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Subject: Android Phone Game - Pirates and Traders rss

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Michael Akinde
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Another shameless plug: I've just released my second Android phone game: "Pirates and Traders". arrrh

"Pirates and Traders" is a turn-based strategy/role-playing game where you sail the Caribbean plundering or trading to build up your fortune. The game is free (ad supported again, though) and available from the Android Market by searching "Pirates and Traders"; also on SlideME.

To no one's surprise, there are some board game influences in the game, though the game form is probably most reminiscent of an old Palm OS game: Pieter Spronck's "Space Trader" (itself a turn-based riff on David Braben's "Elite") and of course Sid Meier's Pirates!




Hope people enjoy it. Feedback and critique is welcome (positive comments on the market are always appreciated also, of course ).

P.S. This is a difficult game. What can I say - I like difficult games, and I code stuff that I like to play myself. So please - start out on the easy level.
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Håkan König
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Dl:ing as I type.
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Michael Akinde
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Unfortunately a savegame bug managed to sneak its way into the code (well, the problem is really when the game is restored rather than when it is saved, but the effect is to mess up the game).

Please upgrade to v1.0.2 to avoid the problem.
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Gary Bacchus
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Fantastic. I was hoping that someone was going to base something off of Space Trader (still play the win32 version) for the Android.
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Michael Akinde
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It's been a hectic 48 hours and way too many bugs turning up (the problem with having too few hours in a day - it's impossible to test everything). Not sure if the upgrade early and often strategy I've chosen is the right one, but I'd rather not have people sit around playing a bugged game.

Anyway, this is just to mention that there is a new upgrade on the market that fixes a bunch of issues.

It should also tone the difficulty level down a little. Though really - people who attack ships indiscriminately are asking for it, if you ask me. arrrh
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Gary Bacchus
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Strategy wrote:
It's been a hectic 48 hours and way too many bugs turning up (the problem with having too few hours in a day - it's impossible to test everything). Not sure if the upgrade early and often strategy I've chosen is the right one, but I'd rather not have people sit around playing a bugged game.

Anyway, this is just to mention that there is a new upgrade on the market that fixes a bunch of issues.

It should also tone the difficulty level down a little. Though really - people who attack ships indiscriminately are asking for it, if you ask me. arrrh


It's fantastic stuff, mate. Good work. And don't worry about the utter crushing. I come from roguelikes where death comes easy. Are purchasable ships and such on the roadmap?
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Jarrod
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From a developer's point of view, during your self-promotion period, update as early and often as you can. This shows that you are actively progressing and will, at the least, remind people that your app is installed and it might keep people playing.

Once you are not actively smashing bugs, then dropping to an update once every 1-2 weeks would be enough to keep people interested. Change some text, move a button, whatever.

There's not a huge amount of group testing behind either of these suggestions but in my findings on multiple platforms, people forget about you and the app once update frequency drops below 2 weeks.
 
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Jarrod
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Oh yeah, i've downloaded the game and have had a lot of fun so far. Excellent job!
 
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Michael Akinde
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Thanks.

@Jarrod:
That's pretty much what I've decided makes sense.

@Gary:
Yes - the posssibility to purchase new ships is definitely on the roadmap ( mmm - Frigates ). I just need to decide on the right selling price for ships before I implement the Shipyard. Also a few more ship improvements and the addition of "special" crew members (Master Gunner, Quartermaster, Surgeon, etc) are also in the planning stages.


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Michael Akinde
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Version 1.1.0 is now on the market.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. blush

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Gary Bacchus
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Strategy wrote:
Version 1.1.0 is now on the market.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. blush



Quick question before updating, should we retire our pirates in our current game before starting a new one, or will they port over?
 
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Michael Akinde
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You would still be able to continue the game with your old pirates, but you might see some weird stuff if continuing an old game + the difficulty level would be lowered. The best course of action would be to retire the old pirate and start a new one.
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Michael Akinde
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A rather unfortunate bug managed to sneak into the new version, so now there is a new, new version.
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Michael Akinde
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The game is ad-supported; the admob module uses location information to (hopefully) serve better ads. I'm not convinced it does, so I will probably remove it in a future version unless I require it for the on-line scores module (still working/deciding on how to implement that).

Which reminds me that I should add a section in the F.A.Q. about the permissions and what they are used for (and make sure the F.A.Q. can be read from the web). Thanks.




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Michael Akinde
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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.

Oh yeah - I removed the location access permissions. Just for you, Kaehl.
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Michael Akinde
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Version 1.1.3 released.

Just a bug fix release to deal with some issues while I work on the next major feature release.

For the interested players, the list of ships included in Pirates & Traders can be found here.
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eryn roston
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Downloading it now to try!
 
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Michael Akinde
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Version 1.1.4 released.

I had to fix an irritating bug that had managed to sneak its way into the promotion code.
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Michael Akinde
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Version 1.1.6 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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Chris Severs
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cant find it on iTunes
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Chris Severs
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ah just noticed its android
 
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Guido Gloor
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Gee, a Space Trader influenced game! Yay! Fond memories!

I had this cute furry animal plague on my space ship and eventually had to abandon it because of them
 
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Gary Bacchus
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haslo wrote:
Gee, a Space Trader influenced game! Yay! Fond memories!

I had this cute furry animal plague on my space ship and eventually had to abandon it because of them


There's a solution for that.

**SPOILER AHEAD**

Spoiler (click to reveal)
You never found the trader that wanted them? Had to read the news and travel a bunch, but there was a guy that would buy them from you. Of course, you had to make sure you didn't go broke in the interim
 
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For Space Trader fans, you should check out Dark Nova. It's based on Space Trader and is a Space game. It's available on both Android and iPhone.

http://darknova.net

I made this game because I loved and played) Space Trader so much. Let me know what you think...

-Shon
Dead Jim Studios
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Gabe Alvaro
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Foolish_Dog wrote:
ah just noticed its android
Was funny before you added the second post.

I was gonna ask for an iOS version, but that would probably just get rotten vegetables thrown at me.
 
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