Game Balance Mega-Thread

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.

Same with the System. Hell, idk which age category prefers the TES / Super TES / Vena / other console…
Only the gameboy clone is clearly for the young category…

I think the game has an indirect way of telling you that you HAVE to go the Publisher route or you will fail miserably. Not exactly realistic. But the first thing you should do when you move into the first office is hire someone else to work with. Research medium games, and then start doing publisher deals. I made a 4* game with a publisher and it sold something like 500k copies because you get a massive distribution boost.

But it kind of is realistic. Generally, the big games all have some sort of publisher backing their games. Especially when you get to Medium, Large, and doubly so AAA titles, you basically need a publisher.

On that note, I did just fine without many publishing deals. It probably would have been faster increase with, but it wasn’t atrociously bad.

I see that a lot of players have trouble getting started in level2. Here are some tips (if you like a challenge then maybe don’t read them):

  • Medium games work best if you have a team of 3, so your aim should be to get to 2 additional workers. any more is overkill for medium games. Staff members are expensive in GDT.
  • Be very careful what publishing contracts you take. Publishers often suggest rubbish combinations or a platform/audience mix that isn’t too good.
  • If you have trouble thinking of what audience is better for what platforms just think of the best-selling games of the real-world equivalent console and what audience these games target.
  • Fans are important and to get more fans you should try to take publishing deals.
  • Don’t make engines all the time. We made them expensive on purpose.

Hope this helps some players.


It’s a constant struggle until you reach a certain threshold. Once you’ve accumulated enough wealth to afford to self publish a medium game it’s easy to keep momentum ( assuming that game sells decently ). The net income hopefully affords you to be able hire another worker and publish a new medium game. Rinse and repeat, with the occasional hiccup.

It’s easy to rake in money once you have some staff and a little budget. I went from barely scraping by, about 400k in the bank account after sells to 180,000k+ in just a few years. Didn’t really matter that I released some half arsed games they still raked buck loads thanks to paid advertisement and hype. Just keep churning out games, hype and expand staff.

Once you have the buffer for it just self publish. I don’t get going the publisher route, at least not for medium games. It’s far to expensive and risky and the rewards are meager at best. The upfront payment doesn’t even cover the initial development cost most of the times. I’ve managed to fulfill the minimum score requirements a few times (not one score was above minimum, what’s up with that?) and I barely netted anything from it. Mostly I just lose more money than I put in.

1 Like

If you make a good game I find the sales are kind of logical - they are closely related to the amount of fans you got. So to get more sales you have to get more fans (which you do by having a publisher push your game to more people which means alot more people will become your fans, the drawback is you got only 10% of what you would get)

Thank you very much for your input and time :)! I will try following the tips and we’ll see what the results are. Also, by your reply I understand that the outcome (meaning ratings and how the game sells) of the games isn’t randomized, even if playtesting suggests that it is?

I’ve not read through all the above posts, but you need to do publisher contracts to build a fan base first.

Your games won’t sell millions of copies with only 20K fans. I did publisher contracts to build up to 100K or so fans, then started focusing on my own games and now have over 300 Trillion sat in my bank, earning multiple trillions a week.

I have in the past played a game with 36 games launched (of which only 1 used a publisher), and 8 Billion in the bank. Admittedly that king of made cashflow was from abusing the automagical sales boost you get from releasing an MMO expansion (who’d-a thunk it that fans would get so drooly over the 13th expansion for a Fallout MMO?)

The game is way less random than you might expect. This was one of our goals.

1 Like

Game is good, you need learn how to play, it took me 2 times… 3rd time im still alive and i don’t see bankruptcy in any sight, i’m already publishing large games without help of publisher… is so easy! make millions.

Unique problem of the game is lot time consuming ;_; played for 15 hours straight since i bought today is already 7 AM didn’t sleep… i hate you dev’s(Kidding) ^^

consume in moderation :slight_smile:


And how can it be that sometimes i get an amazing 9.x Hit and the next 5 games having a 2-4 rating? Like in my other thread:

“How can it be that at the beginning of the ps2 era, whatever i do, every single game gets horrible ratings, and i mean everyone, i reload my savegame for about 2 hours and tried every single combination, even the “perfect” combinations doesn’t worked, but than “the one” combination gets an almost perfect rating and a million hit. I know that not every game in the world can become a milestone and a big hit, but at the most time, you only have either a million hit or a minus business, its nothing between it and thats not really realistic.”

I dont get that, sometimes the games are amazing, or absolutely crap, its nothing between it.

after you release a true hit game the idea is that the expectation will rise a bit more for games so you generally can’t expect another hit game immediately afterwards (although that can happen). it seems that in your case it’s that effect plus maybe non-ideal combo publisher etc.

Try to improve on skills (train) and engine parts after hit games but keep a very close eye on the money.

Thanks for the tips, i will look for it, but if you do patches in the future, maybe you work on it a little bit.
If anyone in the real world releases a surprised hit, of course the world is watching for the next game, specially if a company makes a sequel about the Hit game, than everyone expects very much, but not that hard on a whole other franchise and definitely not THAT hard generally. You know our current generation the same like i knows them. Graphics and engines doesn’t changed so fast, specially not in the console sector, that after a 9.x hit, the next will get an 3-4 rating. Thats just wrong and a liiiiiittlle bit unbalanced. Maybe a 8.25 but not that hard differences like the most people get. Its not even a coincidence or something, the most times you can reload your save and get that terrible ratings whatever you do every time and thats not so realistic.

But, maybe your right, maybe your game works “near” perfect and is balanced, but than your game has definitely an other problem. Because than we need more ingame tips, we need clues what we are doing wrong, maybe an estimation what the next rating could be with that settings on the regulator, or with this engine and parts, you know?


I agree that it could work better. We’ll try to get to this but balancing is hard so don’t expect a quick fix.

1 Like

Appreciate all the feedback to these posts you guys are doing. I know it takes time away from your lives and developing new projects. That you’re acknowledging a balance patch is needed is a step in the right direction.

Just want to say thank you for all the work you guys have put in and will undoubtedly continue to put in.

1 Like

But, maybe your right, maybe your game works “near” perfect and is balanced, but than your game has definitely an other problem. Because than we need more ingame tips, we need clues what we are doing wrong, maybe an estimation what the next rating could be with that settings on the regulator, or with this engine and parts, you know?

This! I just want to see how well my game was received by a specific audience. Like, the score was 8.0 for the young audience, but since you released it for the PC, none of them had the money to pay for it.

Or maybe just comments by random customers like ‘Meh, this game had no story at all, terrible’, ‘Why is this game using a 4 year old engine?..’ or ‘I love strategy games with a bit of story, nice’. If you can get a few of these per released game, it becomes a lot easier to see why people either love or hate your games. It’s not like real developers do not get these kinds of responses (all these comments proving my point :wink:)

Currently it really feels quite random. I cannot recall how many times I’ve made a genre combo that I knew was successful in the real world only to get abysmal scores.

It’s not frustrating to lose, it’s just frustrating to lose without knowing why.

1 Like