The era of Prohibition has always been a very interesting one, mostly for its class, style and the ruthless gangsters that decorated these years with corruption and violence. Most will be familiar with it, if they are at all, through films, and hopefully they start Humphrey Bogart, Edward G. Robinson and James Cagney – fast-talking and wise-cracking guys who were looking for the quickest way to make a buck, and they never let the law act as a barrier. A Golden Wake is interested in this, set around it, even, but the methods of its protagonist seem to be a little more subtle and organized, but just as shady.
“The Roaring Twenties. The Jazz Age. Prohibition. For Alfie Banks, a young real estate salesman from New York recently relocated to Miami, it is a time of great opportunity.”
Grundislav has apparently been stewing over A Golden Wake since 2010, but saw fit to announce it today over on the AGS forums as, presumably, they have something they feel is worth showing. You may think it cruel to tease us with something that looks this interesting and slapping a hopeful 2014 estimation for the release date on it, but you have to let a developer garner interest somehow. Gaze into those pixels and seek out the details! The game is set around the events of the Florida Land Boom and will see you partaking in the inception of Coral Gables, The City Beautiful – a Mediterranean Revival Style area of stately homes, restaurants and shopping centers for the very wealthy.
I think what I love about the concept of A Golden Wake is that it aims to capture the era it’s set within faithfully. We often fantasize about times of yore, and most likely we see them as being better than the world we live in today, but that’s probably not the case. Certainly, the Roaring Twenties were labelled so because it was a time of monetary booms and people were living during a golden age, able to afford luxuries they weren’t before. Of course, this was only one side of the coin as there was also a depression at the beginning of the following decade that hit thousands of people and threw them into poverty. But culturally, you had jazz, big stage shows, smoke-filled gentleman’s clubs, while elaborate fashions erupted and art deco was everywhere.
All of this seems as if it will be present in A Golden Wake, but the focus is undoubtedly on the behind-the-scenes criminal work that exploited this flow of money. Mostly, it was alcohol that was being traded underhandedly, and it was big business. For those not aware, this Prohibition era saw alcohol become illegal to manufacture, transport and distribute, and this just created a huge demand for it. So businessmen would often have speak-easies, which up the front was a normal, legal business. But round the back they would sell alcohol and often have pool and cards for those to partake in as they consumed the illegal beverages. To the people who wanted this alcohol, they saw the gangsters and criminals as Robin Hood-like as they took the risks to serve people’s needs in spite of the law that was seemed to be unfair.
So, as you’re playing Alfie Banks, who is out to make as much money as possible, you’ll most surely get dragged into all of the criminal activities surrounding this era. The great thing is that A Golden Wake is based on real events, will contain historical figures and it all takes place in a faithful recreation of where it all happened. You’ll be dealing with “shady salesmen, cutthroat bootleggers, corrupt politicians,” as well as the nicer folk, in order to rise to top of the real estate game.