A downloadable game for Mac OS X
Border Force is a border protection simulator, in which players attempt to prevent refugees from sneaking into their country by boat. The gameplay is reminiscent of Space Invaders, with boats entering the game from the north and travelling south, with the player moving back and forth below the border to intercept them.
Over time, the player will inevitably miss a boat or two, which will then make it to the southern mainland. The player might also have to rescue refugees who have fallen from sinking or damaged boats. If the player feels that they're being overrun, they can call in Border Force air support and push a large number of boats north of the border simultaneously. This ability is on a cool down and can only be used a small number of times per level.
While turning boats back tends to improve public opinion of the Border Force program, deaths at sea, unauthorised arrivals on the mainland and rising populations in detention centres cause public opinion of the program to sink. When public opinion reaches zero, the game is over.
Our intention with this game was to use a videogame system to encourage players to think about and critique the political systems that surround border control policies in developed countries. The game takes its inspiration from other games with political or social themes, including Papers Please, Points of Authority and Phone Story.
Building a game that tackles a complex and difficult issue and tries to do so in a sensitive and thought-provoking way in a weekend is a difficult task. To be honest, we're not sure if we've achieved what we set out to do. However, we have built a prototype to a standard that we think can inspire discussion and through playing and talking about our current version, we hope we can come up with some new ideas for developing the game further.
Border Force was created by James, Troy, Brendan, Grifin and Jeremy.