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Thread: HEADLINER released - what if YOU controlled national news?

  1. #1
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2004

    HEADLINER released - what if YOU controlled national news?

    BIG THANKS TO ALL MY TTLGers - here, on Discord, and FB. Your support and tester feedback was invaluable in making the game awesomer, and preserving my sanity ;p

    But can I ask for a wee bit more of your time? Could you give it a short play (it's only $2.50!) and leave an honest review? HEADLINER is still fairly niche so having many good reviews on launch day is VERY important for getting featured on the Steam front page and picking up momentum!

    Here's our chance to become something big! Let's Make Gaming Great Again™ ;D


    And now - the spiel:

    What if YOU controlled national news?

    Would you BAN the immigrants?

    Spin #FakeNews for highest ratings?

    Endanger your own family?

    Find Out on Steam Today




  2. #2
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2004
    A Celebrity Died
    People spat on refugees
    Daughter went to college
    Wife treated her illness
    I controlled all news
    #IamHeadliner

    Heheh, didn't see that coming. Poor Tima.

  3. #3
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2004
    Nooooo you killed the national star ;_;

  4. #4
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Ireland
    A Celebrity Died
    Refugees were welcomed
    Daughter got a scholarship
    Husband was happy (had to play as Dianne because it wouldn't automatically suggest a male name when I changed sex)
    I was promoted
    #IamHeadliner

  5. #5
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2004
    She can get a scholarship? Huh.

  6. #6
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2004
    It's like Rick and Morty - infinite dimensions, infinite possibilities xD

  7. #7
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2004
    First day going strong


  8. #8
    I actually saw it in the "New Releases" list on the Steam store page before I saw this thread.

    You do seem to have a single negative review now, but that one looks like a blatant troll review.

  9. #9
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2004
    Yep, obligatory one ;p At least it's blatant troll.

    In other news, here's some reactions from Geek Girl Con. Because YOU TOO can be a terrible father!


  10. #10
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2003
    Location: The Land of Make Believe
    This game is a lot of fun. Just completed my first playthrough, best described as WWRMD? (What would Rupert Murdoch do?)

    Managed to get myself and my daughter killed by purists, and people despised immigrants, though not enough to get the "They're taking our jobs!" achievement (I presume you can only complete the game with one angle).

    Just a couple of spelling errors I caught in street dialogue: "They should't get the same benefits" and "NO MORE PURSIT KIDS".

    Cracking stuff overall.

  11. #11
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2004
    Thanks Fixed the typos, will be in next release!

  12. #12
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2004
    Porting to Mac, progress happening Big thanks to Fluffy for lending me his Mac Mini to work on!


  13. #13
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2004
    Some reaction videos from Geek Girl Con. It's good to see players arguing over the themes you wanted them to argue over


  14. #14
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    I played it yesterday; neat game with cool ideas! One thing that didn't work that well for me, although that'd probably be difficult to avoid: I chose not to have a clear, one-sided agenda, which resulted in me being told that the newspaper wasn't really read all that widely and therefore it wasn't particularly influential - so I felt little to no responsibility for the things that happened (primarily: one national star being killed).

  15. #15
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2004
    Thanks for checking it out That's a hard thing to avoid - if I just made nothing happen, then people would feel bored without any sense of progress. Though there is a possibility of just having a good festival with nothing bad happening, but you need to be really careful about being balanced.

    I've been working on a new episode, and taking all the feedback into consideration.

  16. #16
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    You've probably thought about this before, but you could try pushing the message in your narrative that if you're too balanced, you're responsible for what is happening by *not* doing more. I think that especially the daughter character could be used to do this: she could berate you for your comfortable neutrality in the face of people's rights being abused. And/or you could actually up the pressure on the player character by making it possible that he's fired or at least demoted before the week is over, and then you'd see the results of someone else choosing a more extreme approach in the position that was once yours. I kinda like that idea, although it would of course mean quite a big change.

  17. #17
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2004
    Oooh I like that, definitely gonna incorporate NPCs nagging you a bit more. You can actually get fired in HEADLINER, but not until the last day. But I have a hunch most gamers would feel "cheated" if they got fired early and saw what some AI did instead of them.

  18. #18
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    I could imagine something like the following:

    1) You get demoted before the end of the week and you spend the last 1-2 days doing the headliner thing with utterly inane, irrelevant articles ("Try the 10 day transgenic tomato diet!" vs. "Is your man secretly a Purist?") in a smaller, crappier office). Same gameplay loop, but the game tells you in very clear terms that you chose to be irrelevant, so here you are, making irrelevant choices.
    2) You get outright fired and you spend the last 1-2 days at home or wandering the streets, and you get a copy of the paper you used to work for; you then pick and choose which of the wildly one-sided articles you read, in a variation of the same interface.

    While these options would strip your choices of their consequences, I think that this would be more in keeping with the themes of Headliner (will you use the power of propaganda, and if so, how?) - and to that end, I think you may need to be willing to frustrate your players. As it is now, I ended up with the game telling me two contradictory thing, namely that I was causing the paper to become irrelevant because no one reads it, and that I'm partly responsible for what happens because my choice of headlines influences opinions out there. Personally I'd gladly be 'cheated' out of agency by the game if that's the price for the game being more logically consistent in this respect.

    Just brainstorming here; don't worry, I don't expect you to implement any of this, but if any of the ideas spark something off at your end, all the better. :-)

  19. #19
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2004
    Mmm the way you describe it could indeed be very powerful. It's like the poem "First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out..."

    And "you chose to be irrelevant, so here you are, making irrelevant choices." would be a great end-game line

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