Given what I’ve read about Positech Games, the author seems to love honest and constructive feedback. I first found out about Positech via the Slashdot article “Game Developer’s Response To Pirates” http://games.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/08/13/2249246. I suspect (and hope) that this has been the source of a lot of new attention on these games. I know I never would have heard of them otherwise.
I love good simulation games, and what little I read about Democracy 2 reminded me a lot of one of my old favorite games, “Capitalism”. I was also especially pleased that a game author whose very livelihood depends on people paying for something they could easily (and illegally) download was willing to abandon the “warm fuzzy” of DRM and the annoyance it causes to paying customers. (And honestly, it really does only annoy the paying customers since the people who pirate the game never have to deal with the DRM…) I’m almost willing to buy the game just to reinforce that clue factor!
But enough soapboxing-- on to my impressions of the demo…
- I love the “No DRM” logo. It makes it clear that this is the correct version and the DRM has been removed.
- Excellent “how to play the game” section
- I like the concise and helpful windows to guide me through playing
- The artwork is much better than I expected from an indie game. This is often pretty klunky.
- Using the “speed” of a connection to reflect how much of an effect an item has was very clever and intuitive
- It’s not always obvious whether a positive or negative influence on something is good or bad. Perhaps some color coding could help here
- A bit more guidance in the early part of the game would help, even a walkthrough of a very short game would be appropriate
- It ends WAY too early. It did not leave me wanting more. It left me angry that I never got to explore the game. I suspect it’s enough to limit this to one scenario-- the turn limit needs to either be MUCH larger or eliminated.
Number 3) was the killer for me that got my wallet put back. It kinda seemed fun, but how could I tell if I was on the right track? Were my attempts at fixing the crime via GDP growth going to succeed or would my economy collapse under the weight of its own deficits? There does not seem like there’s any way to find out via the demo.