Research on Decision Making and Strategy in PeaceMaker

With funding from the Lounsbery Foundation, Professors at Carnegie Mellon University are working on a comprehensive research using PeaceMaker. The effort is led by Cleotilde Gonzalez, director of the university’s Dynamic Decision Making Laboratory, with the cooperation of Laurie Eisenberg, associate teaching professor of history and our educational adviser. The research aims to find how prior assumptions vs. deeper knowledge of the conflict may affect the students’ decision making process. The research will be conducted in Carnegie Mellon Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon Qatar, Israel and the Palestinian territories. You can read more about it on the university site or in the Chronicle of Higher Education.

PeaceMaker in the Classroom

Fall semester 2007 is on its way and many teachers have begun using the PeaceMaker game in their classroom or in community events. Following multiple inquiries we wanted to address this audience specifically. We feel that the success of PeaceMaker as a new teaching tool depends a lot on the teachers’ feedback and we intend to take it seriously.

We have added a check box to our contact form titled “Educational Sales”. Although we currently do not support site license we offer different solutions for school labs. Please feel free to contact us and we will be glad to assist you via email or phone. For specific technical inquiries, have your IT administrator contact our support team and we will make sure to work with the configuration and policies of your network. After working with various schools we gained experience in dealing with specific firewall and/or strict proxy settings as well as different license distribution techniques.

We would also love to know your thoughts on “How I Used PeaceMaker in My Class”. Feel free to comment on this post and share your experience with others and with us.

FaceMaker on PeaceBook

Around our launch last February we started a FaceBook group called “I Wanna be a PeaceMaker“. It was a small step, but PeaceMaker officially has its own social corner on FaceBook. We started the group to help spread the word about the release of our game and have since taken quite a liking to the online and community space… You can be sure we’ll have more to unveil in the coming months, but for now it’s open for your comments and suggestions. So, please add us to your groups and feel free to invite your friends.

Top Indie Games Lists

Two interesting (and competing) lists have been published. Game Tunnel introduces the “top 100 Indie Games list” and TIGSource fires back with a collection of 50 “high quality independent games”. They introduce a short blurb on each game, and I believe that people who are interested in what we’re doing may like to follow some of the recommendations. Not many social/political/serious games made the lists, but there are some very interesting approaches to gameplay that you won’t find in mainstream titles.

Thanks to the Rampant Coyote Blog that appeared on my Google alerts for PeaceMaker.

Can't the Palestinians Attack Back?

From time to time we are receiving angry emails criticizing our asymmetrical design: how come the Palestinian President cannot attack Israel directly while the Israeli PM has a robust branch of military options to choose from. And of course, both sides challenge our neutrality. Israelis/Jews claim that we are one-sided because “we assume that the Palestinian President is not responsible for terror attacks”. Palestinians/Arabs want to know why they are restricted from directly attacking Israel.

Our assumption is based on the current situation and the current tool set of both leaders. We verified it with Palestinian, Israeli and American content experts: the Palestinian President controls a limited internal police force. On the other side of the border, the Israelis manage an extensive military with the ability to operate in Gaza or the West Bank. The two sides are unbalanced and we’re trying to demonstrate that. Many would contest that the Palestinian leader directly controls militant attacks against Israeli civilians and soldiers. Based on inconclusive supporting facts, we have chosen to limit this interaction to indirect measures to support or curb Palestinian militant organizations, such as Fatah or Hamas.

Movers and Shakers on Amazon

The NPR interview triggered some serious traction for PeaceMaker, apparently with the right audience. This week our Amazon package made it to the the top 20 in all video games and #2 in PC games. It was great to see our indie game with its unique message in the company of World of Warcraft and Sid Meier’s Civilization.

Check out this headline on Gamasutra’s industry news (July 20th):
“Meanwhile, the ImpactGames-developed RTS PeaceMaker manages a strong showing seemingly out of nowhere, as Amazon reports short supply yet a suddenly high level of demand for the title, despite it never having seen a place in the weekly top five since its initial release in May.”

Having tech issues? Read this first…

Mobile Version and New Unity Desktop Version:

We have finally released our mobile version. We will definitely monitor those channels for crashes and support requests but please don’t hesitate to contact us through our contact form if you ave any issues. We will be sure to address them and/or refund you as needed. Our goal is to do everything we can to make your experience positive. We are a small team and while we have done everything we can to insure a stable product we are not perfect. This is the version now available through the Play Store, App Store, iTunes, Kindle Store, and more to come. You will know you are using this version if the interface looks like the one pictured on our current web-site and you see the Unity log when loading the game. We are fairly confident in the stability of this newer version. That being said if you face any issues and they aren’t addressed below don’t hesitate to contact us

Update (1/20/16): We believe we have solved the issue that affected certain hardware configurations on Android causing the game to crash on launch of a new game. If you see this or any other issues please don’t hesitate to contact us we are here to help and will work tirelessly to sort out any technical issues.

Old Desktop Java Version:

This is the old unsupported version that was available on cd format through amazon or the Peres center distribution and/or digitally purchased or downloaded from our site. This version unfortunately is no longer supported. If you have this older version and don’t wish to purchase the new version the information below should outline some of the things that could be an issue. Again we apologize but due to changing technologies this version is no longer officially supported and we are limited in what we can do to help you.

Please look below for solutions to commonly faced issues. If none of these solutions help you please feel free to contact support for assistance and we will see what else we may be able to do for you.

Java Quicktime Error
We are getting more frequent reports that this error is appearing and blocking peoples ability to play the game. New versions of the Apple OS have discontinued support for quicktime and Java breaking our game. The discontinuation of the support for Quicktime in Java applications is one of the major reasons we have discontinued support and walked away from our original build and developed our newer version. While we understand peoples comments that we could simply change the codec for audio and video in the old engine to fix the issue we have chosen instead to spend our limited resources on our new development. We hope you understand.

Installation Failure – Installer Won’t Even Launch
If you have somehow gotten our old version in it’s installable format the first thing to check for if the application shows fails to initiate the installation process is that you fully downloaded the application before attempting to install. The file size you see on your computer should be 210MB for Mac and 227MB for PC.

Installation Failure – Can’t Install Files to Program Files(x86)
We have also been seeing issues on PCs that support both 32 and 64 bit applications where the application is being installed in the Program Files(x86) folder. This does not seem to always happen so is something we are still trying to sort out. If you are facing this issue please contact us at support. You can also attempt installing the application in a different location as we believe it may have to do with security permission related to saving files to that location. If anyone faces this issue and finds a fix please contact us or post your findings in the comments.

Game Doesn’t Run after Installation or Can’t Recover From Full Screen Mode
For rare cases when the start screen shows up but the game doesn’t run you will need to run the game in windowed mode. The new version of the game defaults to windowed mode to circumvent this issue, however if you change this setting in the game and face this problem you can follow these steps to return the game to windowed mode. Please download this file and put it in C:\Documents and Settings\<your user name>\PeaceMaker

Full Screen and Multi-Screen Issues
Our game was designed to work on the broadest spectrum of machines in 2007. The process we used to display the game full screen and the resolution we chose are a little bit out of date. We know this causes issues for a lot of modern systems and configurations which is why our new build defaults to windowed mode. We would love for everyone to experience the game in full screen and I wish there was an easy fix for this but it opens a whole rabbit whole of changes. The best I can recommend if you want to attempt this or need to in order to project the game is to crank back your screen resolution before entering full screen mode (1024×768).

Peres Version – QuickTime Issues
If you own the Peres Center version of PeaceMaker (v1.068, distributed exclusively through Israel and the Palestinian Territories) feel free to install this patch for PC or for Mac. DO NOT use this patch if you downloaded PeaceMaker, or purchased a physical copy through, or a specific event.

Older Versions – QuickTime Issues
If you own the online version (v1.063 and earlier) or the CD version (physical copy) feel free to install this patch for PC or Mac. You do not need this patch if you own a later version of PeaceMaker. DO NOT use this patch if you have the Peres Center version.

NPR's Morning Edition

Fresh from this morning, we were fortunate to have Steve Inskeep try out PeaceMaker on air. A glimpse of the game’s messages and logic are “viewed” as he picks through actions and describes the outcomes. It is also interesting to see how the soundtrack of the game plays a role and sets the atmosphere for the interview. Check it out on NPR’s site.