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MUD TV

A world where TV is mad, ugly and dirty. Normal telly then...

Television executives are morons.
They cancel your favourite programmes, spend cash on woeful shows and smell bad.
MUD TV enables you to usurp them and manage your own telly station to success.

MUD TV is aesthetically a rubber-edged, cartoon-styled version of The Sims, starring your customisable character as station manager of a one-person operation in a cutesy tower block. You get a floor in a studio shared with your competitors, in which to commission, write, produce and broadcast the shows necessary to keep your network afloat. You can play solo against AI execs, or compete with up to eight humans in multiplayer.

Zoom

Broadcasts need to hit their target audiences, and the population is split into humorous categories who only watch shows at certain times. Nerds love sci-fi, but refuse to watch action programmes. The 'machos' will be glued to their cartoon screens during broadcasts under the action banner, but switch off when a cooking show begins. Viewers range from pensioners to emos, and you'll need to consult trends and schedule programmes in time-slots to suit their habits.

Broadcast options are split into series, shows and movies. You'll begin your career churning out low-rent series to pay the bills, before being able to turn the profit into more advanced shows and expand your output. To craft an item for broadcast, you need to hire staff to write, act and direct it. Bolting adverts onto your shows gives you more cash if they hit the right percentage of the designated audience, but will cost you if not.

Downstairs from the main hub of your studio, you'll find everything a budding telly exec could need, including a pool of staff to employ, a bank to provide loans and a shop for class-A drugs. Not that last one, though. Once your staff are hired, you can put them to work. If they're creative types, send them to a writers' room. If they're more charismatic, make them actors, while egomaniacs work well as directors. In the early days, you'll be knocking together wobbly shows with the same guys writing and acting, but as your network grows, so does your influence, attracting great leading ladies and gents.

While you don't have direct control over your shows beyond their genre and cast, your televisual output appears in a little screen in the bottom left, engaging you with your creations. If you find yourself suffering in the ratings battle, there's an array of cute-as-a-button sabotage tactics to throw your foes off. These range from the crude (a boombox on the writers' room table that halts new work) to the complicated (engineering a stock market crash to decimate the entire day's takings). These devices need to be researched, but can stymie a rival enough to hand you the advantage.

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