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Game Development Blog

Eroding democratic norms in the game Influence, Inc.

As much as Influence Inc. is a game about media manipulation, it’s also a game about patterns of eroding democratic norms.

Dystopia doesn't always look dark

I've been asked why the overall look and feel of Influence, Inc. isn't darker, given its rather nefarious premise and setting. As a player, you are selling media manipulation services targeting a country hovering on the edge of authoritarianism.

Release (Press Release)

Curious Bird is releasing Influence, Inc., a simulation-strategy game about modern-day propaganda and advertising, on Steam and Humble.

Beta Update Complete

I uploaded the beta version of Influence, Inc. last Friday! This round of updates was mainly focused on user experience improvements. As part of this, I was able to implement some of the interface features that play testers had requested.

Content Update Complete!

Yesterday was a bit of flurry of panic, where I realized that I’d broken my game-world social media algorithms, resulting in wildly unexpected events. But things (in the game, at least) are back to an acceptable level of unexpected, and the content update that I’ve been working on since January (alpha 2) is officially finished.

Updated Roadmap to Release

The best laid schemes of mice and game developers, or something like that. This is an updated version of a roadmap to release for Influence, Inc..

February Update

Greetings and happy (belated) New Year! It’s been a wild couple of months due to various family illnesses, travel, and client projects. But, amidst all the busy-ness, I’ve also been making progress on Influence, Inc. I’ve been working mostly on the content of the game, while simultaneously continuing to gather expert input.

(Less) Subtle Signposting

In my most recent development sprint, I focused on creating additional hints, clues, and (subtle) signposts about the choices and options players have over time.

Roadmap to Release

I've been working on Influence, Inc. part-time for almost three years now, with the general sense that I'd release it... when it was finished! (I know, I know.)

Introducing Influence, Inc.

I released Fake It To Make It in February of 2017. Some things have changed since then... but clearly not enough. The game’s core themes are still relevant, and it continues to be played around 4,000 times each month

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