Gladiator: Choose Your Champion!

Hello, America! Tomorrow is Election Day. Go vote.

This summer I started working on a game about elections, hoping to get it into playtesters’ hands before now. That did not happen.

That game is GLADIATOR. Choose your champion!

Gladiator isn’t a game where you play candidates, it’s a game where you pick candidates. Y’know, the way voters do. It’s specifically about the primary process, where we try to pick someone who cares about what we care about and hopefully will go on to win in the main event.

The underlying premise — and this is a true thing about the world — is that to win an election you don’t have to be the best person for the job. Not even slightly. You just have to be a better choice than the person you’re running against. You’re running against your opponent, not the real world, or even all the issues.

So the question becomes, who do you pick to face the opponent? Do you back a candidate who doesn’t support everything you want because you think they’ll win, or demand someone who is closer to representing your ideals even if they are less likely to actually come out on top? As the old saying goes, you go to war with the candidate you’ve got, not the candidate you might want or wish you had…

Obviously a grand game to be playing in the season leading up to major election, but I hit some roadblocks in the design, sadly. Because the tree of game design must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of difficult projects.

    Ben Robbins | November 5th, 2018 | | leave a comment