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Computer game to give people taste of being mayor

Wednesday, August 23, 2023   Posted in: Signatory Notice Board By: Administrator With tags: technology, recreation, Governance

Selwyn District Council media release: 21st August 2023

An exciting new video game being developed with the Selwyn Youth Council is getting closer to completion after a successful test run.

The game is called Super Mayor, and is described as a feel-good, 2D game where people play a councillor character in a rural New Zealand farming district. The goal of the hilarious, story-rich adventure is to solve problems, meet the public, and become mayor. Game Developer Ben Childs says that a lot of the work so far has focused on creating the system the game requires to operate and all the different features.

“The game deals with both realistic and larger-than-life Council projects, and gives players the opportunity to interact with residents, take their issues to Council meetings and make meaningful decisions with Council resources. The trade-offs involved are designed to demonstrate to players how Council works and how their vote matters. Players will gain experience points as they perform tasks in the game which will open more options and areas in the game for them,” he says.

Some of the scenarios the game features involve developing buildings, creating revenue streams to finance other activities and maintain public facilities, through to resolving issues caused by extreme weather and creating safe ways for people to get around the district. Earlier this month, the game was play tested at an event held by the Christchurch Game Developers where it received positive feedback.

“People enjoyed the direction of it, and we got some valuable feedback from other developers around making the movement mechanics more intuitive,” Ben says. “We hope the game ultimately gets people interested in local government and Council processes.”

The next step in the game’s development will involve input from the Youth Council in creating localised content, designing maps for different areas of the district, and establishing the different levels and characters people interact with. Super Mayor is available for people to add to their wishlist on gaming platform Steam. The game will be free.