This update is more behind the scenes updates I'm afraid, I have been working on the product release and event cards, making very good progress. However I am currently using real names in the cards and I have no clearance for any of them, that will be a big task in the new year, but for now it's easier to just keep them private. Sorry, but the research has been a lot of fun, follow the twitter feed to see a few highlights.
Some of the other issues I have been wrestling with this week:
Expanding reach of the game
Initially I was restricting the game to only home computers and add other models in expansions. I have decided to expand this to consoles and (some) business machines from the outset. This is mainly because their stories are too interlinked in terms of events, companies and development.
Profits per Turn vs Longevity
I was always a bit vague on the relations between profit and longevity, I have now clarified this. Longevity is the lasting impact. For example the original IBM PC did not last a long time, but its creation led to the IBM clone market, which had a massive lasting impact. Profit is the amount of money each turn after building a product. The number of turns is reflective of the historical short term popularity of the release.
History is littered with unsuccessful products and I want to include many of them in the game, however, why would anyone want to build any of these? I'm contemplating setting a rule that forces players to pick one release every turn, but I'm not yet sure.
Currently the game has marketing as the sole reflection of non-technical inputs into a product. However, we all know that business acumen is also a major player in the life of a company and how could this be reflected? In some ways, this is the players, but should there also be a resource cost that you can invest into?
Representing Products with many models
Whilst researching potential models for product cards I came across a lot of products that were basically just small improvements on previous models. Instead of having half a dozen very similar product cards I have instead introduced the 'New Version' card that enables you to build a quick interim product based on an existing product.
I have added a field for tech specs to products. This is no more than nostalgic flavour text, but hey, that's what geeks are likely to love. :)
Beginnings of Business Model ideas
I haven't given much thought to the way the game will make money yet, my main ideas have been a freemium / open source style model. The only further step I've taken in figuring this out is only offering the ability for players to access print quality versions of cards if they sign up.
See you in the new year!