you progress to the level of multi-shops, a raid basically means a heavy fine, an immediate shutdown of one shop and an increased raid threat for all other shops over the next few turns.

    (4) To further expand on this ... it should be next to impossible to hold every single shop in Joburg, and if you were interested in scenario goals they would be somewhere along the lines of "Own at least 10 shops and operate at a profit of R5000 for X many turns". So it's about reaching a certain build point, balancing your labour/money/risk as optimally as possible and "holding the pose" for a minimum amount of time without something going wrong. City management games tend to do this a lot, what I immediately think of are series like Caesar / Zeus / Pharaoh which basically have these goals as staples.

  • @Nandrew,

    thanks for giving it a play. And thank you for the feedback. Just a response:
    1) The extra abilities felt vestigial to me as well. I was planning on removing them and just have each employee have one skill but limit the amount of jobs he can be assigned to. But the abilities applying across jobs sounds interesting.

    2)I am going to implement a once off hiring fee for the next build, Just kind off forgot about it for this one :P and hopefully will implement basic leveling system as well.

    3) I was thinking about a reputation system that influences your risk rather that the way it's working now. The reputation will then be influenced by stuff like the shops you own and how many personnel at what level you employ and things like that. Haven't quite figured it out yet, but atm the risk is not working the way I want it to.

    4) And yes, those games are exactly the feeling I want to create, that's the slippery slope I was talking about. Those games tend to make your cities come apart at the seems if you slip on some basic need or something.
  • edited
    Gave it a spin, and don't think I have too much to add to what's already been said:

    GOOD IMPROVEMENT! The new interface is very cool, and guides stuff a lot better - that said:

    1) Why does it need to confirm if I want to see a store? It doesn't take away a turn or anything, I'd say that confirm is not needed
    2) It takes some figuring out to see that each of the 6 "departments" has a different effect on the income/risk/lucrativeness thing. Maybe those need to be closer to the left to draw direct inference, and maybe iconise those and put them riiiight next to the department selections, so you can at a glance see what's what.
    3) The association between putting people in the places against their stats isn't apparent. Also, what's he logic in firing? Would you lose less if they're making your risk too high?
    4) I clicked end turn and was greeted by the end game screen immediately, twice in a row. It really seems a bit too random and you're not told well enough that you were busted and destroyed.
    5) This is purely aesthetic - but an electronic interface + handwritten font? :P

    Great progress, be cool to see progression and stuff, and some more ways of interacting with the staff :)
  • @Tuism,

    thanks for playing again :). So in my trying to answer everything sufficiently style:
    1) It doesn't need it. I just didn't realize how irritating the thing was until I already uploaded the build.
    2) I asked my sister to play test the game, and she isn't a regular gamer. I saw that the same was happening to her, I had to remind her basically every time that she has to look at that stuff.
    3) The idea is that the higher the stat for a specific job, the more good it will do and the less bad. It directly relates to the arrows you see in the top right when you choose a specific job. The logic behind the firing part was that there will come new personnel that are better than your current and you would want to exchange them, but like Nandrew said, without an initial hiring price, or some sort of investment this becomes tedious rather than meaningful.
    4) This is my bad. Each shop has a chance to get raided and each shop that get's raided incurs a fine of some value I chose before hand. I did not pay attention to the actual values though and now when you get raided before making some money you lose instantly. I will fix this in the new build.
    5)Hehe, I was wondering if anyone would mention this :P The idea is actually to have it all laid out as a paper system. So basically it is supposed to look like actual paper files and hand written text. The employees will have a short bio in their files and a picture attached with a paper clip. Stuff like that. I'll ask someone to maybe do it for me when I actually have a concept that is reasonably fun to play.

    Thanks :)
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