Essays about game development, thinking and books

Simulating public opinion in a game

The demonstration (in Russian) of a technical prototype of manipulating public opinion and explanation of how it works.

I continue participating in World Builders school. For the last month, I've created a technical prototype of game mechanics for manipulating public opinion.

You play as the chief editor of a news agency, who sends journalists on quests and publishes articles based on the results of investigations focusing on themes that you want to promote.

The top video is in Russian, so I'll go through the main points below.

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Procedural news headlines without complex text generation

A screenshot of the interface for selecting a news connotation (from the prototype of the game about a news agency). News: the arrest of a teenage witch for drunk driving.

A screenshot of the interface for selecting a news connotation (from the prototype of the game about a news agency). News: the arrest of a teenage witch for drunk driving.

From the player preference survey, I gradually moved on to working on a game prototype.

The game will be about a news agency. You will be the chief editor, and your task is to manipulate public opinion by investigating events and choosing a connotation of news: where to draw the public's attention, what to hide, in what tone to present themes, etc.

Therefore, the whole game will be around the text of news.

Creating large blocks of detailed text for each news item looks pointless — the game is not about reading news but about managing them. Therefore, it makes sense to build interaction only around headlines.

But how can we make the displaying of news both interesting and simple?

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Preferences of strategy players

Looking at the survey data and trying to find something useful.

Looking at the survey data and trying to find something useful.

Recently I've conducted a survey about the preferences of strategy players.

In the previous post, we cleaned up the data, and in this one, we will try to find insights within it.

In this post you will find an interactive dashboard with a bunch of charts, where you can compare two samples of your choice. There are many samples — for every taste and color, so feel free to explore and share the patterns you find on Telegram and Discord.

But be careful with conclusions. There is little data, in some cases very little. For example, the difference between the sample sizes of male and female respondents is about tenfold => you should be very careful in interpreting the differences between them.

In general, do not take this post as a full-fledged study. I'm sure many analysts would have torn my hands off for such a thing. Then sewed them back and torn them off again :-D Use the post as an interface to the data, and make your own conclusions.

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Cleaning up the results of the strategy players survey

The survey was targeted at the fans of strategy games. It seems, I was able to find audience quite accurately.

The survey was targeted at the fans of strategy games. It seems, I was able to find audience quite accurately.

Recently I asked you to fill in a survey about strategy games.

Thank you to everyone who took the time to do this. It's time to share the results.

363 respondents filled in the survey. 304 answers remained after data normalization and cleaning.

There will be two posts:

  • This one — about the methodology of data collection and processing, and their cleaning. Cleaned data will be shared.
  • The next one — about the analysis of the results.

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Hello, World!

Nice to meet you, friends!

My name is Aliaksei, but feel free to call me Tiendil — it is my nickname for the last 20 years or so :-)

A few words about me:

  • By occupation, I am a software developer, mostly backend, mainly in Python.
  • For most of my career, I've been working in game development on big projects and own indie games.
  • I like playing games, reading books, and writing long-reads about partially complex topics.

You can find more about me:

This is my first blog post in English, but not the first one in general. I have blogged in Russian for a long time and have always wanted to share my thoughts with the English-speaking world. At last, I found some time to adapt my blog, and here we are!

Most of the future posts will be bilingual (English & Russian). Also, with time, I'll translate my most interesting old posts.

Once again, nice to meet you! Feel free to contact me by any means.

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