Game Balance Mega-Thread

Before you read this I kindly ask you to bear in mind that English is not my native language nor have I any kind of hatred towards this game or its developers (Greenheart). On the contrary, I love this game and Im an avid fan of Game Dev Story for iOS. I have created this topic for the sole reason of making this better and helping out the community.

After finding several threads on the same topic but with no direct or satisfying answer I have decided to create another thread concerning the obvious balance issues this game has. To make matters worse, Greenheart developers have not given an answer concerning these issues (of which a number of players are having).

This is my story:

I have started a fifth consecutive game, every time doing very well in the beginning. I usually release a number of 9+ scored games earning well over a couple of million cr. And thats done before the 4th year mark. After I’ve amassed about 10 million credits I move out of my basement to the first office, immediately hiring 1 or 2 specialist workers.

And this is where the problems start.

It seems (and bear in mind, I have started from scratch for 5 times now) whatever I do I can not produce a well-selling game. The weird thing is that most of my games have fairly good ratings (Over 8 points mostly). They rarely sell over 100k units though. I have tried uncountable amount of different combinations, slider options, platforms, target audiences, creating small to large scale games, doing so with employees and without them but the result is always the same. At some point my company goes bankrupt because no matter the combinations I try, they just won’t sell.

It gets weirder though. In my last game I got frustrated and created an abysmal game (Transport-Action) and I completely randomised the sliders. Needless to say, it got awful scores averaging 2.5. But for some reason it sold over 1 million copies. It was not targeted to an audience, there was no current trends and its platform was PS1. Every Good or Perfect combination game before that (Fantasy-RPG, Aliens-Action, Game Dev-Simulation etc.) with very good slider adjustments which scored 8+ on reviews only sold near to 100k copies.

I have a feeling that whatever you do it doesnt really matter. Its like the sales are generated randomly. This is where Greenheart insight would be appreciated. There are many people with issues like that and an official statement concerning these problems should be considered.

This game works very well before you move out of your basement stage, after that its a complete mess and should be readjusted.

Thank you for reading this. I hope Greenheart responds to this.
(And yes, I have bought the game and supported you :D)


Bump. Please provide your insight aswell, especially when youre experiencing the same issues.

I am having this same problem! I tried not hiring any employees after moving into my own office and did ok for awhile, but my money gradually plummets until I’m bankrupt. My games don’t make enough to sustain my company even when they have high ratings. I haven’t made it past a couple years after the “Playsystem” is released.

I wish there was more information to help me know what I’m doing wrong. I want to start a new game, but it feels futile at his point. :frowning:

Agreed. Having the exact same problems.

There’s no notifications on what I am doing wrong, or how I do better. Am I not keeping up on the curve?
Part of the problem is when I have to pick Young/Mature/Adult - I apparently never seem to guess right. Even though my choices are quite logical.

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The developers right now are completely overwhelmed by an unexpectedly high sales volume, resulting in more bugs and hiccups than they can easily handle, given there are just two of them. I expect they will not be able to respond to forum threads about balance issues for a little while yet. Of course, we could get pleasantly surprised.

I suspect that there is indeed a large random factor to sales volumes, but it is not completely random. The quality of the game will affect the ranges for the random factor.

With regard to moving into an office, the game suggests not hiring too many workers right away. I would try sticking with just one. The one time I made a serious go of playing in an office, I spent 2 million hiring and apparently got a ‘famous’ designer. While my office did not ‘make’ money, at least I wasn’t loosing too much. That said, for now I think I’ll just see how far I can get staying as an independant garage developer.

Don’t expect much changes, the developers already stated in some other thread that the game is complete and they won’t make any changes.

You’ll do pretty well until you get sick of doing top down Ultima clones and then venture off into Isometric games only to find that it makes getting new art much more expensive forcing you to cut down both your game design and new art in order to afford development until you end up with mediocre crud like the Avernum remakes in a world were Minecraft, KSP, and Dwarf Fortress exist. And then you’ll also have this problem were you can’t tell the difference between more expensive art and better art, which results in all of your sprites being fugly poser renderings and the only thing keeping you afloat is the fact that you finally discovered Steam and, by extension, reasonable pricing. But you’ll still send people who bought your old good games new copies if they send you an email with their name and the email address they used to purchase them so they still buy your games in the vain hope that you’ll start getting better again.


Same. I absolutely love the game and how it tries to go above and beyond what Game Dev Story does (which I also love). But it becomes very frustrating once you get to the 1st office.

It’s strange because when it’s your first playthrough, the game is very good about walking you through, so it’s weird that the difficulty suddenly spikes up once you’re moving out of the garage and finally becoming successful.

I realize this game has an emphasis on messing around with different things and trying to find things out yourself. I don’t that mind that because a good sim game should challenge the player (which really stank with Game Dev Story because it became so easy).

But if the balance is intentional, I feel it shouldn’t happen until the next office, at the very least. Or perhaps there could even be a difficulty setting.

If it’s some kind of bug, then hopefully that is fixed as well.

Regardless, I realize the devs are probably working hard and trying to deal with all us new customers. So until then, all I can keep doing is trying to beat the sim!


100% Agree. Great games just don’t sell enough. If I make a 9.5 rated game on the most owned console it should sell like hotcakes. The way it is now I am lucky If I barely break even with a supergame. Definately A LOT of tweaking and balancing needed.

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Thanks for your input! The only definite target audience is the Gamelink (Gameboy?) which should be targeted at the young audience. My Fantasy/RPG/Young has always been rated above 9. Even this, however, doesnt boost my sales after I move out of the basement. Maybe you’ll have more luck.

The thing is, the game at its current state makes the sells feel awfully random. And that is hugely disappointing and kinda ruins the game for me. I know people feel the same way.

Im not asking the game to be easier, not at all, I enjoy difficult games. What I meant when asking for developer input is the answer to the question about the success your games have being random or not. If the success of your high rated games is not random then obviously a lot of people are doing something wrong. What is it?

Also, this topic here ( Great Game Combos - *SPOILERS* ) proves that the outcome of the game is kinda random even when following the same patterns others have used. Until the random (Meaning no matter what you do) effects have been worked on, this game suffers from serious issues. With which Im going back to my original post:

In my last game I got frustrated and created an abysmal game
(Transport-Action) and I completely randomised the sliders. Needless
to say, it got awful scores averaging 2.5. But for some reason it sold
over 1 million copies.

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I agree with everyone! What I’m getting is that we all more or less A) Love this game. B) Love that it’s even better than Game Dev Story. C) Want it to give more feedback as to the WHYs of the game, like more charts, more data to go off of. D) Understand that the developers are only two people, but still wish they would let us know what’s going on in regards to this issue.

I suppose I’ll go try a few things, like never leaving the basement, or never hiring new staff, or only doing perfect combos. Or something. Also, I must say I love this forum design. A lot.


I like your enthusiasm! And youre right at every single point. I would have never created this topic if I wouldnt love this game so much :D.

Your point, however, about only creating perfect combos is not going to work out, as this is the exact problem we’re having. And not leaving the basement makes you miss out on 2/3 of the game.

I have sent a PM to Patrick Klug and I hope he has the time to deal with it.

Also, very nice forum design indeed.

EDIT: I would also like to add that (Well, you probably know it already) successful indie games are successful because of their developers working so closely with the community (That and good content of course). Hintidy-hint-hint

Agreed one ALL points.

Love this game to death.

Maybe they’ll take their success and make GDT2 with better balance, more options, etc, etc.

I found that when my scores started to stay consistently poor that it was time to update the engine. That did the trick, at least for a little while. Then I would go from the peak to the valley and would have to redo the engine again.

That means plenty of research instead of training.

I’ve found this to be true too.

Since Game Engines are so expensive I focused my research into as broad of an engine as I could and dealt with making a few mediocre games and contracts to get the RP to research the features I wanted. Then, make a new engine and pop out a new game and Voila! Money.

Generally speaking, I’d say you should logically try to keep up with the time-intiated tech. If the PS2 is coming out and you’re still making 3D v1 games with mono sound you’re gonna tank.

It’s interesting. I have not experienced this as of yet. Obviously I occasionally have a game that bombs, but it never completely destroys my company. I think the important thing is to update your engine regularly, but not too often. Each engine should make 6-10 games in my experience.

Cheers for all of your responses!

Now, as I stated in my original post, Ive been playing this five times (Well, 6 now :D) and tried out many different things. I have tried focusing on my engine and that has worked in the sense that I produce games with 8-9+ rating. This however, STILL does not increase my sales.

To the contrary, I have not had your problem.

See this page for proper combos

The most important thing is use your research points on training. Make sure when you move into your first office you hire one employee with a high skill level on either end and then train “yourself” to raise the opposite stat while raising the workers main stat after every game. I was using a crappy engine up till my third office and my games were still selling. its all about proper combos and how skilled the worker is that is working on it.

Yeah, I was having fun until I moved into the first office, then I started losing money on just about every game I make, even if I used the wiki as a guide for each and every game.
Randomness would be okay as long as you could figure it out somewhat, but a highly rated game should sell regardless.

I have used the Wiki page so far, so combinations and the slider settings are not the problem. Thanks for the training info though, I will try that out in my next play. I have not found information on what stats belong to which slider though. Some of them are obvious, like Technology for Engine but I remember somewhere that Graphics require Technology as well (Which is weird, shouldnt it be design?)

On another note - I started a new game and have randomised everything: the combos, slider options etc. I’m not paying attention to anything. The only thing bad so far is that my character does not recieve experience from the “great combo” result. The good thing is that some of my games have recieved 9.5+ rating and selling like crazy, I’ve amassed 12mil and its my fourth year. If that doesnt show that the results are random, I’m not sure what will.