Hands-On Preview: BigFest – Good Vibes
Running a music festival is hard work. I got chance to throw out streakers and dirty hippies in the PS4 version of BigFest.
BigFest has you managing a budding music festival and you’ll soon figure out where put food vendors and upgrade security. At any given moment you can you can grab a festival goer and they will tell what your place is missing. Apparently people at musical festivals like to eat, and I needed to make sure that the food vendors were locating some place easily accessible to people with the munchies.
While the title is free-to-play, but in-game building and upgrading facilities take time and money. For the demo I had boost tickets that instantly constructing all my buildings. I asked what the pricing structure would be for boost tickets since fair pricing can make or break a free-to-play but the officials were not ready to comment just yet. I had no real sense about how soon your average player will hit that pay wall. Aside from boost tickets, you will also be able to purchase different themes for your festivals, from viking to psychedelic motifs.
The interesting thing comes from its musical offerings. At first I thought all the groups performing were created for the game. I was explained that every band performing are actually real unsigned groups. There’s this universal billboard that tracks all the bands’ popularity in real time and you can increase their fame by making sure your show goes smoothly. I liked the idea of of being able to discover new music while playing and tracking their appeal.
Posters that you can select dictate different objectives you need to accomplish for that show. For the demo I was only handling one band at a time. Later on Posters will need to hire multiple groups, sometimes sticking to a certain genre. Sticking in a country music artist during an electronic music dance festival will destroy your vibe.
During one concert a group of smelly hippies came to throw off the Vibe of my festival. Vibe is essential your reputation. If you vibe is too low, people will leave upset and positive vibes will attract more paying customers who will spend more at your vendors. Another interesting mechanic is the ability to visit your friends’ music festivals to pull pranks. The effect pranks have on your friends’ shows long term was explained, even though I do love the idea of sending streakers to the concerts of people on my friends lists.
Navigating the interface took some getting used to. L1 will zoom out your show, making it easier to highlight and deal with problems when they come. This was a lot easier then trying to scroll around a huge outdoor venue. I’d love to see the touch pad used a bit more for moving around the venue though. Clearly this game would work wonders on a tablet but the PS4 controller performed admirably.
BigFest looks like it could be a great daily distraction with trying something different with real music. As long as they are plenty customization options for your festivals and you’re not forced into spending real cash to progress, this game looks like it may eat up most of your free time. Fingers crossed.