In Construction Boom!, two players take the roles of competing real-estate contractors on the island of Malta.
It is a turn-based, competitive game in which the winner is the player who makes the most money with no regard for safety, architectural consistency, or the preservation of historical buildings.
To win, the players must focus on constructing quickly and on maximising their revenues.
The two-player game was designed following a number of construction incidents that took place in 2019 in order to make a statement against the unrestrained real estate development business.
The art designed into the game replicates tropes and daily events of Maltese life.
Referring to the development process, Mr Schellekens said the game is purposely satirical, and quoting newspaper columnist Molly Ivins, continued that “satire is traditionally the weapon of the powerless against the powerful”.
Although it was planned to be launched at the International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games in Malta, the COVID-19 outbreak pushed the launch to a virtual format.
Designers hope that this print-and-play game will engage players in social criticism and raise awareness about the construction boom, a reality that they hope will make these players experience the same political powerlessness as citizens as they did while developing it.
The intention is for the game to be commercially launched in the future.