The Founder is a management simulation video game that takes our world, right after the last bubble burst, and plots out a possible, if exaggerated, trajectory. How is the promise of technology corrupted when businesses' relentlessly growth-oriented and profit-seeking logic plays out to its conclusion? What does progress look like in a world obsessed with growth, as measured only by sheer economic output?
Like any good power-fantasy game, you are at the center of it! The Founder puts players into the shoes of someone who has bought into techno-capitalist logic and lets them loose in a fictional universe. The player will be instrumental in the progression to an unsavory future; a progression which will feel disturbingly rational under the logic of the game. Winning in The Founder means shaping a world in which you are successful - at the expense of almost everyone else.
The game will be available at a pay-what-you-want price (backers get in guilt-free) and will be for the web (supporting Firefox and Chrome, plus others if there is enough demand).
The game is in an early state, but most of the core features are developed. There are still a lot of things that need to be added, bugs that need fixing, values that need balancing, visuals and graphics that need improving, startups that need starting.
It's taken me about a year and a half to reach this point, mainly because I've had to make a living and haven't been able to devote a sustained amount of time to it. I have a clear vision of the final game and I'd like to dedicate a few months to taking it that last 10% so I can finally release it. I need your support to do it!
Wow, the game is fully-funded -- thank you all! Here are some stretch goals for some really ~premium~ features:
- $6,000 - OFFICIAL SOUNDTRACK: an official soundtrack by a favorite musician of mine, made available to all backers! (you won't find a higher ROI anywhere else!)
- $7,500 - OFFICE PETS: a new perk will be added for employees - the beloved office dog. Starts as a yapper, then upgrades to a pupper, then a doggo, and finally, a woofer (confused? please see this reference)
- $10,000 - ENHANCED EVENT SCENES: right now all in-game events have stock photos to represent them. With this stretch goal, each in-game event will instead have its own custom scene including the cone people of The Founder.
- $15,000 - PERSISTENT SHARED WORLD: all player companies will co-exist in a shared world. The performance of each will be tracked by THE FOUNDER STOCK EXCHANGE so you can gossip about each others' share prices. Companies from other players' games might show up in your own! Bankrupt them, buy them - do whatever you need to stay ahead.
- $25,000 - MULTIPLAYER MODE: play head-to-head against other entrepreneurs. Do you have what it takes to be the most highly-valued startup in The Founder history??
About the Game
Bootstrap your dream company
It's 2001. Start modestly from your apartment and build up your startup alongside the major players and future technology behemoths.
Assemble the best talent
But don't spend too much. With nice perks and benefits, you can attract the most skilled workers at below-market rates. How low can you go? Maybe one day you won't even need employees...
Disrupt legacy industries
In the wake of the dot-com bubble burst, the entrepreneurial landscape is ripe for revolution and fresh ideas. They won't see it coming.
Research groundbreaking technologies.
It's your responsibility to usher in new eras of technological progress. Bring the world into the future and unleash the most exotic and unpredictable gadgets upon society. The future is now.
Hype your company to cult-like status
You don't just make products. You aren't just a company. You are a way of life. Mold public opinion towards your company through key influencers and promotional campaigns.
Innovate or die
Combine product types in unique and new ways to stay ahead of the competition. Some will flop, but others will be dazzling gifts to the world.
Corner the Market
Battle it out with competitors in ~The Market~. Produce products, capture market share, and dominate those second-rate entrepreneurs or expiring tech behemoths. Survival of the fittest!
Grow, grow, grow
And never stop. Expand to new locations, acquire other companies, reach for the stars. Your shareholders demand relentless expansion and profit. Satisfy them or suffer their wrath.
Change the world
Everything you do has a consequence. With your revolutionary new products, you have the power to shape a brave new world. We've only got one planet, and it's yours.
In the press
The Founder tote bags:
(for backers of $50 and above)
The bags are from Print All Over Me!
From left to right:
- The Technology Tote, featuring all technologies from the game
- The Perks Tote, featuring Snacks, Butter Coffee, and Ping-Pong
- The Employee Tote, featuring employee avatars from the game
The bag measurements are width=16", length=15.5", gusset=3", handle=23".
About me, the founder of The Founder
My name is Francis. I'm an interaction designer and developer who does a lot of work with machine learning and artificial intelligence. I love games, especially ones that show you different perspectives of the world (even if they are terrible perspectives). You can see some my past work at frnsys.com.
Risks and challenges
Many parts of the game are already in place, but the trickiest part is that last 10%. Bugs and other issues with game mechanics and gameplay can come up - so there will be extensive playtesting to ensure stability and enjoyability of the game.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)