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

Gratuitous Tank Battles updated to 1.013

Here are the patch highlights:

  1. Lots more explanation and detail in the various tooltips
  2. Minimap now has a popup explanatory key
  3. mini-design icons now displayed on the design screens loading dialog
  4. Unlock system now ensures important unlocks come first
  5. Changes to armor color so it doesn’t confuse people with damage.
  6. Fixed various bugs
  7. You can now reinforce infantry by dropping new troops onto the top of existing ones where there are gaps.
  8. You can turn off the supplies siren now

Hope that meets with everyone’s approval :D


The Space Pirates and Gratuitous Zombie Battles Bundle (SPGZBB)

I love working with other indie game devs. We never need to talk to lawyers or draw up ten page (or 40 page!) contracts. We just come up with ideas on how to work together and then just do it. It’s how I’d love all business to be…

So Positech games (me!) and the guys at MinMaxGames (makers of SPAZ) got together and agreed a deal for the next seven days. That deal is very simple. You buy Gratuitous Space Battles, and you get Space Pirates and Zombies for free. If you prefer to think of it as buying SPAZ and getting GSB free, go ahead, it’s a free galaxy.

So what are these games?

At its core, Space Pirates and Zombies is an action based, skill oriented, top down space combat game. Check out the site:

and the video:

Gratuitous Space Battles is an unusual hybrid of RTS and management games, set in space. The big twist is that the battles are hands-off, the game is about starship and fleet design and positioning.

Check out the site:

and the video:

Interested? You can grab both games for the price of one here at the showmethegames site:



Updates coming to Gratuitous Tank Battles

One day I’ll take a day off.  In fact, ideally, it would be in the caribbean. anyway…

I’ve been improving the graphics for the flamethrowers in GTB, which sucked. They look a lot better in video, but for now, here is a little image (click to enlarge)

As well as having a nicer effect, they also leave more obvious flame effects on burning troops, and also they set fire to any units like tanks etc as well, just briefly, which looks much better.

The other BIG news in GTB update land is a new feature which is something I hesitated to change, but I personally found frustrating, so I suspect a few players do too. In the current game, if you place infantry in a trench, maybe there are 12 free slots, so you get 12 infantry. If 11 of them get killed, you have to twiddle your thumbs and wait for the last one to die before you can put any more in that spot. Worse, you can’t actually deconstruct infantry. Sooo…

As of the next patch, you can drop infantry on top of existing ones in trenches/bunkers and they simply fill in any vacant slots. You can’t do it where there are no free slots, and you can happily mix and match infantry of different types, so you can have 8 infantry and 4 snipers in one trench, if it works out that way… I find this to be much better, and it just removes a tiny frustration in the game.

There are lots of other improvements coming in an imminent patch, I just thought I’d mention those two today :D

In other news, i stupidly ruined my 24″ iiyama monitor by pulling out the HDMI cable too hard. I pulled the whole socket out :(. I can’t cope with 1 monitor so immediately bought a second, but it’s 1900 x 1080 instead of 1200, which I preferred. Happily, iiyama will repair the old one for the cost of me posting it (£15.30) plus £15 inspection fee, £20 labour plus parts. (They ship it back free). A new HDMI socket can’t be more than £1, so we are maybe paying £51 for fixing a £150 monitor. The plus side to this is that a) it’s a 1200 res monitor which are rare now and also b) It means a perfectly good lump of metal, plastic and circuitry didn’t end up in landfill for the sake of a tiny broken piece of metal. I’d feel bad otherwise…

The maths of unskippable piracy warnings

I bought a new blu-ray movie DVD and sat through three long, boring unskippable anti-piracy notices at the start of the movie.

Lets assume every person who watches DVDs / Blurays puts up with a similar inconvenience approximately once a week on average

Assume a total therefore of twenty seconds of time wasted per week, per viewer. 52 weeks a year is 17 minutes of wasted time per year, per consumer.

Assume 200 million US consumers + 200 million more from Europe, Japan, Australia etc, as a conservative figure.

That’s 56 million hours wasted per year by people watching this stuff. (6,392 man years)

at an average wage of say $16 an hour (src:

that means pointless unskippable copyright notices cost the global economy $896,000,000 a year, enough to create maybe 18,000 decent paying full time jobs.

Looked at another way, the lost time equates to (assuming average life expectancy of  78.1 yearts according to google) the lives of 81 people.

I hate piracy, but I hate stupidity too. And unskippable piracy warnings are not only stupid, they are wasting the best part of a billion dollars a year.

Pass it on… :D