Game Design, Programming and running a one-man games business…

Magazines for Kudos 2

I’m currently writing the code for magazines for Kudos 2. Magazines are something you can buy, but only read once. The upside is that they come out every week, so that you never get into the situation you had with the original game, where you read all the books and thus had ‘finished’ that part of the game.

The downside is that the magazines are an expensive and slow way to pick up knowledge. I’m trying to balance stuff so it’s an interesting decision to make. You can buy books and magazines at your leisure, effectively putting you in control of when to learn, as opposed to evening classes. This means they must have some disadvantages to counteract this. One option is for the magazines to only cover the basics of each profession, scientific_principles_1 basic_law etc etc. The problem si that it’s exactly the ‘late game’ stuff I need to expand on, not the early stuff.

This has cropped up because I’m trying to decide if magazines need a pre-requisite system or not. I’m guessing not. magazines are by definition mass market things. I reckon I’ll make them beginners guides only, just like books, but more relaxing.

Another option is for magazines to be auto-read. Assuming you read a few pages each day, just like I assume with newspapers. This would be possibly the more interesting choice. This does slightly ‘break’ the ‘one-task per day’ paradigm of the game, but it’s already borked with pets and newspapers anyway, both of which have daily effects without user intervention.

I think that might be better…

5 thoughts on Magazines for Kudos 2

  1. If you want magazines to expand on late game options, perhaps trade or specialty journals could help? Plenty of professionals have their own in-depth and technical magazines – think engineers, lawyers, accountants, mechanics, doctors, scientists. They aren’t exactly available at your local newsagents though.

    Maybe also think about other things magazines typically offer: inside info, latest gadgets, employment offers, respect (Kudos?) for contributors and the letters to the editor.

  2. Expanding on what Grim said, sometimes you can’t get journals unless you’re a professional. Like to be a member of the ACM, I think you have to prove you’re in a computing profession. This is more true for professional organizations, and then the journals usually go out to the member base, but you could use professional knowledge as a pre-requisite for understanding the magazine/journal. If a pre-med student picked up a Journal of the American Medical Association, she wouldn’t get nearly as much out of it as a third year med student.

  3. When I think of magazines in real life I see them as some mix of entertainment and education. Are they currently planned only to increase knowledge, or do they have other value also?

  4. The current magazines I’ve added are a serious news one, a law magazine, a computing one, a science one and a mindless celebrity one. I’m going to do some more playtesting to see how they work before adding any more.

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