Ludum Dare 36 — August 26th-29th, 2016 — Theme: Ancient Technology

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The Trade Network

by scriptorum - Competition Entry

You're from a family of traders that goes back many generations! Trade. Roads. Coinage. Such an ancient art. No really.

Anyhow, your parents don't understand your greatness, so one day after getting caught defiling the neighbor's garden and causing a fire while trying to escape, you were exiled. Your ship arrived in a new and strange land with many villages in need of trade. But first, for these villages to trade, they need a system of roads connecting them...

- Press H inside game for rules and keys.
- The Trade Network has one designed level, but it also contains random levels.
- The designed level has about two solutions. The random levels are not guaranteed to be solvable.

- Slight improvement to audio timing glitch when playing theme. #WebGLProblems
- Theme volume levels were mixed incorrectly, sounds better now.
- Less chance of game getting cropped or looking funny in full screen.
- Made some of the text elements sharper, not sure it's better. :)

POST COMPO (notable improvements)
- Press E for editor, point, hold a number key, and drag to paint. 0-3 is terrain, 4-6 is village.
- Copy level code with C (random level or edited) and paste/play other people's levels with P
- Improved help screen

Downloads and Links


manabreak says ...
Aug 29, 2016 @ 4:43am

This was a really nice game! Took me a few tries to connect them all in the pre-designed level. Could be taken a lot further and developed into a full game, especially for mobile. :)

NinjaNic says ...
Aug 29, 2016 @ 4:51am

Neat and fun little game! I like how this game uses a turn-based system. I also am a big fan of the hexagons. The game could be a little more clear on how much certain roads cost, and how much money each city gives. But all in all, I say it's a pretty good game.

Nice work, and good luck!

dhalvin says ...
Aug 29, 2016 @ 5:26am

Really liked this game. After about 6 tries in the predesigned level I had to give up. Would make a great mobile game idea. I could really see myself losing a few hours into a game like this on my phone.

gurkan96 says ...
Aug 29, 2016 @ 5:28am

This game is super cool and really hard i still havent been able to solve your handmade level! nice understandable art and sound effects! keep up the nice work

McMutton says ...
Aug 29, 2016 @ 5:32am

Nice puzzle game. Took me some time to find the correct order to be able to connect everything... which is a good sign for a puzzle game.
Graphics suit the game as well. :)

Aug 29, 2016 @ 5:35am

Good game with simple mechanics and simple graphics. Liked the challenge and the way the economic system is managed. With some more levels it will be a nice game on it's own, maybe add some army to control.

smilewood says ...
Aug 29, 2016 @ 5:35am

I love this game. It is very entertaining to try and connect the villages in an optimal way that lets me not get taxed out of business. I enjoy the random maps, they usually feel very completable right up until the tax rate spikes. I can understand why the American Revolution started over taxes.

tonynogo says ...
Aug 29, 2016 @ 5:37am

Simple but cool.
Sound and graphics pair very well.
Nice work!

KevKevOnFire says ...
Aug 29, 2016 @ 5:49am

Wow, that was really fun! Beat the pre-designed level on my second try, then went ahead and took on several randomized ones. The algorithms for the random levels could be adjusted, the difficulty varied pretty wildly. For a Jam though, that's really nitpicking.

Pix3M says ...
Aug 29, 2016 @ 6:15am

Easily one of the more polished games I've played thus far. I've been replaying it a couple of times. Nice work!

jackyjjc says ...
Aug 29, 2016 @ 10:40am

Cracked the pre-designed level, the puzzle was great. I love the graphics, it was cute. Like the others said, would be nice if the road cost were shown before i build the road (maybe when i hover over the tile?). I see a lot of replayability of this game. However, when i tried the randomized level, i was given a map that was pretty much unsolvable (mostly forest and mountains). It would be great if the map generation algorithm can make sure the map is solvable first. Overall a very nice game, I will come back to play it if you keep adding more puzzles to it :)

colapolka says ...
Aug 29, 2016 @ 10:45am

That was a tough nut to crack! Really nice puzzle design, would have enjoyed more pre-made maps as the random ones can really be too easy as @KevKevonFire pointed out.

Well done nonetheless!

onyon says ...
Aug 29, 2016 @ 4:56pm

Really nice puzzle game. The premade level is great. I love hexagons. Thumbs up!

leuus says ...
Aug 29, 2016 @ 5:27pm

Nice game, very addictive! At the beginning I thought it would be like the settlers of catan but the concept is really different.And I really enjoyed playing it! I was wondering if in every random level it was possible to connect all the village? (I doubt it. It would require a strong artificial intelligence wouldn't it?)

BloodJohn says ...
Aug 29, 2016 @ 7:53pm

Perfect railroad game. I love the strategy. I want to go back to play this game again.

The lettering is a little confusing. You may want to look for other options to explain what's going on.

kraiom says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 7:38am

Nice game with cool mechanic. Was really nice figuring out how to crack it. Also tried some random levels, one of them was an interesting challenge (but still easier than the pre-made one). Really awesome game, even more so considering the time constraints.

Now, if you intend to polish it up further, a couple things in the UI could be improved. It wasn't immediately clear to me that the brown tiles were mountains, and I also took a little while to realize I could start from any village. That's probably because I was too eager to read the instructions carefully, but still :)

Oh, and a level generator that would ensure the levels are beatable would also be great! But again, for the competition, having a level generator at all is already awesome.

cjames says ...
Aug 31, 2016 @ 12:04am

Oh my goodness that is one amazingly fun, challenging, addicting game! I couldn't stop playing until I got Master Trader on 10+ levels!! This is truly a top game this jam. Magnificently done

joemid says ...
Aug 31, 2016 @ 3:22am

Master trader! I was put off at first- thought it was a straight Cataan rip- boy was I wrong! One click control, fast play, clean design, and nice sound effects. By the end you had me thinking of the traveling salesman- one step closer!

juxipolo says ...
Aug 31, 2016 @ 3:34am

The mechanics were intuitive, but the hand placed level made it obvious there is some real difficulty to be had with those.

I wish there was a little more to it mechanically. This seems like a base you could build on.

scriptorum says ...
Sep 1, 2016 @ 3:49am

Thanks for the great feedback, everyone!

I put up a post-compo version, and this one has the ability to copy (C) and paste (P) level codes. Here are a few random levels I thought were half-decent.


Also I unlocked the crappy editor if you want to tailor your own levels (E to toggle edit mode, 0-7 to paint). There is no save mechanics, so copy the level code as above. (Although it'll be a longer code.)

scriptorum says ...
Sep 1, 2016 @ 5:42pm

A designed level: C222001111001111212220501330001101222100130322010030220113351362330502011301131130011220110011331002222215000503333540302202013330301110020212110100122102220623435002121002200301100222220322222011112220200

LoneSpelunker says ...
Sep 2, 2016 @ 12:01am

Really clever puzzle design. I'd love to have a mobile version of this with a bunch of different puzzles to try out.

Sep 2, 2016 @ 1:43am

Was really fun, the sounds effects were nice. Played for half an hour and still couldn't beat the level but i've always been bad at puzzles. Could definitely see myself playing for a while.

Sabina Lis says ...
Sep 2, 2016 @ 2:24am

This was fun to play :) the music when you complete a level is very satisfying, with a bit more development of art and music would make a really nice game, congrats!

rjhelms says ...
Sep 3, 2016 @ 3:59am

This is really cool - like a solo board game. The random levels were wildly varying in difficulty, but that's to be expected - controlling for difficulty would be a huge thing to implement!

The pre-built level was just complex enough to give an introduction to the mechanics without being frustrating, but still take some thought to actually complete.

I feel like there's really solid potential for a two-player mode to this, but I'm not sure exactly how it would work.

eott says ...
Sep 3, 2016 @ 9:37am

This is a really fun game and it's well done too. Good work!

blubberquark says ...
Sep 5, 2016 @ 7:50am

Nice puzzle game! At first I thought it was more about economy, but after the first level, I knew it was a puzzle!

Daniel says ...
Sep 6, 2016 @ 1:49pm

Really cool game and challenging, good design and concept well done. I think you could have added the controls at the intro, as at first I didn't know how to play until I read the info on this page.

alfadur says ...
Sep 6, 2016 @ 3:00pm

With right levels, it's quite a solid puzzle! The road-laying theme suits it naturally, and the music creates just the right mood. :)

I think it might be an interesting addition to have a way to deal with unused funds in case when it's not possible to connect another village within the next two or more turns. Maybe an action to put them in a bank for a couple of turns, and use the interest to build more roads.

scriptorum says ...
Sep 8, 2016 @ 5:08pm

Some more levels:


urielgamedev says ...
Sep 14, 2016 @ 11:46am

Hey thanks for your comment! Nice game! It reminds me a board game that I played a few months ago with train-trade.
I liked the graphics and the concept. I love puzzle-games and I needed some tries to beat yours.
Really good game!

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