Ask cliffski

I thought I’d answer some general big sweeping questions any of you had about the game, coding, indie games, any other positech games or whatever, not here… but in pseudo blog format tomorrow… Maybe…
Anyway… I need some interesting and clever questions from you people. Remember, I am not a PR person for activision, so you can actually ask questions that people like that will never answer. (doesn’t neccesarily mean I will answer them, but I might :smiley:
Ask away!

Have you been having fun seeing the crazy fleets people put together on the challenges?

How has the reaction to GSB been, both in terms of popularlity and fiscally? (You mentioned being worried about it not selling and financial woes and stuff, so, some of us are worried about you!)

What is the least balanced part of GSB right now, in your estimation?

Are you a fan of Neal Asher’s books, or are the purple proton beams just a coincidence? I got’s to know. :slight_smile:

As an aspiring indie developer myself, I am particularly interested in your development and design methodology. Your games are a lot more intricate than most other indie games out there right now and I believe that is part of what makes you successful. I would love to see you talk more on the following topics:

  • How did you approache the design and stats balancing of GSB. Did you spreadsheet things out to determine effects and consequences of changing things and if so, how did you actually do this?

  • How do you approach development? Do you start with an idea and than start coding a prototype and go from there? I’m really interested to know how Cliff Harris goes about creating a Positech game. I also really enjoy reading about and seeing the interim stages a game has gone through from beginning to end.


What were your favourite games and platforms when growing up?


How many hours do you spend coding every day? What does your daily schedule look like as an indie game programmer?

I’m an aspiring game developer who’s had quite a bit of trouble sticking to a project and finishing it.

How do you not lose motivation in large projects (like GSB), and stick them out?

I answered a lot of this, and some stuff you people asked by email in a video blog thing here:


You never told us you were Simon Pegg.

I hardly recognized you without your face glowing red.

I hope you make more little video posts, since I quite enjoyed this one. Especially “It’s just a matter of fuckin’ discipline, really. You just gotta get on with it.” My dad always described it as “AIC”, or Ass In Chair.

On the topic of GSB and all things space-ish, favorite sci fi book, film, TV show and game?

And would you rather live in a horrible dystopia or a boring utopia?

I did enjoy!

It occurs to me that what you’re talking about re: balance is that you want the middle of the ‘bell curve’ to be most heavily occupied - the area where people use a mix of tactics. Presumably one way to do this is to make the ends of the bell curve - where people specailize in spamming missiles and whatnot - inherantly unstable compared to the middle?

The possibilities of where this balancing is going to go excite me deeply. I look forward to the end of the bug hunts and the start of balancing proper!

Where can I buy Space Port? :slight_smile:

Cheers for those vids, I’m still laughing over the Star Trek Captains appraisal…

By the default names of the ships, I can’t help but think you’re a huge Bank’s fan, espcially of the culture books and specifically Excession.

Did you create the names of your ships or do you have a name generator that creates games on-the-fly?

If the former, what names gave you glee as you thought of them and wrote them down?