Alpha Trump: one of many experiments in quick satirical games


Can you beat French President Macron at the handshake game?

Alpha Trump is a game about exerting your dominance on other public officials using the power of the handshake. The game, where you play as President Donald Trump, is a play on his tactic of doing aggressive, dominance-establishing handshakes in view of cameras on world leaders and even allies in Washington. As if taken from some shitty New Age book on masculinity, the handshake represents the narcissistic, need-for-validation mindset of 45, as if he were a teenager struggling with self-identity and the authority of overbearing parents.

OK that was harsh, but honestly the “Trump Handshake” is ripe for satire. And it also provides ammunition for a personal goal of mine: to experiment with making journalist and satirical web games in less than a week. I’m inspired by the work of Everyday Arcade, a team of developers and designers who produced numerous satirical web games during the 2016 presidential election at GOP Arcade, one of which was published in the New York Times op-ed section. I’m also inspired by the work of satirical graphic artists, like Matt Bors and Scott Bateman, who create hilarious and timely political art.

Alpha Trump is my first web game developed using Construct 2, an easy-to-use game-making tool that works well with the web environment. I’ve made games in Unity before, and although I find it to be a robust game-making tool, I find it to be a bit too overkill for the kinds of games I want to make at this moment. So far, I find Construct 2 to be a good program producing these quick web games. Including the time spent learning the program, it took me about 30 hours to design and develop the game, including the art.

I still need to work on the mobile interaction in the game, as it was a bit wonky when I implemented it. So as of now, the interaction doesn’t work on mobile devices. That’s priority No. 1 to fix. And while I’m fixing any issues with the game, I will be working on my second game, which I’m thinking may be about the “health care” bill winding its way through Congress right now.

You can find the Alpha Trump game files here.

If you do play the game and you have constructive feedback to offer, I would be appreciative. You can send me your feedback in the contact form below.