[Ludum Dare] Trading Strategy


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edited in Online Competitions & Jams
Trading Strategy (most imaginitive name ever, I know :)) is a game about conquering a galaxy by creating connections between star systems.
I don't expect the game to do particularly well in Ludum Dare, since I didn't have enough time to make a decent tutorial, but I'd like to hear what you guys think of the basic mechanic.

Play: http://clockworkacorn.com/games/trading-strategy
LD30 entry: http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-30/?action=preview&uid=23787

image

The idea is that you control two systems to start off with (blue backgrounds), and that you need to conquer every other system (red backgrounds). The only way to do this, is to overwhelm an enemy system with your military strength (red bars) by connecting your systems to theirs. To increase your military strength you need to amass resources (grey, green and yellow bars), and the trick is that systems can't use resources that they produce themselves. Instead, all systems duplicate the resources they produce to connected friendly systems, and each system then automatically improves their production using those resources (if they have enough).

So, if that's enough information for the game to actually be playable (I might upload a version with a tutorial after the voting period), I'd love to know what you guys think about the resource sharing mechanic.

Do you think the mechanic is interesting enough to stand on its own? Does it make sense even?
Does the automatic building make sense, or should building rather be manual? (My fear here was running into the problem where turns take longer and longer as you play further into the game)

Thanks for checking it out.

Comments


  • Notice: Undefined variable: GuestHourOffset in /home/nitrogen/public_html_mgsatest/forums/themes/mgsa/class.mgsathemehooks.php on line 281
    That was a bit strange, not sure if these are bugs or my misunderstanding, but here is what I noticed.

    -I'm not sure what systems are mine, as you can make connections from red and blue systems.
    -You can make a connection outside the range of a planet that you are connecting from.
    -Nothing is happening, is the an AI?
    -I reached my 6 connections and there is nothing else I can do.

    I'm no stranger to "galactic" games, I made and released Galaxy Union and from my experience, it is a very limited audience that games like this attract. You are basically building a very complex system that the player has to learn and think about in order to enjoy the game, most people don't want to invest this preliminary time to have fun.

    I like the general idea that you have, but I think it would need a lot of polish to cater to a more general audience.

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    Thanks for the feedback @critic.

    Normally I would've worked quite a bit more on this before wanting to show it to people, because as you noticed, it's a bit confusing. Ludum Dare forced me to put it up as is though, and I don't want to work on it now until the voting period is over.

    On those points:
    • The blue systems are yours, but there currently is no point to connect red systems to each other, so I should have prevented you from doing it.
    • This is because the planet you are connecting to has a strong enough relay, if this wasn't the case, then it's a bug.
    • Nope, no AI :( I didn't have time for that. That's why the goal is to conquer the galaxy fast, as opposed to not dying. I'd love to make some AI for it though.
    • That's my biggest problem. You really need to understand all the mechanics to start off at the moment. You can get past 6 connections by making your systems build stronger relays. I'll outline a bit of the general gameplay below:
    The UI on the right shows you three things, the resources a system has, the resources it produces and the costs for buildings that it can build. Generally, you want to build the relays as soon as possible (blue circles), as they give you more connections (and larger range). The trick is then to identify the resources the system needs more of, and to try and build the buildings that produce those (building of colour X produces resource of colour X) on nearby systems.

    I think a hand-holding tutorial would've done wonders, but as it is I just hope that the people that are interested by the mechanic put in a ton of effort to figure it out.

    Galaxy Union seems pretty cool! Why have I not heard of it yet? :O
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