1. The game tells you what to do.
Your secretary guides you through the game. At the right time, the game displays additional hints that let you figure out what to do. So if you want to discover the game on your own – it’s perfectly possible.
2. General hints.
*You have to spend money to make money.*
Usually, the more money you spend (on staff, on advertisement, on a license etc.), the more money you can make afterwards. Even right at the beginning it’s clever not to go with the cheapest option.
*Your staff is important.*
Use »train« and »level up« frequently – it not only improves the skill of your workers but also their power. And it helps you unlock new types and genres of games you can develop.
Also »hire« new staff, when you can afford it. Right after you move to the largest office (8 staff members), you should spend $3.5M for the Hollywood Agent and try to hire some hackers with high skills.
*Don’t do the same thing twice in a row.*
It’s usually the best option to change what you are doing. Develop a new type of game, work on a contract after a game, don’t use the same staff member twice for the same job etc.
*The game is based on probabilities.*
Whatever you do is influenced by chance. Negative events are triggered by chance. The impact of an investment in an external graphic designer or musician is influenced by a certain probability. Staff members being »on fire« and developing either aspects of your game or bugs – also based on chance. [A hint no gamer with honor should think about using: After something bad happened, quit the game instantly. Start up a again and use the autosafe file.]
3. Key concepts explained.
Every staff member has a job description:
- Sound Engineer
- *Hardware Engineer
Not all of them are available from the start. As far as I can tell, the job description has no influence on the way staff members do their job. However, you can change the job title using the »Career Change Manual« the traveling salesman sells you. This will affect most of their skills, but it will allow you to level up your staff member from level 1 again. So basically you can level up a coder, change his job description, level him up as a designer and so on. This let’s you create very high skilled team members (with very high salaries).
After you leveled up one team member in all job titles, Hardware Engineer becomes available. You will need a Hardware Engineer to develop your own console.
Hackers can only be hired but not trained.
*Managing your cashflow.*
As said above, often times you have to spend a large part of your cash as an investment. Don’t hesitate to do so – but never spend all of your money. The salesman might come by, you might to have to pay salary or invest in advertisement. Also reserve some cash to pay for external experts on game development.
Buying new licences is important. It requires a certain timing skill. Always use one main licence on which you develop your games. In my opinion it’s not useful to develop on two consoles at the same time. But once your console becomes old or loses market share you should consider a change (and save up the money to buy the licence).
*Developing a game.*
- Genre and type. The high impact and high sales choices are more expensive, of course. Certain genres and types go well together and give you a bonus, others don’t. Here is (an incomplete) list I copied from this forum:
- Game scenario. Works just like design and audio: Pick a staff member or an outside expert with a high skill in the relevant aspect. Use staff members that haven’t worked the same job before (the games let’s you know who you picked last) and don’t use staff members with low power.
- Boosts. Boosts come in two types: Either you can pick a certain boost with a boost item purchased from the salesman (e.g. »Fun Boost«). You use 30 research data but no cash and can boost one aspect of your game by about 10 to 30 points, depending on who you pick; or staff members walk up to you and ask for your permission to boost one aspect on their own. This costs money and depending on the skill level of the employee a certain amount of research points. In my opinion you should use the second type of boost only after you employ hackers or other employees with skills above 100.
- Bugs. Bugs are basically just a delay. I always wait for all the bugs to found – during this process you also get quite a few research points, so it’s not wasted time.
Odd combos: Music + Dating = Creative Amazing: RPG with: - Fantasy Simulation with: - Romance - Movies - Game Co. - Architecture Action with: - Ninja Adventure with: - Mystery - Cartoon Shooter with: - Robot - War Life with: - Animal Puzzle with: - Reversi Audio Novel with: - Romance Motion with: - Volleyball Table with: - Mahjong Not bad: RPG with: - Dungeon - Medieval Simulation with: - Stocks - Dating -Baseball Table with: - Checkers Action with: - Samurai - Robot Adventure with: - Fantasy - Romance Shooter with: - Ninja Racing with: - Marathon - F1 Racing Online RPG with: - Fantasy - Dungeon Trivia with: - Movies Board with: - Checkers Music with: - Pop Star - Movies Audio Novel with: - Mystery Puzzle with: - Word Nothing: RPG with: - Game Co. Simulation - Harbor Sim RPG - Dating - Movies - Cutie - Golf - Baseball Action with: - Animal - Fantasy Adventure with: - Robot - Mushroom - Animal Shooter with: - Spy Action RPG with: - Robot - Ninja Online RPG with: - Game Co. - Dating Trivia with: - Historical - Celebrity - Sports Life with: - Samurai - Romance - Pirate - Architecture - Fitness Music with: - Reversi - Celebrity - Fitness Audio Novel with: - Comedy Motion with: - Golf - Hunting - Baseball Educational with: - Animal - Egypt Card Game with: - Fantasy - Art - Dungeon - Word
*Developing a console.*
It’s pretty straight-forward, once you have a hardware engineer. For a decent console you need $92M. in cash (there are cheaper options).
I haven’t actually completed any of these yet – that’s why they are called challenges.
As this forum member posts, you can upgrade hackers in all other jobs they will reach skill levels above 600.
*Developing the potato chip console with punch cards.*
This challenge is also explained in a forum thread.
Starting quick for high scores.
- Start real slow. Don’t spend any money/research on training/levelling-up employees, they will not remain employed long. Develop only for the PC until either you have a lots of cash or the GameBoy comes out.
- Fill all the positions with cheap hires from word-of-mouth ASAP, then once or twice a year do a more expensive search and get people with high stamina and decent stats.
- Produce a wide variety of games. Getting a type to level two gives direction points, so in the beginning try and get as many of these instead of specialising in a couple of types.
- Whenever someone asks if they can try and improve an area of a game, say yes but only spend a single research point on it. If they succeed that’s good, but if they fail it will create bugs which convert to research points. It’s win-win.
- If you can afford it, set your games to emphasise research.
- Whenever the salesman comes, buy three career change books only.
- Within a couple of years you should be able to accumulate a few hundred research points. As soon as you find Mister X, (or another promising employee with excellent stamina,) get him and level him up as much as you can, then use the career change book and level him up to 5 again, this will unlock lots of new genres. When you get him to level 5 in a certain career, do some training and you should unlock a heap of new types as well. He starts with low stats, but with so much levelling and training you may find he becomes your best worker.
- When you are offered the new office, again fill it with cheap hires, and replace them with better people later to avoid steep contract costs. Do your expensive hiring in month four so that you don’t have to pay as much in salary each year.
- Now that you have excellent employees making profitable GameBoy games, you will have some extra cash to spend, which you can use on advertising and boothbabes… this will in turn increase profitability, which will give you more money for advertising, (and training Mister X.)
After playing the game twice, there are still some questions unanswered.
- What is the exact point of the Gamedex exposition? It certainly affects sales – but how?
- Moving Seats. You can do that – does it have an effect?
Ask any question you might have in the comment field.
Further reading: Article in Wired.