The final rounds!

Hi guys,

This period of my life is very exciting and tiring at the same time. Just check out this pie:
resquetime

This is my month until now. blue means programming and graphic works directly, grey is when I’m working on marketing and social media, emails. Red is when I play or watch an episode of the Simpsons Family with my beloved (during dinner). On an average, it means more than 12 hours of work on a daily basis including weekends and here you can’t see the time that I spend _thinking_ about the game.

I do this for months now… Sometimes I work 16 hours on a day. Why all of this? Well, I cannot deny that I love doing it. I couldn’t do this otherwise. But this is also just way too important to me to take it not seriously. I would deeply regret later if the project fails financially that I didn’t do everything that I could.

Making a game is an extreme luxury these days. The worth of the time plus money that I put into this would be enough for a half flat. As Cliffski wrote, “if you are an indie, your game will flop and you will lose money”. Unfortunately, this can happen very easily and the changing steam environment (worse year after year) doesn’t make it easier to get visibility and revenue.

This night I’ve sent Computer Tycoon the GDWC (the game development world championship). I think most of the games win because of their visual appeal, so I’m afraid I can’t win. But I used their event as a deadline. I deeply believe in deadlines, those turn projects reality. I see failing so many people just being lost in their work for eternity without results. Also, I hope that they will give some kind of positive feedback that I could maybe use in my upcoming trailer.

The trailer! I have a private version at this moment. I got some pieces of advice from friends, but basically, everybody thinks it is pretty cool. This makes me very happy because I’m new with trailers. I’m very excited sharing it with you on October 5th in memory of Steve Jobs.
Still, I’d love to get any recommendations on this topic. If I’m the father of Computer Tycoon, Steve is its grandpa. The game is basically a “Steve Jobs Simulator”, simply I cannot sell it like that because of legal reasons. He is my biggest inspiration in this work! So… Could you maybe recommend me any places where it would be beneficial to share the trailer on the anniversary mentioning this relation? You can send me links to any groups, forums, sites etc. I’d be very happy to get any!

Also, I’d like to talk about the game news as well. I wrote so long time ago sadly, that I really have material to share with you.First of all, I made big changes to the GUI. Secondly I had heavy fights with my engine in the last weeks, and lastly, the game’s steam page silently has been created. Why silently? Well, originally I planned to release the game on October 5th. Steam administration non-sense made it impossible, unfortunately, so I had to postpone it to 12th (And putting the trailer to 5th to keep the anniversary). The problem is that this means only 1 week between the trailer and the EA dates and because of Steam Direct nowadays every project must be in a state called “coming soon” on steam for at least two weeks before release time. So I had to upload the game site before two weeks of my desired release date. I could put it on October 19th. But… because of the coming Halloween sale, I’m afraid to release the game any later than 12th. This forced me to create the steam page without the trailer.

I know this is a bad move. Uploading the site without a trailer is a bad practice. The reason why I decided to do it this way anyways is still the anniversary and Steve that is so important to me. I beg you to support me on that specific day, without your help this sacrifice will make more harm than good.

In the last last 12 days still, I have plenty of work. I have a very long bug list, and also two non-implemented features, that I’d like to carry out. Stay tuned! Soon I will send out keys to my subscription list as I promised earlier. And please check out the new GUI of the game! 🙂 Cheers!

 

Computer Tycoon Dominance Map

Computer Tycoon Dominance Map

Computer Tycoon Ease-Of-Use Map

Computer Tycoon Ease-Of-Use Map

Computer Tycoon - Customer Statistics

Computer Tycoon – Customer Statistics

Computer Tycoon - Hardware List

Computer Tycoon – Hardware List

Computer Tycoon - Research Screen

Computer Tycoon – Research Screen

Computer Tycoon - Technological Singularity

Computer Tycoon – Technological Singularity

Computer Tycoon – Company Building Sites and Graphics Optimization

Hi all,

In the last 2-3 weeks, I was working on the building sites of the game. This was a hard period honestly, and this is the first time that I had some real trouble around the game.

Please don’t forget that still, you can register to my newsletter, so you can win a free copy of the game before release on steam. Also, I will look for testers using this email list. http://eepurl.com/cG63JD

Also, I’ve just created a subreddit for my game, where I will constantly look for the feedback! https://www.reddit.com/r/ComputerTycoon/

IndieDB

So, getting back to the topic, haha! It was a long time ago when I last created 3D games. The tools and the surrounded problems evolved a lot, and well, my knowledge faded away. I needed some time to get back!
For some time I really wasn’t sure if I want 3D parts into Computer Tycoon or not. But I ended up to include it. Simply, I felt that people will like it. I think it’s always rewarding to actually “see your empire” in the grand strategy aspect, so I implemented it in Computer Tycoon as well. I talked about this in earlier posts where I showed the country map of the game. I love strategy games where you can see your territory growing. But how about your company?
When people think about companies, even more corporates, they think about offices, factories. Yeah, kinda “workplaces”, right? So the best way to make your company be a living thing is to show those buildings, I guess. The problem is that this makes the game even bigger, and also I’m a bit afraid that thinking about other tycoon games, people will assume that you can freely build stuff on a map just as you do it in transport tycoon or rollercoaster tycoon.
But here, you won’t. This game isn’t about that kind of creativity. There is another line of tycoon games, where building/road/anystuff construction isn’t the main thing. Just remember to Game Dev Tycoon, where you create games, not roller coasters.
In Computer Tycoon the “building site” is where you see the infrastructure of your company. You can upgrade specific parts to get more productivity or research/marketing capability, new marketing methods and so on. And I decided to give you a living 3D animation representation of it. Simply, you just can’t put the buildings where you would like to because they have predefined positions. Maybe in the sequel! 🙂

But what was the problem? Well, I made you a so big and so detailed representation, with so many models, that the engine had some trouble. Of course, on my strong dev PC that was totally okay, but what about older computers? Tycoon games tend to have a small system requirement because they don’t have usually an impressive graphics quality. These games aren’t really about graphics.
So this was the dilemma… Should I keep this or not? Well, at this moment, I’m on the track to keep it. I made everything to optimize the graphics.

Using a Radeon HD 6850 card, you can get 58-60 fps on Full-HD (watching the biggest, most crowded scene). And using a Geforce 920M you can also get 30 fps on 1388×768 resolution.
The Radeon HD 6850 is a 5 years old video card, with a 2262 benchmark. The Geforce 920M is a relatively new video card for laptops with a 711 benchmark. I hope that it’s enough. This is something that I will need to test out on more systems. Yes, I really count on you in that! 🙂 Getting to this point was hard, pretty hard with very long nights. I just really hope that this level of system requirement is still acceptable. Feel free to check your own hardware on the benchmark list and put it in the comments to me.

Check out these screenshots of the building site. I guess that’s what is the most interesting for you out there. On the pictures, ambient occlusion is turned off. I’m still thinking if I want it or not.

Please stay tuned, and recommend the game to your friends who like retro computers and tycoon/strategy games. I really need your help. Multiple friends of mine have flopped games recently, and telling the truth, I’m a bit afraid at this moment that I will end up the same way. I work _literally_ all day and night to make this happen. Thanks for reading! 🙂

Computer Tycoon Building SiteComputer Tycoon Building SiteComputer Tycoon Building SiteComputer Tycoon Building Site   Computer Tycoon Building SiteComputer Tycoon Building SiteComputer Tycoon Building Site

Computer Tycoon – Kit Computers, Home Computers, Personal Computers, Portable Computers and Tablets?

Computer Architectures in Computer Tycoon

Computers are evolving since the 70s. In one of my previous writing, I’ve explained what’s the main difference between Personal Computers and Home computers in the game, and what is the story behind these names.

In a nutshell, the expression “home computer” became unused because of marketing reasons. Companies thought that this name will indicate that their computers are only for games, and this will demotivate the business sector in buying their products. Also, the personal computer concept of IBM became really popular and the only alternative that was financially successful is the “MAC”, so we now have PCs and MACs.

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http://eepurl.com/cG63JD)

This post on IndieDB

But these are only 2 categories. Still, we have very different architectures, such as “Portable Computers”. Well, again, a not really popular expression. Laptops, notepads, tablets could be called like that. This is again, somehow the result of marketing strategies. Basically, when you have a product, you try to sell it as something “new”. Also, these new names or categories sometimes are really logical as well. So today we have laptops, notebooks, tablets and so on. (some time ago we also had PDAs, and in fact we have today smartphones as well, and during that time we had kinda hybrid devices too).

In Computer Tycoon you will have Kit Computers, Home Computers, Personal Computers, Portable Computers, and Tablets.

Oh, what a nice list, isn’t it? 🙂

Kit Computers

This is something interesting for youngsters. A long time ago computers were very expensive devices. Also, they very huge physically as well. First, they were bigger than rooms, after that they were as big as a furniture, a cabinet. They used huge magnetic tapes or punch cards. Early developers made such cards as their “programs”. Wow! Just imagine me giving you Computer Tycoon on a 100-meter long card!
Then some nerds created the first computer for a “consumer friendly” price. Is it something like computers today? Well, not really. It didn’t have a screen, neither a keyboard (not a mouse of course). It was able to communicate with you by LEDs on its front panel. You were able to give numerical commands to the computer using toggle switches. And also… these were so called “kit computers” because they were constructed by YOU from a so called (not so user-friendly haha) kits.
They were awesome if you ask me. Here is the kit computer from Computer Tycoon:

Lovely, right? Well, you can’t play GTA V or LOL on it. Not even Tetris or Pong. Still, it was awesome. Before that computer people could only see computers in labors or some universities. Now you could have one at home.

What is really interesting to me, that the next models were not really so far from this actually. They used not much better CPUs, but they got a keyboard and a screen. This is what I call a small step in technological advancement but a huge jump in features. From the user experience perspective, it’s undeniably something very important.

In Computer Tycoon Kit Computers are represented only as introductory and tutorial purposes. In fact, you will start with a Kit Computer and your first task is to get all of the needed technology to build your first Home Computer!

Look at this picture, please:

Computer Tycoon architecture

Here you can see the main parts of this system. Red parts are mandatory at the moment (this is something that can change by time in the game). Your kit computer will have some memory, a CPU, power supply, the main circuit (let’s call it a motherboard, although it’s not the same as today, but generally this was the base) and some kind of “operating system” (a program that can handle all of these parts)

Home Computers

When you get keyboard and monitor to the accessories and other important technology you can move to the “home computer” era:

Computer Tycoon HC Architecture

Here you go. As you can see the system has expanded. Did you notice that displays aren’t mandatory? Well, there were Home Computers connected to the television. A well-known model was the Commodore 64 for example. Don’t worry about the empty parts by the way. You will fill those with hardware elements. In Computer Tycoon you have to develop the hardware elements first. Building your own system is only the second step.

As you should have noticed. There are different indicators on the screens, such as “performance”, “prestige”, “quality, “features”, and “ease-of-use”. Different elements give different values to these, and different architectures have different possibilities as well. (Oh just noticed the typo in “prestige :)) on the screenshot). These indicators will be very important to you because the market will receive your product depending on these values AND on your price of the product… and on the offer of your opponents.

Personal Computers

After a while, you will get Personal Computers and Portable Computers as well…

Computer Tycoon architecture

Do you notice the difference? But why aren’t storage or power supply mandatory? Well, I already mentioned that different architectures mean different possibilities. As I told you in the beginning in real life the difference between PCs and HCs is mainly from marketing aspects AND the modular build of PCs. Although back in the early times it was still more of a marketing tool as well (Because they promised that you can easily change the CPU in your computer, but in reality, it was hard and rare), today it’s kinda true. The PC compatible computers can contain devices from a lot of manufacturers together, and also you can greatly improve and customize your system.

If your customer can gather hardware for a PC from different sources.Why couldn’t you avoid some kind of hardware elements? Although you have to offer the main parts of the system, so still you must create computers here, without input devices, storages, displays or a power supply… AND of course, you don’t have to create an operating system either. Is it beneficial to you? Well, we will see! 🙂 (Oh my gosh, “operation system” on the screenshot! Well, I will have to operate out these labels soon 🙂 )

Portable Computers

Portable Computers come only one step later. Although they won’t be a hit fast:

Computer Tycoon Portable Computer Architecture

The first portable computers were not like our laptops today. Some of them were as big as a traveling suitcase with a screen on it as small as your palm.

And again. The mandatory parts are changing. Also, I should notice that the viewable architectural differences are only one thing. With different devices, your customers will have different desires and you will have to solve this. There will be some additional design concerns connected to the different architectures. You don’t have to create the fastest Portable Computers out there for the same price as their Personal Computer rivals. Also, Home Computers will tend to be more of a prestige symbol after a while. Oh, MACs are very nice. But will a hardcore gamer buy a MAC for gaming purposes? Of course not. Or will a hardcore player buy a tablet maybe, for gaming purposes? But at the same time, a businessman, will buy a Nuclear Reactor Madaf***er PC to show documents to his customers?

Tablets

And eventually, we will have the tablets:

Computer Tycoon architecture

Although Tablets are portable, they function today as a really different thing compared to laptops – for a reason. These are much more like a gadget than a computer. It’s unlikely that you will use a tablet for computing astronomical data, right? And although laptops are portable, having them in your bed isn’t recommended. Laptops are portable in the first case to move them between your homes, rents or workplaces and use them on a desk. (Oh I know that how much of you don’t see this like that 🙂 ) But a tablet is really something that you can grab and bring with yourself to anywhere. Even to the toilet haha! Also, a tablet is even more of a luxury product if you ask me, something that is for your comfort and pleasure, not for work. A laptop will last much longer than a tablet. (this is a concern even to banks today where they would like to use them to enrich the customer experience. What they don’t really consider enough that these are not durable enough to serve too long under a massive user load).

Tablets won’t last for too long, because in my opinion after a while their design will be obsolete. In the future, I’m sure that we will use some kind of light-based devices, and holographic GUI. Also, I do believe that our “desktop” computers will be all portable after a while. Well, maybe I’m wrong in that. We will see! 🙂

Originally I planned to include PDAs and ROBOTS into the game, but I decided to cut them out because of financial and design concerns. But if the game will sell well, I will include them in DLCs.

I hope that you enjoyed my article. Please share it if you like what you read. I’m a solo-dev fighting with time, I need your support out there. Also please remember that I’d like to release the game in early access, or at least create a demo for you to October 5. in memory of Steve Jobs.

Official Page

Cheers! 🙂

www.computertycoon.com

Computer Tycoon Group Picture