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Game Idea: The Brand

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Ok, i have this idea, and i was hoping for some feedback. The title is "The Brand", and its a simulator, where you as chief over a company want to make better market shares, by branding your product. Now, after reading the book "No Logo", I always wanted to try to be one of the big evil companies that do all these bad things, but still get away with it because they hire pop-stars. Take Nike. They hire low paid workers in poor countries (with tax free sones) to make thier shoes. As soon as their tax free time is up, they drop the contractor, and get a new one. When their contractors do something bad (to be able to beat other contractors on price) they drop the deal, and suddently they are no longer responsible for what they did. At the same time they use 70% of their income for comercials, that is: if you buy shoes for 100$, 70$ goes straigt to comercials trying to make you buy more. So i always wanted to be one of these giants (McDonal,Nike,Coca-Cola,Starbucks), and to be the evil company that loured the people into bying my product. You would make the comercials : throw in a picture of a fast car, and males suddently like your product. You would have lawyers : standing every accuse you are charged over and trying to loby laws that you dont like You would hire private detectives : to digg up dirt about anybody telling bad stuff about your product You would have labs : Trying out different chemicals that made people adicted to your product You would destroy the careers of reporters digging up stories. You would abuse poor countries to lower your expences. This would all be pretty simple and fun, in the same way that it was fun to be the bad guy in dungeon keeper, and the political message would not be that this is ok, but that you should think twice before liking what britney spears like (Im trying to say that playing such a game should be fun, even if you dont support it :-) ) Im picturing a world map, where you can add comercials, hire lawiers and make them do stuff, fight reports, a lab where you create your product... All of these elements could have a sort of tech-ladder, where you get better stuff by paying more. The competition would be the oponent "Normal"-product, the law, and your stock-holders wanting the money. So what do you think? Any ideas? (I wish this section was more about discussing game ideas, then discussing small elements of existing and established genres.)

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Give this McDonalds game a go:

http://www.heavygames.com/themcdonaldsgame/showgame.asp

You hire marketers, bulldose native villages to plant crops, bribe politicians, and churn out a damn good burger!

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Oooh, this is a BRILLIANT idea for a game! I am already wishing it was available so I could play it. :)
These sorts of games (like Dungeon Keeper and Evil Genius) are a nice twist on existing genres where you play the hero.
What would be the goal of the game? To play against other players (or computer players) to get the best market share? Or to basically take over the entire world and take over companies like Microsoft? :) Or is it just open ended?
Fascinating gameplay.
You could add things like:
1. Taking over other companies.
2. Employing executives to look after different branches. (the cheaper they are, the more likely they are to do a crap job :))
3. Sack employees.
4. I think you mentioned the hiring of celebrities, right?
5. Maybe the micro management of the morale of staff working for you could be a factor, in that they either do a bad job, or if the are particularly offside with you, sell company secrets to rival companies or something. So it is up to you to provide appropriate perks. :) Maybe if morale is really low, they spend all the time surfing the web, and progress on a particular technology is really slow. hehe

You could have an ethics score included, just for fun - just to see how nasty the player has become. :) From idealistic farm boy, to Lex Luthor. :)

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Great response!

I realy like that the goal of the game is to take over the world, (you just need to sell some soda first). I also like the ethic score.

So questions:
-Should this be a high action 10 min game, or should it be a 10 hour strategy game?
-What happens when you have taken over the world? (How to make it replayable / Open ended , just like SimCity)
-At what level should the micromanagement stop? (I like the idea that you do all the fun stuff, and the rest is done by excecutives (expencive are good, cheap are crappy) ).

The simulator itselfe could be based on a set of attributes that different age groups value differently, and that everything you do, adds or removes points from

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Quote:
Original post by CIJolly
Give this McDonalds game a go:

http://www.heavygames.com/themcdonaldsgame/showgame.asp

...


seems like they removed it (great idea for new gameelement : indy bands / gamedevelopers / moviecreators creating anti-propaganda, that you have to fight with law... / removing the right of speach could be a great sub-goal)

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Or better, Start a game where you're Stalin, ya damn commie. :-P

Just kidding, it sounds pretty original, however I don't know if I'd like to play it. For a game, it doesn't sound like it would keep me entertained, if its just resource management (to put it lamely) I would probably get bored. What depth would it have in gameplay?

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Quote:
Original post by Timus
Or better, Start a game where you're Stalin, ya damn commie. :-P


Hehe, im afraid i cant comment on that :-) (Dont want to mess up this thread)

Quote:
Original post by Timus
What depth would it have in gameplay?


Ok, this is one of my main concerns. One solution i was thinking of was a set of mini games. Pretty simple, but fun and fast. For example, in the court house you would have a jury, and then a set of emotional words that would affect different members of the jury (you had a fast : remove jury member part first), where "family" would make all the family people warm, and "facts" would make all the smart people warm, and then you had 20 sec to get the majority of the jury warm. The better lawyer you hired, the better they were to get empathy from the jury, and if the oponent lawyer was bad, you would win. :-) Wouldnt it be fun if you won a trial by saying "love","family","understanding","enviromental friendly", :-) and all the jury members got tears in their eyes.

Another mini game could be the "dirt digging part", where you could manipulate pictures so where they did something bad.

Another fun part I am thinking about is your test lab, where you have all kinds of peoples with 100 of wires connected to their head, wich you could show comercials, or make them taste your soda, and then you would have a readout on how it affected their mode for your brand.

Here you will also develop new technologies, like a tech tree climbing thingie.

I was thinking about making the whole resource management pretty intense, so that you always have laws to fight, and marketshares growing and shrinking, so that the reactions on what you do would be pretty big. A big fall would not make you loose the game (Think that you have a crisis, and you are loosing millions every second, but then you trow together a new comercial, or give money to charity, and then everything turns :-) ) : The point is that a fast turning world affects how much you earn, but its the stock-holders that fire you / get angry, so they give you some time to make up your loses.

Besides, you could always fire all your emploies :-)

I was also thinking about that you could make your work conditions horrible, but compencate by sending inn "motivators" holding seminars for them, so that they got happy. Later in the game, you only have "temporal" workers, and all worker unions are dead...

The truth is somethines horrible :-)

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Or you could focus more on the interaction with political and social groups, and of course, your arch-enemy rivalling companies, rather than resource micro-management.

What might be nice is using a fantasy world, with various countries, a sort of stereotypical displays of the various country types. By exploiting third-world companies, you visually get to see the land getting hurt from factory smoke, waste disposal and the few people that walk around on the iconic view of the country become visibly weaker. These people could be used as representations of the situation in a country: your market countries would have people walking around with the latest product, or with a rivalling product, or simply normal to indicate a hefty marketing campaign is required...

On this world view, every now and then special characters can pop up, indicating journalists smelling something nasty, or radical politicians bent on breaking your company. The way the people in that country react to this character displays it's threat: if they all turn to the politician and listen, you'll need to depopularize someone... and when everyone's laughing at him, untill he vanishes, you can see your 'campaign' was effective... ;)
Of course, you can send in your spokesman and detectives as well, and see how the crowds react to them...

I think this is better than a serie of mini-games, because it's more consistent, focussed at one view, rather than scattered across various screens and mini-games. Just my 2 cents. It definitely sounds like an interesting idea. :)

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I would not say this is a political game, just because it cares about political issues... (Any War game, is in that way political). I want this to almost be an action game :-)

More comments? Why are political games narrow? Are they like educational games? (Often wery booring), or are you actually talking about the genre as where you controlle policies?

Currently, events will pop up on the mam, and all events can be handeled by dragging a anti element onto it. The world will be divided into 5 continents, where each continent have a popularity rating, and every event affects this rate. The rate then decides the marketshare, and how much profit you make (after removing production/legal/commercial costs)...

So: A Story in a local newspaper, can be removed right away, by digging dirt on the reporter. If you are to slow, and the story makes enough interest, it will lower your popularity, and finaly a court will be anounced. Then you have 3 months to try to bribe the judge, or find bad stuff, and then after a while the jury-game starts, and either you have to pay a big fine, or you go free...

The less legal your product/production/commercials are, the more often reporters write stories. Stories in big papers spread to other continents. You can always throw lawyers at trying to change the law of the continent, so that your product get more legal.

The game will consist of these 3 main forces:

Make your product better/cheeper to produce => Make your product more illegal ,more popular and more addicting
Make the laws weeker => Make your product less illegal
More illegal product => More stories/reports/demonstrations
More stories/reports/demonstrations => Less popularity
More/Better commercials => More popularity

In your lab, you can test and develop "tools" to affect all the factors showed abow, for example: chemicals, new-laws (that you can lobby), new commercial tricks (this does not need to be fancy, just a list of options, and then you use money to research on them, or to research on new options!)

Any other game dynamic you think belong here?

Another fun thingie I was thinking about was the pop-stars, and how they loose their credability when you hire them, so that the higher credability the pop-star have, the longer he/she lasts, but the more expencive...

Im hoping to develop a small model of different types of people, so that fast cars affects males, pop-stars affects the youth, clowns affects the children => affects the parenths...

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