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

Yet another podcast interview thing

Tonight at 7PM GMT. it’s here:

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I’m actually getting some work done on Kudos 2 today (yes I know it’s a bank holiday). Just some minor improvements such as getting people to phone you when you get back from an event and complain about you not accepting their offer, etc.

Dropping More Prices

I just dropped Democracy 1 (the original game) down to just under ten dollars. As of right now you can get the game for $9.99.

This is partly because it’s an old game, and partly because it’s a response to all those piracy comments about the price of games. I think the game is pretty good value at ten dollars. The basic game design is the same as Democracy 2, although the way it simulates stuff is a bit simpler, and the interface and presentation isn’t as slick as the newer one. However, if none of that bothers you, you can get a pretty decent stratgey game for under ten dollars now!

My companies year-end is at the end of September, so yesterday I entered all the data to see how I was doing in the run up to the business year-end. It’s not as good as I would ahve liked, definitely making less money than last year. Tbh, most of the profit of last year was selling Kudos and My other games on portals. Democracy 2 sold well, but Rock Legend didn’t. I didn’t really make any money worth getting excited about from retail at all. This is all a bit worrying, although I guess you could blame the ‘credit crunch’, but that just sounds unlikely to me. I’ve possibly spent too long making Kudos 2 (and it’s not done yet), and I really need to get my ass in gear now.

Here’s hoping Kudos 2 sells as well as Democracy 2 did (or better!). That would keep things ticking along.

Playing catch-up

So much has been going on. I did a podcast interview thing as part of this:

Then there was another interview here:

Then i joined a tech podcast thing here:

And there’s another interview today hopefully, plus some stuff for a UK newspaper, hopefully Saturdays Guardian. I also have been bugfixing in Democracy 2, some pesky bugs I can’t believe I missed. Plus I’m trying out a new payment provider right now. All this, and I saw the stage version of Mort last night. Eeek.

I have got SOME work done on Kudos 2, and hope to get a lot more done today and maybe the weekend.

Hurrah For Bose

People who read my blog a lot will know how much I rant on about how Bose Quiet-comfort 2 noise cancelling headphones are almost as good as sex.

I’ve had mine ages, and although they work perfectly, the ear cushion bits have basically started to tear and fall apart as all old-style headphones always do. Normally, you would just bin the headphones at this point and buy new ones, seeing as though these are over 3, maybe 4 years old now.

But NO! I just phoned Bose and they are sending me replacement ear-cushions for them. Admittedly, this is costing me £20, but as a new pair of them is a staggering £225, it’s well worth doing. Plus I can replace the parts myself, and not send them away, meaning no games of Company Of heroes with inferior phones. Hurrah!

In game news, some new Kudos 2 artwork arrived today, and I hope to publically release screens of it next week. Maybe monday.

Magazines for Kudos 2

I’m currently writing the code for magazines for Kudos 2. Magazines are something you can buy, but only read once. The upside is that they come out every week, so that you never get into the situation you had with the original game, where you read all the books and thus had ‘finished’ that part of the game.

The downside is that the magazines are an expensive and slow way to pick up knowledge. I’m trying to balance stuff so it’s an interesting decision to make. You can buy books and magazines at your leisure, effectively putting you in control of when to learn, as opposed to evening classes. This means they must have some disadvantages to counteract this. One option is for the magazines to only cover the basics of each profession, scientific_principles_1 basic_law etc etc. The problem si that it’s exactly the ‘late game’ stuff I need to expand on, not the early stuff.

This has cropped up because I’m trying to decide if magazines need a pre-requisite system or not. I’m guessing not. magazines are by definition mass market things. I reckon I’ll make them beginners guides only, just like books, but more relaxing.

Another option is for magazines to be auto-read. Assuming you read a few pages each day, just like I assume with newspapers. This would be possibly the more interesting choice. This does slightly ‘break’ the ‘one-task per day’ paradigm of the game, but it’s already borked with pets and newspapers anyway, both of which have daily effects without user intervention.

I think that might be better…