Aliens need a ride home!
It's that time of the intergalactic year again. Everyone is returning to their families in their home worlds. You are in charge of organizing transportation for the whole lot.
You have three shuttles to work with. Plan their routes across the galaxy. You can add up to four planets to each route, but more planets on a route also means the trip is going to take longer.
Note that some passengers are in hurry and will accept only a direct flight to their home world. You can spot them by the clock icon on top of their heads. The route can contain also other planets, just make sure the hurried passengers' home planet is the first on the list.
Be careful! Due to recent cuts to our funding, the periodic maintenance of the shuttle terminal was skipped and the structure is unstable. Too many passengers waiting for a ride will surely cause trouble.
Mouse for everything
Nice game !
The principal thing that you could improve is how the level increases. It is very easy at the start (maybe even too easy ?) but from a certain point it too quickly too hard and you go from easy to impossible in a very small amount of time. Maybe you made that because you wanted to add more chaos, but I think that if the number of people coming were increasing like sqrt(x) it would feel better, since as long as (a few) more passengers are coming than what the player can handle, it will feel like chaos : "ahhh it is piling up!!"
Apart from that, good job, the sound effects are nice and help building up the pressure and the graphics are doing their job !
Keep it up ! :D
@ddorn thanks for the feedback! I noticed the same issue in my playtesting - the number of passengers increases explosively at some point. Unfortunately I was running out of time and brain power to really do anything about it. The sqrt suggestion is a solid one. That actually made me realize that currently the increase in the incoming passengers isn't even linear but exponential. 😅
Nice score, by the way. 😲
Very clever concept!
However I found the difficulty curve a little hard (we go from "everything is fin" to "OMG PANIC" in 2 seconds ^^), but I like the sound effect to increase the player stress :D.
I don't know if there is any music, or only sfx? ('cause I didn't hear the music, but I suspect an issue on my computer…)
Well, good job!
@Tipyx There should be music… of sorts. 😃 It's not really that much of a music but rather this background ambient that starts low and slow and builds up to a higher pitch and tempo as the situation grows more chaotic. I noticed it's barely audible on weaker speakers, eg. the ones on my laptop. That wouldn't be the case here, would it?
I LOVED the concept! Very clever, and it's one game I could spend so much time on.
At the begining of the game, I said to myself "Ok, passengers could arrive a bit faster". After a while, they all came together at the same time, faster than the ships to come back to even manage to keep things up. It's really frustrating!
At the end, the noise made me really feel the stress of the situation.
Very nice job!
Nice minimalist-but-with-some-polish art style, very clearly readable; I could figure out my way through a single game without the explanation (though I missed a number of things as well .. most of which I could've gotten if I had read the chart screen properly. Only the clock did mean something different than I initially thought.)
The gameplay's pretty fun! Especially it's not clear what the optimal strategy would be (at least to me).
I'm not a great fan of the music. I think the idea was that the music got more hectic as the platform got fuller, but it seemed to speed up & down randomly as well? (Though it was somehow less of an issue on the second playtrhough?)
I think it would help if you had an indication of when (which) ships are due to return on screen. I know you have the 'seconds to return' right in the map screen, but I think it would (also) help to make it 'feel' less like the game is to blame rather than the player in case the platform is collapsing and no ships have returned yet.
Also (and this too was less of an issue during my second playthrough), it'd be nice if the game'd let you redraw the ships route if you made a mistake (before you click ok of course). Or is this already possible and have I somehow missed it?
Thanks for the feedback, guys!
@remco: hearing that the game is (at least somewhat) intuitive is actually kind of a big deal for me. I've been trying to improve on that aspect of my jam games lately (since it feels only a few people ever read any intros - inside or outside of the game 😂).
An indication for when a ship is returning is a great idea. Thanks for the tip!
In the route designer view you can take a step back by right clicking. It removes the last planet from the route. It's probably not very intuitive since the right mouse button isn't used anywhere else in the game.
Very nice! Starts gently but gets hectic soon. Reminds me a bit of a previous entry of mine, but it's more interesting :)
In the early game, I would have liked the ability to add waypoints after locking them in, but later on you'll just fill the ship up anyway so it doesn't matter much. Auto-launch when full would have been nice. Also maybe move the map to the right a bit, so you can see all the waiting passengers? This would help when plotting the more complicated routes.
Graphics are simple but stylish, and the sfxr sound effects are well integrated and not too obnoxious. The ambient music is a great touch. I also like the detail of the collapsing platform!
@Juutis WOW exponential increase is veeeery way too much :P I thought it was fast for a linear curve, but now I have a good explanation.
If S is the skill of the player, you just need to go a bit above. The best way to make the player loose is to have your difficulty as S+1, since it will push it to improve and make him think it can do it. Though you don't know S in advance (it depens on player and trainning) so you have to get your difficulty arbitrarly high, but while trying to stay as long as you can at S+1 for every S, because it is the interesting part for a given player. sqrt(time) is good because it is always harder to get better if you have a high S than a low one, but often cubic root can be nice too. Log is often too slow, but it can work for some games.
Just spent a couple games trying to see how I can improve my score and I made it ! Very nice, i quite enjoyed it ;)
Very pleasant game!
(Even if, personaly, I prefer not to be time-stressed in this kind of games… but well, chaos)
It is sometimes difficult to distinguish some planet colors. You may change the pictures of the different planets in addition to the colors. (… but well, chaos)
The difficulty level becomes actually too hard too fast, and I felt discouraged, sending ships anywhere (not far) the fastest I could. (… but well, chaos)
If you can improve this last point, it would really be a very strong entry.
I would also like to have the travel time of a jump displayed more obviously.
That was for the (constructive I hope) feedbacks.
I go play it again :)
This is a game which admirably demonstrates how you can take a simple theme (sending aliens to their respective planets), and make it fun and engaging yet challenging through excellent execution. Graphics are not overly complex (and they do not need to be), and the audio helps create tension which builds up until you are overcome by the hordes of passengers.
I did feel that the number of aliens arriving suddenly started increasing very rapidly after a certain point, and I very quickly lost control after that. Maybe balance needs to be reconsidered, but apart from that this is a brilliantly simple game.