Cliffski's Blog

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

Latest articles

Improvements to the political compass / voters opinions

I’ve been trying to improve voter behavior in Democracy 4 with a bunch of goals. Firstly to maker the political compass Overton window not look so ‘forced’, and more importantly, to allow for more realistic modeling of the variety of opinion. As some players have pointed out, there is always SOMEONE in the electorate who will not ever vote for you,...

Democracy 4 Updated to build 1.23

Lots of changes, here is the complete list: [1.23]1) Fixed incorrect or broken effects & costs for EV transition, Plant Based Diets, Judicial Independence, Nuclear Fission.2) Changed scaling for simulation values so in ‘value’ mode they show difference from the midpoint.3) Added South Korea as a playable country!4) Added support for country-specific...

How I address a tricky, user-interface layout / physics code challenge

Democracy 4 has one aspect of its GUI that still screams IMPERFECT at me, and needs fixing, but its at least 10x harder than it sounds. Its the sizing, and positioning of the icons on the main UI: This looks like just a bunch of different sized circles on a screen. How is that tricky? Let me count the ways: The icons have to be...

Why Positech Games has no discord server

Yes its true. Prepare to have your minds explode. Positech Games is not on discord. We have no discord server/channel. None. There may be people discussing our games on discord in unofficial servers, we do not no, or to be honest…care. Why? Its because there are just TOO MANY different places on social media that an indie game developer needs...

Balancing Democracy 4 using stats and number crunching

I’m still working away on improving the balance for my political strategy game ‘Democracy 4‘ which is in Early Access, and likely the hardest game to balance in the history of humankind, due to the insane number of interconnecting variables. Something I was working on today was the likelihood of each dilemma popping up. These are occasional ‘situations’...

The emotional satisfaction of physical creation

Long ago, before netflix, twitch, steam, social media, broadband or even Tony Blair, I worked in a boatyard nailing boats together. They were smallish rowing boats. This was hard work, as was building wooden bridges. here is a bridge I helped build. And here is a boat I probably helped restore/build etc. To be honest, it...

An indie strategy game translation business case. lets do the Math(s)

(My wife is triggered when I say ‘math’ because its American. we say maths here in the land of Monty python) I have a bit of a rule that I try to follow, that when I am trying to make a business decision, I always calculate forwards not backwards. What I mean by that, is I try not to think ‘I’d like a Polish translation of Democracy 4. is it...

An amazeballs chart of Democracy 4 playtime since initial release.

Thanks to the wonders of excel, and php etc, I can present this amazeballs chart showing both the number of games, and the number of hours in total playtime each day for Democracy 4, my indie political strategy game. I think people can overanalyze this stuff TBH, and I don’t think there is anything especially amazing to note. This is ALL playthroughs,...

Updated Democracy 4 to build 1.19

Here is a full list of changes in this version: [1.19]1) Fixed bug on retirement age selecting top slider value.2) High corruption now impacts the cost of the military.3) Fixed a bug that caused an unneccesary error message when selecting a language that exists purely in a mod.4) Re-balancing of some event triggers.5) Road building changed so...

Thoughts after 5 Years using a pure electric car

I’ve written in the past about buying an electric car, and running it, and what I think, and today to the day is five years since I took delivery of it, so a good time to write down how its been to be driving pure electric all those years. I drive a 2015 Tesla model S 85D. They don’t make that precise model any more, its kinda of mid way between...

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