So I can try to explain better than I did before in my long post, here is a way with images and videos. Check out both and see the contrast. Took me two hours this time, less than before but it’s less stuff say this time.
When I was reading the description and coming in I was expecting something like this:
However, when playing your game it felt like this:
So we can clearly see two different ways a story about a President can be told; in this case very different genres. Let’s break some characteristics of each:
Not exactly 100% realistic (especially the part when the plane is fumbling on the ground, but that is not the sort of realism that people are complaining here), but the movie shows you the stakes are high and the matters it deals with are serious.
Patriotic (which is very fitting for something political) in two interesting ways;
- First in empowering both the US and its President as the good guys against the evil bad guys; this makes us feel like the main character (in this case Harrison Ford, in your game it would be the MC) is actually competent by giving him a crisis to deal with. The movie gives him very noble characteristics: courage, selflessness (for his family and staff), will, heroism, leadership, etc… This makes his character feel like a proper leader of a nation — one that should aspire to lead it with characteristics those being led likely want to see of their leader. Having our MC with those qualities and dealing with such a serious matter makes them more responsible and capable.
- In the exterior shots of the plane that big “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” slogan that was proudly displayed now takes another meaning; seeing it while the plane is in need of assistance has a more sinister effect — it’s as if the whole nation is weakened, exposed and threatened. This is a subtle way to try to invoke fear, anxiety and feeling of helplessness on those that are part of that nation.
It shows the dedication of those surrouding the President; they give their lives to make sure the plane is landed or that the President survives. The pilots for example try to land the plane with a gun to the back of their heads, knowing they will die if they don’t — and they do die but never give up trying to land the plane. This shows the dedication and maturity of someone that understands their job is serious and crucial to a whole nation; they don’t start tearing up after being reprimanded on a training exercise — failure on their task may lead to his death and/or the death of the President, affecting millions of Americans. Still, talking about that bodyguard specifically, bodyguard relationship is one that can be explored in interesting ways; do they do their duty because its their job or because the person they must protect grows on them as they get along? And does that even make them do their job better? Anyway, even the personnel at the airport understand the seriousness of the situation the instant code red is declared, mobilizing immediately.
The movie tries to go for authenticity in some cases, for example the terrorists speaking their language and some really cool scenes that are supposed to be set in Russia (not visible in the videos I posted). It strives to keep the setting believable, increasing the immersion for the viewer.
- Almost every character in the episode is shown as highly incompetent in their jobs, while having access to very powerful technology and weapons. It’s as if giving it bazookas to ten year old kids. Not only is this highly unrealistic (even Trump, who is considered immature, is hardly like this), but the biggest problem here is that the main character (in the show Bush, but in your game it would be the MC), has their background and past experiences totally invalidated, being instead a total buffoon that never acts their age or rises above conflict or hard situations to be a noble person or leader. This makes the MC look weak, irresponsible and unsympathetic.
- In a way, what I explained above is still proper political humor — as if it was a critique towards those at the top of government that have no idea of what they are doing. Still, in my opinion it does humour better than your game. In that episode in particular at the very start it creates a context — that there is a big problem with Cable TV on the white house. This context of the Cable TV that was created is explored in several ways toward the episode, even when the Austrians come in the house or in things not related to the Cable TV; it becomes a running gag throughout the whole episode, it doesn’t just come as simple and blunt like showing up to an interview naked or in random childish behavior that I consider unamusing.
- The unrealism here is clear. The way everyone acts is hardly proper decor for adults, let alone high level government personnel. This is what people are complaining the most in your game, the lack of professionalism and surreal way government staff (including the President) act in many presented situations — there is no authenticity. It’s clear these people would never attain these jobs and such a buffoon like the MC would never be elected in real life (Trump, while regarded as very immature by many, is not even close to this). However, That’s My Bush! makes it very clear from the first 10 seconds what it’s supposed to be — it wants to have that unrealism as a way to critique and make fun of; mixing that with Type A would seldom work.
I have no interest in playing the “Type B” game, which is why I was dismissive of the game in my previous long post. It’s not that I think it cannot be a good game or that Type B is wrong, just that I’m not interested in it. People may differ in what they like; some may be the opposite, preferring Type B and not Type A. Different people, different tastes.
When making your game, setting, theme, genre, maturity, realism/authenticity is something you have to consider. What sort of audience do you want? What sort of story do you want to make? Because to me if you go with Type B, you’ve lost me already, I’m not interested. For other people it’s the opposite, if you go with Type A then they will not be interested. You can’t please everyone.
Also keep in mind Type A and Type B are not the only ways to do it, there are many ways you can blend genres and depending on the situation during the story, there are times characters can be goofy and times where they can be serious. However in your game the times when they should be serious they are always goofy and childish (such as doing an interview naked or making very unstrategic analysis of other countries when visiting them for diplomacy, as well as many other things I pointed out in my previous feedback), so it ends up feeling like the whole thing is wacky and campy throughout — this is what plenty of people are complaining.