A Force More Powerful

Non-violent resistance simulator. Like antimatter to fun, no doubt.

Anyone played it?

Let me know when there is a zombie mod :D

Bought it - got it in the mail Friday. But haven’t played it yet. The manual looked suitably hefty (~80 pages) - probably some deep strategy - no idea on the fun factor yet.

>Research patchouli oil

infantry get + 25% defense

Do you get to play the T. Square scenario, where your non-violent protest gets rolled over by tanks? Or how about the Iranian women’s protest from this past week, where thugs attack the demonstration, beat the protestors, and jail the leaders?

I mean, come on, I want a realistic non-violent resistance simulator.

I’m still waiting for a Waco simulator.

It’s a fucking joke, right? Haha. That’s pretty funny.

Arise thread!

I finally played this over the weekend, and I noticed Troy has an article in the Escapist about it.

It’s awful, yet Troy seems to like it.

It’s turn-based, with a 3D city that doesn’t seem to do anything other than be a pretty picture. I spent most of my time looking at 2D charts of what organizations were loyal to whom, or what my various leaders were doing and how long it would take them.

You choose a leader, you give him an action, and, depending on what kind of action, you choose a target for that action (either an organization, like the radio station, or an area, like Downtown).

So I choose a student to leaflet the marketplace. Okay, great.

Then you have to run that plan by your “committee” and they all tell you if it’s a good idea or a bad one. I grew to hate the committee, and this process, because most times they would just say it’s an incredibly stupid idea to do that. But you still had to go through choosing everything and putting it before the committee. So it’s busy work. If, in your list of actions, you had green actions (Committee says, “Yes!”), yellow actions (“Not sure.”), and red actions (“Hell no, but you can do it if you want to”) and then let me run things by the committee for more detailed explanations, it would cut the playtime of this game by half.

Plus, it felt like the Soviet Union, where I needed committee approval for everything.

The tutorial is in the manual, and actually tells you to do some stuff that is bad for you. But okay, keep playing.

You do something, and there is very little feedback on whether or not what you did is having any effect. Once I put together a systematic recruitment plan to get a judge on my side. I sent letters to him, I had various high charisma characters “fraternize” with him (hmmm…), I had meetings with him, and finally I send my leader to recruit him. He rebuffed the leader because “she is not good at public speaking.”


The next turn, with no prompting, he came over to my side.

Double huh?

So okay, according to the manual, I can train my people in various things. I pick a leader, select a type of training, and then I have to pick an organization. Wait, I was supposed to train my leader, right? But the committee tells me that this leader isn’t good at what I’m training so it won’t work. What? So is the leader doing the training? And he’s training the organization? But then how do I improve my leaders?

I have no fucking clue, and I have pored over the sections on leaders and the section on training in the manual.

I’m working through the scenario on corruption (the tutorial) on Very Easy, and half my people are in jail, and the rest suck, except for my uber leader, but I have her committed to big projects that take forever, so most of the time she’s not available.

I was supposed to secure the release of a student who was jailed for political reasons. I have the courts on my side, so shouldn’t they let him go? The only people not on my side are the City Council, and the Police, which pretty much makes sence because they’re the bad guys.

I wish I could just bribe the fuckers and be done with it.

A realistic simulation of how city politics actually works might be pretty fun, by contrast.


Yeah, I like it well enough. It’s a decent game with some interesting challenges.

Characters don’t move “unprompted”, but the prompting might not be you acting on them directly. You could have raised your movement’s profile, the regime might have blundered; you’re not the only one taking turns, after all. The government is cobbled together from a bunch of factions and some of them want to leave so long as they have some place to go. An early important lesson is not to follow up conversions with high risk actions. Failure can stop momentum in its tracks.

And training, training, training. If your movement gets cut down by mass arrests or massacres, you need more than a feeble old man to keep things going.

My main complaint in my review last year was that, eventually, every mission plays out the same which is OK for a teaching tool (the ICNC wants to emphasize organization and steady progress instead of dramatic actions) but limits it usefulness as entertainment.


I played it a bit. My view was fairly similar to Dean’s, though not quite so harsh. It was just too dry.

That’s the problem with reality though, especially when dealing with something as nebulous as the subject matter at hand. Rarely do you get instant reactions to simple steps in the way that you do in videogames.

Recall that this is designed as a training tool for people who are potentially doing this In Real Life.


The committee thing sounds straight from real life, based on my experience with such outfits.

But isn’t that what’s wrong with serious games? Instead of using good game design techniques that would make the game addictive and interesting, we settle for poor design that doesn’t engage us because serious games aren’t supposed to be fun.

If you want to harness the power of games, it’s not the fact that you can press buttons and interact, it’s that we will keep coming back to something in order to work out the problems posed because they are engaging and we feel that we can succeed.

I’m interested in how to solve problems non-violently. I love strategy games, and I’ve put up with worse interfaces because a game has grabbed me. I should be right there with this game. Hell, I even went in really wanting to like it. After six hours with the opening scenario I don’t want to go near it again.

It’s a trade off.

In a game - game, enjoyment is the goal. Things that make it un-fun are to be changed.

In training, you want to reward the right moves, and avoid the “negative training” of rewarding things in the game that are bad in reality (for example, a flight simulator that rewarded maneuvers that would in real life rip the wings off the plane, would be “negative training”).

Since this is designed to be training for people who are, in many cases, quite literally risking their lives if they screw up badly enough, I’d say the training based issues trump game play.

That being said, I’m not an expert in non-violent resistance, nor have I played AFMP.

Also that movie with Dustin Hoffman about existential detectives.

Okay, I just found out something else–

One of the goals in the first scenario is to get this guy out of jail. While in jail he can only do two things: write letters and go on a hunger strike. The tutorial tells you to put him on a weeklong hunger strike even though the committee tells you this will fail.

One of the tips when you boot up the game tells you that if something doesn’t work the first time, you shouldn’t just keep trying it over and over because it will actually make things worse.

That was why I went to such lengths to recruit the courts and the judges. I had that guy writing letters to everyone I could. I figured (using my real world knowledge) that if you get the courts and judges on your side, you’re bound to get someone out of jail.

I never got him out.

I had my class play the game. Two people out of 33 actually got the guy out of jail. How? They just kept putting him on a hunger strike, figuring he’d either die or get out.

To quote: “He couldn’t do anything. He was useless in jail. So what do I care if he dies? Maybe as a martyr he’d be useful, or he’d actually get out.”

That’s some mighty fine non-violent training there.

Hey if we can have Postal I don’t see why we can’t have a Ghandi game.

I meant that every proposal I’ve ever seen brought up before a local environmental group gets bitched about for hours before they decide to not do it. Sheesh. Would you like a bagel with my brains as the cream cheese?