Monday, February 20, 2006



I've completed the main display with all the policy options which will be available for all the countries. I've arranged the display so that in one shot the player can decide the course of action for that country. The style probably isn't so nice, but I really preferred the player to take all the decisions in one window. There are some changes from the original: for example now the player can support or disrupt the internal dissidents choosing between the islamist or the democratic opposition. The islamist opposition will take less time to widen and to erode the government's consensus among the people, but has serious drawbacks; on the contrary the democratic opposition will take more time to grow and eventually topple a government but it will increase the final score and it will give the player a bonus of policy tokens. Another modification is the military options: the purchasing phase has disappeared, as I found it of little interest. Now the player will start with an army value of 100, and he will be able to spend a token to strengthen the army by 5 every turn. The same can do his foes. The player can deploy every turn 10 "percent" or the entire army on a certain front. It is not exactly a percentage but an absolute value, in fact if the player strengthens his army and it brings its value at 115 his options will not change: to deploy 10 or to deploy 115 (all of his army) on a certain front. When battles are fought the "percentage" of the army deployed will go down because of casualties: so for example the player deploys 20 "percent" of his army on the Siryan front the next turn he will find that 17,5 "percent" remains on that front. I don't know which word I could use instead of "percentage", however I hope the concept is clear.

Friday, February 10, 2006



I've spent the past three days on a new design, the original one was honestly horrible, while now the game looks much better: no more textures, everything is a 3d object! the result is that the game is faster too. The new version is available on the usual email address.
I also had an idea that would change the game's mechanics: the player will have a limited number of "policy tokens" to spend. For example he will have 5 tokens, so he will be able to establish good relations with one country, to support a dissident group, to assassinate a leader, to expand the army, and to post a brigade in the west bank, and no more than this! I will see if this concept works.
I've been experiencing something that I missed for a lot of years: new ideas. When I wanted to be a film director (at the high school) I used to have tons of ideas for plots, charachters etc. and many times these ideas came when I was about to sleep. I'm starting to experience all of this with this project, and I'm surprised that a gift I believed to be extinct only had to be fertilized.

Monday, February 06, 2006


first pre-pre-alpha

I've worked on the basic interface, so the result is an interactive map of the middle east. If the player goes on a country a small description of that coutries appears, with five indicators. I intend to use these indicators as multipliers that will simulate an artificial intelligence of the arab countries. When the program starts these parameters are set randomly, so each game will be quite different from the others, the user can now press spacebar to see the change. Some parameter will influence the other parameters, for example a strong leadership will, each turn, improve the stability and the military strength (a reason for the player to fight early any charismatic leader that arises). A note on the military strength: it is a random value so it could be that Lebanon has a powerful army. It might sound odd, but in history the relative size of an army had seldom mattered (see Alexander's campaigns, the battle of Leuctra, Tannenberg, the Russo-Finnish war etc. etc. etc.), while the organization and the commanders always had more importance. So it is realistic that in small Lebanon a military genius emerges and conducts a great campaign. This multiplier however will be combined with another fixed or semi-fixed parameter that is the actual manpower, so to make an example: a spectacular Lebanese army would have the same overall destructiveness of an Egyptian army of average quality. I didn't define this second parameter so I can't tell the final results but this is the idea.
I decided this thing about the military power to obviate what was a flaw (in my opinion) of the original game: that the military strengths seemed to be fixed, so Libya was always defeated by Egypt, Lebanon's power was non-existent, Jordan was very weak etc.
I set up an address to store the various versions as soon as I implement something new. To play the .exe you need the viewer, you can download it at
The email address is
password: ***********

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