Frontier - Space trading/combat game.

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Post » Thu Mar 28, 2013 11:15 am

It's clear you have put a huge amount of effort into your game,it looks very good and the game mechanics work well.

few things I am not so keen on though,the screen is just too busy,the radars are much too big in proportion to the other objects on screen and I don't get the feeling of being in space at all,your fog effect while very well done would look better slightly less obvious,just a whisp to the eye rather than the smog it is at the moment.

Even with the fog there is just no feeling of movement,scientifically totally incorrect but in a space game I want to see stars moving when I engage my thrusters.

lots of things are very good your attention to detail and menu layouts are excellent also your enemy A.I and ship movement is very well done.although the pirates seem a tad small and it makes them less intimidating.

As I said,overall excellent work,should be popular with a niche market.



As long as I can move left, right and fire, I'm Happy...
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Post » Thu Mar 28, 2013 1:22 pm

The marketing problem is indeed a major obstacle I feel. As you said, most of us simply aren't interested in marketing and I'd rather be improving the game or starting on my next project. Whilst I love programming games and would like to start another, it does feel rather disheartening to think that nobody will ever play them. A solution to the marketing issue would be nice.

I'm considering putting it on Clay.io as the host and trying to drive traffic from Kongregate and other places over to there. That way I get paid for advertising at both ends but I can't imagine it being much. There are lots of other places, but it seems like a lot of work that I'd rather be spending doing programming.

@Pixel, the fog was basically put there for that purpose, to show the movement. I guess stars might have been better in the end but the fog has other effects (it changes in different systems to give an idea of the amount of gases your ship is collectig). One of the radars can be turned off to make more room.
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Post » Sun Mar 31, 2013 11:25 pm

Updated link to the version on Clay.io, which I'm going to be using to try to link with Chrome and other web stores, will try to see how it links with Kongregate too.

Had to shrink it down to 800 resolution which I was a bit worried about, but found ways to get it to work, seems to play fine. I was going to slow the lasers down to correspond with the new size but it still seems the same to me so left it as it is.

Renamed it to 'Korelos', which is the name of the final system. I don't really like the name but it's unique and gets me away from any issues with the name 'Frontier'.
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Post » Tue Apr 02, 2013 1:25 am

You could also try licensing your game out to places like Booster Media or any of the places at this link, http://www.html5gamedevs.com/topic/103-html5-game-portals/

I could give you some other contacts too (just PM me), or if you wanted further help, I always wanted to experiment with being a "publisher".
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Post » Tue Apr 02, 2013 3:10 am

Thanks man, good list. I've put it up on Clay.io and linked through from Kongregate, so I'll see what people have to say. Will try the Chrome Store and then move through the list. I'll see if I have any success with any of those, should be fairly obvious in a day or two.
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Post » Tue Apr 02, 2013 12:53 pm

well, I had just written a whole load of feedback, but for the second time the website decided to say I don't have permission to post here, and wiped everything I'd written! Arrrrgh!

I will try and remember what I said, and comment later when I'm on my tea break.

Though in short: text descriptions on planet data could do with being larger, two types of text comes up and overlaps when being almost fatally attacked, making it tricky to read. Stations could do with some sort of marker making it obvious which direction to fly to find them. Really like the new Korelos title!
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Post » Tue Apr 02, 2013 2:54 pm

Kongregate is a bad idea though. I've noticed this before with Kongregate - you'll get 1/5 ratings from people if there's a bug or technical issue, regardless of the game. If you put up a simple game which works well, it'll get 3 or 4 stars, just because it works. If you put up a better game which has technical issues, you get the hate votes. Everybody is claiming there are bugs but it works fine on mine, so I'm not sure what they're seeing that I'm not.

Thanks for the feedback. Some of the scaling issues are a problem. I initially designed it on full-screen (it's full screen on Clay.io but 800x600 on Kongregate). Shrinking it down to that size was a problem as it's really not designed to work on such a low resolution. I'll increased the text sizes as there's plenty of space there for a larger text size.

There is a big X on the radar for the station but maybe it needs to be clearer because the radar is too cluttered now too.
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Post » Tue Apr 02, 2013 3:19 pm

@farflamex

Shame that Kongregate's not working for you, though at least the game's out there, I suppose (and you'll be able to gradually figure out which places are the best to promote your game through trial and error).

I think there's always going to be people encountering bugs and giving bad reviews - it's a very fragile balance trying to get one game to work on such a wide variety of computers. I can appreciate how frustrating it can be when it's through no error of your own. Incase you're not already aware of it, F12 (or Ctrl Shift J on some computers) can bring up a very handing debugging console which might let you know where things are going wrong. I've discovered a 'CS Runtime is not defined' error in my own game, which may explain why it works once and needs the cache to be refreshed before working again (If I could just work out what the error actually means, I might be getting somewhere!)

If it's any consolation, I haven't discovered any problems or glitches with your game yet but will be sure to let you know if I do.

Right, let's try and recall a few things I said the last time before I was denied access to posting comments.

I really like the way the ship gets crippled by enemies, and you get that note that your crew are dying. I felt nice and helpless, though it might be a nice touch if you include the ability to send out a distress signal when close to death (which can, if lucky, summon allied ships to your aid. If less lucky, it could summon more pirates).

I still haven't encountered a second mission yet, as I got cut apart by pirates before I could locate another station. I'm keen to find out what sort of missions are on offer, and will definitely play more. Out of curiosity, is there a larger campaign style mssion at work behind the scenes, or is the game mostly about flying around trading, killing and upgrading?

Anyway, keep soldiering on! You've made a great game, and I'm sure some people will that when they've given it a longer play.

- Dave
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Post » Tue Apr 02, 2013 4:52 pm

Thanks Dave. It is pretty disheartening when people give bad reviews, but that's inevitable as you say. It's even worse when the game is running perfectly on mine and the 1-star rating was given on the assumption that I've just released a bug-ridden game, which isn't the case. I worked long and hard to fix every bug and it's pretty much bug-free. It just doesn't seem to work very well on Kongregate for some reason.

These technical issues are frustrating. It's like the issue with your Board Horde game not working on my PC. Can't work out why it will load in and it's probably not anything you're doing wrong. But it's the sort of thing that will lead to hate-votes, so it can be annoying. Live and learn :p

Glad you discovered the crippling effects on the ship. It can be quite scary as different parts of the ship shut down. For example if you just lose your thrusters, you can fly around but not steer and you need to shift repair crews to them quickly and the ship will slowly start to turn again (very slowly). The fires work well too and will slowly spread from compartment to compartment, eventually burning the whole ship down unless you fix it or get back to a station.

I was originally planning a distress signal effect because it's basically game-over if you lose too much control and you're on fire. I was thinking of having them drag you back to a station but I couldn't think of a good way of doing it - besides, there needs to be a way to lose somehow. But I do like the idea of calling in allied vessels for help and that'd be very easy to implement (probably).

There is a larger campaign going on. The number at the bottom of the screen shows you how strong the enemy have become and you need to make sure it never reaches 1000. It speeds up, so eventually the only way to stop it is to visit enemy systems and smash up their supply lines (which is also very profitable). Mind you, it's also a very good way of getting killed so it's a gamble.

Thanks again for the encouragement and it's nice to know at least one person has seen some of the math at work :)
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Post » Tue Apr 02, 2013 5:24 pm

By the way, thanks for spotting the planet description font, I've made it a set 16, which works even on the smaller screen - there's plenty of room.

Try playing it here Korelos - you can see the difference the screen sizes make. For one thing, it's MUCH easier to play at this size. I think you may need to look into this with Board Horde right from the beginning - try to get it working on 800x600, because it's a right pain trying to move down to that size later.

I've pushed to the Firefox store (very easy through Clay.io, took about 2 minutes), and am gonna do Chrome later (much fiddlier, I tried with a different game) and am upgrading to W8 later, so I'll try the W8 store. Will report when I have some details, might come in handy later if I do more games, and at least I can pass on my experiences.farflamex2013-04-02 17:24:50
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