Rule over your very own school in UniverCity, by developer Matthew Collins.
UniverCity is a city-builder where you build a.. you guessed it, university. Upon beginning, you start out with $50,000 and the drive to give prospective students the best education possible. The mechanics are fairly standard in the city-building simulation genre. Make money to build more classrooms which will bring in students to continue your expansion.
Building Your UniverCity
There is a total of 15 rooms which can be built. The price varies from one to another, with some costing well over $20,000. However, not all rooms can be built straight away. Some require you to build specific ones before it allows you to unlock the next one. For example, Science Basics allows you to build Science Laboratory and Computer Science Basics lets you build Computer Science Laboratory. Rooms can be made quickly, provided you have the funds. Take note that space is very limited. The rooms have a minimum building space. Each room has a minimum requirement. Usually a projector, door and desk. On paper it seems fine, but each required object takes up space, which will limit the number of desks for students. I found myself making rooms nearly double the minimum size so that I could fit at least 15 desks.
I found money an issue only in the first ten minutes of each game, and that was because I didn’t have many students. The first thing you make is a registration office to accept new ones. I recommend placing three desks and hiring three office workers. It’ll bring you money fast. Make your rooms a bit larger than the minimum size and fill them with chairs. After a class ends, you will receive money. I was at a point where I had over a hundred students and within ten minutes I had made about $20,000. Another nice way to make money is from the school rating system. Rating higher increasing student enrolment and gives you a bonus.
Hiring Your Staff
There are three types of staff: Professors, Janitors and Office Workers. Janitors and office staff are fairly cheap, I didn’t see one cost more than $5,000. Whereas professors vary from $9,000 – $30,000. You pay them the initial fee, and I’m yet to figure out when they get paid again.
Do not waste your money on janitors. I have never seen any sort of mess, therefore I don’t think they’re necessary. The office workers are crucial, instead. They admit new students and run the café and snack shop. Professors are very different. Unlike janitors and office staff, they have two stats which will ultimately help you decide who to hire. Skill is how well they teach, and control is how well they control the students. As a test, I hired professors that were very bad at both and they seemed to teach perfectly fine. Which makes me wonder if those stats work yet.
The stats that you need to watch are happiness and fatigue. Not having a large staff means that certain professors will be teaching more often, increasing their stress. If too stressed, they will quit. If they become stressed, move them to the staff room to relax or give them a pay raise when they ask for it. However, there’s a high chance they will still quit. Your best bet is to have a large staff. The teachers will rotate classes and fewer people will resign.
My Issues With The Game
Annoyingly, you can’t expand your university. However, you can build another one. It would have been nice to be able to customise the base building size, even if it costs a lot of money. Another issue is once you’ve built a room and furnished it, you can’t delete its contents. Well, at least not that I could find. If you wanted to make your classrooms bigger, you first had to remove all its contents. I found this tedious and unnecessarily costly.
Unfortunately, there isn’t much to do. Once you have furnished all the rooms, there is minor decorating, but that’s as far as it goes. After about an hour of playing, I became bored with UniverCity. Maybe if you had more control over the university and its students it would be more interesting. For more content, the developers could let you make a schedule or give you tasks to achieve. As it is now, it’s lacking.
However, UniverCity is currently in early access. Upon full release, I am predicting much more content for the players.
If you would like to check out UniverCity, it’s available for purchase on Steam.