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Old April 21st, 2010, 02:33 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Confused Pirates & Traders

I just released my second Android game, Pirates & Traders, on the market yesterday. It's early days yet, so I am fully occupied stomping bugs. If any of you will admit to having played it, and have run into any issues, please let me know (either shoot me an e-mail or post here). Although I appreciate all constructive feedback on the market, direct feedback is just infinitely more valuable.

The game is a turn-based role-playing/trading game; the inspiration for the game is - I believe - obvious. As and when I get time, I hope to expand the game with a lot of additional gameplay. Suggestions and wishes are also welcome.




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Old April 23rd, 2010, 04:18 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Will try this out now
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Old April 23rd, 2010, 06:09 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Gonna give it a whirl
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Old April 26th, 2010, 03:59 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Looks great, downloading now

(You might want to put a QR code in the first post btw :P)
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Old April 26th, 2010, 10:41 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Great Game!
Some of the rumors (sorry I haven't bothered to record which ones) come up with a {} instead of a place name. Also under the known rumors status header it only shows either the first rumor that you heard or the last one (I can't remember which but only one regardless).


Those are the only bugs I've experienced.
Again...nice work!
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Old April 27th, 2010, 03:54 AM   #6 (permalink)
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@RandomDog: Thanks for the suggestion. Will do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Akkuzo View Post
Great Game!
Some of the rumors (sorry I haven't bothered to record which ones) come up with a {} instead of a place name. Also under the known rumors status header it only shows either the first rumor that you heard or the last one (I can't remember which but only one regardless).
Thanks for the feedback.

I know of the missing place name issue, though unfortunately I have yet to figure out what is causing the problem.

The known rumors list seems to work correctly. Do you see this right after receiving the rumors? Rumors are automatically deleted once the game event that caused the rumor expires. Perhaps that is what you are seeing.
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Old April 29th, 2010, 05:40 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Just downloaded this..
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Old April 29th, 2010, 06:06 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Let me know if you have any issues.

Also, note that a new version will be coming out soon with a number of bug fixes, an extra super-easy difficulty level for those who just want to cruise around, ability to sneak into port to purchase amnesty, and ship purchases.
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Old May 1st, 2010, 06:22 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I go broke every time I play. It's too realistic!
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 02:23 PM   #10 (permalink)
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The version 1.1.0 upgrade of the game is on the market now. It's a major feature release that adds Ship purchases, Amnesty purchases (and the new ability to sneak into ports), lots of minor tweaks and more bug fixes than I am comfortable admitting to.

Also a new introductory difficulty level.

@Quboid:
How are you going broke?

If it's trading that is your problem, you should read the help information under the merchant view - it contains hints about the best places to buy and sell the various goods.

If you are going broke because you are taking too much damage in fights, consider changing your tactics. Boarding directly (without shooting) is particularly effective on the easier levels where you are guaranteed to have a skill advantage and is the surest way to minimize the amount of damage you receive.
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 03:29 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Trading - the rumours are often too far away so they're gone by the time I get there. Making any money on trading other things, it seems there's little money to be made unless there is a special situation. I go through all my money on food as I sail around not finding any decent prices. I'm sure it'll come with a bit more playing, I just got 1.1.0 so I'll give it a go.
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 04:30 PM   #12 (permalink)
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As mentioned, Check the help info in the merchant view - that lists the goods and where you will get the lowest prices for each trade good. The five port types are poor (1), average (2), prosperous (3), wealthy (4), and rich (5). I think I may not actually have linked the number and names of the ports in the help - I'll get that fixed for the next update.

Generally speaking, the distance between the wealth level of the ports determine the price you can expect. Thus goods that are cheap in rich ports will tend to be expensive in poor ports and vice versa (I may change that at some point to make the trading more interesting, but that is how it works at the moment).

You also want as high a Charisma as possible, as that allows you to buy goods at cheaper prices.

Game events (which generate rumors) disappear after a random time period, but here's a little (undocumented) tip: the first rumor you are told in the tavern is usually the most recent game event.

Let me know how you fare. I want to keep both piracy and trading as viable gameplay alternatives, so hearing about the experiences players have is always interesting and useful.
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 04:34 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Just played a quick game. Loaded up some food and sugar, got a hot tip and went to stock up on paper at Port Royale. I did that, making enough profit on the sugar to pay for more food. I then moved off to where I had another tip (a vague one about a garrison having a lot of weapons, I didn't know if that meant high prices from them buying or low prices from them "losing" them to the black market). I got attacked by a Dutch privateer, game over.
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 04:52 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Damned Privateers.

It's mentioned in the FAQ as well, but if you get attacked by privateers as a trader and you are unsuccessful trying to run away (good Sailing skill helps with that), your best course of action is probably just to surrender. They'll take your goods and some of your gold (I think they take half, which is probably too much, now that I think about it), but they won't sink you if you don't resist too hard.
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 06:14 PM   #15 (permalink)
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They didn't sink my ship but I was left with nothing - no doubloons, and no cargo to sell. Plus a badly damaged ship. I didn't just surrender, I did an indecisive mix of trying to out-run and trying to damage them so they'd give up. Afterwards, I had nothing so what could I do?

Incidentally, it would be really nice if it remembered my new game details (Captain Quboid, of the good ship Desire ).
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Old May 4th, 2010, 12:40 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Well I have just downloaded Pirates and Traders 1.0.4 game and it is considered as an exciting and convenient tool. It also offers a single-player strategy role-playing game for Android. I played it so many time and I liked it too much than all of the other games.
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Old May 4th, 2010, 05:42 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Unfortunately, a rather nasty bug managed to make it through into 1.1.0, so version 1.1.1 is now out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quboid View Post
They didn't sink my ship but I was left with nothing - no doubloons, and no cargo to sell. Plus a badly damaged ship. I didn't just surrender, I did an indecisive mix of trying to out-run and trying to damage them so they'd give up. Afterwards, I had nothing so what could I do?
It's not worth fighting pirates, unless you believe you can win. Nevertheless, as I mentioned above, I do think the penalties for being captured by pirates is a bit too high, so in the new version, Pirates no longer plunder your gold (let's assume the gold was left ashore or very well hidden). So now it pays off to keep a small money reserve.

Quote:
Incidentally, it would be really nice if it remembered my new game details (Captain Quboid, of the good ship Desire ).
V1.1.0 did a little of that; it should be fully implemented now in 1.1.1 (note: it will remember the details of your last finished game - except for the skills chosen).
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Old May 11th, 2010, 10:46 AM   #18 (permalink)
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This is an awesome game, congratulations to the developer!

It is hard to get the hang of the game initially, but it is definitely “winnable”. A couple of tips for new pirates:

Maximize your sailing and fencing skills (e.g., unless you are a “trader”, set your charisma to “1”). Sailing skills will help you close in on ships you wish to attack and help you elude ships that are more powerful than yours. Fencing skills will help you board other ships.

When you encounter other ships, compare their strengths and weaknesses against yours before deciding to attack or flee. In order to attack, you will need to outclass them in some attribute, be it cannons or manpower. If you outclass them in manpower, try boarding them. If you outclass them in cannons, use broadside attacks instead. If you don’t outclass them, then you should try to avoid the conflict. To avoid them, either flee or surrender. Add you sailing skills to your ship’s “rigging” rating and compare that to your opponent’s rigging rating. If your opponent’s rigging rating is higher, then you might want to consider surrendering, otherwise you should be able to outrun them.

When you capture a ship, consider seizing it (in other words swapping vessels) if it has better capabilities than yours. Once you get the hang of the game, a good tactic for getting wealthy (though a little risky) is to seize better vessels, sell them at the shipyard for a profit (by “buying” a lesser quality ship for a profit), and then going out and capturing a better quality ship, and repeating the process. One key to this is by to make sure your lesser quality ship has good “rigging” so you can pick and choose your battles (by outrunning ships you don’t want to fight). And when I say capture a better quality ship, you just need to have more men or more cannons so that you can win a battle via boarding or broadsiding respectively.

HTH!
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Old May 12th, 2010, 02:11 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Thanks.

That is an excellent summary of game strategy. Do you mind if I repost this on the official game forum? (You are also very welcome to post this yourself there, of course).

One small caveat - you should only surrender when playing on the Apprentice level (where a trial always results in your acquittal) or you have a letter of marque for that country (which will also save your bacon). Otherwise, your pirate will be dancing the gallows jig pretty quickly.

Nice exploit of the buy/sell ship mechanism.
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Old May 13th, 2010, 04:32 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Version 1.1.2 released.

Some important bug fixes to the surrender (players were being prevented from surrendering) and retirement code (players were being forced to retire too early).

Key additions: regular gameplay extended by another five years, and the addition of a "Fountain of Youth" option (essentially, play for as long as you want - but no scores). Player is also no longer forced to surrender, unless boarded.

A new (rare) event added: the Treasure Galleon.
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Old May 14th, 2010, 08:19 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Cool

Nice game! Out of curiosity, has anyone else noticed a large drain on the battery while playing? Of course, maybe I was just playing longer than I realized!

Would it makes sense to have the cannon upgrades transferable between ships when upgrading/seizing?
Also, is there a database or list of the ships currently in game and their base stats?
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Old May 14th, 2010, 09:22 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ovreagr View Post
Nice game! Out of curiosity, has anyone else noticed a large drain on the battery while playing?
Hopefully not. The game does not - as far as I know - do anything that should be especially battery-draining. That does not rule out there being a bug somewhere, of course. Let me know if you suspect a problem.

Quote:
Would it makes sense to have the cannon upgrades transferable between ships when upgrading/seizing?
It's now called an "Improved powder storage" (i.e., special water-tight compartment on the ship), so no. I did consider whether this improvement should be transferable (it was previously called "Heavy Cannons", which would imply that they could have been moved), but having that be the case adds a lot of special case situations to the game that I prefer to avoid.

Quote:
Also, is there a database or list of the ships currently in game and their base stats?
Not on-line, but I will see about putting one up on the website.
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Old May 15th, 2010, 05:40 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Cool, thanks strategy!
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Old May 21st, 2010, 06:15 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Version 1.1.3 has been released.

It mostly fixes a bunch of bugs that I prefer to get eliminated before the next major feature release.

@Ovreagr:
The list of ships in Pirates & Traders can be found here.
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Old May 24th, 2010, 10:57 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Version 1.1.4 released. Needed to fix an irritating bug that had sneaked into the promotion code.
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Old May 26th, 2010, 12:56 AM   #26 (permalink)
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I think this is a very good game. Thanks for your time in developing this.

Might I make a couple of suggestions though?

1) Instead of making the Fountain of Youth option, change the time periods to periods that allow for longer play. Rather than a month, make moving from one zone to another a couple of days (also more realistic for those geographic distances).

2) Follow this up by changing up the amount of days used for going into port to something like a 1 Week, thus representing the time to offload goods, bring on goods, visit the taverns and charm the ladies.

3) Additionally, make "Repairs and Refits" cost even more time, perhaps 2 Weeks. Again, lending some relative realism to the situation.

What I believe these time changes will bring to the game will be a new layer of strategy, causing people to consider their loads (Maximize time on the Seas VS available storage), the types of ships they purchase with regards to the former, whether its truly worth it to port, and in the case of the time it will take for "Refits and Repairs", how much damage one is willing to risk when deciding on doing battle with another ship. In other words, rewarding efficient strategies.

All of this will also obviously allow for greater time played as a Captain before dying of old age.

Just some thoughts. Great game!
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Old May 26th, 2010, 04:58 AM   #27 (permalink)
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Hi Lance,

The balance between realism and abstraction is a difficult one. The game uses the simple "months = turns" mechanism to keep things simple; quite important for a game that is already (judging by comments), fairly complex to get into.

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1) Instead of making the Fountain of Youth option, change the time periods to periods that allow for longer play. Rather than a month, make moving from one zone to another a couple of days (also more realistic for those geographic distances).
Some people will want the fountain of youth option anyway.

Increasing game length by reducing the time is one of the possibilities I have considered for the game. It will be more relevant once I start adding the quest engine/missions, as this will add more time-consuming game content (increasing the need for more in-game turns).

Quote:
3) Additionally, make "Repairs and Refits" cost even more time, perhaps 2 Weeks. Again, lending some relative realism to the situation.
This has been considered, and would definitely be something to consider adding if time is made more fine-grained.

Quote:
Just some thoughts. Great game!
Good thoughts. As you can see in the Future Plans/Wish List the list of changes (hopefully) coming to the game is a long one, but reducing the time scale for turns is certainly a change that fits well with many of the content increases planned for the game. I just need to find time to work on all that stuff.

Thanks for the feedback.

Regards,

Michael A.
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Old May 26th, 2010, 06:54 AM   #28 (permalink)
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Is this the same release that was done for WinMo? I think I played this on my Omnia.
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Old May 26th, 2010, 07:08 AM   #29 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Is this the same release that was done for WinMo? I think I played this on my Omnia.
Huh? No - this is an original Android game. Don't know of any Windows Mobile game with this name.
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Old May 29th, 2010, 01:12 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Version 1.1.6 is released.

It's just a minor bug fix release while I'm working on the mission engine. Adds three new ship improvements (Carronades, Bow and Stern Chasers), more ship variety (NPC ships can have improvements as well), and some interface tweaks (game will warn you if you try to leave port with low food/badly damaged ship).
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Old May 30th, 2010, 12:53 PM   #31 (permalink)
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Great game. Downloading it now Thanks dude

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Old June 3rd, 2010, 11:15 AM   #32 (permalink)
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Does Pirates & Traders reset the cash if you go above 99999? I went above 99999 and suddenly I was back at 6000 cash.
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Old June 4th, 2010, 05:14 AM   #33 (permalink)
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Does Pirates & Traders reset the cash if you go above 99999? I went above 99999 and suddenly I was back at 6000 cash.
No. Your cash is stored in an integer, so good for values up to 2,147,483,647 doubloons.

Is there anything else you can tell me about what happened when you experienced this? E.g., did you switch ships, in the middle of a fight, just purchased something, distributed treasure, etc? Any information may help to track down the error.
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Old June 4th, 2010, 04:46 PM   #34 (permalink)
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Quote:
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No. Your cash is stored in an integer, so good for values up to 2,147,483,647 doubloons.

Is there anything else you can tell me about what happened when you experienced this? E.g., did you switch ships, in the middle of a fight, just purchased something, distributed treasure, etc? Any information may help to track down the error.

I'd just sold my ship and bought a smaller one. I'd been doing that for the entire run of that character. I buy a small ship, go out and capture a Spanish merchant and repeat as soon as the shipyard had a sloop or pinnace.
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Old June 5th, 2010, 05:41 AM   #35 (permalink)
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Quote:
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I'd just sold my ship and bought a smaller one. I'd been doing that for the entire run of that character. I buy a small ship, go out and capture a Spanish merchant and repeat as soon as the shipyard had a sloop or pinnace.
Hmm... I checked the relevant code, but I didn't find any errors that should trigger this kind of problem. The only thing that happens with your gold during a ship purchase is that the cost of the ship you are buying is deducted from your gold and the cost of your existing ship is added. So unless the calculated price of the ship somehow went off the rails, that is not it.

I'll check through the rest of the financial code, but it'll probably take a lot of luck to find this bug. If you encounter it again, or remember any more details of anything abnormal that occurred, let me know.
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Old June 6th, 2010, 01:01 PM   #36 (permalink)
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Version 1.1.7 is out (needed to fix a problem with carronades). Unfortunately haven't been able to find the bug you mention yet, Corpbob. Could you tell me your phone and OS version, though (PM me or send an email if you don't want to post it here).
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Old June 6th, 2010, 01:34 PM   #37 (permalink)
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Looks good.
I will try it
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Old June 8th, 2010, 07:43 AM   #38 (permalink)
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Great game. a few issues though..

My personal feeling is that food is used too quickly, making it expensive and bulky. and to difficult to sail around, we are not talking about crossing the Atlantic here! yet I can easily use 15 cargo of food crossing the map (15 is more than some ships will hold and a quarter of a large trade vessle).

The Privateers sinks your ship if you dont submit, even if hull is good, when you get down to 5 men surrender should be only option. and IMO should not sink you! loosing goods and gold should be worst penalty, not so quick with the game over.

Buried Treasure! is needed badly! encountering a privateer is 'game over' in many cases as without cash your stuck (especially if you cant trade down your ship). if I could get back to my buried treasure I could resume. (possibly this is just a banking system for each port)

Ship merchants, it would be good if you could trade up, or trade down, in ship size. Sometimes I have run out of food sailing around looking to trade to a smaller boat to get cash to buy food, after a privateer has taken everything.

Also sometimes the rumours are far from useful, I may get a rumour of a need in Port A then a turn or two turn later get a rumor of an excess in port b but it will take me three turns to get to B then another 5 turns to get to A by which time its all over and I have wasted a shed load of gold on food alone.

This game has great potential but at present is a little short.

Thanks

Parax.
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Old June 8th, 2010, 10:21 AM   #39 (permalink)
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Huh? No - this is an original Android game. Don't know of any Windows Mobile game with this name.
I think the poster might have been thinking about "A Viking Saga." Definitely not the same game, but that was a pretty good one for Windows Mobile going back quite a few years.
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Old June 9th, 2010, 02:47 AM   #40 (permalink)
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Hi Parax,

Thanks for the feedback.

The best place to propose detailed game suggestions is on the game's own forums; it contains the official "wish list" for the game as well as a deal of discussion with player suggestions and proposals.

I can't promise to implement anything, given that I do this in my free time and the list of requests + the list of stuff that I have planned is huge - but I always follow attentively.

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My personal feeling is that food is used too quickly, making it expensive and bulky. and to difficult to sail around, we are not talking about crossing the Atlantic here! yet I can easily use 15 cargo of food crossing the map (15 is more than some ships will hold and a quarter of a large trade vessle).
One of the changes that I am contemplating, based in part on LanceDroid's suggestions above, would reduce the food requirements for ships.

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The Privateers sinks your ship if you dont submit, even if hull is good, when you get down to 5 men surrender should be only option. and IMO should not sink you! loosing goods and gold should be worst penalty, not so quick with the game over.
This was a mechanism intended to ensure that players do not always fight to the death. It doesn't seem to have had the intended effect, though, so I might consider changing this.

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Buried Treasure! is needed badly! encountering a privateer is 'game over' in many cases as without cash your stuck (especially if you cant trade down your ship). if I could get back to my buried treasure I could resume. (possibly this is just a banking system for each port)
Because your stash reflects your "score", it is difficult to have a deposit and withdrawal mechanism in place here. A future version of the game will have it possible for the Governor to loan you money, however (no doubt at exorbitant rates).

Quote:
Ship merchants, it would be good if you could trade up, or trade down, in ship size. Sometimes I have run out of food sailing around looking to trade to a smaller boat to get cash to buy food, after a privateer has taken everything.
The shipyard will be significantly expanded in a future version of the game, so that you will have a choice of ships to buy as well as a choice of improvements.

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Also sometimes the rumours are far from useful, I may get a rumour of a need in Port A then a turn or two turn later get a rumor of an excess in port b but it will take me three turns to get to B then another 5 turns to get to A by which time its all over and I have wasted a shed load of gold on food alone.
Well, that is in the nature of rumors.

The game does need some mechanisms in the game to make it possible to judge which rumors may be worth pursuing and which are more risky. It's on the wish list.

Regards,

Michael A.
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Old June 9th, 2010, 02:51 AM   #41 (permalink)
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I think the poster might have been thinking about "A Viking Saga." Definitely not the same game, but that was a pretty good one for Windows Mobile going back quite a few years.
Neat. I've never heard of it, but it looks like an interesting game. Funny, as it seems very similar to a game design that I've worked on in the past. Perhaps I should brush that off again.
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Old June 9th, 2010, 05:09 AM   #42 (permalink)
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That is one of favorite game of mine.Lots of fun, lots of features with a continuous improvement by the developer.
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Old June 9th, 2010, 06:13 AM   #43 (permalink)
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can u please make this game available to tattoo users please because i would love to play it
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Old June 9th, 2010, 07:01 AM   #44 (permalink)
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Wow, Viking Saga. I'd forgotten about that! I probably still have that on my Dell Axim X50v. Which I've had on the charger for the last few years, untouched. That was an awesome game, quite like Pirates & Traders I guess, although the UI is different (prettier, with due respect).
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Old June 11th, 2010, 03:33 AM   #45 (permalink)
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can u please make this game available to tattoo users please because i would love to play it
I would be interested in doing so. However, I worry that the screen text and UI will be too small to be really usable on a small screen, which is why I do not allow it to be shown on small screens in the market.

You can download the game from SlideME, but I believe you will find the map behaving incorrectly (it does not compensate for screen sizes).

I am making some changes to the game at the moment (most importantly adding landscape support), which should hopefully make it possible to get a playable version of the game for small screens. If you're interested, I can let you know when I have a beta ready for testing.
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Old June 12th, 2010, 06:21 PM   #46 (permalink)
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yes i would be interested to beta test it for u just pm me when your ready
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Old June 13th, 2010, 06:18 PM   #47 (permalink)
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Downloaded this game today after seeing this post. Great game! Looking forward to any future improvements you make.
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Old June 13th, 2010, 09:49 PM   #48 (permalink)
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I really like this game! It's like a version of Sid Meyer's Pirates! for Android.

Looks like I'll be having a lot of fun in the next few weeks.

Congrats for a great game!
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Old July 4th, 2010, 05:14 PM   #49 (permalink)
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Thanks for the kudos.

Version 1.2.0 is now out.

It includes the first of what will hopefully be many "mission"s that I will add to the game. I've also done significant work rebuilding the game structure (though players should not notice much difference). Expect that there may be some bugs that have slipped through the net - I'd appreciate it if anyone playing this let me know if you run into any obvious bugs. The current official bug list for the game can be found here.

Privateers no longer sink the player's ship (except as a result of combat).

Still working on the small screen version.
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Old July 5th, 2010, 03:25 AM   #50 (permalink)
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Played this for a while today and liked it. I'd like to see a little bit more complexity in it however, such as possibly having historic named heros/villains, mini-games while in port (dice, cards, mumbley-peg?), greater options than just pirate/merchant (government naval position?), wenches, etc. etc. If the game already has any of this, my apologies, I only played for an hour or so.
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