Sooo…we really are getting very close to November 2nd, which is release day for Political Animals. Oh yes. Scarily close. Not that there is a big unmovable target of an upcoming US election or anything like that…

Anyway, in preparation for this, I put together a little video of me playing through ten turns of the game. This is to give people a better idea of how it plays than you can get from any conventional preview or trailer. Ultimately nothing beats watching someone play the game right? Please excuse a minor bug I found with a window that won’t close, obviously we will fix that :D. I have to admit, I am no ‘youtube personality’, but I do have the time, the inclination and more importantly, a playable build of the game, so here goes…

My expectations for the success and popularity of this game are very varied. I love it, I love the look, and the gameplay and obviously the theme is SPOT ON for releasing right now. In the US, politics is incredibly topical, and the US always represents a big chunk of the market. On the other hand, we have translated it into French, German Italian and Spanish, so we are hoping for some international attention too. Political Strategy is a bit of a ‘niche’, and yet I *know* (as the developer of Democracy 3) that it can be quite a big one if you hit the right notes. Also, Political Animals is far less serious, and far more a conventional strategy game than Democracy 3, so I’m thinking it may well appeal to players of games like Tropico too.

As a publisher, this is some new ground for me. I’ve previously met and worked with developers in a closer way than with PA, mostly because of distance. I have only met 2 of the team (in total), and only met them twice. The developers are Squeaky Wheel, from the Philippines. If this game makes a profit, its proof that long-distance publishing arrangements can work, which would be excellent. I am also planning some twists on my normal launch marketing strategy, which I will blog about in more depth after the event, but one notable change is we are doing a simultaneous release on our website and on steam, so no pre-orders this time.

I’m nervous about the release of the game, because I’m always nervous. its a big bet, both in terms of actual money, and also in terms of reputation. To be honest, I’m more worried about releasing a bad game than I am about losing money. I intend to be very, very picky about the games I make and the games I release. I know some people release games much faster than me, investing less in each one, but I don’t think that is a style that suits me, or my ‘brand’. Anyway… 16 days to go…

 

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