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

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Irradiated Steam

by Postcursor Laboratories - Jam Entry

Irradiated Steam is a game where you control a steam train to deliver cargo across a nuclear wasteland.

This version is an alpha of the much bigger idea I'd like to develop, which would have much better art and more objectives. Unfortunately, I got started late in the Jam and didn't have enough time to add these features.

Controls: W to go forwards, S to go backwards.
Objective: Pick up the colors (cargo) at the stations by stopping over them. Deliver to the correct color. 25 points a piece. Stations can only hold up to 4 cargo in the in/out queues. Stations will distribute their cargo over time, freeing up space.

Downloads and Links


Comments

skele_blade says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 2:29am

After I figured out how to drop cargo (you just sit there for anyone else confused), the game basically degrades into stopping at each station until the cargo hold for that station is empty, then proceeding to the next.

It's an interesting concept, but I think it needs some decision making by the player to actually make it interesting.

Solid job on what you've got however, the logic for the train must have been a bit of a bear.

Draakhex2 says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 3:49am

It's actually quite addicting for a while, there are many ways on how you could expand on this game...

For instance:
More levels (Once you hit x score, load a harder level)

Money/XP with which you could purchase some upgrades (You could lower initial speed and actually have to purchase a better train or whatever)

And of course better graphics/sounds/music would be nice as well! Good luck!

Aug 30, 2016 @ 4:24am

Is there a end point to the game? I managed to gain over 1000 points but nothing particular changed since the start of the game.

TeslaCools says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 6:51am

I agree with skele_blade. The mechanic has a lot of potential, and even in the games current state I can spend a lot of time in it mentally zoned out, but for it to be a game in the truest sense of the word, it needs to have amount of thought required.

sftrabbit says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 3:06pm

Interesting idea! Could definitely expand on this further. I agree with others above about the controls to pick up/drop cargo not being obvious. I feel like you could make a pretty exciting action game if you just picked cargo up as you passed and you had to figure out the routes between the different stations (maybe avoiding obstacles) and trying to avoid any stations getting too full.

joemid says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 4:39pm

I was confused. Wouldn't open in Safari- got further in Chrome. Playing on Mac Retina- will try on the Win box later.

Amine Tcherak says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 4:43pm

Realy cool game great graphics good job ...

Pyrofoux says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 9:52pm

There isn't much decision making in this game, but I still managed to have fun trying to have the longest possible train.
The core mechanic works well, but I guess the game lacks an actual challenge

Bendev says ...
Aug 31, 2016 @ 3:15am

I did not understand how do i pick up/drop cargo at the stations. Maybe more instructions would help. It is a good concept though.

IQAndreas says ...
Aug 31, 2016 @ 6:51am

The game could use more visual feedback. I was confused I'd make the color of the stations even more clear.

At first I couldn't actually find the player, and until I had picked up my first cargo, I didn't know which side was the front, and which side was the back of the train.

There's nothing that tells you how to play. I had to return to this page to figure out the controls. And then you need to fumble your way forward until you eventually figure it out. Learning how to play by trial an error can sometimes be effective, but not in this game.


Second, there's no real strategy involved. Since the game automatically does all the hard work, all you need to do is pull up to the first station, automatically fill the train until the station is empty. Drive to the next station, the game automatically unloads that color, then automatically fills the train until the station is empty. You pull up to the next color, and the process repeats.

What would add a slight bit of effort on the part of the player would be to require the color you want to unload to be parked on the station tile, not the train. Delivering the wrong color docks you points.


The concept is doable; I can see this as being a genuine puzzle game with a bit of work. If you have multiple trains, and multiple stations all over a map, with cargo that expires if it's left on the train too long. You need to decide "Is it worth unloading all the green cargo on the other side of the map? By the time I get back here, the yellow cargo on board will have expired, and I will have lost money."

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