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FOR THE PEOPLE

For the People is an acute social novel with strategic elements that puts the player in the shoes of a state official. Congratulations, dear comrade! From now on, you are the head of a small but important industrial center bearing the proud name of Iron-1. Your task will be to manage and rebuild it amidst the formation of a new totalitarian regime, currently faced with the consequences of the recent revolution, such as a deepening social crisis and an utter economic deficit. Yet we remain confident that it is young specialists such as yourself, who will lead this county to a stable and prosperous future. Glory to the Union of People's Orange Communes! Glory to Comrade Steel!
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Game Discussion

Review by Anonymous
Review from Steam

IN A WORD: MAYBE
IN A NUTSHELL:
WHAT TO EXPECT: Stylised visual novel. Narration oriented Choose Your Own Adventure. Heavily scripted story. Bureaucratic simulation. Aspects of social management. Laced with political intrigue. Communist/Coldwar era aesthetic/ambience. Contains several endings. Designed for some replayability. Requires lots of reading. Single-player only.
ACHIEVEMENTS: A GOOD MIX.
STATUS: COMPLETED.
WHO FOR/WHEN TO BUY: FOR FANS OF THE SUBJECT MATTER. A MINIMAL SALE AT LEAST.
More info below....
THE LOWDOWN:
For the People (FtP) is a visual novel with Choose Your Own Adventure and minor strategy elements. It delivers gameplay with a focus on simulated bureaucracy, social management and political intrigue. It is set in a make believe nation that could resemble any number of former communist bloc countries from the Cold War era. Played out upon the backdrop of a recently resolved, long, bloody revolutionary war between several ethnic groups vying for supremacy over each other.
Players take on the mantle of a top bureaucrat in charge of running a major industrial facility in the midst of deepening social crisis and failing economy. Their aim to manage and rebuild by prudently investing the state sponsored budget. To juggle the wants and needs of the governing party with those of the citizens. While ensuring both are kept happy. Information is gathered from a variety of sources. Some lead to choices that require the deliberation of executive actions, the careful allocation of resources or budgetary funds, and the assignment of agents to clandestine activities.
Gameplay is split into calendar days which last for two weeks. It is narration heavy, with lots to read through. Players will need to react to incidents and events potentially altering their arcs for better or for worse. With consequences depending on the player's choice of actions. These manifest in some guise from a central hub represented by an official looking office. On the desk are memos to be read and action-ed. Telephone calls to be made and received from a variety of NPCs. While V.I.Ps visit the office to discuss sensitive matters in private. A map of the city is used to deal with events of potential unrest. Another to manage resource allocation affecting industrial output. All of which flows into the next days gameplay.
THE GOOD:
+ Good simulation of being a bureaucrat in a communist regime.
+ Varied processes that drive info dumping and choice presentation.
+ Get to make power fuelled decisions. Make some people happy or keep the credits in the bank.
+ Over five possible endings providing some replayability.
+ A nice plot twist keeps the game from stagnating.
+ Broad cast of NPCs to interact with; VIP NPCs, Integrity Division, City Committee and Political Dept.
THE BAD:
- Its setting and communist oriented subject-matter may be too confusing for some potential players.
- A central log and quest progress summary screen would have a useful player tool. To aid situational awareness.
- Decision-making logic can feel obfuscated.
- Strategy elements are lightweight.
- A few spelling/grammatical errors.
- No voice-overs for key NPCs.
AND THE REST:
* A lot of written dialogue and other info-dump sources, will require alot of reading.
* A clean 50-60's graphics style, in keeping with the general aesthetic.
* Low key soundtrack that adds to the ambience.
ANALYSIS:
FtP delivered a solid visual novel experience with its subject-matter proving to be its greatest asset; different and interesting. It was accessible, starting out easily enough with the first few days serving as a tutorial of sorts. Which performed an adequate of job of unveiling the game's features one by one. While also setting a pattern for the gameplay ahead.
The story and Cold War-esque setting were the stars of this game. Together they provided an insight into a time and a way of life that will no doubt be alien for some younger gamers. Anyone without a semblance of recognition and understanding of the geo-political situation of the time may become lost. Becoming frustrating or uninteresting for some. Though in my personal experience, it proved the principal factor and overwhelming compulsion to keep playing.
Graphically its rather simple and bland nature provided a convincing aesthetic. Which along with the accompanying sound delivered an ambience to match the look and feel of the 1950-60s Cold War era. At least judging from my memories of TV shows and cinematic movies of the time.
The bulk of 'gameplay' was fairly one-dimensional. Everything one would expect from a VN. Mostly the reading of narrative, dialogue and information sources. The COYA was little more than a series of events within a scripted structure. There were no stats to determine success or failure. Making the correct choice was the only important factor. Strategy involving activities were just another vehicle to determine the result of conducting or not conducting the best action. Both felt fairly trivial. With almost every decision only impacting the citizen/party contentment dynamic or the amount of budgetary funds left, to continue to make the correct decisions. These eventually became monotonous as the adventure progressed. Perhaps collectively these made a convincing stab of making the experience feel as though being a bureaucrat from that era.
If anything negative can be added it was that the strategy and resource management elements were just to lite to attract gamers from that genre. The game is very linear and every activity must be played out in the day it becomes active otherwise progress to the next day will not be possible. It really needed a mechanism to provide better situational awareness. For instance a comprehensive log to keep an overview of all that had taken place. So far. To date. Containing a list of ongoing quests. Delivered in a visual format to help players maintain some order of recollection of everything that occurred over the last two weeks.
The few errors in language, spelling and grammar barely detracted from the experience. With longevity and replayabiliy both feeling limited, the need to re-readthrough was high. Especially if too many mistakes were made with choice selections. Providing the chance of righting those wrongs. I enjoyed my readthrough and will be planning at least one more in good time.
VERDICT:
For the People ended up being an unusual visual novel that delivered a reasonable bureaucratic simulation of life in a totalitarian regime. With a robust narrative, some decent writing and COYA mechanics. Just not enough strategy. Enough to keep play interesting, especially in the latter part of the game.
However with a need to commit to its subject matter and lightweight gameplay FtP will not be for everyone. Especially those who cannot appreciate the political and social situation of this bygone era. With a healthy interest and approach those able to connect with it, are sure to develop an appreciation for the experience. I'm drawn to give this game a Worthwhile for any gamer who is interested by what I've written. To anyone else, this is a Maybe.
Thank you for reading. | Follow my curator here. | Key provided by Turn-Based Tactics

Review from Steam

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“My name is Francis River, I’m 26. I graduated with honours from the Corvinton Institute of Management and National Economy and, after that, joined the CUWP (Com-Union Working Party) - I've been an active member of its Altstadt Department during the last three years.
The phone suddenly rang on the evening of September 11th. The Central Committee of the CUWP was calling for me. I was told that, according to the New Course policy, I got into the staff rotation program as a worthy CUWP member and an outstanding alumnus of the Corvinton Institute. That’s how I found myself in Iron-1.
Iron-1 was founded near the wolfram deposits during the times of the Corvin Empire in 1888. It was known as Blackmont back then. It was a small mining town, but our glorious Orange Revolution turned it into a leading industrial city with almost fifty thousand citizens. Almost half of them are representatives of the Kent people. The rest are Corvinian.
I was appointed the head of the City Committee. I’ve become the ruler of this city. I have to move into my new office today...”
It’s September 12th, your first day as head of the City Committee, and you’re greeted by comrade Rosie (Helen Rosie), your secretary. She’s curious about why comrade Lejbowsky was removed from office and replaced with one so young as yourself. Comrade Lejbowsky, you tell her, he’s been sent into honourable retirement, and you’ve been installed to replace Lejbowsky as part of the Party’s New Course, “Young leaders for a progressive order!” as General Secretary Steel put it.
Because comrade Lejbowsky left so suddenly, he wasn’t been able to finish some of the issues that needed attention. These issues will be your first problems to solve; Helen has left the documents on your desk for you to look over. Opening the document, there’ll be five or six letters from the citizens of Iron-1 with varying situations. They could be asking if you’d look into something, or letting you know about something which shouldn’t be happening. After reading each of the issues, you are tasked with deciding how you’re going to deal with them. They will have two or three options you can choose from; however, be careful as your decisions will influence your relationship with the Party and the Citizens. Each day you’ll have new problems which will require your attention.
There are two telephones on your desk, one’s black and the other is red. The black telephone is used for incoming calls through your secretary etcetera, while the red telephone is a secure line for those conversations you want to keep private.
Also on the desk is a map of the city, the districts and its buildings. At times the icons on the map will change to the colour Orange. This is to indicate that a mission is available for you, and you’ll have some scenarios where you will be required to decide a course of action. You will also need to assign an Agent to carry out your decision. There are six Agents to choose from, and to help you decide which agent to use, there are personal files on each one; simply choose the one you think will be best. You will have to manage resources. Iron-1 produces Metal Products, and you will use these resources to trade for other resources, such as Food, Medicine, Ore, Fuel and Consumer Goods, from the surrounding districts. If you don’t keep to the plan and produce enough resources then those higher up in the Party will become very disappointed with you. You can request more resources from the other districts and you can also set Iron-1 to produce more metal products using the Operation Mode. There are three Operation Modes: Standard, Intensive and Critical. Using Intensive and Critical will require more resources but you’ll gain more resources back. However, using these modes will have an effect on the Attitudes of the districts towards the City Committee and Budget.
You will have people come to you, like comrade Lieutenant Colonel Silvester Bayer, who pitches to you that the firefighters in the city need new equipment and will want you to give them more money in this year's budget. There will be others that come to you wanting increased funding this year, but only so much can be handed out so you’ll have to decide who gets anything and who goes without.
Every decision you make will affect you as leader of Iron-1 and you’re not going to be able to keep everyone happy. If you don’t keep them happy then your popularity will fall, and if it gets too low then you’ll find yourself taking an early retirement just like Lejbowsky. You will also have to keep an eye on the old pennies; you start with four hundred thousand in the coffers. So, you will need to take care of both the pennies and the folks if you want to keep your job.
Once you have completed the day's work then the door will open allowing you to leave the office for the night. This will then give you a few details on the day’s results, the districts, how much money you still have and your party's attitude. There may be an event after you’ve finished the day's work, you might go for a drink or have to make a speech somewhere.
In the settings you’ll find options for Display Mode (Windowed and Full Screen), Language (English, Russian, German and Chinese), Music and Sound Volume Sliders.
Positives
+ Nice graphics and artwork
+ Easy to play
+ Steam cloud
+ Has achievements
Negatives
- I found it a little bit slow (lots of reading)
- No cards currently
As the young, newly appointed head of the City Committee of Iron-1, lead the people of this communist factory town into a new and brighter future.
6/10
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Review from Steam

I found For the People was a good simulator/rp of how a centrally planned economy might work on a local level. This game follows a parody of the de-stalinization era of the Soviet Union with the main character being a young minister appointed to lead the new wave of reforms. The city you oversee known as Iron-1 is a diverse and corrupt metropolis reliant on a steel mill as its primary source of income. Without revealing much based on your actions you can either be the savior or downfall of your city. I hope in the future to see more from the creators, it would be interesting to see something akin to city skylines with Socialist economics being the different routes of how your city is structured. Whether it be council oriented, anarchist assembly, or committee you could create a solid game based on the ideology you follow.

Review from Steam

Good game, there are better alternatives in its niche though. Suzerain mainly. I still recommend it since there is so few games of its kind and I wish it all the success. And I do not regret my purchase at all but its flawed -
One thing I really disliked in this one is the 'playing detective' parts, where I had to guess culprits for a crime. Yeah totally not what I was reading this for. I am quite dumb and not into mystery so seems like I got most of these wrong. I didn't feel like that fit the game, you play as a City Committee guy not a detective and yet you have to pick culprits yourself? Eh not a fan. Felt out of touch with the rest of the game imo.
I did not like having to choose agents for operations either, but that at least makes more sense than playing detective. Still got most of those wrong, being dumb sucks eh.
Another thing I did not like is how unclear it is sometimes why you got an ending you've got.
My first ending was a bad end - being arrested on Sep 21 or 22, despite my party support being really high, I assumed it was because I had my agents fail at getting information out of one of the corrupt guys and being killed so I loaded a prior save, did everything the same except use a different mission & agent on the corrupt guy whose name I forgot, this time the mission also failed but the dude got beaten up I thought yikes guess im gonna be arrested again - but nope, nothing of the sort happened, I progressed normally with the days. So no idea why I got that end in the first place.
Overall the game is good, though it could've been much better, the characters feel too dry and you are not really allowed to get to know them.
Well to end on a positive note - I love the themes and story of this game. I like the main gameplay loop of choosing options for the documents you get. If there is a sequel or something I'll certainly be on the lookout for it.

Review from Steam

It is as good as a political visual novel gets but it is still a hesitant recommendation from me.
There are too many names and mechanics. City bartering mini game almost exclusively exist in a vacuum and even if you work your workers to the bone, game is not long enough for the adverse effects to be felt. However, almost every character tie to the overarching narrative quite well.
I played for 3 hours(only did one run), fumbled in the dark for the most of it but still managed to reach what could be considered best ending. I'd still say go grab the game if you are interested or on the fence since it is cheap and genre does not have much competition.

Review from Steam

The setting is charming, throughout all of the playthrough the player has a certain feeling of uncertainty about what might happen next, which helps immersion and suspense. Just the correct amount of ideology involved :D. Minimalistic and pleasureable illustration. Interesting gameplay with a necessity to balance interests between those of different factions. Many ending options spanning widely from good to bad, as I understood. Several more playthroughs are absolutely possible and would be interesting, because there are conflicting achievements. Many actions result in different outcomes. I'd say that in one playthrough it would be impossible to grow tired or irritated with any gamedesign problems even if there were any.
Warm greeting to the developers from a fellow Russian)

Review from Steam

Short interesting game
storyline have little variation
Many different mechanics, but some of them are not fully developed
7/10 - but full price to big
On discount must buy if you love game this type.