SimBrexit game Not Tonight releases next month

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Political games are picking up traction, with Papers Please and Beholder being among my favorite indies from the last couple years. A new game published by Mike Rose’s No More Robots (Descenders, Hypnospace Outlaw) combines those influences with some bit-art and the current political hellscape into a Brexit simulator. I’m exceptionally excited for the impending release of Not Tonight because I love when video games hurt me.

In Not Tonight, you play a “bouncer” in an alternative (ish) post-Brexit Britain where some very bad people have come into power. In a gig-based economy, you travel between various, pubs, clubs, and festivals in order to help determine who is allowed in. As a bouncer, you’ll be responsible for checking IDs and following any other rules the location has regarding who is let in and who is not. Following the rules and doing a good job allows you to upgrade your life and even your body. And that personal success probably comes at the expense of the people around you and the future of the country itself.

Also, you might notice that Brexit was a bad dumb idea and it will doom us all. That’s just some bonus facts.

Via the game’s Steam page, a recent update reveals that the beta test period resulted in four or five star reviews from 85% of the players, so the game is clearly on the right track. Here’s the results of what the team took away from player feedback and what they’re focusing on before the final release:

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We need a name for the genre of games where you sell out the people around you to an oppressive government in order to further your own self-interest? Paperslikes? Whatever. This looks like a bleak time albeit a bleak time I’m going to replay a bunch of different ways. This is also the second near future gig-economy game I’ve written about today, and I love that games right now are being made by people who have had to suffer through freelance work their entire life and are as bitter about it as we should be bitter about it.

I’m also looking forward to the inevitable sequel Not Tomorrow Either about what we messed up in America where you wind up working atop a large, stupid fence. Like a more racist version of Game of Throne’s Night Watch. With more cheap red hats that were made in China.

Check out the trailer here:

Again, the Steam page is here, and the game is headed for release as early as next month.

There’s also an official Discord server you can join by clicking here which has exclusive information and content about the game’s development. That Discord looks… fun.

80 Comments

  1. Seafoam says:

    I prefer political games that focus on old politics. Theyre less scary and there is a smaller chance to feel agonizing oblivion of our time.
    Also they remind me that politics have always been awful, putting things into perspective, being mindful, grounding me into reality instead of despairing.

    Also the comment sections tend to be mildly tolerable, unlike the one below eventually.

    • Sarfrin says:

      Remembering how awful politics have got in the relatively recent past is an invitation to despair if you ask me.

      • Seafoam says:

        Well yeah, but I’m talking old politics here. Stuff like papers please or the cold war, holocaust, apartheid, etc. Awful things for sure, with the impact still felt today, but as I’m a quite young man there is a distance. No nostalagia goggles for me.

        That distance allows us to see past the illusions, for example crime rates are going down, but people generally see them going always up.
        It’s a horrible internet based illusion of today, we weren’t meant to process so much information.
        The illusion works both ways, either you pretend everything is fine, or you see everything worse than it actually is. It’s hard to get a clear picture.
        Older politics allows me to distance myself and look at these issues in a neutral light more easier. With recent politics there’s too much emotional baggage and the mind clouds.

        • Seafoam says:

          I want to correct the holocaust and apartheid examples. I’m talking about political problems, stuff that is awful and controversial, but not such obvious evils. Ignore that, please.

  2. LogicalDash says:

    We need a name for the genre of games where you sell out the people around you to an oppressive government in order to further your own self-interest? Paperslikes?

    Capitalsims

  3. Premium User Badge

    alison says:

    I fear that just like Papers Please and 21 Days this game will get tedious very quickly. But I will probably buy it anyway because I want to see more of this sort of game.

    I have to gush about NORTH again, because I think it is the bestest best newcomer sim. It brilliantly captures the strange stew of feelings that comes from being excited yet baffled and hopeful while othered.

  4. racccoon says:

    Political games, my, my, not too clever an idea to bring it into gaming, we play games to stop thinking about it as we are drummed politics all day, everyday.

    A Political Rant:
    please…scroll away now..

    Brexit should of been done and dusted years ago. The U.k. is better off without the EU, brexit would stop the E.U’s rule over the country, its waters, lands and all its rights. Brexit is a good thing.
    End of.

    Scotland independence:
    DAFT!
    How can a country united ever want to be separated.
    The Scottish independent people do not realise the after effects of actions if they really won.
    Border patrol, passport checks, foreign currency. economic turmoil, and to top it off, possibly A MASSIVE WALL to stop what would become Scottish immigrants!
    which on this day are able to move freely throughout the U.K. for jobs, homes, freedom and lifestyles.
    If independent, Scotland would be locked away and separated.
    I do not think any person in Scotland would want to be like this in the future at all but united and free.
    So stay away from political grimes.
    End of political rant :)

    SEE…POLITICS….SUCK!

    • Harlander says:

      You know, I wasn’t convinced, but then you said “end of”. Irrefutable.

      • gwop_the_derailer says:

        It’s difficult to tell what’s satire these days, but I do believe his arguments for Scotland’s union with the UK is analogous to UK’s union with the EU, highlighting the disconnect the English have regarding these two matters.

        • TheAngriestHobo says:

          Yup. “Border patrol, passport checks, foreign currency, economic turmoil” seems to describe Brexit’s eventual outcome pretty well.

          • gi_ty says:

            I sincerely hope the OP was satirical. Otherwise the mental disconnect between the two arguments is astonishing.

    • Evan_ says:

      When a native English person writes “should of” instead of “should have”, the rest of the world dies a bit inside from the suppressed laughter.

      But at least you help destroying an old preconception that started to crumble at the Brexit vote.

    • Sandepande says:

      So, UK can leave EU, but Scotland can’t leave UK?

      • aepervius says:

        Yep it is a bit like the EU having a “democracy deficit” (need bigger scary quote) while having its council and other top group composed of elected people, but some of peer being hereditary seats, the queen having a say even if informal are all perfectly democratic. Make sense.

        • Sandepande says:

          The whole discussion is weird. I live in Finland, and this country follows almost every EU directive as strictly as possible, and yet I’ve no sense that our independence has been somehow compromised. I mean, countries sign treaties all the time that limit their options…

          • Crane says:

            Yeah, but Finland was never the head of a globe-spanning empire. (Unless you count the Finno-Korean hyperwar, of course. /s)

            The problem is that most of the people who are pro-Brexit are idiots who think that if we leave the EU we’ll suddenly ~*magically*~ regain the same world-wide influence we had in like, 1880.

          • Sandepande says:

            Well, we’ve got our own exiteers who think we’d be so much better off outside the EU, probably believing we could negotiate super-advantageous trade deals etc., although they probably are just xenophobes who are scared of refugees and immigrants.

            Blech.

    • mlcarter815 says:

      I don’t play video games to escape politics.

    • fray_bentos says:

      Typical Brexiteer, “should of been done”, not the mention the irrationality of being pro-UK, but anti-EU, when the most important arguments for Union in both cases are identical.

      • Optimaximal says:

        I feel you missed the nuance of his post, where he decries the idea of one country being involved in a political union with others where the decisions are made in another country, then explicitly references the excuses and points being made by the same proto-quislings when presented with the idea of a part of a political union that suits them leaving and becoming independent.

        In meme form…

        link to imgur.com

    • LennyLeonardo says:

      I play games for all sorts of reasons. This kind of prohibitive attitude is the enemy of creativity, much as a hatred of immigration is anathema to a living culture.

  5. aircool says:

    There’s a wide variety of opinions on Brexit, and each one of them is correct.

    I guess if I made a game called ‘Upskirt-Photo-Perv Simulator’, I’d get some column inches in RPS as well?

    • CaidKean says:

      No, not all opinions are correct, sorry not sorry.

      • aircool says:

        Sorry, sarcasm.. regarding Brexit you’re either a Fascist or a Communist. You can’t have a debate on the subject without someone calling you either a supporter of a Totalitarian Dictatorship, or a racist xenophobe.

        As far as I’m concerned, you’re either a smug, conceited ignoramus who believes that they’re taking the moral high-ground and therefore ‘correct’, or you’ve got an appreciated for the bigger picture, and the capacity for objectivity…

        Then again, I’m comfortable with my hypocrisy.

  6. Jimbo says:

    The effectiveness of leftist brainwashing on young minds is truly scary.

    • Janichsan says:

      Seems like someone needs a soothing ointment for his hurting butt. :P

      • CaidKean says:

        It sounds like Jimbo desires an expanse that is sheltered from this leftist brainwashing that apparently permeates every corner of Western society. A safe-space if you will!

    • nuttycomic says:

      The fact the right don’t think they’re brainwashed at all is hilarious but sad.

    • fray_bentos says:

      Brainwashing? By far the strongest predictor of voting for remain vs. leave is level of education. The more uneducated the person, the higher the chance of voting for Brexit, so the reality is, quite the opposite of what you believe.

      • Jimbo says:

        How is that the opposite of what I believe? That there’s a correlation between the time spent in leftist dominated brainwashing institutions and voting Remain doesn’t surprise or contradict me at all.

      • skeletortoise says:

        Interesting that you expect that the people who all go through the same degree/process of education would be the ones who are not brainwashed. In my experience, and it’s commonly agreed upon enough that I think the data would likely support it, there’s more uniformity of political thought associated with having higher education than not having it.

        Which is not to say I agree with Jimbo more than barely. There is a kind of desperate vibe to this post where the writer feels they need to communicate that they have heard Brexit (and some vague Trump stuff) is BAD and so they must repeatedly emphasize it is BAD so we know that the writer GETS IT.

        FWIW, I don’t disagree about these policies being bad, generally. But I don’t know why we all have to hyperventilate over literally everything like each policy is singlehandedly responsible for this apparently soon-to-appear dystopia.

      • aircool says:

        “The more uneducated the person, the higher the chance of voting for Brexit”

        Well that’s absolute bollocks for a start. Also, don’t mistake education for intelligence and the capacity for thought, a lot of people I know educated in the ‘creative’ subjects are thick as fuck with a high disregard for common sense ;)

          • spacejunkk says:

            Probably an age thing. In the 1950s 3.4% of young people would go on to higher education rather than the 50% of today. Together with a growing population we’re creating something like 20x the graduates per year we were when 70-80 year olds were young.

            link to timeshighereducation.com

            And if you scroll down on your link you’ll see votes are skewed with age just as strongly.

            The Scottish referendum had the same pattern, except reversed. Older people voted to remain, younger people to leave (although 16-24 yr olds voted to remain). Pretty weird!

            link to bbc.com

    • aircool says:

      Whoa, wild and dangerous opinion of your own… which I thoroughly agree with. Unfortunately, independent thought just leaves you ostracised by smug intellectuals*, who to be honest, couldn’t find their arse with a map in the real world.

      Sadly, independent thought is as rare as rocking horse shit in the creative industries.

      *Which isn’t a bad thing really.

      • skeletortoise says:

        As someone who works nowhere near creatives, you’re kidding yourself if you think these ‘practical’ folks are rolling in independent thought. And anyway, what would you characterize yourself as if not a smug intellectual? Because you’re certainly smug. No one here has been more condescending or dismissive than you and Jimbo, and without actually engaging with the topic at hand at all. You’re justified by the self righteousness of the minority opinion holder and are thus making yourself out to be greater koolaid chuggers than those you’re responding too.

        • aircool says:

          Yep, I just sound like everyone else. People have their opinions, the actual vote on leaving the EU has long passed, so why did the author of this article feel the need to air his opinion, and then claim it a fact.

          I’ve not actually expressed my real opinion one way or another because it really doesn’t matter, nor have anything to do with the game. I’ve just kicked up a lot of dust, huffed and puffed and made some wild generalisations.

          As it happens, my educational background is music technology and production…

          However, if I was writing an article about some production or another, I don’t think I’d stick my political opinions into the article, nor label the majority of people who voted in favour of Brexit, dumb.

          It shows a lack of professional integrity, but good luck getting a journalist to apologise ;)

    • Evan_ says:

      I’m scared of effective brainwashing, no matter which side it originates from.

  7. Axolotl says:

    Am I even going to care about this game if I’m not British? I liked Papers Please because it represented the absurdity of communist dictatorships pretty well, and that’s a famous, international trope. Brexit seems a bit too local of an issue for me to care about, seeing as I don’t live in the UK.

    • aircool says:

      I’d say you’d probably like the game. The whole ‘Brexit’ angle is nothing more than poking a hornets nest to generate interest; the equivalent of clickbait.

    • Premium User Badge

      alison says:

      I don’t know, perhaps a game based around being a futuristic nightclub bouncer might be a fun and light way to introduce you to some of the issues?

      Here’s my story. I was born in England to an EU mother and colonial father. My father served in the British Army, so after a couple of years we were posted to West Germany. My grandfather spent his whole life working for the British consulate. But as for me: after leaving England in the very early 80s, I never went back. Since I was born an EU citizen and have been an EU citizen my entire life, I did not see a reason to. I spent a good chunk of my years in continental Europe. Guess what? I was barred from voting in the referendum because I had spent the last 8 years outside the UK. I didn’t get the chance to vote to protect my own citizenship of almost 40 years. Once Article 50 goes into effect that’s it, I’m not a European any more. I was upset for weeks. The Brexit vote shook me so hard I decided to leave Europe altogether. I figured if my own citizenship could be stripped from me on a whim, I might as well go live in a place that actually is foreign to me.

      That’s just my story. There are so many more. There are millions of European citizens with a British passport who do not live in the UK whose experience is similar to mine. There are also millions of European citizens with a non-British passport who have been living and working in the UK for decades who will now be considered foreigners in their own home. Not to mention recent migrants who legally came to the UK in good faith that they would be welcome. Meanwhile English farmers are already losing temporary workers they depended on. Business owners and other people whose jobs are tied deeply to the European economy are facing an uncertain few years. So many people’s lives have been fucked up by Brexit already.

      To be fair, there are also plenty of people out there who are thrilled they were able to score a point against the “elites”. There are even a few elite types who appear to honestly believe that the UK will be better off trying to go it alone, although even they can’t deny that tens of millions of lives are being fucked up in the process. Of course there are also plenty of apathetic and spiteful nationalists who do not care at all about non-British EU citizens or the British citizens who live outside the UK.

      I mean, all of this is a recipe for great drama, don’t you think? Personally I am interested in the stories of people all over the world, it doesn’t matter if their experiences are very different to my own. In fact, that makes it more interesting! I think it’s cool that computer games are trying to tackle this stuff, even if it is only in very superficial or comedic ways.

      • April March says:

        I don’t mean to press, since you’re already sharing a lot of personal stuff, so don’t feel compelled to answer if you don’t want to, but couldn’t you apply for citizenship in another EU country?

        • Premium User Badge

          alison says:

          Unfortunately most countries don’t just hand out citizenship papers on request. In Germany (where I most recently lived) you have to live there for 8 years before you are eligible. I could possibly apply for Dutch citizenship as my mother’s birth country and a place where I also lived for several years, but my mother gave up her Dutch citizenship to become an Australian some years ago so that is probably out of the question. It’s so wacky to me that these laws still exist in the EU… but I guess nobody ever thought that a country would withdraw. Which passport you had in the bottom of your sock drawer never seemed important until Brexit.

          This sort of thing is exactly why my personal belief is that nationalism should go into the dustbin of history. They used to call people like me a “third culture kid”, but imo that’s a 20th century term. It’s not uncommon at all to have family scattered all over the world these days, and I really think all the various nation states need to catch up with that reality. It’s only going to become more common as climate change makes formerly viable regions of the world inhospitable.

          • Charles de Goal says:

            It’s not uncommon at all to have family scattered all over the world these days

            What makes you think that? It sounds like quite a sociologically-biased statement actually.

      • Landiss says:

        Umm, there is no such thing as EU citizenship, you never had that and thus it cannot be taken away from you. I guess what you are worried about is that as British citizen you won’t be able to stay in EU country anymore? I think we can be very reasonably sure that it’s not going to happen and British citizens will be able to stay in EU countries as long as they want. There might be some new paperwork, maybe some visa you would have to apply on a regular basis, but I don’t imagine you would be denied it in your circumstances.

        • Premium User Badge

          alison says:

          EU citizenship very much exists, although admittedly it has only been formalized since the Maastricht Treaty of 1993. The UK joined the EEC in 1973 and has taken part in European elections since 1979.

          Of course I could get a visa to continue living in Europe. I am white and educated and have almost 20 years under my belt in a (relatively) highly-paid profession. I can probably get a visa to live anywhere in the world. That’s not the point. The point is that for years I didn’t have to. Having been through visa and immigration processes in 3 other countries, I can tell you it is not fucking fun at all. Europe was supposed to be my home, my safe space. Legally it has been, my whole life. And now… it isn’t. That was really, deeply upsetting to me. Yeah, I’ve moved on. Like I said, I left Europe altogether. But it still hurts when the topic comes up.

          • Charles de Goal says:

            EU citizenship very much exists

            How so?

            The UK joined the EEC in 1973 and has taken part in European elections since 1979

            European (parliament) elections are actually held independently in each EU country for its own national citizens. There is no such thing as European political life (only national parties and electorates), and there’s certainly no such thing as European citizenship.

      • kincajou says:

        I was scrolling these comments on a lazy sunday afternoon and read yours… thank you for sharing your story.
        On my side i’m citizen of an EU country, lived all across europe untill i hit my higher education where i proudly went to universities in the UK, my wife is british and we so wish that we could both just be European…

        Nationalisms suck.

        Anyways, i got sidetracked and i just wanted to thank you for sharing your story, it’s certainly the best part of this comment section.

        • Premium User Badge

          alison says:

          I’m glad you appreciated it. I think telling our stories is important. I have several friends in your situation, and to be honest I think they have it worse than I do. I am privileged enough to be able to roll my eyes and move on, but your whole life is there. I understand that there are cold ideological reasons why people think Brexit is/was a good idea, but the human impact can’t be ignored. I think in the long term everything will be fine – the government can hardly kick everyone out – but it’s still a lot of stress and pain that seems so unnecessary 😢

  8. Shazbut says:

    If someone clearly doesn’t respect the political views of those whom they disagree with, it’s very hard for me to take their own views seriously. I begin to suspect that their views are not the result of rigorous and unbiased examination of the subject but rather the unconscious adoption of a collective mindset that, being strongly felt and pervasive in the culture, is assumed to be based on hard truths that are known by someone or some body of people with whom they never actually come into contact.

    I also think they’re fundamentally afraid of dying, of suffering, and of not knowing, and have not really had to face these experiences. If they had, their minds would be softer around the edges and their inherent non-separateness would be more directly apparent. They would begin to lose the capacity to be hostile and clearly see that hostility not only has its basis in ignorance but causes the very outcomes that they wish to avoid.

    Lets face it, we don’t actually know anything. We don’t even know that hard times aren’t exactly what we want. By all means, have an opinion and act on it, but it’s far far more important to be kind.

    • LennyLeonardo says:

      OK.

    • Landiss says:

      I don’t understand why I should respect all possible political views. Does that include extremist views as well? Nazists? What about terrorists?

      • Uncle Fass says:

        I agree with the general idea of being more respectful to other opinions but your question does indeed raise legitimate issues. It’s easy to say that Nazis and terrorists are obviously not worth treating with respect, but then where does the line stop? How far right/left does someone need to be (either objectively or relative to our own ideals) before we decide who is/isn’t worth our respect or debate?

        • Landiss says:

          I think that is a question everyone’s subconsciousness is asking (and answering) all the time and everyone has that line somewhere. I do not believe there can be any person who would seriously consider all different views on all possible topics. We take shortcuts, our brain decides for us, otherwise we would not be able to live at all, paralyzed by the amount of decisions we have to take every second.

          To pretend otherwise is to use yet another great invention of human brain – lying to oneself.

      • Evan_ says:

        Not sure what do you mean by ‘respect’, but I find it helpful and revealing to try to understand the views of people I strongly disagree with. I feel my opinion gets a better grip on reality if I form it in the crossfire of conflicting ideologies. I don’t want to think stuff only because my father raised me to think those.

        I like to chat with nazis. No ideology can be further from me, so I need a lot of such chats to understand the motives. Maybe it makes me understand the Brexit better.

        Terrorism is not a political view, but an extreme and destructive expression of one’s opinion. We can easily condemn such acts without refusing to understand any ideology behind such an action.

        • skeletortoise says:

          This is about where I land. I mean, I understand if people don’t want to engage with people with truly reprehensible views, but pretending they don’t exist or violence isn’t going to improve anything. If you’re willing to truly engage with people, it’s possible to change their minds, no matter how unlikely. Former nazis and klansmen exist, after all. That said, people who commit violent acts or have a desire to do so is where the line is drawn.

      • Shazbut says:

        Yes, good point. It’s not about respecting their views so much as respecting their suffering – or quality of mind if you prefer. This is synonymous with respecting one’s own suffering, which is something we all do at a certain threshold that is different for different individuals. By “respect”, I mean, when the suffering is there, we respect the need to take care of it, to go into another room, go for a walk, hold our tongue, whatever, in order to literally be with the suffering and not act on it. Some people can tolerate almost no suffering and will seek to care of it fast. Some will have to be in piercing agony before self-compassion will kick in. Incidentally this is the literal meaning of the word “compassion”: com – passio. “With pain”.

        This is an act of love and strengthens a certain kind of muscle that recognises what is and isn’t pain and what comes from pain more effectively. With a Nazi or terrorist, there is likely to be some deep suffering giving rise to their claims, and if we can feel into that then we don’t have to treat anything they’re claiming as if it might carry truth. It’s not necessarily anyone’s responsibility to deal with their suffering, but recognising it makes it impossible to hate them and that creates a platform for genuine change.

        And just because you don’t hate them, doesn’t mean you can’t do everything in your power to stop their violence if need be.

    • Raoul Duke says:

      I think you are buying into the dangerous game of equivalence, where all political/social views deserve to be treated with respect no matter how odious.

  9. hurtmaimkill says:

    “I’m also looking forward to the inevitable sequel Not Tomorrow Either about what we messed up in America where you wind up working atop a large, stupid fence. Like a more racist version of Game of Throne’s Night Watch.”

    The implication being that it’s wrong and racist to enforce immigration law and not allow an unlimited amount of unverified people to just pour into America? Idiotic.

    • X_kot says:

      Nice false dilemma. Plus, you’re upset about a splinter in your finger when there’s a post sticking in your eye: overstayed visas account for far more undocumented workers than land-border crossings. You want immigration reform in America that will be more effective than a physical barrier? (1) Revise the H1-B system to limit abuse by companies. (2) Mandate that agricultural and restraurant industries pay their employees a decent wage that is reported to the IRS.

      • gi_ty says:

        Seriously! Statistically illegal border crossings are a drop in the bucket. Historically I think we can see that physical walls are about as secure as a chalk line in a desert. Think of all the walls built Hadrian’s wall China’a great wall the Berlin wall, what good did they ultimately serve? Expensive wastes of resources and time. Who is gonna build it anyway? I certainly don’t want to pour concrete in the middle of the south west desert, maybe we could use some immigrant labor.

        • Charles de Goal says:

          maybe we could use some immigrant labor.

          Who is “we”?
          (note: I’m not a USAer or a Brit, just curious about your answer)

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