Thursday, August 30, 2007

Why Am I doing this?

This game is mind-bendingly involved, will be costing thousands of dollars in music and artwork, is taking forever to make, and has bucket loads of data involved in it.
Wouldn't you rather have a simple game that involved matching some fruit? I can make one in a month.

Monday, August 27, 2007


very busy playing bioshock + putting in new bannisters on a staircase. eeeeek. So not much time for blogging, or indeed coding this last few days.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Working with third parties

Democracy 2 will cost me more than all my previous games combined in terms of sounds and art. I hope that's reflected in some decent sales if I ever finish it :D. I'm in the process now of deciding on an artists, and I've already picked a musician to compose totally original music for the game. My slight fear is that the game is a bit complex to lure in the big audience required to payback such an investment, but hey, you have to speculate to accumulate right?

People expecting a radically different game to Democracy may be a bit surprised. the game *is* very different under the hood but the principle GUI will stay the same. I think it's a GUI that works, and although the game will look much nicer now, people used to the original will be able to pick up and play this one fairly easily.

Friday, August 17, 2007

software awards scam:

This is genius:
anyone who develops software should smile seeing what this guy did :D.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

A massively more complex and subtle simulation

Thats my plan for democracy 2, and it's going well.
The first big change was fractional; group memberships (I'm not just a motorist, I'm 63.445% a motorist). That's in and working.
The second change was allowing recursive linkage between effects, so you can get positive and negative feedback loops. That was hell, but it's in and working.
Today I added invisible nodes, like "Terrorism" that you can see being affected, and affecting things, but you can;'t actually query their current value.
So you know the new spy satellite is preventing terrorism, you just don't know if it's enough...
Also today, right now, I'm adding targetable cost-multiplier nodes.

In the old game, a policy like 'National Health service' has a minimum and a max cost, based upon implementation, and also optionally scaled by a single other object.
So you could have car tax income being scaled by the number of motorists (makes sense).
But now rather than a single object acting as a multiplier, the multiplier itself will be a node, capable of multiple inputs all with different equations.

So you could say that the relationship between national health costs and alcohol consumption (number of drinkers) would be 0+(0.12^x), and this could be just one of many inputs into determining how much the health service will cost.

This game will be absurdly complex. will it be balanced? hopefully? will it be fun? hopefully, but it sure as hell will be interesting to play. Hey, someone has to make an antidote to all these dumbed down games right?

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Combination of pretty stuff and tech stuff

Yesterday I added a bunch of new simulation values to Democracy 2, so today I'm kicking back from the complexity of the simulation to tart up the visuals some more. Today it was the turn of the rather ugly and cramped finances screen (the pie chart one), which looks much nicer now.
Hopefully Democracy 2 will be 50% looking nicer and sleeker, and 50% deeper and more involved.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Todays neural network

In many ways Democracy 2 (and the original) is just a huge complex mass of code objects called 'Neurons' all connected to each other. It's a bit of a swine to program. Sometimes it helps to be able to visualise it, and although I don't have good tools for that yet, I'm working on it.
if I turn on all the neurons and look at it, its a bit complex:
(this is with 500 voters, as opposed to the estimated 2000 in the final game)