I’ve been a fan of CoG for a while now, and thoughnthat I might try my hand at writing at game. But before I get started on any project I’d like to make sure it sounds interesting to the potential players, so without further ado…
In Honourable Members you will play as a recently elected backbench MP who has to balance his (or her) commitment to his constituency, his party and his own conscience; all whilst becoming involved both in grand affairs of state and the menial tasks of political life. You could end up as a minister, member of the awkward squad, underling or even be thrown out of the House altogether so make your calculations carefully and your choices wisely.
Though, one has to ask: what kind of tone are you going for here? Will the focus be on being an idealistic Jim Hacker type, a machiavellian Francis Urquhart sort of fellow, Alan B’stard? Or will our player characters more like the modern soundbyte-conscious MP, desperately trying not to incur the wrath of some sort of Malcolm Tucker?
A backbencher is a MP is someone who doesn’t hold any parliamentary office beyond their seat. They’re called this because they literally sit further back in the House of Commons than the people who do.
I personally see no problem with keeping the setting in actual Britain. Just provide a glossary of terms and you’re good to go. Then again, I am British so I may not be the most unbiased of sources.
First of all I’d like to thank everyone who’s replied, you’ve given me some good ideas to take on board.
I plan to set the game in a present day/ 20 minutes into the future UK populated by fictional politicians, royals, captains of industry ect. Initially you will be a member of one of the two main parties, the Conservative Party (centre-right by European standards) or the Labour Party (centre-left with the emphasis on left), though you may get the chance to defect to the other main party, the Liberal Democrats (centre-left with the emphasis on centre and the traditional protest vote) or even some of the other small parties that I decide to include.
I plan to give you as much freedom as possible when crafting your character, allowing you to be anything from an amoral power-hungry schemer to the very best sort of honest public servant. Whilst the overall focus of the game will be about climbing the greasy pole I hope to give you plenty of different oppertunities and means for doing so.
Finally a quick note to let you all know that I’ve begun writing the opening chapter,mwhich deals with your election and backstory, and hope to have it ready in a week or two.
If you have any more questions and/or advice please comment below.
So this isn’t what you were going to do with Lords of Infinity?
But will we be able to rise that far, or is this game going to be more focused on being a simulation of the life of a backbencher?
Personally I would like it to be a bit more lighthearted, or at least have a touch of that famous British humor, as I would like to go for my character being a Jim Hacker type.
There could also be UKIP (or a fictional equivalent) for a nationalistic and populist choice, the BNP (sort of fascist from what I can gather), the Greens (one assumes the UK version also stands for what the name implies) or the SNP and Plaid Cymru (separatist nationalists with a Scottish and Welsh flavour, respectively).
The SNP also seems to have become the de-facto opposition to Cameron at the moment while Labour sorts out its issues in the political wilderness. Oh, and who could ever forget, the Monster Raving Loony Party, maybe managing to actually get elected under that banner should have its own award.
Not necessarily, under Corbyn it might well become that, but “New Labour” under Blair and Brown definitely wasn’t.
What other party do you plan to include? For example would a communist or reactionary party be possible? Being communist I would find it nice to have something that doesnt demonise us and actualy show us for what we are. Being a political game neutrality should be important I think.
Partially, though with separate contexts, different procedures, and nowhere near as focused.
Besides, there’s a certain appeal to reviving the Lib-Dems as a viable government: the party of Lloyd-George and Gladstone deserves better than to be caught as a scrap in a dogfight between one lunatic with no empathy, and another lunatic with no grasp of international relations.
The game will mostly be a simulation of the life of a backbencher with the option to become a junior minister and/or party grandee towards the end. If it’s well recieved I’d like to eventually write a sequel where the player can rise to become the Prime Minister, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
About Labour, I’m anticipating them moving left under Corbyn and I also reckon that it might make for more exicting gameplay if Labour had a touch more Socialism than they did under Blair and Brown.