Wednesday, June 29, 2005

sales this month have exceeded sales last month. This is clearly insane, as sales last month were completely off the scale. I'm not complaining, this is great!
Great sales and great reviews, I couldn't be happier about the way Democracy has turned out so far...
The only problem is this sets big expectations for my next game. Im still mulling over lots of ideas, inbetween tweaks for Democracy, and some potential new content in terms of extra levels, policies etc.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

For some strange reason my bank has started insisting that checks (or 'cheques' as we brits say) are 'endorsed by the payee' before being paid in if they are 'drawn' on a foreign bank.
My royalties are in dollars from the US (don't even MENTION the exchange rate ok?), so the last two got sent back to me with letters explaining why. I was annoyed, I have no idea what 'endorsed by the payee' means, so I phoned them.
Now normally in the UK, this means I would waste up to 30 minutes listening to hold music in a telephone queue. However, there are precisely TWO banks in the UK who answer the phone in person, rapidly, 24/7 without hesitation, and can help you instantly.
these two banks are and caterallen. Thankfully these are my two banks :D
So all it means is 'sign the back of the cheques', which is easy, yet I suspect, entirely redundant as a means of preventing fraud. ho-hum.

In other exciting news, I am putting together a page for modding democracy, and have already got my Creationism mod ready for download, with more mods in the pipeline.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Just started uploading version 1.1.2 of Democracy. I've fixed a lot of minor asserts that people were getting, and also changed the mod support so there is a new mod directory structure which supports text-file based individual mods rather than editing the csv files. I need to do a ptach for this version, and also inform some people. probably do that this weekend.
I'm also planning on uploading some sample modes and some extensive modding documentation as well. All good fun!

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Got a new review, this time in the UK magazine PC Format. They described democracy as:
"The best stab at recreating the political machine on your PC Yet"
and gave it 70%, which is pretty good.
Sales are still good. I need to get some new dilemmas done...

Friday, June 17, 2005

I haven't gone back and played Call Of Duty since the Battlefield 2 demo came out. Hopefully this enthusiam will last until the full game is released at the end of this month. Lunchtime LAN games are fun, and less weird than home games where you suddenly hear a bunch of germans or australians chatting in your headphones. I've turned that off now.
I'm still mulling over an idea in my head for a long term 'big' game for starting maybe next year. Sales of Democracy and Starship tycoon rumble along, andI'm still doing the odd bit of promotion and advertising for democracy, including sending a few free copies to tech-savvy politicians...

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Nice Space Shootemup
Just gave this a try, and its pretty darned good. I like the way they have done both the asteroids and explosions. Sadly it's not sold through RegNow or Plimus, so I can't affiliate it. Lets hope my sales of Ultratron are good, even if my skills at it are not!
Lionhead is in crunch mode now, so won't get much new done in terms of new games for a while... Besides, most of my life is spent taking back broken kettles to shops. thats 3 dead kettles in 6 months. are kettles groundbreaking new technology? I didnt think so...

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

In the medium term I plan on updating Democracy with some more missions, more data and some small graphical tweaks. In the Long term, I shall of course do mroe games. I have made a few recent false starts of prototype projects, but nothing has actually taken hold yet. I wish I had a dollar for every time I have confidently hit the 'new project' button in Visual C++...
In any case, I am now thinking seriously about another 'big game' that I have plans for in the long term. I wouldn't expect to ship it until middle of next year atthe earliest.
I can keep myself sane in the mid term by fixing Democracy bugs, and promoting that game.
Sales are slightly lower than last month, despite a rash of UK sales following my PC Gamer coverage. I'm hoping that internet ads will keep the games profile visible, and maybe in the medium term there will be a portal deal too.

Friday, June 10, 2005

lots going on.
First was the 71% pC gamer score, scoring it way higher than a lot of big budget games in the same issue. Then it turns out that I got a letter printed in this months edge magazine, plus today its battlefield 2 demo release day (21% on my torrent so far) and tommorow morning I can pick up my brand new video card from the post office.
happy days!
Plus the Movies is looking really cool, and I'm very close to releasing my new version of Democracy (should be tommorow).
I'm still unable to reach over 300,000 in ultratron, the new game thats the talk of the indiegamer forums.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

I'm pretty pleased ;D

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

I'm having a tough time getting the play balance of Democracy to the standard I wan't. it s a very tough problem to crack, and various code changes need it really needs serious rebalancing before I release the new patch for it. Once that pathc is out, Im going to pretty much restrict the next patch to pure graphical enhancements only.
Currently the strategy I'm using is to just keep playing randomly configrued games, and making notes of what things seemed wrong. This has resulted in me rebalancing the Brain Drain situation so its triggered with a different eqaution relating to Income Tax (amongst other things). Previously many effects where of this type

output = value + (value * x) which is a bit simplistic.
Im now using more examples like:
output = value + (x^4)
which allows for a more natural simulation with extreme decisions having extreme effects, and more mild responses towards the mid-range of acceptable policy. I hope to get a good hour a day of play balancing achieved on it.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

The original 1.0 demo of Democracy will be featured on the upcoming PC Format magazine coverdisk in the UK. this is a magazine I read, so its extra cool!
sales arent bad at all, and I have just a lot of tweaking and balancing to do before I make another release of the game. Plus I have a stack of long term ideas to improve it.
I've Been playing a beta of the new puppygames game 'ultratron' and its huge fun. might keep me going till Battlefield 2 is released :D

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Back from holiday in sunny Italy. Lots of sun, some scorpions and snakes. tons of bees... But having a swimmimg pool is very cool. Pity the Italians are so fond of queueing... ho hum.

Anyway, sales are pretty brisk while I'm away. I thought I might be close to a new version of Democracy but some bug reports have made me reassess that. oh well.
Still shopping around for a good webhost. I need around 40 gig/month traffic, not many special features or anything. I'm looking for good customer service and reliability as well as reasonable pricing. aren't bad, but they dont seem to cater for traffic over the 30gig mark very easily.