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17 Feb 2011

Fail-Deadly is a game which revels in war and destruction, and to be perfectly honest that fact has actually bothered me since shortly after I first submitted it for Ludum Dare. I mean, you come into this thing with the express goal of perpetuating as much death as possible before raining nuclear armageddon on the lot. Conceptually, that's completely depraved and I feel awkward for having made a game that's putting that out there.

I've recently been working on a significant update to the game (I'll post more about that soon), and it occurred to me that I could tweak this whole thing in the direction of satire.

A big chunk of the American political community seems obsessed with war and violence. These are the guys with deep ties to defense contractors, the guys who have us flying drone strikes over half of the Middle East, the guys whose plan to balance the budget involves cutting everything except defense spending. This obsession with making war is comical in its absurdity... so what if that's what Fail-Deadly is about? It's the guys who have hard-ons for guns and bombs and Jack Bauer fantasies gleefully escalating their war games all the way to their inevitable nuclear conclusion.

I'm thinking about ways to express that idea without being preachy or turning Fail-Deadly into a "serious" game. The Ludum Dare version benefitted by not taking itself too seriously: it was allowed to be fun for fun's sake, and I definitely intend to preserve that. That's why I think a biting satire can work: it's still mechanically sound, reveling in its escalating violence, but now also making a caricature out of our gleeful relationship with that violence.

What do you think?

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fail-deadly game-design video-games