The 1894 Election was the first new festival in Fallen London since Fruits of the Zee began in 2014. The event allowed players to pick one of three candidates to support in an election for mayor of Fallen London. As with any new festival, we were eager to see how it would be accepted by players, and what experiences they would have throughout the two weeks of intense campaigning.
The final tally of the event found Sinning Jenny a clear and resplendent winner of the mayoral title, with an astounding 55% of support from players. The Contrarian came up second with the Bishop of Southwark begrudgingly in last place. It seems many citizens would prefer to keep devils around, go figure.
During Election, players could choose between three different political careers in order to support their chosen candidate:
- The Campaigner: Leaflets and rosettes, shouting and posters. The Campaigner is part foot-soldier, part strategist.
- The Fixer: Hints and nudges, velvet glove and iron fist. The Fixer arranges matters just so, sweeping obstacles from the path to victory.
- The Agitator: Pressure and pamphlets, vitriol and rotten vegetables. The Agitator harries and harasses the opponent’s campaign.
Like many pieces in Fallen London, our writers scoured Victorian history to find some interesting truths to add to the event. Each career was inspired by their research of the Victorian political canvassers, the back-room wheeler-dealers, and the firebrands in the taprooms of London past.
Each career could be raised to level 20. Player characters’ career levels were combined with their Notability level to determine how much support went towards their chosen candidate. Within the first few days it became apparent that Fixers were the most popular career type, though the Campaigners rallied to produce almost as many level 20s despite their smaller number.
Sinning Jenny dominated with high-powered contributors (those with level 20 careers and high Notability, which maxes at 15). After the first week we noticed that proportionally, the Bishop’s supporters were punching way above their weight – in terms of the divide of his supporters, he had a disproportionate number of max contributors, which we reflected in the updated stories for the second week.
We were also curious about how the different careers would break down between candidates. Jenny’s supporters played fair and dirty in equal measure, while the Contrarian had an armada of unscrupulous Fixers (he is still disappointed about his lack of loyal Agitators). The Bishop’s supporters had the highest percentage of both Campaigners and Agitators – perhaps his particular political rhetoric attracted those who favoured forthrightness in politics.
There was an option for players to be able to switch their support from one candidate to another. Only 3.7% of players switched their support during the two week campaign, a much smaller percentage than we anticipated. With Election, we wanted to try creating specific content based on how candidates were trending. So, in the second week, we added new secrets about the candidates, expecting to see a shift of players. The secrets instead inspired exceptionally passionate debates across our social channels and forums, but did not deter players from their candidates.
We also questioned whether players may suddenly shift to the candidate in the lead (in hope of rewards) as the Election drew to a close, but actually there was a slight shift away from Jenny right before the festival ended! Generally, players stuck with their chosen candidate through thick or thin, and so in the end we were left with an absolute winner, the candidate for the sinners, the suffering, and the lost, Sinning Jenny!
Fallen London Mayors officiate for one year, and so we would like to open up a discussion on our forum as to who should be in the running for next year’s Election.