Ludum Dare 31 — December 5th-8th, 2014 — Theme: Entire Game on One Screen

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Black Market Empire

by Neil - Jam Entry

Black Market Empire is a game where you need to manage your various suppliers and contacts over the globe to ensure that shipments of drugs, organs and weapons are delivered to the right locations on time!

Luckily there is software developed that will help you accomplish this goal. Log in to the secure network*, manage your contacts, contracts and make as many bitcoin as you can. If you are broke, you lose the game.

* The "log in" is just a fun way to get the player's name and help create the illusion that you are connecting to a secret secure network!

The game is played over four phases.

Upkeep:
In this phase you will collect resources from your contacts and pay them. You can also fire contacts and fulfill contracts in this phase.

New contact:
Pick a new contact. Each contact will procure a certain amount of drugs, organs and/or weapons for you. They will charge a weekly rate for this service. Each contact is active in a specific continent (Africa, Asia, Europe, USA or South America). To view a contact's details click on their contact icon on the map. This will also give you access to the fire button. Some restrictions apply. You can have a maximum of 10 contacts, and a maximum of 5 per continent.

New Contract:
Contracts are for a specific resource, within a specific time frame. If a contract is fulfilled, the amount of resources will be deducted from your stockpiles, and you will be rewarded in bitcoins. If a contract is not fulfilled in time, the amount of resources that was due will be subtracted from your bitcoins.

Fulfill Contracts:
During this turn you can fulfill contracts and fire contacts. You can view contracts by opening the contract panel on the left of the screen. You can fulfill contracts early by clicking on checkmark next to the contract.

Example:
10 Organs in 5 weeks, BC90.

You will receive BC90 if you deliver 10 organs in 5 weeks or sooner. If you do not deliver, 10 BC will be deducted from you and the contract removed. No other resources will be deducted.

If you reach 0 BC at any stage, the game is over!


Development:
It was quite a learning experience designing this game! It was our first time using the new UI tools from Unity 4.6. Very nice and very powerful, but a bit more practice would have helped a lot. We also lost several hours due to rolling blackouts, a year end function and a slightly demanding 6 month old! It is not really balanced, and we cut a lot of features, but I think there is something interesting here :)

Hope you have fun!

PS. I have no idea if the Linux version will work. Please let me know if it doesn't!

Downloads and Links


Ratings

Coolness52%
#333Innovation(Jam)3.30
#485Overall(Jam)3.23
#583Theme(Jam)3.47
#623Humor(Jam)2.35
#693Fun(Jam)2.80
#746Graphics(Jam)2.73
#786Mood(Jam)2.63

Comments

Cheshyr says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 8:21am

FUn littel sim game. Nicely done.

Bloxri says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 4:14pm

Ran the Web version first, it worked just was curious why there was a log in. Tried it with some fake credentials and shortly understood that it wasn't actually connecting to anything to my knowledge. Played it twice but became broke what seemed like during the tutorial causing me to start over. Not sure if I am doing something wrong or what. I'm sure once past the tutorial stage the game is actually pretty fun. The theme for this LD is pretty spot on. Graphics are O.K. but its not like you need good graphics for a game like this anyways. Its not quite innovative due to the amount of games like this (Plague Inc) but I'd rather play this than that due to the topic of it. Love how the game uses Bitcoins to trade. Overall cool concept, I'm sure the gameplay is fun and challenging. Theme worked with the topic given. Good Job!

EthanWebster says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 7:01pm

At first I wasn't quite sure what was going on, and why the login screen was there but once I got the hang of it, it was a great game to play. well done :)

digibody says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 7:10pm

Cannot get past the login password screen. Trying web version. Characters wont type in the text field.

ViliX64 says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 7:14pm

Well polished game. Also very innovative :)

Magicolo says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 7:19pm

-The game is too easy. Difficulty curve could be exponential to prevent complete game domination.
-The connection screen is kindof a second screen even though it is pretty much unimportant in the game.

feizenbara says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 7:26pm

Really good game, and it looks nice. I just wished it was more theme related with something about the screen, but it does not matter, it's fun to play. Congratz.

Now more detailled feedback:
- I wish I could only satisfy contracts on areas I have a contact, because right now, the location of contracts is meaningless.
- you should make a smaller version for people like me that don't have a huge HD screen. I had the screen cut when playing, so I didn't saw any tutorial text on my first run, it was frustrating.
- I wish there was a goal or an end, right now I played 40+ weeks and stacked coins with my contacts.

Neil says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 7:37pm

Thanks for the feedback! We were planning to make contracts so that you have to have a contact to distribute the goods in that continent. Which would make it more strategic, but we just didn't manage our time well enough!


Look out for a post compo version with better balance, rule tweaks, supply routes, more unique contacts and random events!

As to several comments relating to theme, it fits in that the game is about managing a criminal enterprise from a single computer screen! Maybe a bit vague or meta, but that was the intention! :-)

Vulture Tamer says ...
Dec 10, 2014 @ 2:19pm

good game,

easy to figure out how to 'win' there is no real win,
once you get to the stage of 10 employers it's pretty much done :p

Thermite says ...
Dec 10, 2014 @ 6:13pm

Good concept, it wasn't really clear that you gained resources from the contacts on each cycle, but once i'd grasped that it was fun. Got to the point where I always had enough resources to pay off the highest paying contract each time as soon as I'd got it.

xgeovanni says ...
Dec 10, 2014 @ 6:20pm

First - the Linux version works great.

Second - Would have been nice to have a win condition. I got to 10/10 suppliers and over 2000 BTC and it didn't seem like I could have ever lost from there. Also the similarity between the words "contact" and "contract" can make the instructions quite difficult to parse.

Dec 10, 2014 @ 6:53pm

Interesting idea, at some point I began to be worried about my kidneys, even if I was the king of the dark market empire. I must agree with the previous comment about the win condition, and the confusion that the contact and contract words made in me too.

And thanks for your rating! :)

Logun says ...
Dec 10, 2014 @ 9:15pm

Looks like a very deep game. Saldy the resolution is a little too wide for me and I have to perma scroll, a not very smooth experience. But anyway, I like to be a mafia lord :)

qleonetti says ...
Dec 11, 2014 @ 5:26pm

Clever, a bit hard to grasp at first. I would really enjoy some kind of variation of it in a board game. The theme is nice :)

01rafael says ...
Dec 14, 2014 @ 12:40am

To hard for me. But, anyway the game is looks great!

TyrusPeace says ...
Dec 20, 2014 @ 7:27pm

Neat idea! Some sound would really help the feel of the thing, to make it feel like some illicit web console. Not that such things make noise in real life :).

I had fun getting the hang of this, but once I figured it out there wasn't much else to do besides accumulate bitcoins. I like it quite a bit!

pht59x says ...
Dec 25, 2014 @ 4:53pm

I managed to login with the Web version, then my mind blew up.

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