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

Website revamp(s) incoming

It never rains but it pours. Tons of stuff that I’ve been lining up for aggggeeesss is all about to happen at once. In the not too distant future, there will be a new look not only for Positech’s home page, but also this blog. I know both sites look a bit rubbish. They are one step away from someone’s geocities homepage. It’s a bit sad really…

For a self-confessed business and stats-junkie like me, this brings painful confessions, because there is no easy way for me to be able to say in six months that ‘getting my websites redesigned gave me a ROI of 14.23% due to the increased sales thanks to the pro-look of the site’. Nobody ever emails you to say they had considered buying Democracy 2, but only decided to do it once the background graphics of my blog looked more professional. There is no way to quantify this stuff except by gut feeling.

The best way I can look at it is to say ‘I make $X. I should spend $Y of that on making sure my company store front looks good, and is well promoted’. It seems to be working so far.

In actual gamedev-related news, work continues on Democracy 3. I have been working on a much better financial model for government debt. In the old game, it was rubbish because you just accrued more and more debt at a fixed interest rate, and it it went beyond a fixed debt-ceiling, you got thrown out of office immediately and the game ended. That was partly because back when Democracy 2 was made, the idea that any western government could even get close to defaulting on their debt, even enough to seriously affect the interest rate for their debt…was laughable.


Democracy 3 will be much cooler. There is an equation that relates the level of debt to GDP of a country to the ‘riskiness’ of it’s debt as perceived by the bond market. This gets assessed behind the scenes and the countries credit rating is calculated. If it drops, there is a short term ‘shock’ effect on the market, as well as a rise in interest rates. It’s all rather cool :D That means that the finance page for the game can now show you the global economy in a graph, along with the current debt interest rate and credit rating, and debt/GDP ratio. GDP in this case is kinda fudged (it’s a fixed range, which is multiplied by the GDP value from the game), but it all works pretty well, and is a huge improvement.


3 thoughts on Website revamp(s) incoming

  1. It would be interesting if there was a scenario included with the game where you became the leader of the country in very a bad economic condition and high debt and you had to work to improve the country enough to meet certain objectives or it’s game over. Slashing costs and raising taxes would cause economic misery, but defaulting on debt would cause the finance sector to be in ruins and would lead to bad relations with other countries.

    You could call it something like the “Greece Scenario”. Remember kids, losing is fun!

  2. It seems like you want Democracy 3 to be much more than just a straight add-on sequel. Really looking forward to seeing how this game develops as your turn-based games are the ones I tend to buy.

    Any chance of some wars in the game? Military budget through the roof, national debt growing. You’ll need a full development team at this rate.

  3. Hey Cliff,

    I just wanted to let you know that I’ve been reading your blog for probably over a year — I bought GSB and enjoyed it enough to consider it money well spent.

    I have not played your previous games, but reading about the work going into Democracy 3 has sold me on it. You’ve earned yourself a buyer. :)

    Thanks for the great work!

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