Empire of Sin developer Romero Games is pretty confident that there’s enough source material to keep its Prohibition-era strategy game running for years to come. “That period of time is so turbulent, you could focus on any part of the world and you could come up with some really interesting, crazy stuff,” says game designer Ian O’Neill. “But if you just focus on Chicago, during that time period, there is an insane amount of depth. Scratching the surface is an overused term, but we really have only scratched the surface.”
Now that Romero Games has largely completed what it sees as the post-launch stabilisation period for Empire of Sin, the studio has turned to the task of filling in what’s beneath its surface. Coming updates, like the free Precinct Update it’s teased for later this year, are adding not only new information-handling systems, but additional historical colour. In many cases, that is only lightly fictionalised versions of real newspaper stories the team has found from 1920s Chicago.
“There’s a mission in the existing game that we got from an actual newspaper in the early ’20s,” says narrative designer Katie Gardner. “It was the story of a guy who was being sent to be hanged, and he wouldn’t stand up to be hanged. So he was hanged in his chair.”
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