Latest news
Exclusive Interview: Tropico 4
by Chris Hawke

Remember that Tropico 4 Community Interview that we promised? Well, after escaping from the beautiful island by only the skin of our teeth, we've brought back a secretly-taped discussion with El Presidente and one of his aides. The UN, the EU, the League of Nations (they're still kicking about, right?) all want a piece of the infamous El Presidente - and GGTL exclusively has the dirt on him that can bring him to justice.

Read on after the jump for the full interview.

With the new 'Fire Station' building added in Tropico 4, will there be dynamic damage/fires that affect our buildings and island at large in the game?

El Presidente: The Tropican buildings are made by only the best materials. They do not burn or get damaged. Ever. If one of them falls it was meant to fall, by my order.

Anonymous underling: Both will be present in the game. Disasters like earthquakes and hurricanes can cause buildings to become damaged. If a construction worker does not come to repair them, they will catch fire.

Fires can also start because of a volcano, or because of citizen negligence. You can prioritise which buildings should be put out first by your firemen or pay for a helicopter that puts out the fire instantly.

How will privatisation/nationalisation be dealt with? Will we be able to charge for services that were always provided for free in previous Tropico games?

El Presidente: Everything should be under my control at all times. After all, who but me can decide what is best for my people.

Healthcare, food and religion are my gifts to society and will remain free.

Anonymous underling: Privatisation will play a bigger role in Tropico 4. The Stock Exchange will attract foreign offers for constructing private buildings. Private buildings may go bankrupt if they do not have enough resources, or workers. Their owners will also be able to set wages as they see fit. The list of buildings that can be private is not yet finalised, but there will be more options compared to Tropico 3.

Healthcare, food and religion are Presidente’s gifts to society. There are no imminent plans to change that.

Will we have any kind of terraforming tools during our presidential reign?

El Presidente: Tropico is the most beautiful island on Earth. Why would we want to change its landscape if not to build several new factories?

Anonymous underling: Players will not be able to terraform their islands during gameplay. When creating a challenge (both online or offline), you will be able to customise the island including modifications on the terrain and adding/removing resources, crop and beauty markers.

Will there be improvements to the constant traffic congestion we suffered from in Tropico 3?

El Presidente: Traffic jams are a sure symbol of progress. Only well-developed countries can afford to have traffic jams. We should be proud of them!

Anonymous underling: As of this moment, no measures are planned to reduce traffic congestion but that is liable to change. There will be improvements to how roads are constructed, however.

What new opposition will there be to your regime? Right now there are rebels, superpowers, and local politics. What new challenges will be part of Presidente's threat profile?

El Presidente: Threats?!? Don’t make me laugh. Presidente was, Presidente is and Presidente will be forever. No matter what our enemies throw at us, it will always bounce back at them.

Anonymous underling: There are more superpowers now and they are just as fickle as the old ones. The new trade system allows for the superpowers to impose embargos on some goods.

Also, the citizens of Tropico may become criminals and start committing armed robberies and even murder. Your policemen will try to arrest them or shoot them down.

Will the new foreign powers added (China, Europe) place demands on El Presidente, in the same way that the US & USSR currently expect you to, and if so, what kind of new demands might we see from these powers given they are not explicitly Capitalist/Communist?

El Presidente: All they do is demand. I can’t get a minute of peace without someone nagging me to export smoked beef or to become their favoured trade partner.

Anonymous underling: Each superpower has its own unique agenda. Europe is deeply concerned about human rights on your island, while the Middle East is deeply worried by the price of oil and how you affect it. The new superpowers will not be able to invade your island, but they can do damage in other ways, like imposing embargos and other penalties.

How will the combat be handled in Tropico 4?

El Presidente: There is only one way to handle combat: you point your gun and you shoot. If you are doing something else, you are doing it wrong.

Anonymous underling: We do not plan on modifying the combat of the game. We do not plan on making the game an RTS or a shooter. Still, there are a few surprises for the rebels that el Presidente has in his sleeve. I will mention two: one will make El Presidente twice as effective in combat and the other just goes boom.

What are some of the new features/buildings that industrialist dictators can look forward to in Tropico 4?

El Presidente: This is a secret of national importance. You must be a spy if you want this information.

Anonymous underling: Here are two buildings that affect your industry and production:

The Chemical plant is a new production building that does not require input resources, but needs a lot
of electricity. With upgrades it can also improve the life of the everyday Tropican.

The Horticulture Station is a new building that affects your agriculture. It can be used to plant forests, turn all of your agricultural production organic, or you can dabble in the dark arts of genetically modified corn.

Will there be modding tools for the PC community?

El Presidente: Tropico is a work of art. Anyone trying to modify it better wash his hands first and be ready for swift arrest if I do not approve of his creations.

Anonymous underling: Yes. The player will be able to create online challenges. The tools and interface for challenge creation have been totally redone and give many new options. As mentioned before, you will be able to modify the terrain of your island when editing your challenge and add or remove resources, beauty and crop markers. You will also be able to place the starting buildings as you wish.

How politically-minded do you feel Tropico 4 is? Does the construction come before the politics?

El Presidente: This is a very good question. Next question please.

Anonymous underling: Well, looking at current politics and headlines I will say that we don’t dare to go that crazy, but we’re close enough. With the new National Agenda mechanic, the different factions are able to communicate more freely with El Presidente and he can answer to their needs more directly.

Construction and politics go hand in hand. This is precisely why Tropico is unique: you don’t need every building to win - in fact, you don’t need half of them, but what you do need is good planning and awareness.

Are mission islands larger than those of Tropico 4?

El Presidente: Have you heard of a game called Minecraft? Our islands are bigger.

Anonymous underling: Yes. Everything is bigger, as it should be. Alas, we did not manage to reach infinity, but the area of the new maps is twice that of the old.

When can we expect to see new trailers/assets for the game?

El Presidente: I spoil you too much by giving you trailers and screenshots for free.

Anonymous underling: Like all cool developers say, you will see them when they are ready. They are currently in the works.

Could you give us an advance on the 'August 2011' release date

El Presidente: If some dollars were to come to my Swiss account, the game could be out by next week. Propositions below the current US budget deficit will not be viewed seriously.

Anonymous underling: What Presidente said.

Presidente and Underling answers were compiled by Lyubomir Iliev, Game Designer at Haemimont Games.

The verdict? Tropico 4 is guilty. Of being a damn fine proposition. We can't wait to bring you more info on the exotic title, and Gamer's Guide to would like to thank the men and women at Kalypso Media and Haemimont Games for such a wonderfully inventive interview. Stay tuned to our Twitter for our future Community Interviews, and much more; it only takes a moment to follow us, and you get all that gaming goodness. You know you want to.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

- Chris Hawke

Discuss this article in our friendly forums

Sign up to our community today and discuss our articles, debate over upcoming games and organise matches and playsessions with like-minded people just like you.

Liked this? Spread the word - share with your friends!

Done? You might also enjoy these!

All comments are subject to our commenting policy

GGTL Classics
Some of the very best articles dug out from deep in the GGTL archives, written by some of our past and present wordsmiths alike.
Your continued use of this website and/or any others owned by Gamer's Guide to represents your acceptance and indicates your full understanding of all of our legal policies and terms. Our legal policies and terms are legally binding. If you in any way disagree with or refuse to be bound by any part of said legal policies and terms, you are advised to leave this website immediately.