Cliffski's Blog

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

Latest articles

The simple pleasure of innocent drama

My wife has now firmly got me hooked on Korean drama series, or ‘kdramas‘ as we now call them apparently. On an average day, I’ll likely watch 2 or 3 TV shows, and almost certainly one of them will be Schitts Creek, Star Trek:TNG or some Korean drama. I think a lot about the appeal of this show and why I choose them, and not any of the more popular...

Modelling cultural differences in Democracy 4

One of the biggest challenges in designing and balancing Democracy 4 is having a single simulation model work over all countries. In theory, if *everything* is modelled, then you have a perfect model of human society and behavior, and feeding in the correct settings to each country will produce the required results. Because I am neither superhuman...

On the topic of voter happiness in 3 party countries

I’m currently balancing Australia in Democracy 4, and its tough as almost any starting condition seems to result in a depressingly small number of people supporting the current party. I have been fiddling with the numbers for this for hours, and its occurred to me that its SO much harder in a 3 party system, and the game may be having trouble conveying...

One month in: Democracy 4 in Early Access. Phew. We survived!

Sometimes I get so caught in the insanely complex todo list that is my public trello board for democracy 4, that I forget to occasionally taken a breath, take stock, and analyze how things are going. So this being two days after the US election, (A still undecided one as I type this), its time to catch that breath and reflect. Firstly. OMG we...

Developer video #24: Voting analysis

Enjoy!

Modelling voter happiness in a video game is… interesting but also horrendous

Its less than 2 weeks until the US election in 2020, and although it looks likely Joe Biden will win, nobody really knows, because modeling how people vote is really hard. I know this, because I’m struggling with it in Democracy 4. Over the previous variants of the game, the voting model has got better and better and more complex, but its still a nightmare....

Communication. The secret weapon of one-person companies

It amazes me how many businesses are just totally and utterly hamstrung by poor communication. Games companies, Payment companies, Stores, and outside of games, Telecoms companies, Governments, Car companies, Any large organisation. Communication fails and the business is in tatters. I would go so far as to suggest that having easy, clear and...

Democracy 4 Developer Blog #23: CANADA!

Tada: hope you like the latest video :D

Democracy 4 crowdsourced translations now on localizor

I was musing about how on earth to manage the people who are keen to help out translating Democracy 4 when I was pointed at this awesome website called localizor which seems to be set up to do exactly what I needed: Localizor This is so cool. Its basically an online database for you to share the translation keys for your game, and optionally...

Democracy 4 is in Early Access at last! omgz etc

I’m super tired and got little sleep, but whats the point of a release-day blog post if you do it weeks later? Frankly I need sleep, and a day off. Making this game is REALLY hard, and we had last minute problems, and I actually have a minor eyesight thing recently thats freaking me out. Argggh. Game dev is HARD. Anyway, last night at 8PM my...

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