Don't worry, it's winnable.
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I do want to make an extended edition that will have significantly more playtime, and decisions about your tribe's society. After Ludum Dare voting has concluded, though.
Annulus btw is just Latin for "ring". Interestingly, it's where the word "null" comes from, due to the shape of the letter zero.
Hi! I just tried out the demo on Linux (Mint) and while I liked the game, I ran into some problems:
The Health/Firepower/Speed indicators have a weird pink bit where I think the mask-out of the dial is meant to be. (Screenshot)
The game spontaneously crashed on me halfway through the first boss fight. If there's some crash log it produced let me know. Here's what it printed to stdout:
zar@lovecraft ~/Desktop/Games/starf $ chmod +x nw zar@lovecraft ~/Desktop/Games/starf $ ./nw [27212:27212:0331/141044:ERROR:resource_bundle.cc(751)] Failed to load /home/zar/Desktop/Games/starf/nw_material_100_percent.pak Some features may not be available. [27210:27210:0331/141044:ERROR:resource_bundle.cc(751)] Failed to load /home/zar/Desktop/Games/starf/nw_material_100_percent.pak Some features may not be available. [27210:27226:0331/141045:ERROR:nacl_browser.cc(272)] Failed to open NaCl IRT file "/home/zar/Desktop/Games/starf/nacl_irt_x86_64.nexe": -4
Apart from that, I also have some balance/appearance feedback:
- Some of the graphics are scaled in an ugly non-smooth fashion. (eg see the cursor or the big segmented circle in the screenshot)
- When buying stuff on the asteroid base, there is no indication what resources/costs you have, and which you lack. I have to go in and out of the main base screen and memorise what I have in terms of crew, credits, etc.
- I found that at the start of the game, the winning but boring strategy is to just repeatedly run the simulation, snatch 1-2 credits, and explode, until I had enough credits to build some base parts to get some tech to get a ship that wasn't completely useless.
I just set up a refinery thing for my game Concierge, using per-person download keys. This worked well in general, except that the game is an embedded web game, and so upon visiting the key page, the user is confronted with a message saying that there's nothing for them to download. Which is true, but they don't need to download anything!
Apart from this I'm really liking Refinery so far. :) (And if anyone on this forum wants to join Concierge's refinery, and is up for giving lots of feedback, let me know.)
In my case, I didn't understand about the concept of data structures yet. I knew about arrays, so I had all of those arrays with the same indexing, and I kept on messing up insert/remove operations, causing the data to shift between entities and creating really odd bugs...
I do feel that games with pretty predictable play times are easier to price. In my case, I'm currently heavily going back and forth on the final price for Airships: Conquer the Skies, which is a ship construction and RTS game. It has no plot or series of missions. So you might spend half an hour on it or 300 hours.
The elephant in the room for game pricing is that there's (almost) no marginal cost, which makes normal pricing strategies not work. You can't just slap a 30% margin on the game.
So instead, you have to pick a number where price x units sold is maximized. Which means you have to guess at the habits and psychology of potential customers. This is the big reason why discounts are so popular in game pricing. The idea is that a $20 game reduced by 50% sells more copies than a $10 game. You are signalling that the game is "really" worth $20, but you can save money by getting it for $10 instead.
In an ideal telepathic world, you would extract from each customer the exact maximum amount they're willing to pay for your game. So some rabid fans would pay $100 for it, and a fair number of people would pay $10, and finally a lot of people would pay $1 on the off chance they vaguely like it. Because you can't read people's minds and make them pay this theoretical maximum amount, you create a trade-off, wherein the sooner you want the game, and the fancier the edition, the more expensive it is. Want the Deluxe Edition at launch because you're a fan? Lots of money. Only vaguely interested? Get it in a bundle a year after the release, pay nearly nothing.
I'm Zarkonnen or David Stark in human terms. I started making games as a kid by abusing FileMaker Pro. After a few years post-university doing sensible normal boring work, I once again make games. My current long-term project is Airships: Conquer the Skies.
itch.io is a pretty neat place, and I hope this new community aspect will evolve into something good too.