Here are some answers to some questions that seem to spring up when people here about this thing!
Who made this?
Hi! My name is Ashton McAllan and The Republic is my baby but it wouldn't be here without the help of Vincent Baker and Mark Redacted who helped a weird dice Game find a bold new direction.
How did you end up working on this together?
In 2015 Paul Czege ran a competition called Threeforged which where each person worked on three games and each game was worked on by three people. The games were randomly shuffled around between stages of completion so you never knew who your collaborators. In the end a game called Platonic Mastery ended up being one of the most hotly discussed because it attempted to address themes of social justice but with problematic elements . That game was the one Vincent, Mark, and I worked on. I have a bad habit of not being able to let a mechanic or game go so I've kept working on it since then.
Why Social Justice AND Element Bending?
Two reasons: One, I love the dice mechanic and cannot let it go and two, the arts of element bending serve as a really neat metaphor for control over both the means of production and the tools of violent force. The game is about people who The Republic says shouldn't have access to those things but, for whatever reason, they do.
Why Early Access?
I have been working on this game on and off for just over a year and the plan was to keep doing so until it was done. Then 2016 just got worse and worse I realized I had something in my hands that should help people feel empowered, let them explore strategies and get comfortable with the feelings of resisting a state that denies their humanity. It's being released to help build you up but also, hopefully, so that you can help build it up too? With playtesting and feedback and stuff? So we can make the game even better?