Coming into this project, I had experience playing a few popular systems games. I was really excited to get to make one myself, but I found the experience to be very different from any game I have worked on before. My team created the game Clout Chasers. Clout Chasers models the internet landscape with a focus on social media platforms. Players take on the role of up and coming influencers that need to create content to grow their presence on the internet.
Our game aimed for fun through fellowship and fantasy. With how much time people spend on social media nowadays, it’s common for them to wonder what it’s like to be a big content creator. We wanted to give players the opportunity to explore this curiosity by getting to play as a content creator and experience the ups and downs of the role. We modeled the progress of player’s growth as creators via their ownership of tiles on the board and the magnitude of their influencer level. For example, players could boost their influencer level through new filming equipment and sponsorships. They would then create content to conquer tiles on the board and expand their following. Fun through fellowship was introduced into the game via all the interactions between players. It was important to my team that we model how dynamic and reactionary events on social media can be. To capture this in our system, we introduced action cards that players could use to temporarily affect the influencer level of other players. For example, you could collaborate with a player and boost their influencer level for mutual gain, or you could expose a player and lower their influencer level to get ahead. In our final playtest, it was fun to see how these mechanics resulted in players creating their own narratives about how/why their creators had beef with each other or formed alliances.
While I think our project was overall successful in accomplishing what we wanted to model in our system, I felt like there was still so much that we could have added with more time. One of the greatest challenges with system games that I experienced was deciding what aspects of the system are absolutely essential and which aren’t really necessary. There are also some system aspects that seem important but are difficult to recreate in a game format. Trying to find a good way to represent the system in a clean and concise way was an ongoing challenge for my team.