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

Share dealing and Birthdays

So I took all the money that remained from my insane specualtion on marks And Spencers, and this mronin hrough the whole lot on the commodities market ‘Short Lead’, which as it stands is up 6% today (although it was already up 4 when I bought).


It has to be a better bet than M&S, who amazingly dropped AGAIN today.

perhaps I better stick to trying to make a living from games? Today I have got some of the ‘year-end-summary’ screen looking nicer. This used to be a bit bland, but now it is effectively your birthday party, and even pleases or depresses you depending on how many guests show up. It’s like a once-yearly reality check for you to see what your friends think of you :D

This afternoon I plan a long playtest again.

BTW WordPress is causing me grief. very buggy. grrrrrrrr.

Virgins Letters to thieves


has got a lot of thieves up in arms. here is a typical comment on the BBC website:

“I think it is just stupid because people cant be bothered 2 buy every cd with there favourite song on because people might not like all the songs they sing”


Don’t buy it then. Don’t think you are still entitled to have it. Do these people ever pay in restaurants? Or do they only pay for the chips they ate, not the few they left because they were a bit too crispy?

I’m sick of thieves trying to rationalise their actions. this attitude is so widespread now, that I am wondering about what other programming work I could do for a living, after the next game is done. I just don’t see the point of working so hard to make stuff people expect to take for free. it’s soul-destroying…

Cue someone tryinfg to re-define theft to make taking other peoples work for free seem ok…


Phear my share-dealing skillz

or not… as the case may be. I’ve long been 100% sure that UK retailers Marks & Spencers is a sure fight stock market bet.

Fuck. I lost hundreds of pounds today on the stock market. Grrrrr. The thing is, the company is VERY profitable, its profits last year and its revenue were up on the previous year. It has a very well defined market niche (eco-friendly upmarket food and high quality clothes) and strong customer loyalty, and unmatched brand recognition. Plus its sales have only dropped 4%. Why on earth did its shares drop so much?

So much for my attempts to be a stock market guru. I guess I’ll stick to indie games, at least they make *some* money!

Balancing middle and late game code

I’ve been working on the balance of the game today. Stuff like how easily you put on weight, how much money you earn etc. I’ve made some big changes and hopefully tomorrows playthroughs will show an improvement in the long term balance.

The problem with testing a simulation game is it gets too easy to just play it the way *you* play those games. I have quite a specific style of management game playing. I tend to eventually gravitate to a single variable (like population size in sim city, or profits in Vegas:MIB, and almost ignore other aspects of the game as I zone out on trying to maximise that variable. When I play kudos, I tend to be very career-focused, so I need to ensure I don’t polish and tweak that area of the game to the exclusion of other areas. I also tend to never finish games, but keep restarting with different tactics, so the middle and late games can get a bit repetitive. I’m aware of this tendency, and keen to fix it this time around.

One of the ways I hope to do this is by unlocking content as the game plays. The mechanic for this is social events organised by you, the more you do, the more options you unlock. If you play the game naturally, this means you are still unlocking some new options after an hour or more of play, so the game stays fresh all that time at least. By the time the game is finished I hope there to be enough content and variety that the game stays fresh throughout all ten years.