This casual tower defense game tells a story of factory strikes and workers' rights in 20th century industrial Zagreb.
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Release Date:
Sep 5, 2023

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About This Game

Picket Line is a casual single-player tower defense game that tells the story of a factory strike in 20th century Europe. Players act as the Union by controlling the workers who form a picket line. The goal of the game is to block any potential workers who want to enter the factory to keep it working (popularly known as Scabs), and to hold the strike long enough until the factory gives up and accepts the Union's terms.

The game starts with two Picket Liners standing in front of the factory which the player can freely move around. Scabs who want to enter the factory come in from various directions, so the player must place the Picket Liner in the path of the Scab, because instead the Scab will enter the factory and start working, which is shown as a light coming from the window.

The game is lost when all the windows are lit, meaning that the all the factory rooms are occupied by Scabs.

Each day of strike becomes increasingly more difficult as more and more Scabs start coming. Some Scabs may be even more desperate than others and start coming in with improvised weapons that allow them to pass a regular Picket Liner without a problem. The city might even call the police that will pass through workers with larger banners as well. That is why it is up to the player to form a stronger picket line by placing striking workers next to each other, which turns them into visibly stronger Picket Liners.

As the strike lasts, it also gains in popularity within the working class. The citizens start supporting the strike with resources like larger banners, and more workers from the factory are ready to join the picket line. The player can choose to upgrade their existing Picket Liners with stronger banners or even use their influence to convince some Scabs to leave the factory.

The story is based on a true historic event in Zagreb at the beginning of the 20th century. At that time the industrial periphery of Zagreb lived through an industrial boom, which resulted in many factories exploiting their workers. One of those places was the biscuit factory Bizjak, consisting almost entirely of female workers who worked for 12 hours a day and received miserable pay for their work.

In reality the factory strike from 1928 ended with a (technically) legal police intervention, but it was marked as a moment in time when female workers fought tooth and nail to receive basic rights for a decent life in a cruel and unjust system. This event was precedent for many other strikes in industrial Zagreb of that time.

Picket Line was first created during Future Jam 2023, organized by the Croatian Game Development Alliance (CGDA) in collaboration with the Austrian Culture Forum in Zagreb and Croatian gaming incubator PISMO. Later we turned it into a finished game that you can now play through Steam. We hope you like it and learn more about strikes, picket lines and the history of work by playing!

Special thanks to Georg Hobmeier (Causa Creations), Aleksandar Gavrilović (Gamechuck) and Dominik Cvetkovski (Hu-Iz-Vi) for mentoring the Future Jam, and to the Trešnjevka Neighborhood Museum for providing us with history of our city.

System Requirements

    • OS *: Windows 7
    • OS: Windows 10
* Starting January 1st, 2024, the Steam Client will only support Windows 10 and later versions.

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