Status Quorum is the product of an online game jam called THE ELECTION GAMES ’13 I helped organise on the Italian developer community IndieVault.it. The big elections for the Prime Minister were looming on us, and we decided to produce a little bit of satire through a game jam dedicated to the event. And we weren’t alone: the Milanese studio Santa Ragione produced quite a big game of their own about the elections, Final Candidation.
So, after setting up the jam, I also had an idea in mind and decided to participate. I enlisted my longtime friend Irene on the graphics (she does some really cool illustrations), and together we created some sort of “simulation game” about the elections.
Now, we know one of the biggest political problems of Italy is that the different politicians and parties are so tied to (and depending on) each other that political change is almost impossible. The country is swamped in a political stalemate, and very often elections are won by a very small margin, or end up in a tie and have to be repeated. This is the situation we wanted to recreate…
In the game, a crowd of people (representing the electors) is happily jumping in the middle of the scene. Around them, the different candidates are bombarding them with their promises and lies (represented by little particle-like symbols). If they get to the crowd, they are basically brainwashing them into voting for that candidate.
Now the catch is: every candidate has a problem interfering with his campaign: Beppe Grillo has Angela Merkel with the Euro (Grillo “hates the Euro”), Berlusconi has his long-time rival Marco Travaglio, etc. Eventually each candidate will go off target, and you have to use the mouse to restore their ballot box in position to allow them to continue the brainwashing.
Every now and then the elections come (there’s a timeline on the top) and votes are cast. But be warned: if any candidates wins, the game is lost! Your task, as the player, is to make sure that each election term at least two candidates have “sprayed” the crowds with a similar amount of promises, so that the elections end up in a tie.
You can try Status Quorum in your browser (Unity plugin required). Also, here’s the development thread on IndieVault. You can also play the other games on the page of the jam itself, THE ELECTION GAMES.