You take on the role of manager at a small (but growing!) talent agency. As you cultivate and train the newest generation of young pop stars, you'll have to decide who to hire and who to fire, who gets promoted when things go well and who gets reprimanded when things get sour. The personal lives of these young celebrities are a part of your business, and the life of a pop star isn't always a happy one.
Their crowning personal achievements can be your greatest commercial successes, but their emotional meltdowns and PR nightmares can spell financial disaster for your company.
- Idol Manager is a more realistic take on the Japanese pop idol industry, with a strong focus on the controversial issues that real producers have to deal with.
- Decide how to deal with crises including gossip, vandalism, stalkers, or threats directed at your agency and the pop idols you manage.
- Manage relationships between the different pop idols in your group, as you deal with cliques, internal feuds, and bullying.
- Grow your fanbase by varying your tactics and appealing to a wide variety of demographics.
- Produce singles, hold concerts, and organize overseas tours to capitalize on your group's popularity and bring in revenue.
- Hire staffers to help deal with logistics and keep your agency running smoothly.
Max started working on Idol Manager in 2014. Max was an avid follower of the Japanese idol scene, but he noticed that all of the games and anime focusing on the Japanese idol industry showed only a cute and idealized version of pop idol life. He wanted to make a game that included the rawness and drama that made following real idols so interesting. With that in mind, Max began developing Idol Manager as a business simulator that would provide players with a variety of choices, with a focus on showing realistic consequences and avoiding moralization to create an experience where the player never feels that there is one "right" answer.
In 2015, Aiwa (artist) and I (Kuiper, the co-designer and scriptwriter) joined the team. Like Max, I find the real pop idol industry in Japan more interesting than the cute sanitized version that is often presented in games and anime, and one of my goals for this game is to depict the industry in a way that shows some of the fun and lively side of pop idol life without painting over the more ugly and unpleasant parts of showbiz.
(the embedded images below have been sized to fit the forum's width requirements, click on any of the images to view a full-size screenshot)
Hold auditions to form a giant supergroup--or focus your resources and attention on a few core members
How will your idols spend their time? Plan activities to increase their performance potential--and their earning potential.
Idols aren't the only employees you need to manage. Customize your agency and build the ultimate staff team to support your stars.
Business proposals come across your desk every day. Accept them, reject them, or sit down at the negotiating table and see if you can work out better terms.
Sometimes, the business decisions you make can have personal implications. The idols you manage might be business assets, but they're people too!
Some proposals are "one and done" arrangements, while others are ongoing relationships with different businesses. Be careful when managing a long-term business relationship--there's more at stake, and you might find yourself liable for damages if you don't read the fine print
Scandal is sometimes unavoidable. You can use the press as a tool for damage control to save careers - or sabotage them.
We've started doing a series of dev log videos demonstrating various gameplay features that we've implemented so far. Here are the first several episodes of that:
Dev Log #1: Doing Business
Dev Log #2: Producing Singles
Max Rogozin - designer, programmer
Kuiper - co-designer, writer
Aiwa - artist
Keep up with the project:
I'm curious to hear what people think about the game in terms of the themes we've chosen. There's some real dissonance between the cutesy visuals and the potentially dark subject matter that our game is bound to delve into, and I assure you that dissonance is intentional and by design. Does the idea of a game that explores the less-savory aspects of the idol industry entice you, or repel you? How does the visual style affect how you perceive the game? I'd love to hear your thoughts.