In This Grand Life, you manage your character's finances while helping them achieve their goals. Cruise your way through life with a silver spoon, or struggle endlessly to find employment as a convicted felon. You cannot control your past, but you can change your future. What choices will you make?


Your life is divided into weeks. You try to accomplish as much as you can each week while economic conditions and special events create interesting choices to think about. Do I go to work this week, or take part in the Hot Dog Eating competition at the park? Should I spend time looking for a better job, or stick with my current job until economic conditions improve?

20170410 EndofWeek

Current Features

  • Balancing Needs - Core game loop of balancing short-term needs such as hunger, fun, hygiene and health with long-term goals like happiness, wealth and education.


  • Stylised City Maps - The game map is based on a real major city, thanks to satellite imagery from the European Space Agency!
  • Education System - Enrol in courses and graduate with qualifications, required for some higher level occupations.


  • Careers and Employment - Prestigious career paths like Banking and Chef, plus lower level occupations like Janitor and Salesperson.


  • Progressive Taxation System - The more you earn, the higher your tax bracket.

  • Possessions - Fridges, TVs and Computers which help with your short-term needs.


  • Collectibles - Collect stamps, coins and other rare items to achieve your long-term goals.


  • Subscription Services - Sign up for services that make life easier, like grocery delivery or cable TV.


  • Special Events - Home Robbery, Hotdog Eating Competition, Steam Sales and more.
  • Investment and Debt - Borrow money to achieve your goals or invest for a future where you won't have to work. Minimum repayments and interest rates calculated realistically.


  • Real Estate - Buy properties through an auction system. Live in it yourself or rent out your properties to tenants.


  • Life Expenses - Electricity bills, rent, loan repayments and consequences for not paying them on time.


  • Traits/Privilege System - Begin life with advantages like rich parents, or disadvantages like alcoholism.


  • Tutorial - An interactive tutorial where your mother tells you to get a job.


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Lots to talk about! Firstly, the Steam page for This Grand Life is up and there's a new trailer to go along with it. I'll be launching on Steam Early Access on 23rd October and aim for a full launch in the first half of next year. If you purchased on Itch.io, you will get a Steam key.



Alpha 1.5 includes the new theme feature and Comic Book collectibles discussed in the last article, new career paths, education courses, traits, random events, balance changes and more.



When adding new content, I try to keep things varied by using existing game mechanics in different ways. Two examples are the Law and Accounting careers.

For the Law career path, you start out as a Paralegal after you get your Law degree. When you have gained enough Law Experience, you get access to two further occupations. You can become a Legal Officer, which pays more. Or you can become a Community Lawyer, which has the unique mechanic of increasing your Happiness every time you work. The next tier up is the Corporate Lawyer, which requires the player to take the Bar Exam as a prerequisite. It pays a lot more money than either the Legal Officer or Community Lawyer.


The Accountant career path is different. In this career, you can start gaining Accounting Experience as a Payroll Clerk before you even get your degree. Once you have your degree, you can then become an Accountant. After that you take the CPA Exam to become a Certified Accountant, then finally complete a Diploma in Management course to become a Comptroller. So lots of courses to complete to reach the top of this career, but it pays extremely well.


In this update we'll also have more random events. Some examples are stepping on chewing gum and having an old friend call you, which changes your needs slightly each week.


Next we have more traits. Here's a short list of some of the new ones:

  • Deal-hunter - You're always looking for a great bargain. All Subscriptions cost 25% less.
  • Optimistic - Your Happiness recovers faster when it drops below 50%.
  • Lazy - It's hard to get out of bed. Lose 7 hours each week.
  • Short Legs - Travelling between locations takes 20% more time.

I've also made some slight adjustments to the Happiness need. One of the aims of the Happiness need is to kill off the player if they haven't been managing their money properly. For example, if you can't afford food then your Hunger need goes down the zero and then your Happiness need starts decreasing. However, this could also happen if the player wasn't paying enough attention to the needs bar (even if they had plenty of money).


I didn't want to punish the player too much for inattention. So I've significantly slowed down the rate of Happiness decrease when this happens. In practice, this means you will be less likely to go into a spiral of depression and 'moping around' by accident. It also means if you have run out of money, your journey to insanity will take slightly longer.


Finally, last time I mentioned the Commodities/Stock Market feature was in second place in our online poll. Well now it seems to have taken the lead by a large margin!


Here's the full list of changes for Alpha 1.5:

New Features

  • Added traits Marketeer, Coupon Clipper, Deal-hunter, Lazy, Short Legs, Speed Walker, Optimistic and Pessimistic
  • Added Paint Home and Business functionality
  • Added Fast food coupon - Buy one get one free
  • Added Jesse's Jokes and Generous Giving subscriptions
  • Added 10 new random events
  • Added Law career path, Bachelor Of Law, Bar Exam and 4 related jobs
  • Added Accountant career path, Bachelor Of Accounting, CPA Exam and 4 related jobs
  • Added Office Clerk job
  • Added Skyscraper and Collectors Store locations
  • Added Comic Collectibles and Storage Box
  • Added location color themes
  • Added 'Light Reader' and 'Hoarder' ambitions
  • Added Can Of Paint possession at Mall
  • Added two music tracks
  • Added border around game map
  • Added Investment Manager to top of Finance career

Gameplay Changes

  • Refactored events system so only one random city event per week
  • Reduced rate of Happiness decrease when another need is at zero by 50%
  • Moved all collectibles from Mall to Collectors Store
  • Allow maximum 4 educations on character creation
  • Removed Work Experience requirements from Culinary career path
  • Added Bachelor Of Finance requirement to most jobs in Banking career path
  • Reduced fun and job openings from Social Services Manager and Licensing Examiner jobs
  • Reduced Cooking Exp requirement for Sous Chef and removed Cooking Exp requirement for Restaurant Cook
  • Increased experience requirements of Security career path

Bugfixes/Improvements

  • Slightly adjusted existing map dimensions
  • Added commas to all currency displays
  • Added tooltip when hovering over time and needs bars
  • Fixed some low-quality avatars
  • Now storing historical economic indicator data for each game
  • Added auction caller sound effects
  • Cleaned up in-game InfoNet
  • Renamed 'Ancient Rome' collectibles to 'Roman'
  • Enabled random city-based events in scenarios
  • Added player businesses to bankruptcy proceedings
  • Add needs translated string to InfoNet Search
  • Added jobs at each location to InfoNet search and display
  • Fixed bug with time being used on nothing at start of new week sometimes
  • Fixed annoying bouncing location panels when travelling between places sometimes
  • Fixed crash when going bankrupt at end of week with a Business Brand window open
Themes, Comics and more Subscriptions

Themes, Comics and more Subscriptions

News

I talk about upcoming location themes, painting your home and business, comic books and new subscription services.

Alpha 1.4 and Running Your Business

Alpha 1.4 and Running Your Business

News

Alpha 1.4 is out and contains the new freelance/contractor business feature.

Freelancer and Contractor Work

Freelancer and Contractor Work

News

The next big feature - freelancing and contracting! Start your own business, build your brand awareness and reputation, hire employees and organize jobs.

Alpha 1.3 Released and New Scenario

Alpha 1.3 Released and New Scenario

News

Alpha 1.3 of This Grand Life features an improved education system and new scenario.

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This Grand Life Alpha Demo 1.50

This Grand Life Alpha Demo 1.50

Demo

Alpha Demo for This Grand Life including the latest tutorial

This Grand Life Alpha Demo 1.41

This Grand Life Alpha Demo 1.41

Demo

Alpha Demo for This Grand Life including the latest tutorial

This Grand Life Alpha Demo 1.3

This Grand Life Alpha Demo 1.3

Demo

Alpha Demo for This Grand Life including the latest tutorial

This Grand Life Alpha Demo 1.2

This Grand Life Alpha Demo 1.2

Demo

Alpha Demo for This Grand Life including the latest tutorial

This Grand Life Alpha Demo 1.1

This Grand Life Alpha Demo 1.1

Demo

Alpha Demo for This Grand Life, includes updated tutorial.

This Grand Life Alpha Demo 1.0

This Grand Life Alpha Demo 1.0

Demo

Alpha Demo for This Grand Life, includes updated tutorial.

Comments
bigdezil28
bigdezil28

Please continue to work on this game! Real gem right here!

Reply Good karma Bad karma+2 votes
PokingWaterGames Creator
PokingWaterGames

Thanks!

Reply Good karma+1 vote
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This Grand Life
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Latest tweets from @parsleypwg

Ran the game for 50 years and got this chart, the economy always balances itself in the end #ThisGrandLife #indiedev T.co

Sep 15 2017

Working on loading screens... wish I had some interesting screenshot to post :/

Sep 11 2017

Something's gone wrong with my economic indicators chart #ThisGrandLife #screenshotsaturday #indiedev T.co

Sep 9 2017

New blog update for #ThisGrandLife on Alpha 1.5 Update, Steam Announcement and New Trailer Pokingwatergames.com

Sep 6 2017

RT @SteamDB: Valve will be adding review histograms to Steam store pages including language breakdowns (not yet finished) T.co

Sep 6 2017

Started planning the commodities/stock market feature in #ThisGrandLife. Who knew modelling an entire capitalist economy could be so hard?

Sep 5 2017

Experimenting with a border around the map for a more 'board game' feel #ThisGrandLife #indiedev #gamedev T.co

Sep 2 2017

Spent the last week working on a new trailer for #ThisGrandLife, looking forward to showing it off next week!

Sep 2 2017

RT @junklatch: Exclusive footage of 100's of game developers touching their PAX builds as we speak T.co

Aug 30 2017

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