GDC Hands-On IMPRESSION: Buildings Have Feelings Too!

Wednesday, March 27th, 2019

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Buildings Have Feelings Too | Logo

Publisher(s): Merge Games (ID@Xbox Title)
Platform(s): Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, PC
Release Date: June 2019

One of the most uniquely concepted games I got to experience at GDC was Buildings Have Feelings Too! on the Xbox One. Buildings Have Feelings Too! fits fairly neatly into the city-building-simulation genre, but with one huge exception: instead of playing as an omnipotent god or mayor building your city, you’re instead playing as one of the buildings themselves.

Buildings Have Feelings Too | Building

In Buildings Have Feelings Too!, you play as a building…which happens to have feelings. (Image courtesy of Merge Games).

The most noticeable thing about Buildings Have Feelings Too! is that the buildings themselves are all modeled after buildings in Northern Ireland, from Belfast to Derry and everything in between. This gives the game a British feel to it- which is appropriate, as the development team behind the game is from Northern Ireland. In the alpha build I played, I started off with fifty ‘bricks’ (Buildings Have Feelings Too!‘s form of currency). I then could purchase various building types and set up various types of businesses/apartments/etc inside them along a 2-D city street. As I erected more living quarters, pubs, factories, etc, more people move into the town and start occupying those places. The more people that live there and work there, the more bricks are made. Gradually, “specialty” people, such as mechanics and healers, will start to appear on the streets. Once I scoop those people up and the buildings have enough EXP, I can upgrade the buildings even further.

A unique spin on Buildings Have Feelings Too! is how the buildings get ‘along’ with each other (or not). As it turns out, certain buildings do better (they have feelings after all) next to certain other buildings, and there is a happiness ‘bonus’ that comes from it. I discovered that if I put a pub, for instance, next to apartments, my happiness shoots way up. However, if I put an accounting building next to the apartments, it doesn’t quite do so well. This happiness factor adds an additional level of complexity to Buildings Have Feelings Too! and really gives meaning to the game’s title.

Buildings Have Feelings Too | Menus

Buildings Have Feelings Too | Menus

Use currency to build the buildings and then turn them into a type of business in each of your (eventually unlocked) ten districts. (Images courtesy of Merge Games).

The concept of Buildings Have Feelings Too! sounds rather simple, but it was a lot of fun to try out. Even though there were clearly some slow-downs at the beginning when I was trying to establish my city, that is to be expected in an alpha build of the game. That said, the concept behind Buildings Have Feelings Too! is solid, and I think that once there is a proper balance struck between gameplay mechanics and player progression, this game will be a genuinely good game. I also took the time to speak with the creator of Buildings Have Feelings Too!, Ben Donahue, who informed me that there are ten districts to play through in this ID@Xbox title and that each of these districts, furthermore, will be unlocked one at a time by the player. This is a clear signal that there will be plenty of content to experience in this game when it launches in June 2019.

Buildings Have Feelings Too | Emotions

Buildings really do have feelings, you know. And you have to manage their happiness in the game too. (Image courtesy of Merge Games).

All in all, there is simply so much charm to Buildings Have Feelings Too!, and I honestly want to experience the game when it is fully released so I can see if I have what it takes to build a town…as a building who has feelings.

What kind of buildings are you excited to see inĀ Buildings Have Feelings Too!, and what kind of district would you like to build?

Let us know in the comments below!

About Quentin H.

I have been a journalist for oprainfall since 2015, and I have loved every moment of it. Do you want to do an interview? You can reach me at