Developing Mayority for Act NOW

Mayority  is a single-player city building and management game, wherein players take up the mantle of a mayor running a small village. Citizens voice their concerns as demands and it is your duty to solve problems as cost and time efficiently as possible, while also avoiding, stepping on anyone’s toes. If your citizens aren’t happy, they stop working, losing your town resources and tax-income. However, additional citizens arrive in your town at a regular pace, leaving you with a greater workforce, but also more people to keep happy and provide the necessities for. We hereby attempt to tackle the topic of immigration in a constructive and informative way.

The Game is a client project for Act-N-O-W, the organizers of N-O-W Conference. It is an attempt to further discussion of the 2015-17 refugee crisis in a subtle, non-aggressive or opinion-making way. Ideally, we hope to provide an insight into the very real problems many mayors in Europe and the Middle East face, while governments and the EU often remain idle, leaving many problems to be solved on a communal level. We have a lot of first-hand accounts to work with.

I have been working on Mayority with a core team of five members and several additional collaborators since late 2015. Act-N-O-W provided us with a budget and a mission: to tackle the refugee crisis with a video game in an educational way. As of early 2017 development has officially concluded and I am very happy with what we have accomplished. The game is not out yet, since we are still discussing the correct approach in regards to publishing, but it will soon be available for Android, iOS, PC, Mac and Linux.

Being a long-term project for a client, Mayority was the biggest challenge of my career so far. I was the Producer for the project, meaning that I was responsible for the roadmap, scheduling, all team internal and external communication, the budget, reports to our clients, human resources and a number of other organisational tasks. Together with my colleague Johannes Zint (Game Design), I made sure that we stayed on track and tackled our provided topic while stepping on the minimum amount of toes.

I am extremely happy with the excellent work my team has done through the course of this project. The greatest issues we faced was a specific communication problem between departments as well as our client opting for a shift in focus halfway through the project. In both cases, I feel we found the best possible solutions and were able to progress without too much incident, due to successful planning and the efforts of the team and myself. I take a great many learnings away from this project and am eager to apply them to future games to come.

Update: I recently traveled to Vienna, where we presented Mayority to the austrian Minister of Education. Feedback was positive and we are considering offering Mayority to austrian schools as a tool for education and political discourse among students.

 

Categories: Game Development