Jan Zeleny - founder of the one-man studio behind the economic game Mashinky - recently shared information about the new mechanic heading to the title. The game, focused on trains up to this date, will include aviation infrastructure.
The announcement of new content is a great time to take a look at the project that has been worked on for years by a lone developer. We will also try to answer the question: how the dynamically developing Mashinky looks in comparison with other economic games addressing the topic of transportation.
Development of a modest project
Jana Zeleny is not a completely new figure in the industry. The Czech programmer had the opportunity to work, among other things, on the engines that power Mafia II, Mafia III and DayZ. The experience gained from working on the aforementioned titles enabled the developer to gradually prepare his own projects in his spare time.
In an interview with Vision Game the programmer mentions that the first ideas for games about railroads took their beginnings in projects developed while he was still a student. At that time Zeleny was working on an engine, allowing for the procedural generation of realistic terrain. On its basis, the imaginative developer began to develop gameplay tailored to the environment.
The first time the world heard about Mashinky was around 2015, when the author's channel published the first teaser, presenting the general idea and basic mechanics of the emerging project.
The project appealed to the audience to such an extent that the playable demo secured the first prize at the industry conference GDS 2016 for the developer.
After more months of preparation, the game was finally ready for a public debut. Mashinky hit Steam on October 6, 2017 as part of early access.
The game met with a warm reception from the players, as evidenced by the overwhelmingly positive reviews on Steam in the first weeks after its release in Early Access.
Positive player reviews. Review bombing from early 2022 is related to the public support the developer has given to the Ukraine in the ongoing war.Source: Steam
The developer's dedication was also evident in the release cycle of new updates. Zeleny's one-man studio began releasing new updates with admirable zeal, adding new content and modes to the game.
Among the most interesting new mechanics added after the release were:
- map editor providing the community with new spaces to play;
- road transport adding variety to the game world;
- eras, which are major updates adding a host of new locomotives, railcars and content inspired by different historical periods.
An impressive addition to the game was also the multiplayer mode. Thanks to it, up to 8 players could from now on cooperate or compete on one map.
The peculiarities of the indie game market and the fact that Zeleny is overseeing the game pretty much alone, make further development largely dependent on direct contact with the audience. This enables the developer to focus on changes that will appeal to the fans.
Although Mashinky is still in early access, constant development and regular updates enable us to predict that the project has a bright future.
The air transport mechanics mentioned in the introduction and undergoing testing may foreshadow changes taking place inside Zeleny's game. Mashinky, debuting as a game focused primarily on railroads, is evolving over time into an increasingly extensive transportation management simulator.
The creator himself, by the way, makes no secret of his genre inspirations, describing his work on his Facebook page as: "an independent tycoon strategy game". The reference to classic MicroProse titles is, by the way, most appropriate here. It should be remembered that in 1990 this very company gave life to a thematically similar series - Railroad Tycoon.
With the introduction of new mechanics, features and content to the game, we may in the near future witness the birth of an extremely competent proposal for enthusiasts of economic strategies, which will stand up to other representatives of the genre.
Players reminiscing with tenderness about the old-school Transport Tycoon should definitely follow the development of the inconspicuous Czech production.
The future will verify
The example of Mashinky is a fantastic proof of what one talented and determined person with a good idea is able to do in the grow industry. Despite several years since the release of the early access version, Zeleny's work is still being systematically developed. And inferring from the latest messages from the developer, more major updates are on the way.
Let's hope that Mashinky will continue to run full steam ahead and surprise many a fan of transport economic games in the future.