Funded! This project was successfully funded on February 2, 2013.

Update #19

Neocolonialism 1.0 has been released!

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Well folks, it’s finally here. If you pledged $10 and less than $25 (which is most of you) you should've received an email with your access key. If you were a beta tester, you can download the final build here.

If Neocolonialism rocks your socks, please like this post on Facebook.

It’s been a lot of work and a lot of fun. You, my Kickstarter backers, have been wonderfully helpful. I'd like to also thank:

  • My brother Eliot for writing the server code
  • Marley Magner for working on the trailers and sound
  • Boston Indies for encouragement and advice
  • All of my friends and family for being supportive while I rambled about socket libraries

Please email me if you have any questions regarding the release (you could email me with other questions too but I might take longer to respond). I’ll keep posting reviews and write-ups as I learn of them.

As for the future, all I can say for the now is… pineapples.


Update #18

Neocolonialism and DRM

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Neocolonialism will be DRM-free.

Currently, it is not. You need to login to the game to do anything–singleplayer, LAN, or multiplayer. This, it turns out, is a rather good way to go about closed beta testing. But my original plan had been to keep this format upon release, and make the game clients freely available on my website (because without an account, they are useless).

I’m changing that plan. Starting with the next release, you will not need to login for offline games. Beta testers will still need to enter their account name and passwords to reach the download link. When the game is released, you will be able to download the client from either the Humble Store or Amazon upon purchasing the game. (I am right now looking into the best way to deliver updates.) You will create an account on my website using an access key you obtain upon purchase, and you will use that account to play online if you so choose.

Removing DRM was not an easy decision, and I really hope it’s for the best. As the theme of the game may indicate, I have personal misgivings about DRM–I don’t like how much mistrust they imply, or how arrogant developers are when they think that their security systems will still be operational decades from now. I’ve talked to friends as well as online fans and they’ve also expressed their doubts including DRM into Neocolonialism.

DRM has been very, very tempting because I am a one-person studio and I’m going to need all the sales that I can get if I want to keep doing this full-time. I do not know if removing DRM and making singleplayer mode so easily-pirated will ultimately generate more sales, or less. But a DRM-free Neocolonialism is a more moral Neocolonialism (ha!) and hopefully taking a higher ground on this will eventually make for a better decision.

***

In other news, Neocolonialism is only a month away from being released! On a technical level, the game is almost ready–I’m mostly now working on polishing some odd phase transitions and some quirks in the Windows version.


Update #17

Two years of development

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This weekend is the two-year anniversary of Neocolonialism and also it’s the weekend of Boston FiG, so I’ve put Neocolonialism on sale on Amazon for half-price ($5). “Like” Neocolonialism on Facebook to spread the word.

Also, if you’re attending Boston FiG tomorrow, be sure to stop by booth #54!

***

So I’ve been working on this game for two years. That’s a really long time. Granted, I’ve been working on it full-time for a bit less than one year–before that, it was just a side project. Still. Hmm.

Things have come a long way since September 2011… This is one of the earliest builds of the game:

 Notice how disorienting the map used to be. By the time I first released the alpha onto the Internet in July 2012, I had fixed it:

This is what the game looked like during the Kickstarter campaign in January 2013:

And this is what it looks like now:


Update #16

Dictatorships and Coups

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(Look! An article about Neocolonialism in the Boston Globe!)

I have been hard at work re-balancing the game in order to have it working smoothly for Boston FiG. Several beta testers have reported that A) it is easy to consolidate votes such that you always have a majority in Parliament and B) that, while effective, it’s really boring. To deal with this, the next release will introduce Dictatorships and Coups.

If you are the only voter in a region, you are a Dictator and that region is a Dictatorship. It’s really easy to get things done (because you never have to negotiate with other players), but there is a special crisis in the IMF Phase called a Coup that can happen in Dictatorships (and is way more common than other crises). In a coup, you lose all of your votes in that region.

Ideally, this will make players avoid hoarding too much power. But I’m curious: Has anyone else noticed this problem? Do you have any further suggestions?


Update #15

Pre-orders have begun!

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I am proud to announce that Neocolonialism is available for pre-order on my site as well as the Amazon Indie Store. Circumstance permitting, the game will be released on November 4th, 2013. If you backed this Kickstarter for $10 or more, you will receive your game at that date. But regardless, please "like" the announcement on my Facebook page in order to help spread the word!

Meanwhile, progress on the beta continues. I have spent the past few weeks correcting numerous bugs in the online mode and once again improving AI. The next release will probably be ready by the end of next week. Around that time, I hope to start scheduling online playtests.

I will also be at Boston FiG in mid-September--stop by my booth if you can make it!


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