Really good update 👍🏻 also, can you add it so we can make a series and tv shows?
What's new in Edition 2021 Movie Business 2
The whole pandemic situation meant that this year's Oscars ceremony were delayed, which allowed for the next edition of the Movie Business to appear before the Oscars, in line with tradition.
Originally, in the 2021 edition, I did not plan to introduce too many new functionalities, but to focus more on expanding the current mechanics, adding depth to the gameplay and expanding the content in the game (mainly Things, Quests and Events) in such a way that it becomes even more diverse and intriguing. However, there was an exception to this rule ... Stories ... but about this ambitious undertaking later in the post.
As usual, in addition to the description of the new functions, this text contains the motivations behind them, the way of their implementation, and additional author's comments.
Even if you have not heard about the game or are not a fan of it, and you have a free evening, I invite you to read it, because it is an interesting insight into how a real indie game is created from the inside ...
Custom monsters ...
But let's start with a bow to fans who want more customization options.
One from the new features that appeared in the 2020 Edition, the games were monsters. As a reminder, the monsters allowed us to replace
the actors' photos in our movie with photos of monsters when the name of our hero sounded like the monster that we wanted to appear in the movie. So if the character played by X was called Dracula, the image of the most famous vampire appeared instead of the X photo.
The mechanics of this functionality is very simple, but players pointed out that its potential is much greater, because apart from monsters, you can swap photos in the same way for other characters, such as superheroes. But this is just one example. Therefore, I decided that in the next version I will give you the option of expanding the monsters library yourself. A new Tools menu will appear in the game, with the Add Monster option, thanks to which you will be able to add your own pictures of characters that you would like to use in your movies ... for example various superheroes or comic book characters.
Notes and comments
Standard in-game rules will apply to uploading a photo. The name of the photo file will be the name of the character. And the photos themselves must be in jpg format (with the extension jpg) with a size of 100 x 120 pixels.
... and cult characters
As soon as I announced the introduction of custom Monsters, I got signals from players that they would also like to be able to add cult characters directly from the game. Of course, you can add them in a simple way using MovieStats, but after thinking about it, I found that why not also make such an option available in the game itself.
Halle Berry's Sofia added as cult character
It is true that the user who really cared about this functionality had a slightly non-standard case (he really wanted to have Tom Cruise as Iron Man with a dedicated photo) but perhaps there are more such non-standard cases among players ;).
When players expand the default set of creators, I really want them not to do it "for their own use". That is why MovieStats was created so that by adding the creator, they also participated in the development of the game and that such activity had a positive impact on the entire community of players. Hence, I decided to extend the functionality of adding cult creators locally in such a way that such a creator is exported to MovieStats at the same time. Thanks to this, the local work of the player can also contribute to the development of the game. Of course, files added by players will be moderated before they appear in the official set (unfortunately, many players still have problems with proper preparation of photos, specifically good scaling). However, locally, you will be able to use your own cult characters before the official set is updated. This functionality also applies to your own monsters ...
For adding photos of cult character, the rules will be similar as usual. The photos themselves must be in jpg format (with the jpg extension) with a size of 100 x 120 pixels, i.e. the standard used in the game, the file size of which does not exceed 9 Kb. A bit more problems can be caused by the appropriate name of the photo because it requires the appropriate format.
It is format: firstname lastname_cult character name.jpg
You can check the name of the photos of a given creator in detailed information about the creator. By clicking on the number at the top left of the photo.
Open responses in interviews and press conferences
Some quests, interviews and press conferences will be expanded with a new way of interacting. They will be open answers, i.e. those where you will have to enter any text yourself.
Open responses did not appear in the original version because they generally introduce a lot of problems. First of all, they cannot be interpreted (or at least it is very complicated considering the multilingualism of the game). It is also impossible to control too much what the player enters, so it is difficult to do something with such information. Another problem is that they require a bit of intellectual effort, so may be ignored by some players. On the other hand, for others, such a simple procedure sometimes increases commitment.
In the next version of the game, you can find some questions during interviews or press conferences in the closed version (with a choice of a predefined list of answers) or open version (where you can enter whatever you want). This behavior will be random ... but I think it will spice up a bit too often repeated questions at conferences.
Of course, there will also be new purely open-ended questions. This allowed to significantly increase the pool of questions that could be asked by journalists to the player. In the 2020 Edition, there were over 150 of them, in this year's edition there will be over 230.
Notes and comments
What else will this type of question stand out for? Well, questions with open answers will be subjected to telemetry. Specifically, the responses will be sent to MovieStats. This is to improve the game in the long run… by using your interesting, intriguing or funny answers as options to answer specific questions.
This type of answer will also be useful in Stories ... but more about this a bit further.
A new type of player - non-player (not just Netflix)
In the 2020 Edition, the game can distinguish 3 types of producers:
- human players
- AI-controlled computer players
- and virtual producers.
Virtual producers are real studios that are "fillers" for BoxOffice and Film Festivals. As more and more people are demanding the introduction of streaming platforms (yes, younger players especially want to see Netflix in the game), I have decided to answer these requests in some way. However, I will do it in a new way with some additional possibilities.
A new type of players will appear in the game (Non-Players). The name comes from the fact that, on the one hand, the human player will not have any influence on these players (i.e. unlike computer players, he will not be able to choose such players to play or not). Second, these non-players will appear dynamically throughout the game. This is because Netflix is a relatively new invention and doesn't really fit in with the "realistic" part of The Movie Business. It will therefore appear in a specific time period of the game. So, will there be nothing before Netflix ...? - Not exactly.
Well, there will be 3 types of such "non-players". In addition to VOD services, these will be TV stations and companies / corporations.
These are the “non-players” that will be joining the game when it launches in 2000.[/caption]
TV stations and Corporations will be able to appear earlier in the game (but also not simultaneously), VOD services will appear at the latest. An additional curiosity resulting from such mechanics is the fact... that as the game progresses, it will become more difficult (because a new competition will appear - interestingly, this competition will have a lot of opportunities - greater than an ordinary player or even a computer player).
What's more, since "non-players" will actually be players (but not all movements will be visible), we will receive an additional bonus in the form of the possibility of creating a movie for Netflix - or, for example, for a TV station (it will simply be a function of becoming an executive producer - although possible with small twists), which some players also asked for. And why do Corporations ... as you guessed it, order you to produce commercials ... that is, specific, short films.
It's time for the biggest and most revolutionary feature that will be released in the new edition - Stories.
Before I tell you what Stories are, I will start with what they were introduced for. Well, games in the style of Movie Business, i.e. economic / tycoons, often face the problem of excessive repetition. Basically, the whole game is about repeating a certain pattern of behavior. While in The Movie Business such a single gameplay loop is quite addictive (otherwise no one would play it), it can all get bored someday. Therefore, I try to make the game more attractive in various ways by introducing new mechanics - not necessarily those whose core is related to the production of films. Stories are an example of such mechanics.
The very idea for "Stories" appeared ... a few years ago. However, to be honest, taking into account the hobby nature of the project (and the personal / time constraints associated with it), the whole project seemed difficult to me ... nevertheless, for several editions, I took small steps to make this idea come true.
It started with such trifles as making the player a bit more complicated than zero-one choices (instead of simple Yes / No - choosing several options). In the 2018 Edition, there were introduced events during the production (which made this stage of the game a bit more dynamic, putting the player before simple choices, which, however, had consequences). The 2019 edition introduced simple Quests, i.e. sets of decisions that the player made, presented in the form of a short dialogue. And in last year's edition, there were interviews, press conferences and banquets, as well as Stuff that were an extension of the game engine with new possibilities that would be used in the future ...
Well, that future has just arrived. All these small steps, slow modifications in the game engine allowed me to finally introduce this year's edition of Stories ...
What are Stories?
Stories (that is, as the name suggests, stories or little stories more adequate to their size). These are some random events that are in practice mini-games set in the game (a kind of Inception). At first glance, it may remind you of Quests that you may already come across during the game (e.g. giving autographs to fans, a quiz on knowledge about paintings, or helping some creator to name a character in the script). However, there are some differences ...
Stories vs Quests
Well, unlike Quests, Story can only appear once per game. What's more, if you play with more than one human player, when someone launches such a Story, another player will not find them. They will therefore be unique experiences within a given game.
Types of Stories
Stories will differ from each other not only in terms of the topics covered (more on that in further part of the text), but also in terms of mechanics. Here are the most important types of Stories you will come across in the game.
- Trivia - is quizzes concerning specific topic (the player must answer a certain number of questions) and scores a point for each correct answer.
- Test - in tests you also answer questions, but here there are often no correct answers (as in personality tests), but the player's answers lead to the determination of the test result
- Survive - a story in which the player may fall off after making the wrong choice
- Hacking - a special type of stories that involves "hacking" (people or systems)
- Story - more complicated / giving more choice stories, most often fictionalized, where the player makes decisions and it depends on them how the story will go on
- Quest - stories extended into several different stages (spread over time) Tutorial - training where you can gain specific knowledge (more or less practical)
- Script - preparing an idea for a script for a specific topic
Themes of Stories
Now that you know what types of Stories can be, it's time to present their general subject matter.
- Movie - about famous / cult film productions or the film industry itself
- TV - about famous / cult series
- Game - stories related to games
- Art - stories related to art
- PopCulture - referring to the generally understood pop culture
- Music - concerning music
- Comic - about comics
- Life - general "life" topics
- Others - not falling into the above categories
Example of an painting award for flawlessly passing the Andy Warhol Trivia.
Artifacts are special items that cannot be obtained in any other way than by completing a given Stories. These can be some things characteristic of a movie or topic related to a given Stories, such as a diploma or certificate. Some of the artifacts can be used ... which can lead to unexpected events in the game ...
After this boring dose of theory, it's time for a few example of Stories.
Art Trivia - one of the examples of simpler Stories are Trivia in the form of quizzes on the life of a famous painter. As a reward you will receive a painting of a given artist or (if all such paintings are sold out - of the same trend).
Film / Series / Game / Comic Trivia - similarly to the above quiz that tests the knowledge about a given production. Note, these are usually quite difficult quizzes intended for fans. You can get, for example, a cult scenario of a given production.
Tests - these are tests that check various things, they can be, for example, personality tests, but there are also references to famous tests from movies ... (I don't want to spoil you with the details).
Hacking - it will consist in guessing (based on the circumstantial evidence) the password and / or breaking into someone's system / computer ... but it is more complicated mechanics
Survival - it can be about surviving the next round of millionaires or ... the zombie apocalypse ...
Quests - in turn, stories broken down into several stages, each of which can rely on something else.
The greatest example of this genre will be, for example, quests devoted to The Witcher ... but to get to them, you must first become a Witcher, i.e. successfully train at the famous Wolf School.
And finally, the category named after all this functionality, i.e. the actual Stories, is probably the most interesting and extensive stories. These are mini adventure games / stories included in the game. They are often based on or refer to other productions. Among them there will also be ports ... such as a text game from the 8-bit era, such as Time Travel (games which source code were publish in old computer magazines) or interesting, short indie games from the interactive story genre.
Example of mini rpg story.
The stories themselves can be of various genres: from horror, action movies (heist movie, tasks for secret agents), sci-fi, fantasy, to some sort of slice of life stories. There will also be stories for adults.
In general, I wanted the game to surprise you, so you can expect different, strange stories ...
When the Stories will appear
Generally, once every several months / rounds. So that, on the one hand, their base does not run out too quickly, on the other hand, that the core of the game focuses on the production of movies, and Stories were just an interesting (I hope) variety. What's more, some Stories will be available only during certain time periods of the game, some after meeting certain conditions (e.g. for horror stories to appear for fans of this genre). And some will only be unlocked after successfully completing another story.
After passing the knowledge test about the game Uncharted, you can be invited to talk about the vision for the moving into the big screen of this game.
Stories will only be available in the Party Game mode (I decided that during the Career the player should focus on following the next steps in the career, and not deal with distractions;).
How long will the stories be?
The stories won't be too long. The single can be completed in seconds to minutes. Much depends on your choices. However, as I mentioned, some of the stories can be divided into stages that are extended over time.
Becoming a Witcher takes time, commitment ... and passing an interview.
The difficulty level in completing stories is varied, although most often it will be difficult to complete them on the first attempt (except for personality tests). I also tried to make them satisfying also when playing again. Therefore, if you come across a Trivia that tests the knowledge of a given topic, during one game you will receive, for example, 5 randomly selected questions from a pool of 20 that are available in the game. Thanks to this, even if you manage to complete the given Story once, you will not necessarily repeat this in the next game.
In the case of Stories based on a story, there are often several paths of its development that can lead to different endings (currently the Story with the highest number of endings has 12 of them). What's more, if a given Story has a goal to achieve, there are often bonus goals for which the player will get additional rewards.
How many stories will be in the game
At the beginning I planned to have a minimum of 50 stories to make the whole idea meaningful. Thanks to intensive work, I was able to prepare a bit more of them currently, for the premiere of Edition 2021, 125 stories will be available in the game. Contrary to appearances, it is not that much (although their preparation required a lot of work). However, you will definitely not find all the stories during one gameplay. Even a cursory getting to know them will require a dozen or so times of gameplay.
Notes and comments
but you too can create your own stories
Well, because the more Stories, the better I have a proposal for you. If you feel that you are able to prepare an interesting story related to your favorite production (no matter if it is a movie / series / game or comic), whether in the form of a knowledge quiz, a story or a mini-role-playing game, or maybe you have some in your drawers stories, role-playing game or ideas for interactive stories or other such things and you would like it to be a mini-game in the Movie Business ...
Then just contact me. We will see if your creativity can be transferred to the game and how it could be incorporated into it. I can also help if you have questions in what form it is best to describe it.
The first story created by a fan of the game. I must admit that it's very cool :)
I must admit that I am personally very excited about these Stories and I am looking forward to the reactions of players when they come across them during the game in Movie Business ...
A role proposal for the creator
In the 2021 Edition, assistants will receive a new function. Thanks to it, the player will be able to send a role proposal, in the given scenario, to a specific creator.
The new option will appear in the assistant menu. After selecting it, the player will be asked to select a scenario and then a specific role that he would like to cast. Eventually, depending on the type of role, you'll get a list of creators to whom he can propose to play the role.
Choosing the person you would like to see in your movie.
After some time, you will get the answer whether a given creator is interested in this role or not. If the creator wishes to participate in the project, a given role in the script will be pre-cast. Of course, this does not mean that a given creator will play it for free. Financial details will be specified at the time of production start.
The actress liked the role and is initially interested in it.
Whether a given person wants to take a given role depends, among others, on your prestige (do not count that if you propose a role to Brad Pitt in your debut, he will agree immediately), but also on the properties of the script, and of course on the subject (motives) it touches (and whether a given theme is e.g. favorite by a given creator). However, the number of conditions that is taken into account by the creator is smaller than during the production of the film (where, for example, the target group is also taken into account). Which means that a creator who would decline the role at the start of production can take it on using the role proposed for the creator.
Here you can see that it has been pre-cast. When production starts, it will be selected as the default creator.
Notes and comments
Note if a given role is already cast and you decide to propose it to another creator (and he will agree to it) then your relationship with the creator already in cast will worsen.
One of the proposals that has been circulating among players for many years was the possibility of employing an external scriptwriter to create the script. In the next edition, such an option will appear, although in a slightly different form than some people would like it to be.
You can hire an external screenwriter to make corrections to the script. So far, when it comes to getting scenarios, you had two options. Buy it in the open market or create it from scratch. Now there will be an additional option in the form of Screenwriter Outsourcing (i.e. hiring an external writer to write a script for you). When you buy a scenario, you have to rely on what is available on the market. If you create it from scratch, you have to decide on all parameters yourself. Finally, outsourcing the scriptwriter will give you a certain, but not full impact on the final result.
When hiring, the writer will ask you some questions about the overall vision of the script you want him/her to write. They will be:
- types of leading cast
- type of supporting cast
- number of episodic roles
- is composer/operator required
- age category
- amount of humor
- type of ending
As you can see, this is a slightly different pattern than usual. I think the two most interesting points on this list are: genre and age category.
Employing an external writer will allow you to create a scenario of any genre (even those unavailable for a given level of difficulty - i.e. those that you cannot create yourself). I think this is a big bonus for players playing at lower difficulty levels.
The second is the age category. As you can see, you cannot set the amount of sex and violence yourself, but show what age category you are targeting, and the scriptwriter will try to adjust the values to fall into the framework of a specific category (whether he/she will succeed is a completely different question).
What you can't control are the types of characters. Here, too, you will have to rely on what the scriptwriter will propose (and he/she will try to choose them according to the genre).
From other comments, some questions can be omitted so that a given element will not be taken into account (such as some tags)
Notes and comments
I am not sure yet whether Script Writer Outsourcing is supposed to increase the number of slots for player production. Currently, scenarios written by an external writer are not included in the player's slot pool. Ie. if you are in the process of writing a script, you can also hire an external writer (you can create several scenarios at the same time).
Oscar acceptance speech
Some time ago, one of the players suggested that after winning the Oscar you could give an Oscar speech. You will have this option in the new edition.
This option will only be available after a player wins an Oscar in the Best Picture category. He will then be asked if he wants to prepare an Oscar acceptance speech. If he wishes, he will be given three options.
- Short - will deliver one of the shortest Oscar speeches ever
- Custom - you will be able to enter your own free text
- Long - here you we will be asked to enter only a few keywords, and the assistant will prepare the full text of our speech
In the Polish-language version of the game, when the player chooses a short or long speech, the speech will be in English - so the questions about keywords will also be in English (after all, it's the Oscars, let's feel the weight of this award ...).
Notes and comments
In fact, the lack of the Polish version results from the difficulties in its preparation (it is a small function, and sensible handling of Polish variations of adjectives would take me 5 times more time - and it probably would not work perfectly - so I decided to allocate this time to other activities.) on the other hand, in this context, I think the English version defends itself quite well.
Artifacts, Garage, Gallery and Awards
This is new Garage
Well, the investment menu will now be divided into several additional areas. In addition to My Stuff, we will receive new tabs: These will be Artifacts, Gallery, Garage, Prizes
Some sample artifacts received after successfully completing Stories (Stories are only available in the party game).
By clicking on a specific photo, we will receive information about a given object. And some artifacts will also have special "actions" when double-clicked.
As you can imagine, you will be able to browse your Artifacts, Paintings you own, Cars with other iconic vehicles, and Awards won at Festivals.
As you can see, I definitely did play well in this game ;)
The 2021 edition will allow us to take part in parties.
From time to time, the player may be invited by his friends (if we have a good relationship with someone) to a party. The event can be used to talk to guests, i.e. other creators with whom the hosts have good relations. It is a place where you can establish new or tighten existing relationships, ask about various rumors or the interests of a given creator.
Changes in the economy
As always, I am also trying to refine the economic elements of the game. Statistical analyzes that I made on the videos of players exported to MovieStats (which I wrote about in more detail in this post) led to several changes in the algorithms.
It will be a bit harder to make good movie
Analyzing the statistics in MovieStats led me to conclude that it's a bit too easy to create a 5 * movie. Hence, I slightly increased the thresholds for the best ratings received by films (this applies to 4 and 5 * productions)
A movie with a larger cast will have a bit harder
Analyzing films with more casts led to changes to the balance of these productions. Ratings for such videos should be a bit more balanced.
Meta tags - Changes to motives
When creating a scenario, and more specifically when you choose themes for it, you may come across minor changes.
Well, some of the motifs will consist of a prefix separated from the tag with the ":" sign. What does it mean and how to use it
Well, I noticed that movies produced by computer players often have quite abstract themes that do not quite match each other. It is specifically about the time of the action. A sci-fi movie set before our era is of course possible. However, the number of such combinations was quite large. So I decided to add some meta information to the themes that will be used by the artificial intelligence of computer players but may also be useful for players.
An example of the use of meta information is best seen in the case of action time themes. Now it will be possible to separate past and future themes.
Here some examples:
- past : 30's of XX century
- past : middle ages
- future : XXII century
- future : indefinite future
However, meta tags can be used not only in the case of time. It may be the same with places
- pl : warsaw
- uk : london
Here you can define a specific place of action while adding information about the country where the place is located.
This will make it easier for the player to filter out the tags they are interested in.
As you can see, the interface has been slightly modified in some places. This is especially true for font sizes. Where there is a large amount of text (in all "dialog" windows), the font size has been increased to facilitate reading on monitors with higher resolution.
The production / premiere window of the film was also slightly changed. For example, you can view photos of actors other than the leading actors (by clicking on the actors' names). The bar with the title of the movie will also be in the color of the player (it will make it easier at first glance to determine whose production it is).
Bigger, better, more badness
Each edition of the game tries to extend the existing elements as well.
- new creators and cult characters
- new cult movies (from 2020 - although there were not too much of them)
- new cult movies related to Stories
- new events in production
- new quests
- new questions during interviews and conferences
The 2021 edition will make its debut with the version of the 67 set, which in total will include over 5,000 real creators!
These are the most important changes introduced in the 2021 Edition. Of course, there are dozens of smaller improvements to the interface, algorithms and game balance. I hope that they will meet their assumptions and players' expectations without introducing too many new bugs;).
As usual, after the premiere, I am waiting for all comments, suggestions and comments.
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Thanks. I know that lot of people wants such feature but this game focuses on films and cinemas. No no such plans. I think I will write something more about it as this is not so simple as most people think (or at least doing it in right way)... in short Movie Business and TV business it is completely different games.