December 13th-16th 2013 :: Theme: You Only Get One

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Backwater Rider

by Dyn - Jam Entry

The game tells about the captain stuck in the distant corner of the universe. To leave this outskirts, he is looking for a new parts of the new ship in the nearest planets. His only assistant and best friend in this difficult journey is the on-board computer GO-1.

- Explore space and fly from one system to another seeking adventures
- Interact with the planets and learn interesting details
- Communicate , share and trade with the locals.
- Run droids in mysterious labyrinth to get so valuable part of the ship or other bonuses.

- Spacemap
Click on the star and you will see panel with description about it.
If you have enought fuel you will also see jump button.

- Planet interaction
You will get here after you will jump to a new star. You can receive credits, fuel or some other info during interaction. Also you can get into the maze from here.
After interaction you will go back - to the starmap

- the maze
here you're controlling your drone (wasd or click on buttons). you need to find a special block here to complete it. other instructions - in the dialog before this screen.

What's new in post-LD version
- Added saves
- Fixed trading
- Reduced number of bla-bla dialogs at start
- added help info at the bottom of the starmap screen
- button menu added :)
- each star can now be visited only once
- jump speed increased
- fixed error exitin maze with lack of fuel
- added new type of planets (with textures)
- added special offers while interacting with planets
- some of bug fixes

Downloads and Links




ahnt says ...
Dec 17, 2013 @ 2:36am

When i reached the main play screen I wasn't able to move my ship... i will not rate because it looks like there was more content from screen shots

Dyn says ...
Dec 17, 2013 @ 2:48am

click on one of the stars and press jump button to warp to it. :)

Unept says ...
Dec 17, 2013 @ 2:48am

Hmm, I got "Sorry, page not found."

errorage says ...
Dec 17, 2013 @ 2:48am

You click on starts to move

Dec 17, 2013 @ 2:49am

Couldn't figure out how to move or do anything.

glovecat says ...
Dec 17, 2013 @ 2:52am

Sometimes the jump button doesn't appear and I cannot travel to the planet :S

JellyMan64 says ...
Dec 17, 2013 @ 2:54am

I don't know how to play this game?

Nut says ...
Dec 17, 2013 @ 3:00am

There's a lot of slow-scrolling text, making it tedious to jump. It went to a black screen the first time my droid successfully found something so you might have a crash bug and I didn't get very far. Is there a difference between the three options at each planet, or do they all lead to the same move-the-droid game?

The starmap needs some kind of explanation: it took me a while to figure out how to jump to another system and it wasn't clear what to expect beyond the fuel cost of jumping.

I liked the music a lot though.

Kayelgee says ...
Dec 17, 2013 @ 3:06am

After retrying a maze and finishing it I couldn't jump anymore :(

Dyn says ...
Dec 17, 2013 @ 3:24am

Found this error with the maze. trying to fix it. Sorry, guys.

Dyn says ...
Dec 17, 2013 @ 3:40am

I wanted to write detailed description but I feel so exausted after this 3 days maraphone.
Uploaded new build with this critical fix.

Most of times you will not get into maze while interacting in the planets. In the maze you will find parts or credits/fuel. and they become harder after some time.

Venks says ...
Dec 18, 2013 @ 12:33am

I'm also having trouble. I get through the dialogue just fine, but once I get to the game I can't seem to move around or do anything.

rogueNoodle says ...
Dec 18, 2013 @ 2:40pm

Great use of audio to support the spacey mood. Had a bit of an FTL feel to it (which is a good thing). Felt like I would run out of fuel too soon, and there seemed to be some planets I couldn't jump to?

Dyn says ...
Dec 19, 2013 @ 12:13am

Thanks for your comments.

Uploaded post-LD version with fixes and few improvements.

sandbaydev says ...
Dec 19, 2013 @ 10:34am

I liked this one a lot. It actually reminds me bit of FTL and bit of a game idea I've been mulling over. More information about resources and events could be interesting... anyhow - good job!

meek says ...
Dec 19, 2013 @ 11:36am

This is awesome. Good job!

Dec 19, 2013 @ 1:06pm

Interesting, nice FTL-like well done.

juaxix says ...
Dec 19, 2013 @ 2:14pm

good job with the planets :)

SimianLogic says ...
Dec 19, 2013 @ 2:27pm

The interface was a little clunky. Basically an interstellar slot machine or Let's Make a Deal. The captain's dialogue was funny at first, but kind of annoying by the tenth planet-jump.

How do you get minerals? I had a lot of smugglers offer to trade, but I guess I din't have any trade goods? (played compo version)

Threef says ...
Dec 19, 2013 @ 2:37pm

It's nice but not enough for me.

Dyn says ...
Dec 19, 2013 @ 2:40pm

@SimianLogic it was a bug with shop window. so it just don't open :)

DustyStylus says ...
Dec 19, 2013 @ 2:46pm

Very nice game! Lovely music and I like the Elite-style galactic map. I had a wierd issue where on the 3rd planet I visited the buttons didn't appear and I was stuck. Very ambitious entry though, well done. :)

Cake&Code says ...
Dec 19, 2013 @ 4:00pm

That was pretty cool, it is a simplified version of a planet crawler with only a few key decisions. It felt like I could make any significant progress because I would just run out of fuel and the maze exploring was a bit buggy but overall it was a really fun experience to fly from planet to planet.

I noticed it was taking a while to start up so I watched the network progress, this game is 11mb. But the game itself doesn't have high-poly models with giant textures or anything. Did most of that go towards the music?

HuvaaKoodia says ...
Dec 19, 2013 @ 5:58pm

It's not and untitled alpha. Points for that.

As a fan of space exploration games this one is right up my alley. It’s overall a competent build and worth further development but the ambitious scope shows as some issues.

Star map:

Some stars cannot be clicked very easily (the hitbox seems to be a bit off). This makes it impossible to select stars very close to each other. Stars under the hud cannot be selected either. I also find it odd that in a 2d representation of space two stars close to each other can have wildly different distances from your position (e.g. 48 parsecs & 186 parsecs).


The cave exploration is a tad bugged. Sometimes the droid flies through walls, doesn't go to the selected direction or is lost when there still is an unexplored direction to go.


There should be a summary for acquired parts, fuel and money after the action turn. I found the automatically scrolling text to be annoying as it goes on too fast. I'd rather just have next and skip buttons.

World generation:

It seems the game uses a randomized event based system for generating the interactions in the galaxy.
This causes a severe discord between the properties of the planets and the events taking place there. It would be nice to be able to deduce the best choice of action based on the planets appearance and stats. For instance a planet with volcanic activity wouldn't have much sentient life on it and a planet with signs of an ancient civilization would always have ruins.

Easiest way of achieving this is to tie events into planetary stats. A harder path is to introduce more complex simulation elements into the world.

Let's end on some high notes.

The graphics are quite nice with a fancy galaxy background and moons orbiting planets on the planetary screen. The menus are sleek and functional as well.

Dyn says ...
Dec 19, 2013 @ 6:12pm

@HuvaaKoodia, wow. thank for detailed feedback.
Indeed almost of all you said is because of lack of time.
Regarding star distance difference - it's all because of stars are actually placed in 3d space. and that confuses a lot. We're trying to find now how to bypass this issue.

Dec 19, 2013 @ 6:17pm

Doesn't work for me, with Chrome on OSX. Getting stuck after the dialogue as well, with a yellow dot in the center of the screen.

Dyn says ...
Dec 19, 2013 @ 6:26pm

@Dining Philosopher, LD or post-LD version?

ThatGuy says ...
Dec 20, 2013 @ 12:41am

Nice work on the game, even more so on the recent additions. You should allow users to skip through text faster.

embero says ...
Dec 20, 2013 @ 10:48am

Love those kinds of old school random CRPGs. Well done.

Coblynau says ...
Dec 20, 2013 @ 10:29pm

Although the stars navigation is a little confusing to begin with and could use icons to explain, once you're passed that this is a really fascinating game. I really liked the droid movements which when reaching a wall with only one obvious direction, performs the moves without needing to be clicked.

van noctar says ...
Dec 21, 2013 @ 12:14pm

I like the one chance for path! The map to choose level is very integrating into the story! Good work!

Dec 26, 2013 @ 7:56pm

I wasnt sure how this game worked but, I included it in my Ludum Dare compilation video series, if you'd like to take a look :)

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