Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Political Party Animals December Devlog Update : More Political Machinations and some new art!

December has been a rather slow month for the team.  A storm earlier in the month delayed our weekly meetings, and the inevitable Christmas slowdown set in by the 23rd.  We're starting to get back on track now though, and looking forward to 2015.

More Political Machinations

The paper prototype phase has been very useful in making hard game design decisions about scope, but given we only meet once a week, in order to be efficient we need to find digital ways to test out game design ideas.  Our latest design that we wanted to test is called "Horse Trading".  Have you ever watched those political TV shows where the main character goes around making deals in order to push forward legislation?  For example, in one episode of Madame Secretary, Tea Leoni is trying to convince her husband to give the Russian Ambassador's daughter an A so that Russia will sell military technology to the Iranians, who will then release an American spy.  While we won't have anything quite that dramatic, the ability to make deals like that is central to politics, and it's one we hope to simulate.  Tristan has already talked about using Joris Dorman's "Machinations" to test out designs before, but this time we're giving you something that you can actually play with.

To try it, first download this xml file. Next, go to the Machinations website and click file>import and click on the horse trading xml file.  Then you can do the following:

1) Generate an Event
2) Do Quest- Do a quest for Kapitan 1 or Kapitan 2(costs resources)
3) Use Favor with Kapitan 1 to resolve quest for Kapitan 2 and Vice Versa
4) Make a Kapitan like the other Kapitan to reduce amount of Favor needed to resolve quests.(cost resources)

So here we are exploring ideas like using favors to satisfy the "quest" requirements of a Kapitan, improving relations between Kapitans to lower the cost of the requirements, and then in the end calculating the amount necessary in "resources".  Resources in this sense can be a variety of things, but starting from 100 to 0 we start to get a general idea of how much effort is required to make deals between Kapitans (100 being easy and 0 being a lot of effort).

As a bonus, here is another machinations xml called evil deeds, where we explored the cost to the reputation of candidates who indulge in shady tactics.

New Kapitan Art

Banker Bear

TV Network producer/Newspaper Editor

Rebel Kapitan

This month I finally had some to get back to designing characters, which was a refreshing change of pace!  We needed some new Kapitans to populate the new districts we created, namely the Bank, the TV Network, and the Rebel districts.  The Bank was created to give us a way to offer loans to the player, the TV Network introduces the media component of elections, and the rebels?  Well, the Rebel district was a bit of a lark. We had two farm districts side by side, which felt a bit redundant, so Julius suggested a Rebel district since many areas of the Philippines still have areas that are nominally controlled by rebels of different stripes.  

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