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

And today it’s a new Democracy 3 version!

So today it’s the turn of the other game… Democracy 3

headerI’ve now set build 1.06 live. To re-cap previous changelists…

Version 1.05
Bug Fixes-
    Some achievements that previously did not register are now being triggered correctly.
    Fixed wrong values for liberals in school sponsorship dilemma.
    Fixed misleading wording on sales tax description.
    Next-turn processing/loading screen is now more obvious when it has finished.
    Possible corruption in fireworks effect hopefully now fixed.
    Halved the effect on socialist/capitalist membership caused by market meltdowns.
    Halved the boost given to socialists for income tax.
    Reduced impact of equality on socialists.
    Added a negative impact on socialists happiness for high unemployment.
    GDP is slightly less dependent on the global economy now.
    GDP is less affected by technology situations now.
    School sponsorship dilemma now affects socialists and capitalists.
    Child Labour Law dilemma is less predictable now.
    All of the effects of Tobacco tax are now scaled by Tobacco Use.
    Private prisons now both anger and please liberals depending on the level of spending.
New Content:
    Modding sliders is now correctly supported.
    Credit Ratings events now tell you the current credit rating.

Version 1.06
Bug Fixes-
    Fixed bug in ban fox hunting dilemma.    
    Fixed some typos.

I’m pretty happy with this build. I just need to get final linux/mac stuff done now and then I’m heading towards saying it’s released. That’s totally arbitrary TBH, as I’ll likely patch it more later. it just means I’ll aim for a steam/gog release.

Redshirt version 0.5 released!

Hi there fellow space cadets, we have good news, version v0.5 of the Redshirt beta has been released:

redshirt_Logo_transparent_500widthYou can get the latest version simply by downloading from your original link. Any problems, just email me. Here are the changes:

  • – Happiness and Health attribute bars no longer slidable! (Fixed bug:
  • – FIXED BUG: ‘mutual friends’ list was showing wrong list of friends (
  • – FIXED: Blank spacebook feed bug.
  • – Profiles now feature clickable Interests links (also interest and skill ‘details’ windows now feature player’s current skill/interest level)
  • – FIXED: Bug where last letter would often get cut off on event/work summary screens.
  • – FIXED: Bug where events etc which both raise and lower skills were displayed in the ‘how to raise skill’ list.
  • – S.H.O.P. items now have varying ‘expiry’ dates before they need repair. Items now no longer need to be trashed and rebought; instead, can repair at any time (at varying cost, depending on how close the item is to expiry).
  • – FIXED: Bug where relationship breakup would leave your ex’s profile picture on the side panel briefly.
  • – Certain ‘romantic’ events (e.g. romantic dinner) now won’t make your platonic friends jealous if they’re not invited. (More romantic events to be added soon)
  • – Characters going to romantic events with each other (when they’re already romantically involved with others!) will trigger relationship drama. :)
  • – Failed group events (i.e. where no-one at all turned up) no longer give you the event rewards anyway.

Expect democracy 3 news soon too. Yay, it’s all happening!

App store submissions process hell.

I had the best of intentions I really did. I was going to handle the mac side of stuff within positech in the future. In the past I’ve partnered with other companies (redmarblegames)  to get my mac ports done, and basically handed the whole ‘mac versions of positech games’ out to another company entirely, and not really focused on them at all. It was time for a change, for two reasons:

  • I wanted to grow positech, and by taking this stuff ‘in house’ it’s a way of effectively growing the company, as I am then spending mroe time/money up front but reaping greater rewards. It’s an easy way to ‘grow’ without producing more games.
  • Windows 8. This was a BAD idea. I panicked a bit that windows may be dying, and mac rising, and I needed to pivot slightly that way. I’m less concerned now balmer is going, but now we have the possibility of SteamOS. Either way, being windows-only isn’t a good plan.

My crazy solution was to just hire a developer to do a mac and linux port, at which point I take over, and then handle the app store submission and so on.


Seriously, I know it’s probably easier if you live and breath the world of apple, but is the process some big elaborate joke, or is it actually this arcane and silly? I had been warned, MANY TIMES by other indies who have gone through it, but I thought ‘how bad can it be?’. Firstly it took Apple 3 months to approve me as an apple developer, for which I get the honor of paying them $100 a year for the opportunity to hand them 30% of my profits. Thanks guys. Before the process ended, they sent (from a do-not-reply address or a ‘fuck you’ address as i call them) a ‘customer satisfaction survey’ which they demanded I respond to within in seven days. Nice touch…

They *did* phone me to check I wasn’t a terrorist who was going to undermine the reputation of apple by releasing porn apps (I presume this is what they care about. personally I’d be more concerned that there were anti-suicide nets set up at the factories where my product was being assembled, than any reputational damage likely to be caused by a stray bit of naked flesh but hey…) The MI5 standard identity-check phone call went like this”

Them: “Is this your address? (reads out my address unprompted)”

Me: “Yes”

That’s it. Nice security there.

Anyway, I’m now getting someone else to handle the appstore submission, because frankly, life is too short and the insane bureaucratic nonsense just upsets me and angers me. I’m a game designer, game programmer and business dude, and I should be doing what I’m good at, not making sense of stuff other people already understand as routine. Arggghhh.

Anyway, although ballmer fucked up a lot at microsoft, something they really understood, and apple really REALLY do not, is that keeping developers happy is REALLY important. If I didn’t already have a unity app on the cusp of being released, I’d have abandoned the idea of selling through apple this week. Maybe ballmer had a point in this video?

Back to work! (Unless you work for the US government)

So Eurogamer is OVER, and the longest sustained 4 days of my gaming existence spent standing up is now over. Hurrah! It was fun for the first half day, then a bit tiring, then a bit exhausting then OH MY GOD WHEN DOES IT END. Not helped by the ‘DAGGA-DAGGA-DAGGA’ of incredibly rubbish arcade music blasting at 900 decibels nearby. Plus £7.50 for a pizza smaller than a Democracy 3 promotional badge. Bah humbug.

I never know what to think about the economics of trade shows. I don’t like the whole idea of them in principle, but i understand the purpose they serve (for those lucky enough to live nearby) and I can see how it makes the job of games journalists much easier, although frankly, I still think the best games will emerge if everyone could just send simple polished betas of their games to the press, without insisting on demonstrating them in person, with a lot of hand waving, excuses, blagging, and offers of free champagne to any journalists as they try to form an impartial view of the finished product. But ho hum…

Eurogamer is now behind me, and I can look forward to not one, but TWO (yes…count them..TWO!) games releases in the next few months -> Democracy 3 and Redshirt. Reaction to both at the show was great. We will be showing Redshirt at ComicCon in London soon, and if you are staggeringly wealthy and want to see me talk about games marketing (and who wouldn’t?) I’ll be talking at this event.

I’ve also managed to squeeze in a new patch for democracy 3 today, that fixes and improves and tweaks all kinds of things, so that’s rather good.

In the last few hours, something fairly rare has been happening, in that the US government has done it’s best to re-create season six of The West Wing by actually shutting down, although I don’t think there was as much dramatic music and Josh Lyman shouting in this case. Every cloud has a silver lining though, it means I can now run ads like this…