Biden Your Time: Citizens Of Earth

By Adam Smith on January 25th, 2013 at 3:00 pm.

You’ve made a game about tweaking a waveform in order to fit the patterns that it encounters, which is a fine thing to have created, but what next? Eden Industries have defied expectations and instead of a music-manipulation epic, they’ve decided to craft a blend of Pokemon, Earthbound and grassroots politics. Citizens of Earth has a real world, yet surrealist JRPG setting that is reminiscent of Earthbound, a game I’ve always been frustrated by my failure to connect with. The player character is the Veep, though not Biden, and instead of collecting monsters in balls, he collects the titular citizens, to combat a bizarre threat. It looks superb.

Here’s an overview straight from the keyboard of Eden Industries founder, Ryan Vandendyck:

Our new game is an RPG that places you in the shoes of the Vice President of the World! He’s a classic bureaucrat: charming, charismatic, but practically useless. After recently winning the vice presidency, he returns to his rural home town for some vacation. But he soon inadvertently discovers that there is some very strange stuff happening around town. Feeling a sense of responsibility as an elected official you decide to do something about it! But being the bureaucrat you are, you don’t actually want to get your hands dirty. Thus you go about using your charisma to recruit normal townsfolk to help you investigate and fight your battles for you. Instead of the traditional warrior, mage, etc. from fantasy RPGs, you’re able to recruit and fight with the town Baker, Barista, School Teacher, Homeless Guy, and plenty of other seemingly ordinary characters brought to life in unique and charming ways!

Taking the stand-offish general/trainer character and making him/her a politician is a splendid idea. Using the public to do your dirty work, you’ll combat freakish mutations, including toupee-wearing eagles, honey-filled bears and sentient coffee plants. I’m guessing there are some toxins in the local water supply, perhaps leaking in from Big Oil’s Back Pocket.

Eden hope to avoid some of the problems that arise in RPGs of this sort, where a player can have a massive array of combatants to choose from. When they’re not being used in the field, the citizens you have collected will carry on with their day jobs, offering bonuses and assistance in their own unique ways. The arious types of shopkeeper, for example, will upgrade their shops as they spend time working there, providing new items for purchase. Others might upgrade the town, expanding buildings, discovering new dungeon entrances and the like.

There are no random battles and combat variety is promised:

“Each character also plays very differently in battle in ways that exceed just their unique abilities and equipment possibilities. We’re striving to make every character have a completely unique feel and represent a personalized strategic possibility to players.”

It all sounds promising and it’s the sort of game we don’t see very often on our PCs. The town as base and citizens as warriors/workers does suggest a thoughtful take on Pokemechanics. More when we see it.

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21 Comments »

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  1. hemmingjay says:

    So………any information on E.T.A. or publishing platform?

    • Adam Smith says:

      Just PC as far as I know – not sure if Linux and Windows, but it’s very early days in development. Release probably a year away.

    • Squirrelly says:

      I think I read early 2014 on Indie Statik the other day.

      • RyanVandendyck says:

        Hey guys, the game will release simultaneously on Windows/Mac/Linux, and we’re aiming for early 2014. Simultaneous release on iOS and Android is also a possibility, so long as we get that support for those platforms into our engine before we release!

  2. squareking says:

    Needs more zombies and neighbors who get eaten.

    • Brise Bonbons says:

      Hehehe good one.

      ….

      Seriously, though, enough fucking zombies.

  3. Keyrock says:

    I’m really liking the sound of this game. It seems to me like it will be a bizarre Pokemon and Fire Emblem (I freakin’ LOVE Fire Emblem) love child with a great sense of humor.

  4. Danda says:

    The concept certainly sounds great. Now it’s a matter of execution.

    • Groove says:

      Yeah, this is looking brilliant, Earthbound crossed with pokemon sound enchanting. Anything taking inspiration from Earthbound sounds like a good idea, and Pokemon crossed with not being stuck in a decade-long rut also sounds great.

  5. Thingus says:

    I bounced off Earthbound the first few times; there’s a definite hump to get over, but once you’ve gotten past it it’s well worth it.
    So do you just recruit people through plot/sidequest like in Fire Emblem, or do you have to capture them with flash presentation and balls like in Pokemon? (Hope it’s the latter)

    • Treebard says:

      Yep. I love Earthbound to pieces, but it was probably my third or fourth attempt before I got far enough in for it to really click.

      I don’t think many games are worth pushing through if there’s that much mental resistance, but Earthbound truly is.

      • BooleanBob says:

        Interesting. I’m playing Earthbound for the first time at the moment, gotten as far as the swamp. It’s made me smile a few times with its wry NPCs and its silly set pieces, but I’m really hoping there’s some bigger payoff to all the rote jrpg grind down the line.

        • Groove says:

          I only ever played it about half way through? I loved it immeadiately, but it is hard to deal with that much grind these days. It is a magical game, but some evolutions of the genre were definitely for the better.

  6. KirbyEvan says:

    Man, this game looks really politicool!

    • The Random One says:

      It’s really representative of how the indie scene comes up with unpresidented ideas, even if this is a senate-up of Pocket Ministers. But if you don’t like RPG’s you’ll find this a boreaucrat.

  7. The Random One says:

    A wild GREAT IDEA attacks!
    CONSUMER! I choose you!
    CONSUMER used MONEY THROW!
    It’s not very effective…

  8. RyanVandendyck says:

    Thanks for the awesome comments everyone, I’m glad you’re liking the look of Citizens of Earth so far! If you have any questions, I’d be more than happy to answer them.

  9. Shooop says:

    Pokemon but with politicians and voters?

    Can I sign the petition more than once?

  10. RegisteredUser says:

    Reminds me for some reason of Guerilla Gardening, the seemingly never to complete project from the people who made They Bleed Pixels (Spooky Squid Games).

    Both sound pretty interesting in an offbeat way.

  11. stillunverified says:

    “Earthbound, a game I’ve always been frustrated by my failure to connect with.”
    I had the same problem, but I kind of got over it after playing the sequel, it only came out in japan but got an excellent fanmade translation patch a few years ago and is now one of my favourite JRPGs.

    Although this is assuming you’re not one of the 3 people who’ve miraculously managed to stay completely unspoiled for Earthbound, in which case I would like to know where you get your magical internet filter.