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

People of Botswana: I am here to help.

Wow…its been a busy week, what with the PC Gamer weekender, and much other stuff, but somehow in all this I found time to bring peace and prosperity (also environmental chaos and fiscal ruin) to Botswana. All hail me:

I’m having more and more fun doing these kind of ‘lets play’ style developer blog things, and as my internet access in this barren field gradually limps towards acceptable speeds, uploading them isn’t the soul destroying nightmare that it once was. I still think I have a voice worthy only of silent movies though. Hope you enjoy the video, and expect much more news on Democracy 3 Africa in the next few weeks. Oh yes…we are definitely getting closer.

Not quite making it…Democracy 3 Africa take 2.

So you may remember me trying to play an early build of Democracy 3:Africa and coming hugely unstuck? Well, we have been balancing the game since then, and the impossible has now become merely the extremely hard, so sit back and enjoy my attempts to keep the assassins at bay as I do what I feel is best for the citizens of my country…

Don’t forget Democracy 3:Africa will be playable ahead of release at the upcoming PC Gamer Weekender in London. If you are thinking of coming along, you can book your tickets here:

and use the discount code: SHADOW20 to get 20% off the price.

See you there!

A First look at Democracy 3 Africa, and a revamped website…

So! time to start talking about the next Positech_Games masterpiece…which will be Democracy 3 Africa! We have announced this already of course, but now most of the systems are in, and we are just tweaking and balancing and bug fixing, its time to give you the first look at the VERY UNBALANCED build we have right now. So enjoy the following video… and feel free to spread the word on twitter, facebook, and other websites owned by vast tax-avoiding multinationals :D

This is just the very first development video, I’m aiming to do a new one each week as the balance gets better and the bugs and glitches get fixed.

PLUS! We have revamped the website for D3:A to reflect the fact that we are closer to release. Why not check it out, or bookmark it, or both! (you MIGHT need to shift+refresh to see it).

Democracy 3: Africa in development

Its announcement day! Yay. And what do we have for you today…


Yup its Democracy 3:Africa announcement day! So whats all this then?

Democracy 3: Africa is a sort of ‘re-imagining’ of the original game, and also an ‘expandalone’, meaning you don’t need to buy the original game. This is not DLC, but a stand-alone game with new graphics, new music, and of course a completely new setting. The countries in D3:A have a different set of problems, opportunities and characteristics to those in the original game. That has meant a lot of changes and a lot of tweaking and re-modeling. There is more information, including a list of the countries modeled at the placeholder website here.

So in more blog-like terms…whats going on here then?
Democracy 3 is a pretty popular game, and actually, while I’m mentioning it, you can get it at 66% off RIGHT NOW on steam. Anyway…over the years it’s had 3 expansions, (Social Engineering, Extremism and  clones & Drones), and recently we revisited the game to tweak it with some GUI improvements and new achievements.  Because of its popularity, I’m able to ‘take a risk’ and make a version of the game that at first glance might not make commercial sense. When I told some friends about it they said, ‘why Africa? who is interested in African politics?’

And thats kind of the point. In the west, we tend to think of Africa as either the target of charity fund-raising concerts, or somewhere to go on a safari. We never think about the African economies, or African industry or exports. Lets not forget Africa is home to a billion people…

The problems, opportunities and characteristics of many African countries make for a fascinating experiment in political strategy. It also makes for perhaps more of a challenge. Some people claim that the USA is ‘hard mode’ for Democracy 3, but even in the USA, you aren’t dealing with the levels of corruption found in *some* African states. Poor infrastructure and low levels of literacy are not much of a problem in the west, but they are definite factors in Africa. The problems are different, making for different strategy, and hopefully, a very different and interesting gaming experience.


Plus… When do you ever see Africa in a video game? I have no memories of it ever being anything but a destination where pirate bases or criminal gangs roam. Gaming seems to have a very distorted view of Africa, just like Hollywood does. I am under no illusions that this game will sell many copies in Africa, the gaming market is tiny, but I think it still makes sense because its such an interesting setting for a strategy game.

Also… I am not the designer this time. Modeling Africa was my idea, but in terms of all of the research, balancing, re-modeling, tweaking and any re-coding, this is all being done by Jeff Sheen from Stargazy Studios. Look at me! I’m expanding (a bit).

So there you go…Democracy 3:Africa. And yes…I am going to get even more white supremacist spam. (I got a bit after announcing the school we are building), and yes, we will probably get the tone of some of this wrong, and people will accuse us of misrepresenting African countries and people, and we expect to learn a lot, and to be in full-on listening mode. We are two white guys in the UK making a game about Africa. I’ve never even been there. I get that. I know we will make mistakes, but they won’t be intentional. If we have any ‘agenda’ here at all, its just to develop a game with an unusual and interesting setting, and to learn a little about Africa in the process.

Oh and shipping date? Errr. not sure. Q1 2016? We have been working on it secretly for a while…

So don’t forget…Democracy 3 is 66% off this week on steam :D