Happy 2024, everyone! We just released our second beta update and are heartened by our testers’ excited and constructive feedback.
Our current development focus continues to be on implementing legislative mechanics and interfaces. Specifically, we’re fine-tuning the budget process, which will inform the rest of our legislative architecture – the federal budget process is the one bit of legislating that Congress must undertake in any given year (in theory). The federal budget may not spring to mind when you think of politics’ more exciting bits, but at the ground level — where Political Arena lives — it’s rife with drama. It incorporates many of Political Arena’s most exciting and immersive features and mechanics: issues and policy, special interests, the media, negotiations, personalities and their impact on AI behavior, and more.
On that note, we’re altering our feature roadmap. We had originally planned for our first Early Access release to be “a mile long and an inch deep” by featuring a little bit of everything – that is, lightly simulated campaigning and legislating. Instead, we’ve decided to have early versions focus solely on legislating. Our reasoning is twofold:
1. The legislative process hasn’t been thoroughly developed in video games, and we think it’s important to let that part “cook” for longer so we can get more player feedback.
2. Ultimately, politics boils down to legislating and policy. Special interests typically don’t choose their agenda based on politicians, they choose their politicians based on agendas. This is also how Political Arena’s underlying architecture is structured, so by building out legislative mechanics first, we’ll be able to more seamlessly and quickly produce and scale everything else.