Our central character, named "Mousey" by Julius, is a former government bureaucrat who wants to make a difference. Why a mouse? Aside from being adorable, mice are often used in metaphors as being meek or silent. This is a mouse who has worked silently for most of her (or his) career and is finally just fed up with how inefficient the current government is. So now she is running for mayor on a platform of change. She is idealistic, but also pragmatic. Having worked in government for many years she understand that politics is compromise. Just how far she is willing to compromise is one of the central themes of the game.
You'll notice that compared to the other two characters Mousey isn't really wearing any significant clothing. This was intentional. Being the player's avatar, we wanted to let the player project themselves onto Mousey and not necessarily try to conform to her characteristics. We also wanted to let the player choose Mousey's gender. In this image Mousey is male (although oddly I have been referring to him as her), but if the player chooses female the bow tie is doffed and a ribbon is put on to signify that she's female. We considered adding a 3rd gender but could not figure out where to put the bowtie. Ultimately people probably lean towards one gender anyway so hopefully they don't mind picking the one they feel most affinity to.
The Filipino word for crocodile is buwaya, which has a long history of being used as an idiom for people who are corrupt, specifically politicians. It made sense that Croc is our incumbent mayor, part of a political dynasty that has held sway over the province for decades. Croc and his family aren't all bad though. The original Croc was an excellent mayor and provided good social services for his constituents while finding ways to boost the local economy. As with any hereditary position though, there will be good eggs and bad eggs (literally, since they hatch from eggs).
This current generation Croc continues the pro-business tradition of his predecessors, however his reliance on the market to solve social ills means that a lot of social services are lacking funding. The businesses that he supports are also mostly owned by family and friends, meaning that while there is economic growth, it's not as inclusive as it could be. Having access to the government purse makes Croc a very difficult opponent, since he can very easily sway a vote his way by strategic spending.
|Here is Quentin Tarantino looking very pleased to be wearing a barong.|
One last thing about Croc that non-Filipinos might find interesting is his barong tagalog. The barong tagalog is the traditional men's wear of the Philippines. Men wear them to almost all formal occasions like weddings, baptisms, etc.
Pig is the poor boy that made good. A farmboy with the voice of an angel, Pig has had a successful career as a pop star and noontime variety show host. Pig has a good heart, and likes to give away a lot of stuff to his poor fanbase during his shows. He is vaguely patterned after a lot of different Filipino celebrities. His choice of clothing is not specific to a Filipino celebrity, but we wanted to give him that "faded rock star" look.
|One of our influences for pig, who we will not name because lawsuits.|
Pig wants to give back to his community, which is why he is running for mayor. Cynics would say that he is merely aware that his showbiz career is almost over, and he's using his fame and fortune for one last push towards relevance, but we withhold judgement. It's obvious that pig cares very much for the plight of the poor, but unfortunately his economic policy is to throw as much money at them as he can. He runs on a populist pro-poor and anti-rich campaign, which is ironic considering he has multiple estates and fancy sports cars in the capital city.
That's all for now. There are many more characters under development who will play an important role in the game, but as of now they are still being formed in our minds. In the next couple of weeks I'll probably have some design notes and Julius will blog some more about his programming methods for the game.