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[4E6] Siberian Sun

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edit: Link to the current version. I'd like to get some feedback regarding my current (vague) idea of what I've thought about so far. The player is put in charge of a single undeveloped coal mine in the middle of polar nowhere. Playing includes recruiting workers, building mine/living/processing facilities, buying ponies for making the mining more efficient and just moving stuff around, establishing new mines at significant distances from each other, installing accountants and foremen at those remote mines to ease control of them (moving stuff, people and orders takes time), collecting crystals to either sell them for cash or incorporating them into tools to increase mining efficiency, maintaining mines to prevent coal dust explosions and repairing them after natural gas explosions. Either open-ended gameplay or ranking gameplay results within a fixed timeframe. Now, a lot of this sounds cliché to me and not all the elements fit in really naturally. I'm also a bit afraid that this won't be a sufficiently interesting game (my "key" element would be the time delay to make control more challenging, and it could end up just being a hassle people don't like). So, please post your opinion and maybe I'll scrap this concept and go back to sweet brainstorming. [Edited by - Darkstrike on April 1, 2008 8:54:10 AM]

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If you do follow through with this idea, it will be interesting to compare our games. It seems we are both in the 'performance minded expansion' kind of central play range. Which means pitfalls are a big thing for the game. What kind of pitfalls do you foresee in this idea? Maybe mining unsafe for twice the speed but risking a collapse? Hrms.

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Enhance the mine infrastructure too much, and it might eat up too much of the site's total worth. Keep the tunnel structure tree-like, and you'll have to clean the debris from collapsed tunnels before mining the area beyond them; bore tunnels all around the place, and you'll be spending most of the mine's income on maintaining them. Give the miners only the bare necessities to cut costs, and they won't care about safety as much and might steal some crystals. Delay their home remittances, and your new workers will arrive with worse morale. Ask your accountants to cheat with the taxes too much for their skill, and the IRS will make you sorry. Do those pitfalls sound okay?

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Alright, time for humble pie here :) It turns out that work and the need to finish my thesis do not mesh well with programming, so I have to apologize for (probably) raising expectations; this game is not going to happen the way I imagined it. Although, in the remaining time, I just might be able to make a javascript, bare bones proof of concept, when I have anything that I'm not ashamed of, I'll link to it here.

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This is what I have right now (current, might be broken if I'm working on it while you're watching). There's no reasonable functionality yet, but I would like to know if it works under browsers other than FF, which is my sole developing platform due to its Error Console. Also, any other feedback is welcome via the outstandingly hideous feedback link at the bottom of the left panel.

Disclaimer: the code's already a mess, and I know it.

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The prototype I linked to in the previous post lets the time flow now. The setup's still rigid (and probably fragile), but at least you can see stuff actually being carried around (next: mine operation, that's a bit tricky though, so I don't expect to get it right very soon).

Oh, and please send me feedback if you have any.

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The script's become an actual winnable game (though easy right now). What's still missing:

- operating the mine (how much of the work is transportation, how much of that is being handled by ponies, creating and handling explosions that only stop at the active fire gates, etc)

- accountants (handling them in caravans, adjusting the amount of salary being paid out, taxes)

- creating the time delay between what you see and what's actually happening

- saving/loading (since this is javascript, it's via a string; a tad cumbersome)

- some reasonable initialization routines

... I really hope I can cram these into the remaining roughly 3 weeks.

[Edited by - Darkstrike on March 18, 2008 6:08:52 AM]

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Since there are only a couple of days remaining, I would like to know your opinions, especially on whether this is fit to be submitted as an entry at all.

Tasks left to do: save/load procedures, mine explosions, initialization values and other balance issues.

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Every game is worth submitting. Even if you expect to be the last, submit it. You'll get feedback and you won't make the same mistakes again. My game in the previous 4e5 contest was 18th/20 and still I think it was good to submit it. (Unfortunately, it seems my game for 4e6 won't be much better)

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Thanks for the encouragement, Lesan, I definitely needed it!

There won't be a save/load function, since the remaining time is just not enough. On the other hand, explosions are in, and I expect to be able to submit the files within 9 hours or so (the game is of course playable at the link in the first post, just with some placeholder graphics).

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