Monday, July 31, 2006


So far I've only done very limited google adwords advertising for Kudos. I've been relying on press releases, download-site submissions, and quite a large number of reviews and other mentions.
Now it's time to start doing regular advertising...
Right now, my two initial targets are and These are sites that are aimed at pretty much the right market for me, but they won't do the job on their own. I'll need to find some sites that are a good mix for a turn-based life sim, ideally not just pure gaming sites, but more 'lifestyle' aimed sites. I haven't picked any yet, but suggestions are most welcome. Preferably ones that take small advertisers seriously.

I have my lovely flash banner done (by the guy who did the Democracy one), which you can see here:

I achieved my first month kudos sales target, so my line manager (me) has awarded me a bonus sufficient to fund a spanking new iiyama flatscreen monitor. It will be so good to replace the creaking old iiyama flatscreen monitor I currently use. I'm not sure what an 8ms response time means, but it sounds pretty l33t.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Nine patches?

Ok, so there are going to be NINE patches for kudos. Eight have been released, and I'm working on the ninth right now. That makes it sound buggy, but it wasn't that bad, it's just that I released a patch every time I fixed a group of little bugs, so the releases were happening maybe every day. The patches all include all previous ones, so its not much hassle for users.

One change I'm toying with is allowing the player to take two actions on weekend days, instead of one, and maybe also have this apply to sick days, or to unemployed days. That's been popular with the players, but I'm slightly wary of it affecting game balance, and more wary of it causing some obscure technical issue I haven't thought through yet. Maybe I should release a beta version of that and have some people give feedback on the change...

Apart from patching Kudos, and doing some promotion for the game, I've also been taking very early stages towards the next game. I won't get really stuck into it for a long time, as I'll be doing extra content and support for Kudos for quite a while, but it's good to have a very basic framework up and running so I can do the odd day on it now and then.

Kudos sales seem pretty good, about the same as Democracy's was just after it was released, so it looks like I have a stable means of paying my bills, if not a path to mega riches.

I've got back into Galactic Civilisations 2 big time.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Royalties Good, Plimus Not Good

Today I got told that sales of Starship Tycoon in Russia have exceeded the royalty advance and I got my first (small) royalty check. W00t. I have 2 products with the same publisher, one is paid-off (advance recouped) one has not (yet). What record companies (and some dodgy publishers) will do, is to offset one against the other. So if product A has lost $700 and product B has made $450 proft, you get nothing. This is a cunning trick, often buried deep in contracts. Thankfully the russian publishers are good guys, and don't do this. Hurrah!
But on the other hand, my credit card processor of choice ( have their vendor site "down for a few minutes for scheduled maintenence"
1) if its scheduled, why didn't they tell me?
2) How is over an hour "a few minutes"
3) Answer your emails and phonecalls.
I strongly suspect that I'm missing (or at least backlogging) orders right now, and there is sod all I can do about it. I DO have an account with regnow, which I hardly ever use, but its 5 minutes with some html to swap Democracy to use RegNow, and maybe 30 mins of my time to start selling Kudos there.
Plimus better hurry up if they want to keep my business.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

40 GIG a day?

My normal bandwidth is 500 meg a day to 700 meg a day. When Kudos first got released that jumped to around 5-6 gig a day. Yesterday it hit 40 gig. Thats a LOT of bandwidth, and around 5,000 downloads of the kudos demo. My once lofty limit of 100 gig/month now seems dangerously puny, and I'm frantically setting up a fileburst account as I speak.
I've also been working like a maniac to correct the bugs people have found. On the whole, it's been pretty stable, a few minor issues were tracked to external drivers and software, and the few big silly bugs of mine have now been fixed. However, I've released SIX patches since release and there will be a (largely cosmetic) seventh one tommorow.
But, on the flipside, feedback, reviews and sales have all been pretty good, which is a relief. Nothing like the feeling of relaxation knowing you probably didn't waste 7 months on a game nobody would like. I've also been negotiating with publishers, handling PR and download site submission, and giving a radio interview for Austrian news. All in the hottest week in the UK in recorded history.
I need a break!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

MAC Democracy, Kudos feedback, Castro...

Wow its all happening. The MAC port of Democracy is done and the games on sale for mac users through redmarble games. hurrah! heres the link:
So thats cool :D

Feedback to Kudos from players is pretty good, a few people have bugs, but not the vast majority, and I think I've only got 2 issues, an openAudio conflict with some nvidia drivers, and a save game crash I'll investigate today.

Last night to celebrate launching the game, I went to see a play at richmond theatre (yes, we spell it theatre) called 'killing castro'. Its about CIA operatives planning how to assasinate Fidel castro in the sixties. Its extremely funny. The play was a single office room with 4 actors. Funnily enough, I enjoyed it much better than most blockbuster movies. I have little doubt that many of the people who mocked Kudos on web forums would have thought the play 'sucked' because it didnt cost more to make or have hundreds of people in it. Ho Hum.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Official Release Today, hurrah

Phew, so Kudos is released today properly, although its now version 1.03. Some more bugs got reported (and fixed). No doubt there will be another patch in due course, once I have enough feedback from people on what they want changing and fixing. I'll also endeavour to add a few more avatars to the game in the next few weeks. I got kudos featured under 'oddball' in this months PC Gamer. yay!

So today is email day, I've sent out the mailing list email, contacted a few sites I know well, and am waiting for reponses from the press release that goes out once Joes awake :D
I also spruced up the kudos website slightly, as it was a bit dark and serious looking. I should probably endeavour to do more there.
Todays a bit tense because we have another new cat, this ones called Jack Sparrow, an 8 week old kitten. Despite the size difference between him and my primary cat (Jadzia) being like the defiant and a borg cube, she is still scared of him. Bah. I must take some kitten pictures...

don't forget to go here:

Friday, July 14, 2006

Patching and fixing

As is always the case, there are some release bugs. I'm fixing them now, some are already fixed in fact. The bad ones are:

1) starting a new game, then starting another one can cause all kinds of minor problems, and in rare cases, a crash bug. If you quit the app then restart it, they all go away.

2)the tutorial would loop (that's fixed) under some situations

3)the debugdata directory wasn't created, and this might be why some users are having crashes in certain places, especially if they are limited users on XP or 2000.

I'm going through the game fixing stuff like this right now, and generally looking for places where similar bugs may be. I'll release a proper patch this time, possibly later today, but I'd rather catch everything in one patch than keep releasing little things.

I also added a new background and avatar, which you should be able to download from within the full copy.
Thanks to everyone who bought it so far btw.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

EEEEk it's on sale!

Well, I tweaked, and I polished and I tested and checked, and re-installed, and checked again, and what do you know it's


And further more, my demo and buy links are now live here:

I'm planning on a press release for Monday, so this is a low-key *soft* launch until then, just to shake out any bugs etc.
I forgot how scary it was to release a game when you don't have a day job. Lets hope people like it. *bites fingernails nervously*

I've never been more pleased with a finished game, so I hope that's a good sign, but it's in the hands of Kahless now.

Monday, July 10, 2006

sinking ship?

Can't be long now...
Its almost as if managaing to arrange the figures so I don't earn royalties was a bad omen for them...

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Kudos Video Trailer

Hmm lets see if this embedding stuff works...

Very clsoe to release now, I got a bit bored waiting to hear from retal publishers. Just found one obscure bug, but tis squashed now :D

I've been playing Star Trek DS9: The fallen. Great game, even if its visually dated now. Tried the new Settlers Demo, but it was dire.
Pirates of the carribean was a bit dissapointing too... (the movie)

Friday, July 07, 2006

I hate my own voice

But if the legendery Dan *gibbage* marshall links to it, I guess I SHOULD TOO.
Still polishing the beta...

Tuesday, July 04, 2006


I was miserable today and bought an MMORPG to cheer myself up - Guild Wars.
What a pile of 3rd rate crap. Itrs not really an MMORPG, all the 'dungeons' are 'instanced' which means you are just connecting online to play a simple repetitive pointless game of click and kill with a bunch of NPC henchmen, because everyone else is talking in l33t speak and you dont understand what the fuck they are talking about. No role playing, no immersion, nothing.
So I try to sell it.
You can't.
Thats just being fucking pathetic. There is no free demo, fuck all in the way of fun to be had, and fuck all chance of getting your money back.
Thats the last 'triple A' pile of shit I buy till spore comes out, and I'm waiting for a demo there.
I can't believe so many people play such a tedious game, and I regret them earning a penny from me.
Kudos is in the long deathmarch of playtest -> fix, playtest -> fix repeat etc.