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The Change Architect is a short, free game about managing protests

A corrupt politician is about to seize power through fraud. A movement of thousands stands ready to make themselves heard. But in The Change Architect, you're not out on the streets yourself. You're organising things from the cosy confines of your flat, using social feeds and direct messages to paint a picture of how things are going outside. 

Released this week, Chard and de Fault's 10-minute protest management vignette is the latest in a series of starkly-coloured, intimately-set conversations contained under The Sacrifices banner. While they each attempt to tell grounded political stories set in the UK, their latest feels particularly charged at this moment in time.

The Change Architect screenshot shows policemen on a monitor while a shaded figure stands by the window

(Image credit: Chard and de Fault)

With your friend Adi in the room to bounce ideas off, you'll be tasked with deciding where to direct protestors through text prompts. All the while, footage from the scene streams onto your monitor, grainy black and white film striking against the room's decidedly yellow twist on Kentucky Route Zero's minimalist look.

It's frighteningly reminiscent of how protests and riots play out in the current age. Of how, during this year's Black Lives Matter movements across the US, you'd frequently catch retweets telling folks on the ground where to move to next, how to avoid kettling manoeuvres, or more morbid advice on dealing with tear gas and rubber bullet attacks. 

The Change Architect's brief runtime may pit you as one person against a power structure. But where Watch Dogs Legion's "play as anyone" system really just turned absolute strangers into action protagonists, Chard and de Fault recognise that movements aren't won by individuals. Even in your room, directing events from a safe distance with Adi helping you pull the strings, protest is still a collaboration.

The Change Architect is currently free on Itch.io, with a Steam release planned sometime soon.