developer: Jan Zeleny
publisher: Jan Zeleny
Game mode: single / multiplayer
Multiplayer mode: Internet, players: 1-8
game language: English
game release date for PC:
Mashinky for PC is an economic tycoon game focusing on railways and offering a unique combination of 3D graphics with an isometric, strategic view. Most of the mechanics, but also the game engine itself, were created by one man, Jan Zeleny – an experienced programmer who has been a fan of railway-oriented economic games for many years. The project has its roots in experiments on procedural generation of terrain, conducted by the creator back in his schooldays. The works on the game itself began around the year 2009, and Zeleny was carrying them out mainly in his free time. The developer was inspired by such classic of this genre, as Transport Tycoon (1994) or Railroad Tycoon II (1998), but also different board games. In 2016, the creation of the ambitious programmer was awarded with the first place during the conference of independent gamemakers – Game Developers Session, which is organized in Prague. Also, the game gained the approval of Steam Greenlight's community.
The fundamentals of Mashinky are not different from what can be seen in the canonical economic strategies. As a result, the player's goal is to build an effectively working company that generates income, and in this case, its occupation focuses on railroads. The core of the experience is constituted by designing track connections, building stations and supporting infrastructures, as well as extending the fleet containing different kinds of engines and cars. The action takes place on procedurally-generated maps, thus each beginning places new challenges in front of the player. Random events and assignments (for instance, one is required to deliver radioactive materials to a power plant) serve the role of an additional diversification.
The mechanics present in Mashinky for PC create an impression of a board game when looking at it from different angles, rather than an economic simulator. Instead of money, the player gathers different kinds of tokens, which are then spent on the company's development. The tokens come in several kinds, the money tokens being the most basic – the player earns them through transporting passengers and spends them on building new stations or tracks. Other kinds of tokens are more specific, as the player obtains them in a specified way and spends them on technological improvements or certain structures. For instance, each shipment of wood delivered to the sawmill gives the player a number of wooden tokens that can be used to construct wooden bridges or to equip one's roundhouse with new locomotives. Delivering fuel to the power plant earns the player the electric tokens, which allow them to create and buy engines powered by electricity. What kinds of tokens the player can obtain depends on the historical period one is currently in. Each of the seven in-game epochs introduces a new kind of token, as well as new investments.
Mashinky allows the player to view the game world from three different angles. The first is a typical for strategies, aerial view that encompasses the 3D environment of the game. Another view mode allows the player to see the game world through the eyes of a train driver. The third option is the special isometric, schematic view that depicts the world in the form of a legible net. In this last mode, where all the important information is visible, the player can lay new tracks and build structures, as well as modify the terrain with adequate tools.
The game offers both a single-player mode (the player competes against AI-controlled companies) and an on-line multiplayer mode. Up to 8 players can have fun on procedurally-generated maps in one session.
Each session is situated within a sandbox mode allowing the player to lead their company through seven historical periods - from the era of primitive steam engines, to the period of the modern-day maglev trains.
Mashinky for PC utilizes the in-house engine created by the developer in the C++ language. The engine was being created specifically for a railroad-focused, economic strategy. As a result, it provides trouble-free work of the three view modes implemented, but also has room for advanced graphical effects, such as fluent transformations of the game world from one season of the year to another. Also, the engine provides an opportunity for the fans to enrich the core game with their modifications.
A soul-jazz soundtrack accompanies the experience, which was inspired by the soundtracks of older tycoon games, and was created by a French musician known as Slikk Tim (Gary Gritness).
Expectations: 8.7 / 10 calculated out of 38 players' votes.
PC / Windows
Recommended: Intel Quad Core 2.66 GHz, 4 GB RAM, graphic card 2 GB GeForce GTX 960 or better, 2 GB HDD, Windows 7
Minimum: Intel Quad Core 2.0 GHz, 4 GB RAM, graphic card 2 GB GeForce GTX 750 or better, 2 GB HDD, Windows Vista