I wonder if the guys who developed this would be interested in engaging with a participatory planning model for their game. the article says they tried something of a multiparty planning approach, but found it too complex, but might they still be open to the possibility of it.
Someone should tell Michael HIcks about these folks. Michael has been making a game in which people “play” at participatory planning. He and the Half-Earth Socialism folks might have some interesting ideas to share.
I played this a while back! It’s great to see more “serious games” like this, but I also feel like they took a different approach than I did. In this game you play cards that have pre determined values the designer assigned, whereas I was trying my best to avoid doing that.
For example, most games have prices that are assigned by the designer. They usually do this to “balance” the game, and give players a feeling of improvement as they get richer and buy more expensive products. In my game the prices are entirely generated based on the ingredients it takes to make things (which is randomized each time you play), supply and demand (which is also highly variable), and so on.
Basically, I was trying to remove my own biases as much as possible from the design. I didn’t want to have an approach where I was simply assigning hard values to everything. I tried to look at this from the perspective of simulating processes where the numbers and outcomes arise out of the system. Of course, the negative side to my approach is that it takes a lot longer to make the game, and there’s a steep learning curve that can intimidate new players.
It would be neat to meet the developers and chat with them, and I hope they keep working on this game! It’s a breath of fresh air in the current video game landscape.