Blooming Business: Casino Uses Cute Animals To Dissect Casinos' Predatory Nature

"Learning how casinos work should have you revolt at the manipulation and predatory practices."


Blooming Business: Casino is an upcoming tycoon game where you put together your own casino that will be attended by an assortment of anthropomorphic animals. During a hands-off demo preview and follow-up Q&A, creative director Paul Blachère detailed how Blooming Business: Casino tells stories through its emergent narrative.

"We've seen more and more, in the strategy market notably, a really emergent narrative," Blachère said. "We think this emergent narrative can really benefit from the tycoon form simply because if you look at the games that support this kind of fun, they are usually about domination and they're usually about strategy and violence--that's something that we think not everyone is necessarily trying to find in the stories they want to experience."

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Now Playing: Blooming Business: Casino - Official Gameplay Trailer

Blooming Business: Casino isn't built to defeat the player, according to Blachère. "Players can enjoy things at their own pace and they are safe--we're not going to destroy anything and they're not going to lose everything," he said.

Instead of trying to keep your business afloat, your goal in Blooming Business: Casino is to strive for maximum profits. To do this, you'll have to manage your relationships with other people, especially the high-spending VIPs that walk through your door. Blachère says that you won't connect with your dozens of employees or hundreds of clients, so the VIPs are where the emergent narrative comes into play--there are only a few VIPs in the game and they're all unique.

"You're not going to form a bond with [your employees]," Blachère said. "So that's why we have VIPs, or clients, which are characters that we wrote, that we've made and you're going to interact with them through the narrative events."

If all that sounds a little gross and manipulative, then yeah, that's the point that developer Homo Ludens is trying to make. When asked if there's a campaign in Blooming Business: Casino, Blachère said, "That's not going to happen for early access, for sure." However, there is an underlying message to the game: Casino owners don't have to do much to make money, but they have to be very manipulative in order to squeeze the most amount of money out of their customers' pockets.

"We hope the people who come may not be familiar with casinos and will learn how casinos work," Blachère said. "And learning how casinos work should have you revolt at the manipulation and predatory practices. To us, by putting you into the shoes of the casino owner, we will have you reflect on what you're doing--that's the point. And that's also why we do want the whole narrative events to happen--they're good for taking your head out of the gameplay and realize what's happening."

Blooming Business: Casino has a demo on Steam if you want to try it right now and see that narrative in action. The game will launch in Steam Early Access "soon."

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