If you’re going to make a real-time strategy game all about slavery, it’s probably best to set the thing in space and make all the people pixelated and raceless, to try to tiptoe around the obvious controversies of forced labor’s terrestrial history.
Still, the concept for Slave Driver (for Windows PC) by the appropriately named Irony Interactive, is to be the brutal and rapacious owner of a space mine. In the game, if it gets funded and completed, you’re tasked with building a space-mining monopoly to “maximize profit and minimize the chances of a full blown revolution.”
To be fair, Civilization IV featured slavery (and emancipation) but the entire game was not predicated on enslavement. Slave Driver definitely is. Irony Interactive is looking for $15,000 to make this game; its Kickstarter just opened.
“The harshness of your Slave-Drivers can be controlled at each Labor Camp to determine the level of strictness on your slaves in the nearby area,” the developers write. Hard-drivin’ slavers will get things done fast, but the slaves also die a lot faster. The player also controls military units to destroy rival companies and put down revolts.
An email announcing the project said players will manage different bases “across the 9 planets (yes, even Pluto).” We’ve emailed to ask whether that includes things here on Earth. Either way, you can see the concept for Slave Driver in that debut trailer above.