Around The World

Many believe that the world is a flat plane. However, our scientists tell us that this is wrong: the world is actually a cylinder, with the poles at its top and bottom ends.

The monarch demands that you prove this by taking your ship around the world and returning safely to the port of origin.

Unfortunately, your ship is barely seaworthy, and you have very little money to upgrade it. You will need to find nearby ports to trade with, so that you earn enough to make the necessary improvements and buy the maps you need for a safe voyage. I guess you could call this a rogue-lite?


Gameplay tips:

  • World generation seed 0 is recommended for your first game.
  • Remember the name of your starting port! There's no way to look it up once you've left.
  • Left mouse button is used to control everything. Click to set sailing direction.
  • Time does not pass while near a port or on the map screen.
  • You can carry no more than 10 days worth of provisions, but you can improve your speed.
  • Sailing into the wide ocean without a map can sometimes work, but is very risky!

About trade and equipment:

  • Each type of cargo has a fixed market price, but if it is in demand at some port, it fetches double the price there.
  • Ports don't produce new goods or items. When it's gone, it's gone. Demand doesn't change either.
  • You can upgrade your cargo hold, sailing speed and viewing range.

UI tips:

  • If you accidentally embarked and want to revisit the port screen again, simply sail out a bit and back again.
  • Press and hold the >> button to speed up time.
  • Newly bought maps appear in the middle of the Maps screen; you can drag them to line them up with other maps.

For smoothest operation, use Chrome. It stutters a bit in Firefox for some reason.

Post-jam changes:

  • Fixed a bug that allowed you to get equipment for free if you didn't have enough gold. This wasn't strictly game-breaking because it didn't prevent you from playing the game as it was intended, but allowing such blatant cheating would be bad for highscores and any possible tournament.
  • Added a checkbox to disable using a fixed world seed, for use with highscores.

Made with Godot, Aseprite and jfxr. Strictly limited to 320x200 resolution with 16 colours.

Voting results

Overall
2nd
4%
8.368
Graphics
4th
13%
7.789
Audio
8th
29%
5.389
Gameplay
2nd
4%
8.053
Originality
10th
38%
7.105
Single Theme
3rd
8%
8.737
Triple Theme
5th
17%
6.389

This game entered in the Solo competition (24 entries).

Comments (28)

psevrain
 • 1 month ago • 

Very ambitious, and the result is really nice. Your really achieved a complete game (except for audio, but it's understandable).

For criticism:
Perhaps the names of the towns make the maps assembly a bit too easy.
Just a pity the moves are sometimes blocked for very little of coast.
The font is awful on a normal screen, I has to reduce strongly the browser window to be able to read…

It's one of the richest game I've played on a game jam. And fun.

Juutis
 • 1 month ago • edited • 

Now that's a complete jam game if I've ever seen one!

I easily spent upwards of an hour on this gem of a game. Nice graphics, engaging gameplay and a full set of features. The only minor gripe I have is that, as pointed by the previous comment, navigating around coasts can get tedious as the boat gets stuck so easily.

thomastc
  • 1 month ago • 

@psevrain

Very ambitious, and the result is really nice. Your really achieved a complete game (except for audio, but it's understandable).

Thank you! I'd been sitting on this idea for a while, but estimated that it would take months, so it was tricky to scope it down as far as I did :)

Perhaps the names of the towns make the maps assembly a bit too easy.

Oh, I tend to do it just based on the shapes. It's not a huge challenge in either case. Snapping would have been nice, I guess, but I tried to capture the physicality of the maps without compromising usability too much.

Just a pity the moves are sometimes blocked for very little of coast.

Absolutely. The result of tunnel vision during development, and no time taken for playtesting. I had plans to make it… unwise… to ram the coast, and to add shallows that will make your ship run aground and can only be seen on maps but not on the screen, but in retrospect I think that would have been too punishing anyway.

The font is awful on a normal screen, I has to reduce strongly the browser window to be able to read…

It's simulating an EGA graphics mode, so in that spirit, you're supposed to play it on a 14 inch CRT monitor ;) But yeah, perhaps I should have used the smaller font a bit more and kept the stylish one for buttons and such.

@Juutis

Now that's a complete jam game if I've ever seen one!
Nice graphics, engaging gameplay and a full set of features.

Thank you!

I easily spent upwards of an hour on this gem of a game.

But did you win? I guessed that it should be possible, but only managed to actually do it after the deadline :D It was just hard enough and it finished before it got tedious, but that's more by luck than by design :D

Juutis
 • 1 month ago • 

@thomastc: yeah, took me 500 something days get around the world but I did it! Didn't post it on the highscores, though.

TheGrumpyGameDev
 • 1 month ago • 

Good job.
How come people always be making better games than me? FeelsBadMan

thomastc
  • 1 month ago • 

@TheGrumpyGameDev

Good job.

Thanks!

How come people always be making better games than me? FeelsBadMan

There were 37 games submitted to this jam. For 36 of those, there is going to be at least one that's better. I try not to compete with others, but with my past self. For me it's a great way to keep improving and stay motivated.

There also isn't a single definition of "better". It depends on the person, their mood, and so on.

And in any case, the most important point is to have fun! :)

TheGrumpyGameDev
 • 1 month ago • 

So, to be more telling about the "better" thing, I have a game on itch not-too-disimilar to my entry

https://thegrumpygamedev.itch.io/seafarers-of-splorr

and YER game is exactly what i'ld like Seafarers to be.

So mostly, I am tipping my hat to a way better game.

benjamin
 • 1 month ago • 

Wow I could spend hours on that. You extracted the really core gameplay of traders game like Frontier Elite and succeded to apply in on a 48h gamejam. This is amazing. I can't wait to see the great fight for the shortest trip in the next days. We should determine a common seed for the score contest. Probably the "0", I guess.

thomastc
  • 1 month ago • 

@benjamin

Wow I could spend hours on that. You extracted the really core gameplay of traders game like Frontier Elite and succeded to apply in on a 48h gamejam. This is amazing.

Thank you! I wasn't aware of it during the jam, but I think Elite (the original 1984 version) was one of my inspirations, although it focuses more on combat and less on exploration. It's also far more grindy, which I deliberately prevented by not having the cargo be replenished.

We should determine a common seed for the score contest. Probably the "0", I guess.

I'm not sure we should set a fixed seed for the scores. Finding a suitable seed could be part of the fun. On the other hand, maybe we should require that you haven't played that seed before, because you'll already know the way… so then the default seed of 0 would not be a great choice. Maybe I should add a "Randomize seed" checkbox that doesn't reveal the seed until the game is over…?

benjamin
 • 1 month ago • 

Maybe I should add a "Randomize seed" checkbox that doesn't reveal the seed until the game is over…?

Definitively the good choice for scoring. I got 244 days on seed 0 and I did a lot of moves based on my memory of my previous attempts. I want to play on other seed, but without having to 'seek' a good one, so your solution seems perfect for me !

thomastc
  • 1 month ago • 

@benjamin I added a checkbox so you can play with a non-fixed (= random) seed, enjoy!

remco
 • 1 month ago • 

Ah, that old chunky EGA feel :-) It's not just the colors and the resolution… somehow you also capture a lot of the particular style I feel those games sometimes had. (I don't mean that in a 'modern is worse' kind of way, just different.)

I love this game! It's the standout for me of the ones I played for sure, and might stay there! There's the pull of the unkown (and cooler upgrades) versus the profit you'll (need to) make… etc. Yet, forgiving and modern enough in it's gameplay(balance) that you actually want to keep playing instead of getting frustrated with it.

It's very playable. The seed 0 world seems almost designed to draw you in (neighbouring towns each wanting the others' things, different upgrades immediately available so you can see the scope of what you've accomplished … and you've done a lot with those 2 days -- I shouldn't forget that this also has procedural generation).

A few things -- besides any missing music … you've made quite clear that you at least know about audio in your other post :-) -- I could think of that you might want to know:

I could figure 'everything' out with only reading the flavour text (and confirming with the rest of the text later).

I got stuck on small pieces of land sticking out near a town quite frequently. While this is maybe a true risk of sailing too close to the coast and getting landlocked for a bit, it feels a bit annoying gamewise, especially since playing with the mouse is the only option. It was never really a problem (I can't have lpst much more than a days worth of provisions, maybe?) though.

Buying back items at the same price immediately is a nice touch. I don't think it ever went wrong but it's nice that the option exists at least. It surprised me a bit at first … but of course, it's still the same 'double' price.

It would be really nice if the player could annotate the map (or even, auto fill in the demand/supply/special each town has as long as it has been visited), that might save some paper IRL ;-)

Speaking of really nice for a post-jam version: auto-buy provisions?

That's all I have. Well it seems this game-jame has another game I need to get back to to actually get a decent hi-score in. I probably need to stop reviewing right before I actually need to go to bed.

Nobleboy
 • 1 month ago • 

This is definitely a videogame.

Enough gameplay to last for hours, really liked the restrictions you set for yourself with the resolution and colorpallette and still made a good looking game.

Tipyx
 • 1 month ago • 

Very very good entry, congrats to you!

thomastc
  • 1 month ago • 

@remco Thanks for your elaborate comments!

The seed 0 world seems almost designed to draw you in (neighbouring towns each wanting the others' things, different upgrades immediately available so you can see the scope of what you've accomplished

Yeah, I got rather lucky on that one :D

I shouldn't forget that this also has procedural generation).

In case you're interested, I just did a writeup of how it works.

While this is maybe a true risk of sailing too close to the coast and getting landlocked for a bit, it feels a bit annoying gamewise, especially since playing with the mouse is the only option.

I did, too, and should've realised that this was a problem. It would have been so easy to fix, too.

It would be really nice if the player could annotate the map (or even, auto fill in the demand/supply/special each town has as long as it has been visited), that might save some paper IRL ;-)

Agreed, that would be cool! Auto fill would make sense because the supply/demand are static, but even if it weren't, we could annotate it with something like "Had 3 gemstones in stock 7 days ago".

Speaking of really nice for a post-jam version: auto-buy provisions?

I'd rather not. I wanted the player to be very aware of their provisions, because it's the key element that prevents you from sailing around the map in one go. And more importantly, at the moment you have the option to skip buying provisions if it just barely allows you to buy one more cargo or item, which can be an interesting choice. (It doesn't come up often because provisions are relatively cheap, but that might be more of a balancing issue…)

@Nobleboy @Tipyx Thank you both for the praise!

DictorDro
 • 1 month ago • 

Very cool thoughtful game!
I liked rich and various trading, posibility to buy really useful stuff.
Also feature with different maps is really good! And the fact that you literally can't navigate without the map is decisive.
So good job man!

thomastc
  • 1 month ago • 

@DictorDro Thank you! :D

HuvaaKoodia
 • 1 month ago • 

A cohesive and well made entry with a strong core of exploration and trading. Reminds me of Pirates! and a few other titles whose names I've forgotten unfortunately.

Initially delving into the unknown with a crummy ship kept the stakes high. Patching small maps together and trying to estimate (based on random geographic features!) which direction to take was compelling. Soon the maps became huge and simple trading didn't impress no more. The second half of the journey was more rote than fresh. Seeing the full path on the map after the one year journey was a nice reward, though.

The world could have been reduced in size for the jam to keep it concise. Of course, adding in more content would have also solved this issue in a different way. A team of 3-5 could have cranked out loads of extra mechanics, items, encounters, you name it. As a base for a longer solo project this seems very solid. The sheer size of the world is a positive as long as there are things to do and places to see.

Good job. I hope you take this further.

thomastc
  • 1 month ago • 

@HuvaaKoodia Thank you for your thoughtful feedback!

Reminds me of Pirates! and a few other titles whose names I've forgotten unfortunately.

I've heard that title before in a very different context. I need to check it out then!

The second half of the journey was more rote than fresh.

Hmm, trying to think of a solution. If I made the world itself more interesting the further you get from home, you'd always have it get less interesting in the second half. Unless… maybe I could generate unexplored parts of the world on the fly and make them increasingly difficult, but it might feel very unfair to the player if they eventually figure out that the game is working against them in this unnatural way. It might also make the eventual world map look really weird :) Maybe the inhabitants of the world change over time, for instance, political instability, warring nations, pirates, sea monsters? But I'm trying very hard to steer clear of violence in my games, because there's plenty of that elsewhere. Conundrum!

As a base for a longer solo project this seems very solid. […] I hope you take this further.

I originally conceived of it as a multi-month project, but when "ships" and "maps" came round as themes, I couldn't very well not try to scope it down and cram it into a weekend. I agree that the resulting prototype is promising, and I might well develop it into something bigger.

HuvaaKoodia
 • 1 month ago • 

The 2004 version of Pirates! is easy to get into. The older versions more so look the part.

I did some digging in the old noggin and found Pioneers, which has a similar visual style and quite a bit of depth to its simulation. Curious Expedition on the other hand is barely about boat trips at all, but it has intresting exploration mechanics nonetheless. You've probably heard of it already.

Some additional thoughts on the exploration getting stale. The huge maps play a huge role in this. If the selection was limited to small, tall and wide maps with rare far away maps sometimes thrown in the mix, the feeling of peril would remain for longer. Locals could also give vague hints about which direction to travel to when rewarded with coin. Working with limited information is compelling when it comes to exploration in general.

Fair winds and following seas.

M2tias
 • 1 month ago • 

Amazing game. At first I had trouble because I kept forgetting which bought what. After I started taking notes it became easy and I had lots of fun exploring. Then I took a hail mary to find the next city because my map ran out. I sailed straight to the pole and it was too late to turn around. Anyway, it was a fun experience. Thanks!

IronScorpion
 • 1 month ago • 

This is a brilliant game which I could not stop playing. At first I didn't bother with maps but I realised how essential they are to being successful in this game. Ships are also a core feature, so two of the themes are completed flawlessly. The only thing missing is the chaos theme, but the other aspects of the game more than make up for this.

The artwork is super, and the concept is flawlessly executed. This is one excellent game, which is complete in every regard, and I see no reason why this could not be a paid-for game. One issue I encountered was I kept getting stuck on corners of land, but that was only due to my terrible navigation rather than a bug.

I know I will keep returning to play this game, and would love to see if it could be expanded post-jam, maybe with varying supply/demand, so that prices are not fixed, and may be less (or more) than double the base price in order to provide more uncertainty about trading (I found it was easy to find ports with 4+ gemstones, and sell them at double price at another port with demand to get 200 coins profit each time). Another idea is to make maps automatically position themselves, rather than having to make them overlap the right amount by hand (I understand this adds to the challenge, so this could be an optional feature, or maybe it only moves the map to the correct place if the user places it within +/- 2 pixels of the correct location).

Well done, this is definitely the most complete and polished game I have played so far!

thomastc
  • 1 month ago • 

@IronScorpion Thanks!

varying supply/demand, so that prices are not fixed, and may be less (or more) than double the base price in order to provide more uncertainty about trading

Aye, that would be great. Maybe also combined with rumours/hearsay: you enter the pub at a port, tip the bartender, and they tell you that textiles are in huge demand in Zeebrugge right now.

Another idea is to make maps automatically position themselves, rather than having to make them overlap the right amount by hand (I understand this adds to the challenge, so this could be an optional feature, or maybe it only moves the map to the correct place if the user places it within +/- 2 pixels of the correct location).

Yeah, snapping the last few pixels would be an improvement. Once you see how the maps should align, there's no point in making you fuss about micro-alignment.

If I develop this further, I'd like to have maps in different scales, orientations and drawing styles, which make snapping weird at best. But until then…

katuiche
 • 29 days ago • 

What impresses me the most is how balanced the game is.

Finding two neighbor ports who trades products between them doesn't break the game.
Ports are enough far from each ocher.
The upgrades and maps have the right price.

It's a really playable game made in a single jam. Congratulations.

thomastc
  • 28 days ago • 

@katuiche Thank you!

What impresses me the most is how balanced the game is.

If so, then mostly by luck. I didn't even have time for a full playthrough during the jam…

IronScorpion
 • 28 days ago • 

@thomastc If you did want different map styles, you could always have a setting to turn that on or off.

How are the ports generated? Is there a way of checking if they are too close or far apart?

I would really like to see the post-jam version of this when it is released.

thomastc
  • 27 days ago • 

@IronScorpion

If you did want different map styles, you could always have a setting to turn that on or off.

The maps would conceptually be made by different people, so they'd be drawn in different styles, on different kinds of paper. It would also be interesting to have different levels of detail and accuracy. Cheaper maps would usually be less good; for example, coastlines might be simplified or plain wrong, and islands or ports might be missing. This would ruin the snapping, of course, but make the map management much more interesting and challenging.

How are the ports generated? Is there a way of checking if they are too close or far apart?

Yes, they must be at least 4 tiles apart. Forgot to mention this in the blog post but it's been added.

IronScorpion
 • 27 days ago • 

@thomastc Sound good, it'd also be cool if those maps maybe had different 'quality levels' indicating how accurate they are - maybe then players could them upgrade maps as well as buy new ones?
Also, before they buy a map, the player could be told what quality it will be (or maybe they can choose from a few quality options to fit your budget).

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Explore, trade, and sail your ship around the world!

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thomastc