Monthly Archives: May 2013

sales

Today marks the official start of the 2013 SHOW ME THE SALES promotion. Woohoo! Let there be fireworks, cakes and champagne!* This is a different kind of sale than you are used to. It’s not a bundle, and it’s not being run by a portal like steam or gamers gate, or anyone like that. It’s being run entirely by indie developers who sell their games direct. The sales are direct on the developers website, all showmethegames does is just aggregate all the game information and provide discount links for you lucky people. It’s 100% indie. or maybe 200% indie, who really knows these days…

CHECK OUT THE GAMES HERE

showmethesales_screenshot_s

This is a sale where there are no middlemen, or anyone taking a cut of any of the money other than the hard working pixel-bashers and code-wranglers who made the games. You buy whatever games you like, direct from the developers website. Showmethegames.com is a site owned and run by me! out of the goodness and generosity of my ferengi heart. The thing is, not taking a cut of the sales also means the ad budget is zero. Nada. Zip, nothing. So that means we appreciate people tweeting and blogging about the sale all that much more.

So please TWEET or BLOG or post about it, or upvote it somewhere so everybody gets to hear about it. We have games like Defcon, Revenge of the titans, Voxatron, Scoregasm and loads more. Plus even if you don’t like the games on sale, there are lots more on the www.showmethegames website. The sale runs from…

11th may to 18th may.

Tell your friends! Tell your enemies! Tell neutral countries!

*fireworks cake and champagne not included.

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Like many UK indies, I get screwed quite badly by banks. I actually love my company account bank, but for arcane reasons, paying US dollars into them from the US is a bit of a pain, it doesn’t work for everyone, and I end up routing the payments through another bank, and even worse, the exchange rate that you get when you have the cheek to just pay dollars into a GBP bank account are frankly not funny.

In short, the banks are screwing us over.

Unfortunately, the process of getting around this is, to put it mildly ‘somewhat bureaucratic’. Now there are such things as UK banks that will let you have a $US balance in them, even if you run a business (and lets not even get started on the way that business accounts are hideously overcharged for and nickel-and-dimed compared to personal accounts). The big problem is, you can’t just go and open a $US business account. The only bank I could find that was happy to do that actually demanded I open a £ bank account with them, to which I could then ‘add on’ a $ bank account for free. Why? WHY? And for the privilege (ha!) of owning that account, I’d be charged a monthly fee. Thanks guys.

Now, after doing some simple maths, and working out how much I’d save over a month with a better exchange rate which I could manage using a proper (non ripoff) forex service to shuffle money from $US account to £UK account, I work out it is still massively worth doing. So that’s what I’ve been trying to do for the last month or so… Of course, banks still seemingly operate in the seventeenth century, so it takes them 10 days to write to you (why? isn’t email a thing now?) to tell you the form needs changing, so you need to send it back, and that will take another ten days and so on… And they want to see your passport (yes really) and photocopies of six months of your bank statements (yes really) and also proof of your address, maybe a bank statement (err…aren’t these online now?).

I half expected them to ask for the squire of the village to send a letter impressed with his seal in red wax before they would open a bank account. And when they do, no doubt they will mail me (isn’t email a thing now? seriously?) a lot of patronizing crap about bank loans and financing, and maybe inviting me to get advice from a branch ‘business adviser’ half my age with a tenth of my experience. Arrgh Argggh ARRRGHHHH!

The real sadness is, this shouldn’t even be a thing. Banks should catch up. There are forex services that exist purely because banks screw you over. Paypal exists because banks international payments suck. Zopa and Funding circle exists because banks loan rates AND savings rates suck. There is a whole eco-system of businesses out there that exist purely because high street banks suck so much.

I’m sure eventually it will all prove worthwhile right?

So…democracy 3…

There are a whole bunch of voter groups. here is a nice shiny image showing what they are.

voter_groups

My current dilemma is adding enough effects that determine the changes over time in the membership of these groups. Some are pretty obvious, as in the three income groups membership is determined by the underlying economic simulation regarding income / redistribution / your policies on tax etc. But many are more subtle. For example, what would increase the number of liberals in your country? I already have a bunch of ‘membership’ effects, but I think it would be cool to add more, without it requiring adding tons and tons of new policies. Here are my current ideas, and I welcome more, or criticisms of my reasoning:

  1. motorists should be increased/decreased by traffic congestion (more pleasant way to travel)
  2. commuters increased by bus subsidies and rail subsidies (presumably making it cheaper / nicer)
  3. liberals increased by race discrimination act and community policing? Also boosted by teaching evolution.
  4. Environmentalists boosted by recycling, hybrid cars and micro generation grants. (daily routine or economic benefits to being green)
  5. Retired boosted by pensions (afford to quit early)
  6. State schools and childcare provision should boost parents membership (having kids less expensive or hassle)
  7. Vigilante mobs should boost conservative membership (fear of the mob!)
  8. Winter fuel subsidy should slightly boost the retired, as they live longer!

Like I say, I’m looking for long term effects on membership of a group, not just happiness of existing members. For example, car tax pleases environmentalists, but I doubt it persuades anyone to take up the green cause who wasn’t already persuaded.