The games I created

Since I know how to program, I worked on a lot of games and game related projects. But there are even a few games where it was a 100% one-man-show. Where I created everything myself, in most cases even the graphics, sound and music. Maybe you are reading this blog for some time, so maybe you have heard of some of them:

I could tell you tons and tons of stories about each of these games. (Except of course the latest one, which will be released in two weeks, we'll see how that one will do:) Interestingly, all of these games where successful, meaning they made money, and broke even. But none of these games where a financial hit, either.

I wrote a few lines and linked them if possible from this website, if you are interested: Ambiera Games.



Why the Update Fever is Bad

I just got asked by a customer why there hasn't been an update for several months now for one of the software products I create. And if this means that this software is dead now. I'm really baffled by this. Especially because that product has already gotten nearly a dozen free updates, and is pretty stable and bug-free by now.

I just updated Windows 10 on my main development PC with the Fall Creators Update, causing several of the software I use to have failures, or degraded performance. And worst: Some of some very old Microsoft Office tools I still have to use occasionally (for backwards compatibility for some customers) even completely stopped working after the update.
Googling for the error messages I get, I find that a lot of people have the same problem. This is something new for Microsoft: Usually they won't break their own old software with updates, they are known for keeping up backwards compatibility at all costs. Wondering why this is. Purpose? Sloppyness?

Software users are now trained by this behavior: An app or software now has to update at least once a week, or month, otherwise it is considered dead. If you ask the users about it, they don't even know why they want these updates. Is there a feature they are missing? A specific bug they want to have fixed? They don't know. They only want updates, because they are used to it.
Especially for development software, it is better sometimes not to update that frequently: It could change a feature you are relying on, which causes a lot of work for you to adapt to that new update. Or worse: Even introduce new bugs.

So for non-security critical software, it is sometimes better not to update that often. This update fever is bad both for developers and users.



Galaxy Ranger Luna released

The Retro shooter/adventure game "Galaxy Ranger Luna", which I mentioned already on this blog was released today, and was created with CopperCube. Looks like this:

You can get it on itch.io: Galaxy Ranger Luna itch.io page. It uses a "pay what you want" model, so the price should be pretty fair, I think.



Bitcoin Bubble Thoughts

I am not much into Bitcoin, but from what I've heard, it gained traction during the last few years. And there is a big hype around it: One Bitcoin is now worth 5.941 euro at the time of writing. That's 5 times more than since the beginning of this year. Crazy.

So, is this a bubble? I don't know. And like with any other currency or value, nobody knows for sure. But what I know is this: I am now offering Bitcoin payments for all my software for more than two years. And since then, not one single person ever payed using BitCoin. Not a single person.

So what does that mean? My guess would be that people buying Bitcoins are doing it mostly for investing and transferring money. Hoping that its value raises, and then selling it again. Or getting money out of a country or hiding it.

So I think the probability that Bitcoin is a bubble is high, and I'm not going to invest into that. But it would be nice if I would be wrong, of course, because the idea is nice.



Revolutionary budget idea for the USA

A beta tester just sent me this with the subject "I suspect my revolutionary budget idea for the USA was a mistake...":

For comparison, Germany currently has a crime rate of around 775. :)



Please read beyond the first line of text

Do you also have this problem with people? When they aren't able to read beyond the first sentence you wrote them? For example like here:


User: I have a question with your game engine, it doesn't do XX when I do YY.
Me: Maybe you could try to do AAA, this might help.
    If not, try BBB, or alternatively, you can always do CCC.
User: I've now tried, but AAA doesn't help! Help me!!
Me: As I wrote, you could also try BBB. And if that doesn't help, try CCC, that should do the trick.
User: Thanks for your answer! BBB doesn't help! That really sucks!
Me: Did you try CCC?
User: Thanks! I've solved it now.


See? The problem could have been solved with 5 emails less. That's 70%!
I regularly have email exchanges like this. But also for private stuff via SMS / messenger and sometimes even phone calls. It doesn't seem to be related to age or technical knowledge. Seems just like lazyness.

Not sure how to solve this. Probably reading is the problem. Maybe I should start answering via youtube video. Or I should use a bigger font. Not sure.



Steam Page

I finally was able to create a Steam Page for Government Simulator, it now looks like this:

It also shows when I expect the game to be released. Feedback is quite ok for now, and some people also requested a lot of interesting features. Let's see what the next weeks will bring.



Game Trailer

After my blog post yesterday, a few people seemed to be interested in it, and asked for more details. Being used to cut a lot of family videos recently, I was able to create this trailer for my latest political simulation game 'Government Simulator' within just an hour:



I think it still looks ok, though. At least it shows pretty well within one minute what the game is and how it works. I even created the music myself, ha. Hope you like it.



My latest Side Project

On my way to the office or generally when on a train or plane, I usually write a bit of code when I can. Creating 3D stuff isn't possible usually, so I write tools, or once, I even wrote a book (named Die Wiederentdeckung der Erde).

Last year, because I was frustrated with the absurd assertions of our local politicians, I programmed the simulation of a state. So that I could for example change the VAT tax rate of Austria, and see what would happen then. It turned out to be quite fun, so I added a user interface to it, and extended it a bit. The result is the Government Simulator:

A simple economic and political simulation game. I will polish it up a bit and release it soon. Here is another shot:

Do you know the "Kill All The Poor" sketch by Mitchell and Webb? This one here:


I wanted to create a simulation just like that. Sounded like fun. There are a lot of features already in that game, and although I haven't written a "Kill all the poor" option, it would be possible. Not sure if I should though.

Anyway, if you think this is a good idea, subscribe to the newsletter of that game to get a mail once it is finished, or tell me in the comments of what you think, or what you would like to have in a game like this. Any feedback is welcome!



PostCollapse 1.14 update: create your own buildings

I uploaded a new update of PostCollapse to Steam last weekend, which adds the most requested feature so far: The possibility to create own buildings from scratch. Previously, you could only take an existing building and modifiy them.

The game engine wasn't designed initially to support a feature like this, so there are constraints where you can place new buildings. The game will show red markers when you try to build the platform where this is not possible, like too close to another existing building, or on a tile border. In a future update, maybe it will be possible to lift these restrictions, but let's see.

Hope the people playing this game will like it.