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

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Lessons from 41 years of programming

I don’t blog much about the nuts and bolts of programming, because I know enough to know that others know more than me, but increasingly I’m aware of how other people code, and feel that I probably do have *some* worthwhile advice on the topic. Not many people have been programming for 41 years, especially given how coding seems to skew young, so here...

The late 2021 case for buying and holding TSLA (yes…still)

I blogged about how you should buy shares in Tesla many years ago, then I revised it. The first revision was able to happily mention that the stock had tripled since I first blogged about it. Well… its quintupled since then. (There was a 5:1 share split, so it looks like its about flat but is anything but…). Given that a stock is now worth 15 times...

In defense of ‘gatekeeping’.

One of my pet hates is the huge avalanche of really bad advice and ‘hot takes’ that spread rapidly over the interwebs that have zero experience or data behind them. The problem has been made infinitely worse by the shift over time from asynchronous communication to real time communication as the preferred system. This is really, really bad. Go...

Protest votes in Democracy 4. Final piece of the puzzle?

Democracy 4 is a game, but its also my attempt at a fairly accurate political simulator, given the limitations that are to be expected when you do not delve into the individual mechanics of voting systems, and constituencies and different systems such as primaries, mid terms etc. One of the things that may feel unrealistic to you if you play...

Common mistakes by indie game developers

Background: I’ve been a one-man indie studio for over 20 years, sold millions of games on steam, direct, and on mac and even some console stuff. I’ve arguably had 4 ‘hit games’ over that period (seven figure revenue). This is all just my opinion, but its based on long experience. I’ve been programming for 40 years. Making an indie game is really...

Solar Farm Update #2

So…it turns out its a loong time since I blogged about positech energy, so here we go with an update…of sorts. Quick recap: I started a new company that is in the process of hopefully building a 1MW solar farm with 500kwh of grid-tied battery storage for frequency response/load shifting. Its privately owned by me and my wife. Progress...

Democracy 4 mod support (non steamworks)

As people who have played my games for a long time may know, I am a huge fan of mod support for games. The first game I made that had a really big modding community was Gratuitous Space Battles. Some of the mods were amazing, and there were hundreds of thousands of player created challenges alongside proper mods like new ships, new modules and so on....

Crazy Energy prices, Short Deadlines, Solar Power.

This is not a blog post about games. Its because I also run a solar energy company, which is in its infancy, but hopefully will start doing cool things next year, like building a solar farm. How often do you check the price of electricity? If you are like most people its…never. Maybe you go to a price comparison website every few years to see...

New Democracy 4 policies: Workers dividends and Ban on crypto

I’m working on adding two new policies to the next update for Democracy 4 today. By popular demand (deduced from in-game player voting during Early Access) I have decided that these two policies are worker dividends (profit sharing) and a ban on all cryptocurrency. I’d like to talk through what these policies represent from a game design and real world...

Improving Democracy 4 events balance by using a LOT of data

I’ve been doing some number crunching to check that I am moving in the right direction regarding balance on Democracy 4. The game has a series of ‘events’ which are triggered by various inputs. Some of these events are pretty ‘informational’, in that they mark changes the player has made and their impacts, other affect the games difficulty by...

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