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Author Topic: Some sort of Crime Squad, I guess  (Read 8198 times)

Liber celi

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Re: Some sort of Crime Squad, I guess
« Reply #30 on: July 16, 2018, 05:45:36 pm »

This is extremely good even though if it happens I will have to constantly scream into my pillow while playing it.

Can you put people into think-tanks instead of activism? Is hacking replaced by talking about Russian hacking on twitter? Can you respect the troops really hard, hoping that one day they will love you back? Can you achieve that exactly 50% of all torturers and drone pilots are women?  Will there be a confusing amount of Neo-Liberals named Jon? Will there be a Marxist Crime Squad and can you leak their small donor list to the fascists?
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Little

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Re: Some sort of Crime Squad, I guess
« Reply #31 on: July 17, 2018, 10:05:15 pm »


So there's a thing I've been working on.
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lastofthelight

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Re: Some sort of Crime Squad, I guess
« Reply #32 on: July 27, 2018, 01:08:04 am »

 This looks awesome. I might even enjoy this more then LCS, and I feel like I've been playing LCS for well over a decade now.
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kingawsume

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Re: Some sort of Crime Squad, I guess
« Reply #33 on: September 25, 2018, 08:00:29 pm »

The Legend Lives! Welcome back!
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Re: Some sort of Crime Squad, I guess
« Reply #34 on: September 28, 2018, 05:49:35 am »

I'm getting so hyped already.  I always wanted an LCS written from the perspective of an actual leftist, which it sounds like you are from your insightful description of neoliberalism in the first place, although I don't want to assume anything.  I love LCS and Toady, but it smells like it was written by a liberal in the Bush era, one who thinks that fascism could never actually happen in America.  A world where horseshoe theory is real is already fertile grounds for satire.

Also, I really like how recruitment is limited by income, it not only sounds actually balanced in terms of gameplay but also like a great way to weave systems and narrative together.  Similarly, now that there are no elected representatives, do you have any idea yet how the NCS will affect change if not by getting people elected to change laws?  Are you cooking up an entirely new system to measure game progress by?  I can't wait.
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Taberone

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Re: Some sort of Crime Squad, I guess
« Reply #35 on: September 29, 2018, 10:50:00 am »

I'm getting so hyped already.  I always wanted an LCS written from the perspective of an actual leftist, which it sounds like you are from your insightful description of neoliberalism in the first place, although I don't want to assume anything.  I love LCS and Toady, but it smells like it was written by a liberal in the Bush era, one who thinks that fascism could never actually happen in America.  A world where horseshoe theory is real is already fertile grounds for satire.

Also, I really like how recruitment is limited by income, it not only sounds actually balanced in terms of gameplay but also like a great way to weave systems and narrative together.  Similarly, now that there are no elected representatives, do you have any idea yet how the NCS will affect change if not by getting people elected to change laws?  Are you cooking up an entirely new system to measure game progress by?  I can't wait.

To be fair, the original LCS was uh... Early 2000's or something? Really was Bush era. The political aspects of it are very dated in a way, when you compare it to politics during the 2016 elections and after.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2018, 02:52:08 pm by Taberone »
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Tomasque

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Re: Some sort of Crime Squad, I guess
« Reply #36 on: September 29, 2018, 05:00:01 pm »

I'm excited. PTW!
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Re: Some sort of Crime Squad, I guess
« Reply #37 on: September 30, 2018, 12:02:32 pm »

There will always be a LCS, and we will always need a slogan.
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Re: Some sort of Crime Squad, I guess
« Reply #38 on: October 15, 2018, 10:38:46 pm »

Maybe the game can be about forming a political action committee and can support candidates directly and spend money on funding campaigns and communicating messaging between the candidate and your political action committee as well as being able to collect dark money from special interests and running negative attack ads against other CONSERVATIVE candidates while supporting LIBERAL candidates. I like the idea of showing how the system works and how lobbyists have all the power and showing the effects of anticorruption laws making lobbyists and third party dark money have less effects on the candidates and elections.
I liked Fox's idea of bribing persons to join the squad, this would extend well to candidates and tv/radio pundits.
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Cheedows

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Re: Some sort of Crime Squad, I guess
« Reply #39 on: November 07, 2018, 01:20:17 am »

This is genuinely really exciting and just found out about it today, looking forward to this.
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Jonathan S. Fox

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Re: Some sort of Crime Squad, I guess
« Reply #40 on: November 14, 2018, 03:38:24 am »

Ever since the back-to-back mail bombing attempts and synagogue shooting last month I've had an uncomfortable feeling that this project I'm working on is a little too close to life. LCS lives in a space where it references real-world violence and pretends endorsement of it, but operates outside the realm of the reasonable, beyond normal political discourse. It works because it commits hard to a fantasy far beyond the pale, and assures itself that this is okay because the fantasy is so far removed from reality.

Organizations like the original real-world SLA that the LCS was based on operate based on a sense of victimhood and distrust for democratic institutions, and are only absurd to the extent that people don't really feel that way. When they do, it starts to sound more reasonable, more relevant. LCS wants to be relating to whiff of relevance, but not too much; it keyed off of a bit of that feeling on the left in frustration about the 2000 election, anger that the president lost the popular vote and wouldn't have won the electoral college but for a badly designed ballot in palm beach county, a feeling that they should have won an election but didn't and now everything is terrible. But you didn't see people actually resorting to violence; it was still exaggeration.

Making a game that riffs off of those themes today in response to similar frustrations toward Trump on the left seemed like it was more relevant than ever, but I had to push further to keep things exaggerated; once again, the US President got fewer votes than his opponent, and once again, the left was full of righteous indignation, but I wanted to push past the political situation of the original game and cast things as actual dictatorship to keep things squarely in fantasy land. But now I'm having second thoughts about whether that's enough. What worries me more today is that the current US President strives to cultivate that sense of victimhood and distrust in democratic institutions among his own followers, a sort of eternal power struggle against widespread institutional oppression and injustice that casts him as a sole beacon of white light. Every election is a victory for his team, or illegitimate, or both. Every elected official is either his ally or corrupt. Every journalist is either favorable to him or a lying and despicable sack of shit. This is the sort of cultish SLA-style thinking that gets people into violence. It deserves to be parodied, and it should be opposed. Initially, I was thinking that makes LCS/NCS just more relevant than ever.

But there's a bit of a problem. It's satirizing the wrong people. And I'm worried that, under the current environment, that's potentially dangerous.

NCS, like LCS, would cast you as elements in opposition to the current political establishment, now inspired by the sitting US President. Then it portrays your opposition as violent, over-the-top, entitled, and disconnected from reality. There's a comedy there; there's a dark satire about how people out of power feel like victims and fantasize about taking things way too far. But part of the fun of NCS is playing into the idea of "what if those centrists were radical extremists who would do anything to hold onto power, ho ho ho isn't that funny". Unfortunately, there are real people on the extreme right who maintain this mentality of victimhood and distrust for democracy, and they do fear that those other guys are so unscrupulous, so evil, that they'll stop at nothing to maintain their hold on power. So sure, part of the idea of NCS is tapping into that, saying "oh, yeah, people on the far left/right think the establishment is corrupt and clings to power with inappropriate means, so let's play with that concept and cast you as someone like that". But it kind of stopped being funny to me when it became evident that this concept is taken so seriously and so far by a few folks that they're willing to kill because they already feel like oppressed victims of an imagined cabal of corrupt criminals. And I guess we already knew that, to some extent, but the events last month really brought it to the fore of my attention. Making a game that postulates that they're right could work, but it really needs to point its satirical sights squarely on at that crazy fringe, and this game doesn't really do that.

I don't feel like I'm quite explaining my misgivings properly. There's another component of this discomfort that is simpler to explain. LCS is a dark game and it's inspired by real-world political violence, but it's time-removed from its source material and operates on the premise that everyone who sits down to play it can see how ridiculous these people are acting, that no matter hard the game pretends to take its premise seriously, the concept is too outlandish. But today's political environment has seen multiple incidents in the run-up to the last election where real people in the US have been willing to kill political opponents, even killing just regular folks that they have cultural disagreements with, over these big picture political views. These are, thankfully, just extremists on the fringe, and extremists like that have always been a thing and likely always will be, but I'm worried that it's becoming too common these days for the game NCS to comfortably exist, and NCS would be making light of something that actually happens these days. If the material it covers is getting too close to reality is stops being safely in a fantasy space, and that would mean I would need to treat the subject matter seriously and with some amount of responsibility, more so than this game really wants. NCS wants to be irreverent and irresponsible, it wants to be able to excuse itself because it's pure fantasy; it doesn't want to be a responsible, ethical game that operates in an environment in which people are actually killing each other. This game doesn't want to be careful about not fanning that flame, it wants to be secure in the belief that absolutely nobody will take it seriously or get the wrong idea, because it's so ridiculous.

If someone else was making this game, I would be excited, I would download it, and I would gladly play it. I'm just having a lot of difficulty getting myself to work on it because I've been in constant doubt about whether it's a game I should be making in this environment. I'm not worried about you guys -- I'm not worried that regular decent people are going to play the game and suddenly go "Yeah, time to go be a political terrorist IRL, that's a good idea" -- and I don't think that anyone should feel bad for wanting me to make this game, or for disagreeing with my misgivings. I just worry, and don't want my actions to feed in, even a little bit, to the psychosis of actual political terrorists, or to promote a mentality of vilification of other human beings in a time when, if anything, our politics desperately need a larger dose of humanity and better understanding of each other. I mean, you could say the same of any era; but these days that sort of decency is in especially short supply, and I'd rather not be part of the problem.

I'm confident that I could get this game into a stable, minimum viable state in a month or two of focused and enthusiastic free time development. I might still go for that goal. But right now that's difficult to promise. I'm having a hard time mustering the enthusiasm to work on it when I'm having moral doubts about finishing and releasing it at all.
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Tomasque

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Re: Some sort of Crime Squad, I guess
« Reply #41 on: November 14, 2018, 09:30:52 pm »

Hey, this might sound like a really dumb question, but I want to ask it anyway.

If you felt motivated to make Liberal Crime Squad back then because of how you felt about the political climate at the time, why don't you make a game now that's motivated by how you feel about the current political climate?
« Last Edit: November 14, 2018, 09:37:45 pm by Tomasque »
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Re: Some sort of Crime Squad, I guess
« Reply #42 on: November 14, 2018, 10:24:58 pm »

Jonathan S. Fox I appreciate that you have put so much thought into the consequences to your actions no matter how trivial they may seem to others. God bless you for not wanting to endorse political violence. You seem to be more considerate of the political climate of violence than our own President is. I think this makes you uniquely qualified to fix the problems in LCS that you have pointed out. If LCS previously had been a game to simulate the Velvet Revolutions and violent coup d'etat IE both means of political upheaval, why not focus on implementing protesting, resisting tyranny, sponsoring legislation, fixing a broken political system with civic engagement and holding the powerful accountable for their actions rather than implementing features that empower violence why not use this strange game as a way of accomplishing peaceful change in the face of unyielding violent oppressors. The irony is that the violent playthroughs I have had shows the LCS as the Conservative Boogieman who run amok of justice and destroy public safety to achieve their nefarious criminal goals of complete domination and as soon as they stop oppressing the people with violence Conservatism quickly returns to business as usual pushing their agenda.

Maybe the problem with LCS is that it was made as a parody to justify a violent political simulation. As it currently stands the game can be played completely peacefully or with an orgy of bloodshed.
I like to use LCS as a way of simulating the various criminalities of the world. However I started feeling weird about doing violent playthroughs after the Parkland mass shooting because while playing Terra Vitea one of my sleepers I recruited was a football coach and then I sent a lone suicide liberal to attack the reeducation prison with an AR-15 that one of my sleepers had stolen for me.
And then the actual news story happened in real life.  :'( I got paranoid and thought that someone was using my play through to craft real life massacres. Then I realized that America has a problem and it isn't just me playing Terra Vitea or LCS, it is that there is an actual divide between the idea of Liberalism and Conservatism have been forgotten in place of partisan rhetoric  and what people call the Left and the Right is increasingly growing.
LCS is a simulation that has its finger on the pulse of evil while pretending that it is for the sake of some greater good.
I always wondered why in LCS when someone dies during interrogation your Liberal loses juice but if you have them kill any other way they gain juice. Presumably it is because the Liberal is realizing that they are actually the evil one who is kidnapping and beating people to death.

TLDR:
Jonathan S. Fox maybe the answer is that LCS rewards both good and evil and if you want to stop endorsing political violence you need to remove it wholesale from any future game.
Maybe model the game off of the Civil Rights movement and the Indivisible movement of today and focus on political organizing and drop the facade of criminality and make this about a Patriot Protest Party or Civil Rights Activist Protestors anything other than the Liberal Crime Squad at this point would make me happy.
Get rid of the pyramid hierarchical limitations on recruitment, add the ability to help people in game become registered to vote, add the ability to canvas door to door, add the ability to run for office and to serve once elected this would put the power back into the hands of the people/player without encouraging them to commit violence. I would rather play as Gabby Gifford than the guy who shot her. Even just having an actual vote rather than a percentage and incorporating turnout into the in game elections would radically shift the game from being about being a violent crime syndicate (Pizzagate) and more of a political simulation (which I am fond of). Because the answer is that winning is not worth it if you have to resort to violence to accomplish it. This isn't a game about the American Revolution against the British this is a game about how Liberals have always been demonized because of their progressive approach to policy that seeks to other throw the states quo and how violence is always mustered against those who oppose the status quo but as Martin Luther King once said "Darkness can not drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate can not drive out hate, only love can do that." So Jonathan S. Fox I challenge you to infuse some light into your project and infuse love into your project. Maybe people will complain that LCS used to be more fun when you could just shoot, stab, beat up everyone who didn't agree with you. But that is not an argument you should care about. Because as it stands until I can march on Washington D.C and give an I have a dream speech in this game, Washington D.C only serves as a way to kidnap, murder or brainwash the President.
Screw the original LCS and its blindness to reality. Screw criminal groups masquerading as populists to recruit weak willed followers to do their bidding. This is a game about AMERICA, Land of the Free and Home of the Brave, where our forefathers fought and died to preserve our freedom and our rights. Conservative's and Liberals both deserve the same rights to Life Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. Jonathan S. Fox if your game doesn't meet your moral standards then you don't have to release it no matter how many people ask you to. But I encourage you to consider what I have said just as I have considered what you have said. God bless you all and stay safe out there everyone.
Peace out.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2018, 10:38:58 pm by moderate guardian »
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a1s

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Re: Some sort of Crime Squad, I guess
« Reply #43 on: November 19, 2018, 05:46:22 pm »

If you felt motivated to make Liberal Crime Squad back then because of how you felt about the political climate at the time
Jonathan S. Fox didn't make it. It was made, satire and all, by Tarn Adams (author of, other than Dwarf Fortress, such games as WWI Medic , Kobold quest, I'm voting for myself and Space Zoo.) It was supposed to be a Murder Hobo Simulator (specifically Oubliette) transplanted from the land of fantasy into modern day. Mr. Fox just took the game and made it more stable and slightly broader, if anything toning down the wackiness.
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vkiNm

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Re: Some sort of Crime Squad, I guess
« Reply #44 on: November 24, 2018, 05:32:54 am »

If someone was going to be a political terrorist, the existence or non-existence of your game would not have made a difference. I don't think you'd really be fueling the flame any more than pouring a cup of water into the sea.

Your worry are definitely appreciated, but please take care of your own mental health too!
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