So what are we making? Well, its a card game about rising to power. And you do this by founding a cult, gaining influence, and attracting followers. I confess we haven’t settled on a name yet. We have ideas floating around, but for the time being, let’s give it the code name “Cult Leader”. I had been toying with the idea of calling it “The Good News”, but aside from it being unwieldy it has another major flaw.
It’s too focused on religious cults. While our game does lean toward cults of a religious nature. I don’t really think a deity is required. There are plenty interesting ideas for cults to form around, such as UFOs, cryptozoology, Nostradamus, ancient cultures, and conspiracy theories. Cults are really just like any other tribe. There are leaders, followers, and a shared idea. The only thing that separates a cult from a tribe is reality.
The tendency of people to come together and become champions of a belief is something I find fascinating. Now there are many versions of this that are completely benign and even helpful. However, our game focuses on the more harmful variety.
In the game you take on the role of a sinister cult leader. Your main goal is to have the most Power when the game ends. Spending Influence allows you to acquire Shrines and Relics, attract Followers, and execute Ideas. Doing so will give you Power, abilities, Influence, and other benefits. Your opponents will be doing the same and you can spend your Influence on actions that weaken their cult.
So that’s the basic idea of what we’re building. I’ll be digging into the various mechanics in more detail in posts to come. For now, I’d like to talk about two of our design considerations.
First and foremost, we wanted this game to be firmly based in reality. This one has been tough. It is far easier to dream up card ideas than it is to come up with a realistic justification for them. It is important to us that we adhere to this rule, because we want our game to be about a realistic phenomenon. It wont due for us to lazily insert supernatural powers. If we did, our theme would suffer.
Second, we wanted to make this a pure card game. There are a lot of benefits to doing this. It makes the game more portable. The time it takes to set up the game is reduced. It gives us more publishing options. And most importantly, it makes the game cheaper to produce. If we keep the price low the purchase becomes less risky for the consumer, which make them more likely to pick it up.
We want you to play our game. I think we have something interesting and fun, and it keeps getting better.