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

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Anatomy of a rare, and weird heisenbug in Democracy 4

Heisenbugs are bugs in code which seem to go away, or change when you look at them in a debugger. They are the worst possible bugs, because they actively resist being found, or even observed by the coder responsible. Any kind of bug that can be reproduced on a developer’s machine, in their development environment can easily be analyzed, stepped through...

Voting Systems DLC for Democracy 4

I don’t think I’ve even officially announced that I am doing this, so any games journalists reading this can consider this an announcement I guess :D. I am working on an expansion pack for my political strategy game Democracy 4, and that expansion pack will be called… Democracy 4: Voting Systems As you can clearly guess, its an expansion...

The eventual erosion of the middlemen

Recently I had to communicate with a landowner about a potential site to build a solar farm, because yes, thats what I do some times. Because the discussion might involve some technical aspects I am not aware of, I went through the company I have a relationship with to build these things. However, on the other side of the negotiation, the landowner...

Solar farm development costs so far

So… for those who missed earlier blogs, My new company (positech energy) is trying to build a 1.2mwp solar farm in the UK. I thought it might be worth reminding myself how much has been done, and how much further we have to go. Currently, we are awaiting a planning decision, which has been delayed twice already, but should now happen in less than a...

Doing the maths on a home solar-panel upgrade

My data suggests that the output from my solar array is roughly 1.6MWH per year. This is a 2.1kwp install from over ten years ago, that was recently retrofitted with solar edge optimizers to increase its output during times where some of the panels, or part of a panel was shaded. I am currently using the octopus go tariff (designed for electric...

Yet more refinement and complexity regarding party politics in Democracy 4

I am currently working on some voting systems DLC for Democracy 4. In doing so, I have carried out a lot of testing, and balancing, and evaluating, and have just encountered something that I think is lacking in the game. Or more precisely…wrong…or at least imperfectly modelled. Take as exhibit A this chart (on the rhs) from the game showing the...

Solar farm: The rough economic model

As you may know, I’m hoping to build a solar farm. In fact we are pretty far down the road of doing it. The current status of the farm is: Grid connection quote accepted and £50k deposit paidLease agreed and waiting on final signature by landownerPlanning application applied for, currently being edited, waiting for final approvalPanels ordered...

Thoughts on potential Democracy 4 expansions / DLC

Democracy 4 has been released from early access over a month ago, and has had 2 big updates since then, and further updates to the game, especially regarding balance tweaks, are definitely coming. However, I am a big fan of the ‘expansion pack’ model of the business, because I think it has a number of positives: It allows players who are only...

Another tweak to voter approval visualization

I blogged very recently about adding voter approval distribution data to the polling screen in Democracy 4. This is going into the next game update, but I’ve changed it since then and thought I would explain why. The aim has been to give the player some insight into the actyual distribution of voters over the whole range of approval values, rather than...

On the visualization of voter approval distribution in Democracy 4

My politics game, Democracy 4, has a user-experience issue. Its not critical, and its less prevalent in Democracy 4 than any of the other games in the series, and I am working on fixing it, but it remains an issue nonetheless. the fact that this issue is based on real world phenomena does not make it any less frustrating for a player who experiences...

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