A riot simulator, appropriately titled RIOT, is currently in development from a team led by Leonard Menchiari. Menchiari is a former Editor/Cinematographer at Valve and brings his experience to this ambitious project that appears to still be in the beginning stages of development. The game is slated to be released on PC, Mac, iOS, Android and OUYA. The developers are hoping to get approval on Steam Greenlight for distribution through Valve’s popular digital gaming platform.

What we know about the game already mostly focuses on the game’s concept and appearance. RIOT intends to allow the player to experience both sides of civil strife, rioters and law enforcement, in simulations based on real-world locations and events. The graphics are a pixelated style enhanced with shading effects, reminiscent of retro-inspired games like Super Brothers: Sword & Sworcery EP and gaming of the 1980’s on PC and home consoles.

Less known are specific gameplay elements, which appear to be still developing. However, information from interviews at IndieGames and The New York Times offer some early insight. Menchiari says that “the main focus is to be able to manipulate the crowd with very few and simple commands” and that a “single player won’t be controlled, what you control is the mass.” This implies a strategy genre for the game with an accessible interface, but at this point nearly everything is speculation. The game will feature hotseat multi-player and single-player campaigns, and successfully winning the game will require more than brute force.

The development of this game is very topical, as protests and riots have been gaining increasing presence among the world news headlines in recent years. Civil unrest has been – if not occurring more frequently – certainly gaining more global exposure as social and digital media increase the effectiveness of protesters. The crowd funding campaign on Indiegogo has already exceeded its $15,000 goal with 17 days left. The developer intends to provide scenarios in the game based on real events in their home country of Italy along with Greece, Egypt, New York, and more locations being considered with the proper budget. They intend to visit these locations with protests in progress to research and document the events for creating an authentic simulation. You can vote for the game to be distributed through Steam on their page for Steam Greenlight. Menchiari says he intends to finish development for the game sometime this year.

You can view the official trailer below.

Raymond Dwyer
Former Contributor--Raymond is an architect in Chicago who has been playing video games for as long as he can remember. For all that the city offers, he mostly prefers sitting down to a good game when he can spare the time. Buildings look better rendered than they do in real life anyway.