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GDM Now was a Steam Store page for the eventual EA launch.  Tentative date is June / 03 / 21

Please Consider wish-listing the game to show support.

https://store.steampowered.com/app/1478350/Game_Dev_Masters/

There is now a playable Steam Demo found on the game's store page.  I highly recommend you play that version instead of this early technical demo version.  However this version will remain available, if you want to experience the earliest version of the game.  At least the final version of the earliest version ^^

Follow me on tweeter to keep connected, I post all updates as well as take any suggestions / feedback  @Hulgarth

Check out / join the GDM reddit community:  https://www.reddit.com/r/GameDevMasters/

ATTENTION

This technical demo has been brought back online.  If you want to experience an older version of GDM for fun you can now do so as we have transitioned to the steam leader boards and there is no  longer an issue.


QUICK DISCLOSURE

This is an early Technical demo intended to gather honest feedback.  I wanna hear from you.  What did you like / dislike?  What would you add / change?  Did you have fun?  Regardless of what your opinion is I would love to hear it and I thank you for your interest.

Please note that I am a solo dev.  I am as passionate and dedicated to this game as a person can be, but I am responsible for all aspects of the games development.  So as such please understand the VISUALS are place holder.  I have a lot of plans for the visuals using high res 3d props / particle affects, but this aspect will be one of the last areas of development.  This demo uses block out or placeholder graphics / hud elements in order to focus the major aspect of the game.   The code for all the features and game itself.  Eventually the visuals will be the focus for development but not until much later.

As a solo dev a big mistake you can make is developing your game without getting feedback and just putting the finished product out and saying "What do you think".  To counter this I spent a few months creating the core game loop with minimal features, debugged it, and launched it as a pre alpha demo.  My intention is to continue to develop the game while pushing all new version to the demo to receive feedback and ensure I don't make terrible decisions and then lean to far into them.  I will continue to push versions to itch.io until the polish / visual updates at which point I will move over to steam EA for a small buy in.  Keeping the game with block out / minimal visuals will allow me to stay within the 1 gig limit for itch while inclduing all the coded features, but once on steam the file size will become quite larger with high fidelity 3d props / textures / particle effects.

HOW TO PLAY

Game-play is broken into to two types.  Studio commands and worker commands.

 Studio commands are issued to all workers, such as making new games / engine / marketing.  Your statistics and other menus are also found here.  These studio commands are given by using the main navigation bar at the bottom of your screen.  

Worker Commands are given by clicking on your worker and accessing the option via the pop up menu.  These include such things as training / researching / crunch time / viewing stats etc..  These options will change depending on what the studio / workers are currently doing.  Ie  Crunch time is only available during Stage 1/2/3 of Development.

To make great games you simply need to click new project from the bottom studio menu, pick your topic / genre / target audience / platform / engine / game size / name of the game.  Then your good to go.  However this will likely result in a terrible game.  To make quality games you need to research the genre your working on the topics match's to that genre and target audience etc etc..

At its core this game is a logic puzzle and its up to you to solve it.

For an in depth guide to how games are scored and more when in your studio go to options > help menu  from the studio bar.

GAME DESIGN INFO

Game Dev Masters seeks to combine the best parts from other tycoon games.  Plus a few new ideas of my own and or community ideas / mods, then wraps them all up with a modern 3d visual style.  It also intends to solve some of the issues in the genre in creative ways, with an emphasis on engagement, competitive difficulty scaling, and diverse player choice / replay ability.

The first decision was regarding the visual / game-play style and for this I used game dev tycoon as the major influence, but its 2020 I wanted to come away from the 2d pixel art and use a more photo-realistic style.  Including diverse weather particle effects and environmental effects to keep the visuals interesting as you create games.

The second decision was to use procedural generation for the majority of the weights / constraints.  If you talk to most long term fans of game dev simulation games they will all recommend third party guides for matches of topics / genres / target audiences / slider weights etc etc.  I myself would do the same as I wanted to make great games, but then I feel like I am looking at a wiki more than the game itself.  I have fixed this issue through randomized generated matches.  Basically every new game takes place in it's own universe where you must learn what works and create products that fit those markets.  The main thing that makes this possible is the complete transparency within the game, provided you have the necessary research and or worker skills.  Everything is visible within the development HUDS for you to see.  You can then use this data to make decisions on how to create the best games, and how to use each worker to your advantage.

I could go on for pages and pages here for how my algorithms work and what not but I think that's best done in video format which I will provide at a later date if people are interested.  For now please just give the game a try and if you can please leave me honest feedback, regardless if its negative or positive I need to hear it.  Thank you so much for your interest and I hope you enjoy what I have on offer so far with much more to come.

Currently in this demo version you can....

Create small / med / large games, Delay Games, Equip a variety of worker Skills, Hype Games, Go to conventions, Awards, Create sequels, DLC, Port Games to other platforms, Remake older games, Create engines,  hire up to 6 total workers, news system, banking, charts / data / logs, leader-boards, train workers, specialize workers, buy stock, sell stock, invest in long term accounts, manager perks, 3 offices, dynamic Ai, dynamic trend system for genres / topics, Dynamic console markets based on sales....

And much more to come.....

If you use the in game screenshot button on the review page your screenshot will be saved to your c:/users/your_name/AppData/local/gdt/saved/bugit  weird location I know but in order to keep the huds visible I am making use of the bugshot command instead of high res screenshots.

StatusIn development
Authorhulgarth
GenreSimulation
Made withUnreal Engine
Average sessionAbout an hour
LanguagesEnglish
InputsKeyboard, Mouse
AccessibilityOne button

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gdm_v12.7z 389 MB

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Ok here's the video :) 

I watched your video, and commented on your channel.  I really enjoyed your play-through, although I wish you had the tutorial to make your game a little more successful I still enjoyed watching you enjoy the game and it's systems.  Thanks again for the coverage, and feedback.  Which will be used to push development forward.  I hope one day you give the later version a try as well, and see the improvements.

once it's done let me know and I'll play it again. I plan on doing a series on my channel where I revisit some games i played and see how they've developed. 

Very cool man, and I will.  I hope you have a lot of positive growth on your channel.  It's a tough thing to get into, but I am sure you can do it if you continue to produce quality content and positive vibes.

Thanks, I hope my channel continues to grow. I look forward to retrying your game in the future

I downloaded this file but my computer doesnt know how to open it... Do I need some other software?

it's just a 7zip file you can unzip it with whatever software you use.  I personally like 7z it's free and super easy to zip / unzip stuff.  Once you unzip the file you can run the .exe to play.  The steam demo will be up very soon though , if you rather just grab it from there. No zips, and a better experience.  Should be live within a day or 2 at this url:  https://store.steampowered.com/app/1478350/Game_Dev_Masters/

It's cool. I figured it out. Just played it and it'll be on my next video on Monday next week.

Right on Xander, I hope you had fun.  The steam demo launches tonight with improved visuals and what not.  It is a nicer feel, but the tech demo here on itch I am quite proud of.  I hope you were able to enjoy the game.  There are no tutorials here on itch tech demo either which can def hurt.  The steam demo also has those missing features like tutorials etc.  Either way I look forward to seeing your thoughts next mondays vid, keep up the great content.

thanks. The game was great, it was very complicated without a tutorial though, I did manage to release my first game which was a dumpster fire 🤣 my second release did slightly better but man it's tough being and indie dev. 😁

lol ya it is on both accounts hard to be a small indie, as well as hard without a tutorial.  The steam demo has all the tutorial you need though, if time permits and you wanna take a crack at that would love to get feedback.  Either way I am glad you checked it out and look forward to your next vid.  I have seen you cover some pretty cool games so far, glad to be on that list.

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Great work on this game, we played the pre-alpha and were loving it! The style of the art/music, the overall smoothness of the UI, and the depth of the different systems is very nice!

Overall I'm really looking forward to playing with some of the more advanced features, like organizing conferences, more developers working in the studio, etc.  We didn't get to play too much, but will be looking forward to playing more in the future and following development.

Here are some feedback from us as we played the game.  Some has to do with UI, maybe you already have plans for this, but just pointing out the top things that stood out to us!

* On the main menu, looks like the decorative symbols at the bottom are not all aligned up

* We love the quirkiness of the intro music and the character select screen dancing :-D

* During play we were a bit confused on what to do next.  Maybe this goes along with the UI / tutorial development? (which we know is not developed yet).  I think at first we didn't realize we could click the character herself to start the research, maybe a little UI indicator pointing to character might help during pre-alpha.

* Maybe some more helpful hints about game mechanics at beginning (I saw the tutorial is still being developed, that's ok!)

* Would be nice to have an idle-auto-train/idle-research mode.  Maybe you could direct the character on the tasks to do and they would automatically continue doing those tasks until the player tells them to stop or changes what they are doing. This way player wouldn't have to manually select each time (maybe something to think about).

* Loved the review system after completion of our first game. Felt like a real review system, and we were impressed by how good the game made us feel for getting some good reviews (our first game was a "porn / idle" game rated Teen lol, got 7.8 stars).

* Maybe text/words on some of the UI could be larger.

* We only got through development of one game, but I'm wondering what kind of new elements  will be added as the studio grows.  Such as more devs in the studio, a larger / better studio, things to decorate studio with, etc; giving the player new things to look at or play with during each game loop will keep it feeling fresh.  Maybe you have this already, we will just need to play some more to get to some of these features :-D

Great work, looking forward to following this more in the future and we will test again as new versions come out! 

We can post some screenshots on our upcoming devlog and will point readers to your itch.io for this game as well as your twitter!

First off thank you for trying the game, and I am so glad to hear you had a positive experience overall..

- The main menu screen itself is super place holder.. those edge icons are only there so I could toy around with diff resolutions / aspect ratios to see how my formatting would work.  They aren't anchored to the same edge as the side ones and does look like they are off, but they are actually where they should be they just look like trash and will be replaced by a cool opening menu eventually.

- I am glad you liked the dancing I wasn't sure if that would come off as cheesy or funny, but a couple people have expressed they liked that, it like everything was just an initial idea, but based on feedback that will prob stay in full version. :) 

-Sadly you are far from the first person to get confused about how to play.  Aside from the itch landing page short how to, which no one ever reads.  I don't really have any good guidance yet and its very much needed.  The main issue lies int he fact that the UI is work in progress so if I made a tutorial pointing to this element than this other with guidance, once I change the hud the tutorial has to be re-done .  So I have been putting this off, but it has caused some issues, and I don't want people being confused and giving up.  My next build I have come up with a compromise.  I am going to just put a short video clip tutorial in that the player can watch.  Something quick clean and concise, that will give you the basics.  This way I can just replace this video at a later date without exhausting to much dev time creating it.

- I really like the idea of an "Auto" of sorts or maybe even just a que where you can select to train xxx 5 times etc.. that or a checkbox for auto repeat this training..  With some sort of click on them to end auto training, or you pick the number of training times.  I will have to consider some ideas before I nail down specifics, but this is a great idea and I will 100% add this feature.  Thank you for the suggestion..

-I currently have medium games / 2nd office which takes you to 3 total employee's.  You also have to manage your workers during the 3 stages of development by putting them in charge of specific sections of development, without going over 100% workload which will hurt quality of your game if you do.  Endurance comes into play here as well as it will reduce the affect of workload on your character making it easier to assign sliders etc..    I have some additions / fixes / changes coming for next update followed by adding large games / office 3 with additional complexity, and then eventually AAA which I plan to make you use multiple studios for maybe??  I also plan to add the ability to create your own consoles and some other cool end game stuff eventually :p

- Any form of support would be appreciated, I will be putting the steam store page up tonight.  I have had a heck of a time making all the store art / trailers as that side of development is my weakness I am a programmer at heart, but my first draft of the store is finally done.  Once store page is up wish-lists become the best type of support at-least for steam visibility.  I hope to hit EA release on Steam in June 2021, until then I will continue to work via itch so I can continue to get feedback from amazing people like you.

Once again thank you so much for taking the time to play the demo, and then even more so to write such a well thought out post giving great feedback / suggestions.  Your auto train idea is really cool.  My goal is to make a super deep tycoon experience jam packed with systems and player choice.  I want you to wonder about how you could of done your game better, and then I hope I make it fun enough that you are willing to try and do better.  Any great ideas I can add to the game only serve to help me reach that goal so thank you, and I hope you continue to check out the game as it grows.  Have a great day and stay safe and healthy out there, I don't really have to worry about that since I never leave my PC. :)

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Hello,

Thanks for the shoutout. Glad to be of help to your project.

I made another "sucessful" run. I lost after switching to the bigger office. I didn't quite get what happened, but i had more than 200k. Bought the new office, recruited 2 more workers and all of a sudden i was at -50k. I guess my cash reserve weren't enough... 

But in the meantime i managed to make a few sucessfull games. My ratings have improved and most of my games reach between 8 and 9 even after the 1st couple of years. I managed to make two 88 games in year 3.

I feel after year 3, it s almost mandatory to switch to a bigger team because of the bubble inflation. Even if you game the delay to reach the required amount, it s starting to become burdensome to delay for more than 6 weeks. 300 bubbles is a lot for a lone worker

So here comes a new batch of suggestions/comments :

- When i take trend visualiser as a starting perk, i would like to see the trends of the topics. It s nice to see the trends of all the genre and of the topics i have acquired. But it would be nice to see which topic i should acquire based on trends. I don t think it s necessary to see all the trends but maybe top 3/5 would be nice. Not a huge hindrance, but maybe a nice plus for the perk. I ran most of my games with that perk and i ll try the others if i run more tries.

- Another small hindrance that could be changed : I think  it would be nice to have the 3 starting topics and the starting genre to match. Maybe not systematically great, but good and above garanteed would be ok. 

- There s a glitch with the contracts : once the contract is done, if i go to start a new contract before the payment pop up appears, the contract becomes failed. Not a big deal if you know it s coming but sometimes you re into the game and forget it.

- I managed to use the crunch, the way to make it work is a little bit clunky, that s why i messed it up. The issue i had was that the drag and drop of the crunch icon is too precise, so i kept thinking i wasn t doing the right thing.

- I did some tries and the marketing costs are not included in the total cost of the game when you go into the previous game panel. I tried to use the max advertising option and the 25k doesn t seem to be there. I might be wrong though.

- The bank saving bug is still there. I wanted to double check. When i start i put 90k into saving due in 3 months after 3 months the pop up appears the money do not, i even let one more month run and still no money

- Last issue i have is a rather serious one : sometimes RNG fucks the player when designing the game. Let s say i have a game where optimal balance is 70 design and 30 tech, and where the sub part balance favors heavily tech, you can t finish the game with a good balance without delaying.  Sometimes it can be a good thing because you didn t reach the necessary amount of bubbles for the current year and you want to delay. Btw it would be nice to know when you start designing how many bubbles you should make to keep the pace.

-What stats determine the speed of producing green bubbles for the contracts ?

So another big long rambling post from me. I hope it s helpful and don t hesitate to ask if i m not clear. I saw the vids of the new office, they look very cool. Tell me when you plan to make a new update, i want to see if i can reach medium sized softwares without imploding...

Fantastic post as always and some good ideas as well..

I do agree that it does start to become difficult to hit bubble minimums in later years with just the 1 worker.  I do want to encourage you to move to office 2, but I don't want it to feel forced.  I think I might make the min look at the number of workers you have and dynamically set the requirement you need to hit.  Of course what you can produce wildly changes with engine features / workers skills / higher tech / design stats..  I also like the idea of showing the user what kind of minimums they need to cross to make a perfect game I can def add that in.  I always find myself doing the quick math as well would make sense to just show it clearly I dig transparency.  

You probably didn't cross this at year 3 but when a topic / trend hits > 50% there is a breaking news notification like..  "after company xx latest release people are going nuts for more games with the genre xxxx"   I used to have them making trends go up to quickly so its a lil slower now so it may not occur until later years.  Theirs also a notification if something crosses 100% and begins to over-saturate the market and the trend is going down.  I don't want to make trend visualizer to strong or it will feel like the only choice of manager perks on new game.

The idea of giving you decent matches on your first 3 topics isn't bad but that would require me to kind of tweak there match to your favorite (starting genre) and maybe set them up if they are terrible / bad level.  Every topic has 3-4 GREAT matches including the 3 topics you start with, as to what genre they match with that's random.   I might just check for terrible matches and move them up I don't know ill ponder / consider this.


The contract glitch is new and I checked on my end as well there def a sneaky glitch here like you said, but this can be easily fixed I just wont turn the buttons on to start more work until your paid.  Great catch on this one I never tried to start next that fast before.  Also contract bubbles are based off of your research stat for the size of them and chance to make them is focus.  Confusing how its research right?  Ya I def need that to be told to players via tutorial cause its a lil wierd, but I didn't want it to be based off tech / design stats.

The drag and drop of skills can be confusing I will likely switch it to a just right click to slot the skill or something you aren't the first person to mention this so clearly it can be an issue for some and needs addressing.

Your right about marketing not adding to budget of game I never thought of that but honestly makes total sense.  This will be added in next update for sure.  Same for long term bank bug, I already have that fixed in my current development version and will be in next update soon.

RnG can and will fuck you over.  Some balances are harder to reach than others, but overall I think RnG creates a good experience.  For myself if I hit a genre that I find is tricky to hit balance for while respecting sliders I just research diff genres but I do get what your saying.  I have some ideas how to refine my procedural weighting system to be a little smarter when it comes to design balance.  Try to avoid having very high on all the wrong sliders you want etc.

Thank you so much for the feedback and I will def get to work on these issues as well as others.  I am currently doing some advanced visuals / art for the game but will be working on re-doing the bank system and some fixes followed then by large office / large games soon

I made another and i found a big bug. My first medium game, i go to make a sequel of a previous game, with a brand new engine, when i land on the 1st slider screen, i can t click on the begin button.

Another smallish issue is that when i make a sequel of a sequel the new title is named XXXX 2 2.

Tell me if you want the bugged save. I would join the bugged save but i can t find the save game folder.

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did you have your 3 workers set on the sliders?  You can not begin design of a medium game without assigning a worker to each slider.  When it comes to naming a sequel I can't really check if the name is xxxx 2 and then make it xxxx 3 I am just adding a 2 to the end of it, but of course you can manually change the name.  I do agree this is weird but theirs a bit of a technical issue when it comes to sniffing through a string to find a number at the end I might be able to do something about this but not 100% sure I can.  I could maybe trach if you are making a sequel of a sequel and add a 3 / 4 etc but removing the 2 is tricky cause if you changed the name from xxxx 2 to xxxx and then I take the last entry to the name off it would chop your word.  I would need to verify its numeric etc which is kinda tricky.

your save for the game is in your user/name/appdata/local/gdm/saved  eventually way down the line when the game is ready and I move to steam I will tap into steam cloud saves but for now your local save is there.  

You re right. It wasn t a bug, i didn t do the thing with the sliders. Maybe a text in the UI saying what to do would help ? Like instead of workers, say "assign the following workers to the priorities" or smtg like that.

Anyway thks for the answer, my run is busted, i ll retry another day. Still can t do a medium game...

It might currently be a little on the hard side.  I might up sales a bit to make it a little easier.  It was recently a bit to easy in ver 6 but I might of gone to far the other direction, but we can turn all kinds of knobs until the right balance is found.  That is a big part of why I have this open demo style of developing cause I need people like you to give me there feedback.  I am also collecting your data via leader-boards and on my end I have it ver sorted so I can examine peoples play through to help me decide where balance needs to shift. 

I totally agree about the lack of instruction moving to medium I totally get why you were like hmm its not working cause its not obvious to drag drop workers onto sliders unless you have played game dev tycoon which I based game-play around for small / med games.  My plan to solve this is to offer a tutorial when you buy the second office and make it a choice to view.  That way on subsequent plays you wont need to sit through it, but when needed I think a short guide explaining about drag dropping workers onto sliders and how they then take those workloads and how going over 100% workload on a worker will negatively impact your game, and also explain how endurance is the stat that directly affects how much workload you take from sliders.  Training endurance isn't needed for medium although it makes it easier to set workers to sliders without hitting >100% , but it will be necessary for large / AAA.

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Regarding the trend thingy, i was talking about trending topics (medieval, cats and such) and not genre (RTS, MOBA etc...). I do see notification for trending genre, but i don t see for topics. 

I do agree that the trend perk seems the strongest by a mile, maybe some tempering to do there : 

The cost reduction is insignificant a the beginning when you need it most. The sales bonus is ok, i m running with it now for a change. And the RH one is useless right now with so few workers, i don t know how big you plan to make the teams so maybe stronger in the end. 

The thing is with those kind of game you want perks/bonus to be strong early on. Late game strong perks are generally useless, because you ve either snowballed into a monster and don t need it or failed to an early game over because you didn t took the early perk. So i suspect that most player will go with trend perk or sales perk.

BTW if you compare sales perk VS cost reduction. The difference is quite obvious early on. Game dev cost around 20/30k, so 10% is 3k. Sales reaches around 100/150/200k, so 5/10/20k. No brainer there...

Maybe a perk to boost marketing/fans would be good. Decent early and very strong late game since fans keeps adding on. idk

BTW, there doesn t seem to be a RPG genre, unless i missed it, that s weird.

First you will see the notification if a trend goes over 50% the issue is there are 160 topics so the Ai companies are increasing different ones each time and nothing crossed that 50% mark yet for you but they will..

I was thinking about what you said and I think your right about the end game vs early game.  I was thinking the dev costs - would be great late game when making multi million dollar AAA titles, but at that time it wont be as important as the right perk is early on.  I think I need to re-balance the perks to be more viable early game I think that's a really good point your making.  I will have to do some calculations, but I think I can tweak it so that they are better early game options and maybe reduce there power in late game etc  

If I didnt include RPG that is an oversight obviously RPG should be there I thought I had role playing but if I don't I will def add it.

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I played quite a bit these past couple of days, and to be honest i wasn t very sucessfull my 2 cts : 

- the monthly fixed cost scale way too hard in the early game, starting around 2000 to land above 10000 in the 2nd year, i think it is the main culprit in me failing all my games in the 2nd/3rd year. 10000 every month is a lot for fixed cost when you factor in all the research cost for the 1st engine that happens at the same time.

- a bug, when i want to place my money in the special saving account, the money doesn't come back after the specified period, i see the pop up saying my money is back but it's not.

- I think the difference between petty money and bank account shouldn't exist, that's a lot of unecessary micro, for 0 gain. Plus, when you create a company, you can charge research and training to your company and not out of your pocket. 

- Contract RNG and scaling : the contract become too hard in the 2nd year on average. I can't fulfill most of them when it s the period where i starve for cash. Plus the RNG of the contract production vary too much in my opinion causing me to fail some contract when i've managed to fulfill some that were harder, because some time, my avatar spends way too much time not producing green bubbles.

- the help section specify that the engine is not necessary in the first 2 years, but i had messages saying that games produced in the 2nd year are not up to par regarding engine.

That s all for now, may come back for more later.

some excellent feedback thank you kindly..

Firstly the salary cost for additional workers does continue to grow as you level those workers.  I can look into raising it less or tightening the growth curve, I don't want the monthly costs to overwhelm you.  I will def take a look at this and see how I can tighten it up.

In regards to the long term investment bug,  It is suppose to notify you and then move the cash into your bank not petty which is possibly why you didn't notice the cash or its possible it didn't add.  I will perform some tests to ensure it is adding the cash as intended.

I agree with you on the petty / bank feeling odd.  The main reason for this was so the player had to choose to put money in the bank to get interest, but I agree it does feel some what off.  I might just shift it back to one cash flow and let you open an account for some sort of fee or unlock to start gaining interest or just let it all auto bank.  I def agree though the idea is cool but in reality the 2 diff cash streams plays odd.

The Contract work does need some tweaking on it's procedural generation, some of the results can be a little wild.  The one issue here is if you use the RUSH worker skill contract work is pretty easy but without it's pretty difficult.   I will work to balance this more for sure.

The help section was deadly accurate when I first wrote it back in Ver 1.0 but in the current version things have shifted a bit balance wise it now does require an engine with 6 tech in year 2.  I haven't updated the help section I honestly wasn't sure anyone had read it, you are the first to mention it and I will rectify that shortly.

Everything is still on the table and balance will shift like water based on feedback from great people like you.  I truly appreciate you taking the time to try the game and provide feedback I hope you enjoyed your time, and I hope you try some more with future updates.  Still a long way to go but I have a lot of big ideas for the game and I hope you enjoy them, as well as If you have any ideas I am more than open to hearing all of them.

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Hey, thanks for the answer. I managed to make it to year 4 on my last try, i was around level 10. The game looks promising, but at the moment i don t think i'll play any more until more updates trickle in.

A few more comments/advices :

- The game feels like a rogue like, or like i m trapped in a room with rising water because of the fixed cost (a little under 20000 before game over in year 4), doomed to fail sooner or later. I didn't hire another worker, the rising costs were all with only the founder. So i would guess that my avatar going through the level was the source of the rising cost. What feels weird or unbalanced in that case is that if i'm founding my company, i wouldn't pay myself 20000 a month at the risk of bankrupting the company. 

- Another issue is that i didn't feel like my sales were "progressing" at the same pace, a decent/good game would always sell in the ballpark of 100 000 / 150 000, game ratings around 7/8. I also don't see a difference in sales between the 1st game and the last one despite having around 1500 fans.

- An other issue with the level system is that at the moment you don't want to level because you only feel the cost and not the benefit. I know there's some perks to be had, but those are very expensive, so i don't know what they bring. I feel like you really progress by training and that also cost a lot of money.

- I tried to use the Crunch ability at one point but i didn't feel a real boost, maybe i didn't manage to activate it properly. Where do i click to activate it ??

- The long term investment bug : the money definitely wasn't in either account. I admit i didn'tt try any more after that as my run was pretty much busted by it.

- Regarding the petty vs bank stuff, maybe you can try some things like you go shopping for groceries/leisure and stuff from the petty account, resulting in some productivity buff if you eat in classy restaurant instead of cheap noodles, but i wouldn't see if it could justify setting up that much micro.

- Not really important at that point, but i didn't see how buying better hardware would impact me nor by how much.

- Regarding the engine i managed to figure things out by myself, i had a level 12 engine in year 2 and rode it till the game over. I tried to look into it but i don t think you can upgrade an exisiting engine with new feature and you have to pay for all the old feature on a new engine... and money is tight... Didn't manage to make it this far though so maybe i m wrong. Maybe allow the player to upgrade the engine 2/3 time before it's obsolete and must be redone, idk.

- So all in all, i think there's a balance problem between the amounts of cash going in versus going out, but the game looks interesting enough and i definitely enjoyed my time. I wish you the best of luck and maybe i ll drop back in a few months to see where it's going.

Edit : and i remember another bug, i was creating a new game when i saved/exited and when i reloaded, the progress was lost, no game were being created. 

first off great post man appreciate the feedback.

Ok so there is a big problem here...  you didn't hire new workers and your monthly cost in the first office was increasing as your guy leveled??  That is a new bug that must of came up in the latest Update 7 changes with workers.  That is a total mistake.  Your first guy (you) doesn't receive any pay why would he, the 2500 is your monthly rent and should never increase in the small office.  I want the small first office to feel like a safe place where you can take your time and it used to be that way, this bug must of slipped in as a result of recent changes and will be addressed tonight with minor patch to follow.  It's not my intention for the game to ramp up pressure until you move to medium office / 3 workers and medium games.  The new workers get paid more as they level but medium games make substantially more so the trade off is worth it imo.

Game sales progress by year as well as by number of fans within some clamped limits as to enforce you moving from small - medium - large - AAA games.  in simplest terms my sales algorithm goes something like this.  based on year I get a potential num of possible sales, then your game quality maps a range from 0 to that max of potential sales, then your fan sales are added (clamped at 12,500 for small i believe) then its modified by trends / hype to get total sales then its chopped into weekly % chunks.  A 9.0 in year 1 with no fans will sell less copies than a 9.0 in year 3 especially if you have 25k or > fans.  Hopefully with more data I can refine these amounts, as I do want some fluctuation similar to real life where gaming has grown in popularity every year, but at the same time I need you to want to move from small (cash cap of about 250~400k for a 10 in year 3) into medium (cash cap of about 2~4 million for a 10 in year 7) etc etc  however I need more testing and more tuning as well as player feedback to ensure these numbers all feel right.  I have had version where it was to easy as well maybe this current is to hard but we will find the Goldy lox zone one day :)

I dig your idea about the groceries, I had a similar kind of idea as well.  It's definitely being considered I just want to be careful not to add something people find tedious but I like the idea of buffs that could make it optional but worth it for the office to have a "feast" on the company etc all worker speed goes up etc  very interesting idea..

Hardware is actually an amazing buff to your worker training / researching speed.  The difference between maxed hardware and basic hardware for all 3 slots equates to massive time saved on training / researching, but its just time on those activities so maybe its not financially worth it to you?  That however is kind of the point, I want as many viable player options as possible to create a real sense of strategy and replay ability.  I have added a lot of features at this point I don't even know whats the best route to make the most money which is what I want for the game overall.  Meaningful player options and varied game-play.

I will of course debug the long term investment options to ensure that works, I been thinking about it since I read your post earlier and I kind of want to ditch the petty cash and just move to all bank or tweak that system in some way It feels weird having the 2 and I always have petty in the negative and just keep bank rolling.  This could be a good example of an unnecessary system for systems sake and will tighten that up.

Closing the game mid game development, and then finding the game canceled wasn't a bug as much as that's the way it was coded.  I was on the fence if I wanted to let you exit mid development as there so many timers running during game dev that it will be a nightmare to save / resume but possible.  Currently it doesn't save mid project just everything else.  I should either change that or at least put a warning in the menu.

I really appreciate the feedback and I will 100% make use of it and I truly hope you play more and give more feedback if the mood hits.  I am a solo dev but I am super passionate and dedicated.  It is hard though to catch every issue a lone as well as code main systems while also trying to keep some degree of polish on menus / systems.  So your feedback helps me a lot and I will 100% get to everything eventually.  The last few days I have been doing some mesh work for more finalized visuals.  All these aspects do take time but I work hard and I hope you will keep an eye and check back for updates and what not.  Regardless thank you so much for the post and have a great day.

Also I neglected to mention regarding skills..

To gain a skill you first research it in the character upgrades (which it sounds like you did) then click the worker and view stats, from here you select change skills and then drag and drop the skills into the slots you want (each guy gets 2 @ lvl 10).   Once equipped it will be available for you when you click on the worker with the skill based on what your guy is doing and when the skill can be used. For crunch that is available for use during stage 1 / 2 / 3 and game delays  you wont see it any other time but when used you will definitely feel the difference 100% bubble chance makes.

I really need to do a proper tutorial in game but its difficult when a lot of the HUD is still work in progress but I will have a very detailed in game guide at some point before steam early access.

Well, if the rising costs are a bug, maybe take everything else i said about incoming cash with a pinch of salt, because the balance will be wildly different. Hit me up when the update is done and i ll give it another try, this will sure look like i will play a different game ;)

I take no issue about the tutorial, i know the game is in early stage of production and it would be unwise of you to spend too much time documenting every little thing when you re likely changing a lot between each version. 

I fixed that manager income bug right after talking to you.  I didn't want anyone else to experience the issue you had. I want you to be able to take your time or go fast to the medium office, and I def don't want your manager leveling to feel bad that should be a pure positive :)  

Here is a link to the minor update notes which include a mention to you for your bug detection https://hulgarth.itch.io/gdm/devlog/195750/gdm-minor-update-7b-fixes .

Really appreciate the help and understanding of the early stage issues and I hope you grab the new ver and check it out some more when you have the time.  I am currently working on some advanced visuals for the offices, after that I plan to re-work cash into just the bank like we discussed and I got a really good idea based off your idea.. 

Every year based on your company valuation (calculated at year end based on gross and currently used to set loan sizes)  I am going to give you a portion of money as a company fund type thing.  This is separate from your main money and comes in addition no cost to the player.  I am going to give you several office buff options that can be bought with that company funds, and you can decide how and when to buy these buffs, and because we are going to use your valuation I can have expensive buffs you wont be able to get until you are a larger company etc etc..  Still got lots to work out as to what the buffs will be but I am pretty excited about the idea it's yet another player option, and not found in any other tycoon style games like this.  Plus with the current stat system I have it should be np to create several diff buffs and then higher rank version of those and what not..  I think its a good idea and you def helped get me there.

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Hey. I played your game and made a video about it. I did not succeed because I could not figure it out well. I do not know why cards would not be good with idle. It still was fun to play. If you want to cut your game out of the video, let me know. However, if you like the video, I make similar videos every day. I will be happy if you subscribe. Anyway, I enjoyed playing your game.

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I just finished your video, it was quite entertaining.  You have a great personality for game play videos, I hope your channel gains a lot of subscribers (you got at least 1 new one me :p).  When it comes to the game It's not your fault that you made some bad games.  Unless you read the text wall there is no real guidance yet.  I hope to change this very soon, but basically every game takes place in an alternate reality so matches wont necessarily make sense.  You have to research and find out what makes sense then try to develop those games and hit all the positive development sliders.  Using procedural weights to generate matches can give some weird results like RPG + Fantasy is a bad combo.  That is why i consider it an alternate reality.  This is the only way to keep the player in the game and not using website spreadsheets like players do for Game dev tycoon, mad games dev and every game dev simulation out there.  I want to keep the player in the game and have to think on there feet not just read websites, but this can create some weird matches.

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Hey. I played your game again, and I failed again. I could not figure out how to research sliders. It felt like I press every buttons in the game. Also, contracts do not work. They would be very useful at the beginning of the game, but it felt like you would have to be very skillful to complete even the easiest one. Also, researching is very expensive, and it felt like I was just guessing a lot.

Genre's are researched from the "Topic / genre / platforms" section in the research menu.  Topics can then be matched for genres / targets in the "Topic DeepDive" section.  Researching a genre from the "topic / genre / platform" will give you the information for sliders / design + tech balance.  The deepdive info does get expensive if you are trying to mass learn a topic but thats ment for later in the game.  At first I am more expecting you to do a few training to get research or contract work then research the genre and hope for good matches with topics then do game reports.  Once you make some cash from decent games using the deep dive to learn a few genres for a new topic then making a great match isn't to cost prohibitive.  You can check out my game-play vid if you want I recorded a testing session I did if your interested no pressure..


Contract work is currently broken balance wise, I reduced the gains to balance other aspects and I haven't had a chance to balance contract work properly in the new version.  This will be fixed very very soon, at the moment contract work is asking for to much its imbalanced for sure.  For now if you research a genre and make a game with that genre you will see the info you need to get at least 6+ even if the matches aren't the best.  With good matches and good design for small games you will easily get 8/9 once researched.

The game is still very early Dev stage I hope to get some in game tutorial / information together soon I hate seeing people get confused cause I know its my fault.  It's a long read but in game the help menu has a huge write up about scoring and systems, I wanted to be very transparent with how my algorithms work.

I thought that topic/genres/platforms just give you new genres, topics and platforms. I opened it and saw nee topics. That is why i could not even think that it is related to sliders anyhow at all. 

ya sorry for the confusion, that is where you get new topics but you already have all 23 genres you just research them from that menu.  Then of course you can deep dive match topics to genres.  Once you have researched a few genres when you go to deep dive you will see some genres listed in green these are researched genres and you can easily then check that topics match to those genres and whatever target audiences you want.

I'm super hyped about this game ! :D I'll download the demo this evening and I'll try to give you some feedback ASAP

that sounds great, I hope you enjoy whats currently on offer with a lot more to come.   I'm just about ready to drop first update with some tweaks and new additions including the first set of review lines from "WorthABuy"