Here's a tutorial video to help you get started:
Your little island decided to burn all its bridges with its trade partners and start afresh. It’s your job to set up little trade routes that will keep your island prosperous and allow you to expand your fleet.
WASD - Move view
Left-click - Press buttons, place waypoints
Right-click - Remove last waypoint
V - Toggle zoom level
Number keys 1 2 3 4 5 - Increase/decrease simulation speed.
Click on 'MAKE DEAL' at the top left to start.
I think when you purchase your 9th boat the game crashes - So here's a post-jam version with with some bug fixes and a better tutorial
kbjwes77 Level 14
Neat little management game, I enjoyed the sort of maneuvering with both the paths and the deals you were making. Not very challenging, nor did I seem to be able to do anything with my money besides make more deals (maybe I missed something?), but it was a fresh concept that I'd like to see expanded on. That's saying a lot because I don't typically like management games, so good work!
Neat little game. I enjoyed the "deal" aspect, as in, it seemed like route price varied a bit randomly even between ones of similar length or port amount - maybe it's all logically calculated or maybe there is some random variance, but regardless it did feel a bit like I was bargaining with different countries and trying balance port count/length/price to get a good deal, and then trying to construct the absolute shortest way to sail that route. It was fun!
I enjoyed the island art, cleverly done :P (although it did feel like some islands were higher resolution, or less blurry, than others, which felt odd every time I noticed it)
Where's the downloadable version (that isn't a project file)? I didn't know it was even possible to submit a game without that 🤔
Thanks for playing and your kind words!
Yes - I had tried to come up with a system of randomly generating lists of ports and then a logical way of very roughly appraising the list based on an algorithmically-generated hypothetical route which would then determine the price. If you could come up with a route that was more efficient than the algorithm, then you would generate money faster and thus recoup your initial investment faster. If I had more time, I'd make the algorithm harder to outsmart and make it possible to actually lose money and just make the game be an actual challenge!
Thanks for noticing the islands :) The reason for the blurriness was because when I created the background image initially, all the islands were much smaller, but toward the end when a lot of the mechanics were starting to work and I could test it properly, I realised there was not much challenge in plotting routes that weaved in and out of the islands. By increasing the size of certain islands I made the map more maze-like and the routes you had to create more intricate, at the cost of some annoying fuzzy sprites that I hastily sized up to achieve this.
There isn't downloadable window/mac versions because I'm running GMS2 on a Mac and famously it's very hard to generate a functional Mac executable that runs on the latest version of OSX. I would normally copy all my project files onto a separate hard disk, boot my computer in Windows and debug and compile for Windows - but I ran out of time and so I decided to just upload the HTML5 version for the deadline which in theory everyone should be able to run okay.
Thanks for playing and taking the time to review!
Not sure how I feel about having a Non-Jam version linked on this page while eating is still happening. Odds are people will play that version and judge it by that play instead of the jam version. Hopefully they don't, but it's pretty likely that they will. I was going to put an html5 version up for my game but decided against it for the same reason. I figured if I did that I would deserve to be disqualified. Maybe you know something I don't?
Thanks for pointing that out - the HTML version I uploaded to the gm48 site is the jam version and this can't be altered after the hand-in time. This is the one when you click on the 'Play' button by the 'Download' button. This is the game I expect people played and judged based on all the feedback I've received.
The itch.io version was initially the jam version of the game, but shortly after the hand-in I fixed a game-breaking bug so people could play a more stable version of the game after they've judged it if they wished. To make that clearer, I've updated the description text for my game.
I agree if someone didn't upload a version to the gm48 site and only had an itch.io link to a game that they repeatedly updated after the hand-in time that would probably deserve to be disqualified.
battleZays Level 8
Jaspo Level 4
I liked the innovative line puzzle aspect but some risk to go with the reward would've gone a long way toward making this game great for me.
Seltzy Level 24
A short little game to click your way through. Didn't personally find it hugely fun. It's over as soon as it starts and you place a route down. At that point you're just watching numbers go up. It crashed when I snagged that last boat, as you know.
It's a few mechanics away from an honest strategy game.
Nice work regardless!
A fun little clip from my stream: https://clips.twitch.tv/RelentlessAnimatedMuleBudStar
Edit: I apologize if it appears I'm just putting you on blast and not trying to be constructive. It was not my intention. Previous feedback shares the exact concerns I had and it's done more eloquently. Specifically Fachewa.
I saw you mentioned you wanted it to be more of a farming sim than a fight against bankruptcy. If that's the case and the goal is simply to maximize your income unimpeded then I'd say you succeeded in making the game for that. However, it needs something like rewards to encourage it. I interpreted it as just a really easy strategy game and didn't enjoy it for that reason.
Same as Allison, I though I had to go port to port at first :D The fact that you can make any path you want does make the game more trivial. With this level of detail, maybe something like a limited distance that forces you to go back to you own port / allies, and getting money only when your ship gets to your port?
Anyways, it's still pretty fun to play with, but it definitely lacks some greater goal, or at least maybe unlocks.
Edit: I get what you were going for, but maybe I was just too good at selecting routes (:p) I didn't notice any real issue here. And even if you take a suboptimal route, you can just fast forward a little I think? At first I was taking the best routes, but by the 4th / 5th boat I had already so much money that it didn't really matter, and by the time I traced the route I would have recouped my investment, even on *1 speed (I only sped up the sim a few seconds between the 2nd and 3rd boat I think).
I didn't mean trivial in a bad way, just that at first I thought tracing route was more of a puzzle. The fact that it's not is not really an issue.
What I wanted to say in both case is that you can still do whatever you want without much consequences, since you're not running against time or something like that, so I guess it's more of a toy / sandbox. And I liked it! And got to the 9th boat bug. But it could use some mechanic that forces you to optimize to stay interesting for longer, that's all :)
Thanks for playing and your frank feedback!
I think have to disagree with you on your point that ability to create waypoints between ports makes the game more trivial. I'd agree if I was trying to make a puzzle game where the challenge was to find the shortest path between two points across a fields of nodes some of which weren't allowed to connect - If you're judging my game against that then yes, creating routes is trivial.
The depth and challenge I was trying to create comes not from merely placing the route, but making a decision about which route would be the best deal (in that randomised list there will always be some bargains that have great ROI, and others will take ages to recover their initial investment), and also in figuring out the most efficient path between the ports to eek out as much profit as possible - of course balancing this was really tricky in the timescale, and I didn't want it to be too punishing and make players lose money on routes and bankrupt themselves - I wanted it more to be like a farming simulator where your skill in the game determines how quickly you lock into that exponential growth.
I know many people playing this and reviewing it didn't check out my tutorial and because of that this game is really opaque to them, that's definitely on me, I needed to have left more time to put some in-game instruction in.
Thank you for playing taking the time to review!
Edit: Wow - just read your edit, thanks for coming back for clarification! - I understand what you're referring to when you described that aspect as trivial, and I do agree - A toy/sandbox is exactly what I was going for and I totally agree it needs a LOT of balancing and more ways of mechanically encouraging optimisation to establish and maintain players' engagement with it.
Just off the top of my head for a start, the deals need to vary in price a lot more, because the dominant strategy is just to buy the most expensive deal you can afford and no matter how much you would optimise a cheaper route, there's no way you could even close to the value of a less optimised + more expensive deal.
I apologise for the tone of my response, I feel quite proud of what I've achieved in the jam and defensive of my approach to making games that don't necessarily have a fail state or have conflict as the mechanism for engagement - I really enjoy playing games like Anno 1404 and just delivering packages in Death Stranding and just doing the taxi driving side missions is GTA games 😅I want to create experiences like that which a lot of people do dismiss as trivial (and they're kinda not wrong but I think they're missing the point).
Thank you Fachewachewa 😊🙏
Allison James Level 11
This was enjoyable, and showed a lot of promise for potential future expansion. I did spend more time than I probably should have thinking it was an extremely difficult dot-to-dot game before realising you could place nodes anywhere, not just on the target destinations, but once I had that worked out, I was okay!
I did appear to make the game crash though - after building around 8 paths* and being at around $10,000, the screen went black and the game was unresponsive beyond still playing the music. That was a shame; I was turning the map into a real line-fest 😅
*Edit: Just noticed that this is a known bug. Would be fun to see a patched version!
Thanks for playing - apologies the tutorial was not in-game and that you missed the link to the video in my description and had to muddle through - thank you for sticking with it and I'm really glad you were enjoying building up the trade routes and making delicious lines everywhere - I really wanted to give the player a sense that they were building up and tinkering with a sweet train set, adding new tracks and rerouting others so they were more efficient. I'm sorry about the crash and losing your progress! This was the tightest to the deadline I've ever been at a game jam and I didn't have time to play the game all the way through since the last pieces of the mechanics were in - that buy button was working before but I must have done something that bust it :[ Thanks for your feedback!
I really enjoyed this game. The music is relaxing and the sound effects are well done. The mechanics all feel tight, and I encountered no bugs, though I didn't get to the eighth ship mentioned in the description. My only suggestion would be for an in-game tutorial, as I didn't figure out mechanics like looking around with WASD or the ability to turn in the ocean until I stumbled across them while playing.
Thanks for playing and your kind words! I'm glad you enjoyed it, I wanted to create a gentle relaxing game and I'm pleased it resonated with you in that way :)
Totally agree RE: tutorial - I was right up the wire with this one, the UI was really time-consuming to finish and debug and I had an hour to go so I decided to record a quick tutorial video and display the link to that prominently on my description page (also the controls) in the hope that people might check that out before they play so they're not immediately stuck and frustrated. Maybe just a help button in the bottom corner that displayed a jpg with some help text and the controls would have been better. There was quite a lot of nuance in creating the trade routes and what made a good trade route that I felt would be easier to communicate with a video. ...I dunno! Thanks for letting me know though, should be an easy fix with a post-jam patch.