Wired to Games

I Love Games!!…(and by Games I mean Computer Games, not Sports. Not that I dont play sports, its just that I get more satisfaction winning strategy computer games than winning a football game).

Ever since I got introduced to a PC, I have been attracted to Games. particularly Strategy Games like Age of Empires series, the Age of Mythology series, Civilization, Caesar III, Zeus, SimCity, Starcraft, Warcraft. The whole concept of Explore, Expand, Exploit and Exterminate is very appealing to me. I love how we are required to start with a small set of resources, Do some stuff in the right way while figuring out the environment around you, know about your enemies, formulate strategy, Exploit situations and finally eliminate everything in the path to conquest. It very much the approach I take to Product Management.

Strategy Games is essentially an intense problem solving exercise using theory of constraints and Game theory. My love for them helped me win an international strategy game held by IIM- Ahmedabad while in B-School.

Playing these games have actually influenced my thoughts in life. So much so that Developing games has become a part – time hobby.

I have developed a couple of games and some are currently in idea/ mid- development mode.

My first fully developed game was “Money-merchants” a multi-player Goods-trading strategy game.

Each player is a merchant and the game is played in a country (for eg: India). In the country there are a number of major cities (Eg: delhi, Blore, Mumbai …) , Each city has a marketplace, and each marketplace will have a variety of items being sold at various costs (items could be sugar, spices, vegetables etc). Items can be bought / sold at prices specified at each marketplace. A merchant’s job is to buy items at one marketplace and travel to a different city and tries to sell off the bought items at a profit.

The complex part here was dynamic calculation of the price of a commodity given the demand and supply of that commodity in a particular city.

My Second completed game is “Serve” –  a Content Optimization game based on random user preferences. It is modeled on the current challenges websites face in providing ads related to user preferences.

Here you chose a user at random. Each user has a set of affinity topics (e.g. Finance, Fashion, Auto ) and a set of disliked topics. The player has to select various news articles from different topics and serve the content to the user. Every user has a rating for each news item in every topic based on their affinity. A final score is displayed to the player based on the news stories served to the user.

Here are a few screenshots from the games

My next stop in Game development is to develop for the mobile.

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