Ludum Dare 30 — August 22nd-25th, 2014 — Theme: Connected Worlds

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SpaceCorp

by HellBlazer - Jam Entry

SpaceCorp is a strategy(ish) game about interplanetary commerce. You send your transport ships out to buy rare goods, then sell them back to other planets where they are in high demand. Can you become the richest merchant in the galaxy?

Instructions:

***Special note: I strongly suggest going towards Persephone at first and trading in strawberries. I haven't had time to really balance things out, and you probably won't be able to do much unless you do that first.

You will first need to buy a commercial permit for each planet with which you want to do business - Earth being your homeworld, you already have a permit there. This is done by clicking a planet and then, you guessed it, clicking the "buy permit" button. Permits cost 1000 credits. You can see which products they sell and want after buying the permit. A star icon next to the planet indicates where you have a permit.

The "fleet" button in the lower left allows you access to your fleet of ships. You can select one, then click the "set itinerary" button to give it orders. Clicking a planet where you have a permit allows you to fly there, which will then allow you to buy the local product, or sell the in-demand product if you have it in your ship's cargo. Note that you set the ship whole itinerary in advance (which can include multiple destinations and transactions), then click "done" and the ship will then execute your commands.

Ships have different statistics:
-Speed: the speed at which they move (obviously)
-Capacity: how many products they can carry (you can buy the same product multiple times by clicking the buy button more than once)
-Range: how far the ship can fly without refuelling on a planet. If you can't reach the planet you're interested in, try making a stop at another closer planet on the way.

The goal is to get 1 million credits... though admittedly the game will probably get quite boring before that. ;)

I'm not sure how clear this all is for someone who hasn't developed the game. :) Let me know in the comments if you have questions.

Dev notes:

This is my second time participating in Ludum Dare. Evidently, I still haven't learned to scope a project correctly. :\ I wish I had time to add more interesting elements, like AI competitors, randomness, and a more complex system for buying and selling products. It's pretty bare-bones as is, but I had to use every available minute to even do this much... Oh well, maybe I'll develop it further afterwards.

Known issues:
-The list of ships in your fleet will not scroll (apparently I haven't quite mastered scrollbars in the new Unity UI), so if you buy a lot of ships the buttons will just appear outside the box, and if you buy A TON you won't be able to use the last ones. You probably don't need that many ships though.
-You can order your ships to buy more products than they have cargo space, but they'll only buy the maximum available once they execute the order.
-Likewise, you can order them to spend more cash than you actually have when buying products. Your game will be over if you go under 0 credits so watch out. ;)

Credits:

Programming and design by myself

Borrowed art:
Planet textures from the Donjon SciFi World Generator: http://donjon.bin.sh/scifi/world/
Ship model from the Unity Asset Store: https://www.assetstore.unity3d.com/en/#!/content/11711
Star icon from the free set on http://famfamfam.com/

Downloads and Links


Ratings

#83Theme(Jam)3.80
#289Innovation(Jam)3.19
#405Overall(Jam)3.19
#433Fun(Jam)2.95
#450Graphics(Jam)3.21
#646Mood(Jam)2.47
#1626Coolness37%

Comments

Devtactics says ...
Aug 26, 2014 @ 9:09am

Well, I didn't quite hit a million credits. My company went bankrupt when I tried to branch out too quickly. :)
I liked the names for ships/planets/goods.. The game was pretty easy to figure out except for the itinerary -- it wasn't clear at first that telling ships to buy the local product actually meant buying the local product *from the planet you're planning on flying to*. It might be more intuitive to place buy & sell orders once you've reached the planet. Oh, and I kept wishing the fleet window would stay open. :)
Overall, very nice!

MintArcade says ...
Aug 26, 2014 @ 10:05pm

Like this type of games and this it pretty nice. Got confused with all ship buying goods and only after first bankrupt find out there is more than 3 planets if you move your mouse. That was a big face palm for me ;) Nice innovative game with cool theme implementation.

blurryroots says ...
Aug 27, 2014 @ 2:01am

The mechanics are simple yet enjoyable. It took me a while to figure out that you could issue multiple buy/fly/sell orders. What i didnt like was the fact, that if you issued buy orders, you had no clear visual feedback if you are overspending. All in all a neat game.

Galan says ...
Aug 27, 2014 @ 2:05am

The UI could have used some polish (way to many clicks and somewhat confusing), but the core gameplay was pretty solid.

Aug 27, 2014 @ 3:23am

Nice job on the game like some of the others here I couldn't figure out how to trade and move goods so I went bankrupt.

Moosefly says ...
Aug 27, 2014 @ 10:27pm

At the moment it really is just a test of endurance (how long you can keep clicking), but I was still stubborn enough to play to a million credits. Mainly because the "nuggets" were there. Really needs additional mechanics (cost of fuel etc.) and the user experience also needs to be improved (undo so that if you misslick you don't have to cancel and repeat so that you can repeat the current pattern making trading a lot more user friendly).

But yeah, the Ludum Dare timit limit is harsh. Good work!

Anssi@MooseflyGames

AlucardX60 says ...
Aug 27, 2014 @ 11:56pm

It was bit difficult to figure out what the Itinerary was but once I tried it I queued up several trips between planets to sell a lot pretty quick. I noticed though that if I gave my second ship orders, It wouldn't do anything and the first ship would stop and do it instead. Overall though this is solid game.

jjhaggar says ...
Aug 28, 2014 @ 7:07pm

Nice interface and pretty intuitive

Tanser says ...
Aug 31, 2014 @ 11:26am

Nice game, very interesting, i like it a lot! :)

Markavian says ...
Sep 6, 2014 @ 11:18am

Really neat game, you've done well with keeping the user interface simple, and had enough game concepts to keep it interesting. I unlocked all the planets, bought a new faster ship, and reached 35,000 creds before deciding to stop playing.

Minor improvements:
- Stars in the background
- Cash / kching animation when selling and buying goods at a planet

If you wanted to continue working on the game, I'd make the following recommendations-

Making the game bigger:
- Repeating route orders, for routes that earn a slim profit and need to be run regularly
- Fuel costs for journeys, to slim the profits again
- Keep the current planets close for early game, but then add a zoomable map and planets much further away that cost much more fuel and require more expensive ships

The game play would be in building a network of trading ships to help achieve the 1 million profit margin. If you've played OpenTTD and understand that what makes that game fun is building routes and tweaking them to earn profit. I think your game has the same potential.

If you really wanted to blow your imagination away:
- Upgradable ship engines to be more fuel efficient
- Sponsor planets to generate new profitable industries
- Pirate areas of space where you might get attacked without suitable protection
- Escort ships or weapons to protect your fleets
- Ship repair ship to send out to damaged vessels

Any way, really enjoyed your entry. Hope you had fun making it :)

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