Shortly after we launched our Kickstarter in April, we had a comment from one of our backers saying that with the calendar count starting at 2021 (you have 20 turns/years to win the game), it was going to seem weird if someone buys the game next year (2022) but still has to begin play from 2021. Their question was “Why don’t we just make the years a generic counter; Year 1 to Year 20?”
Depicting the passage of time was something we discussed thoroughly throughout the game’s development. Here’s why we decided to keep the years starting with 2021:
Originally, the game was developed in 2020 and 20 years fitted perfectly in terms of creating a sustainable planet by 2040, using technology that is already available to us today. Such was the theme of the film ‘2040’, Earth Rising’s inspiration.
However, getting the game produced in 2020 was out of the question, so we made the calendar count to start in 2021, the year the game was to launch on Kickstarter. Certainly, making the year count generic would have solved all the problems of people buying the game in 2022, 2023 etc. However, the reason why we didn’t want to make the year count generic is because our real world situation is not so flexible.
If someone buys the game in 2030, unless the work has been done in the 10 years prior, the chances are that we won’t have until 2050 to win this game in real life. It will already be too late.
The effect we want to have on people buying the game in 2023, 2024 and so on, is for them to play the game with the knowledge that the world is already on borrowed time. Hopefully, it will spur on players to get involved in real life if they haven’t done so already.
We don’t wish to give players the false perspective that they can start this work at any time, and that they therefore have another 20 years to transform our world. In the game they will always have 20 years to transform our world. In real life, that period between 2040 and 2050 is the line in the sand, after which point our efforts will likely not be enough. By maintaining real years in the game we hope that the closer we get to that period the more people will see what time has already elapsed towards that all important goal.
As a compromise for people who care more for the longevity of their game than the perfection of the theme, we’ve made the back of our cards blank where the number would be. This allows players to fill in future years on the back of them if they wish to. We feel this balances out player preference and game longevity while keeping our message strong and clear.