Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Star Traders RPG 30 Days Old!

We noticed that Star Traders RPG has existed for 30 days on the Android Market.

We feel like that is a substantial milestone and are happy to see that some people are playing it still.

Thank you all for your support!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Star Traders RPG Guide: Merchants & Harvesting


Currently the key to Explorer & Merchant:
  • Stockpile in Cache
  • Stockpile on Multiple Planets
  • Sell from Stockpile to Upgrade/Repair, Sell Minimum Quantities Only
  • Sell Everything Under Shortage Rumor Only
  • Harvest & Stockpile Only During Resource Rush Rumors
  • Operate Out of "Trade Embargo" and "Economic Boom" Rumor Planets (Buy Fuel, Recruit)
  • Operate Out of "Spice Trader" Rumor Planets (Morale)
  • Get a 100+ Cargo Hold
  • Avoid Trade Resources that Require Trade Permits
With a 100+ hull you can easily stash thousands of points of harvested water-fuel. Once that is handled the Captain can move on to finding goods (Harvest for Merchant, Explorer for Explorer) and stockpiling them for sale.

Harvesting can be a good survival technique and the sales of harvested or discovered resources can sometimes offset the Captain's losses . However, large profits will not be realized until the Captain masters the Spice Hall, Rumor Page and Resource Reports.

The Captain that knows he won't sell metal for $500 here because the going price is $5,400 on the next planet over does not cover his expenses -- that Captain gets riiiiiiiiich.


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Removing the Grid


In one of the upcoming projects we are working on at TreseBrothers, we have been wrestling with tile sets and "the grid." When building a environment based on tiles, lots of tile artists get obsessed with a concept called "removing the grid." You can go to great lengths to hide the fact that your world is based around a grid of square, same sized tiles. You can draw lots of variations of grass tiles, or create overlays to try to hide the grid. I have decided to can it--its not worth it.

Having wrestled with this, and done a lot of tile creation now, I have come around to believe that you want to find a balance between showing the grid and trying to hide it. In a game that is based on a grid, and especially when tactics are involved, a lot of the game play and strategic decisions are made based on that grid, distances that characters are from each other, and the range of different effects and abilities. Our goal will to be create beautiful tiles that make the grid subtle without hiding it. Especially on a small device like a phone, or when creating a touch-based RPG, its important that the control areas, and the target areas for a touch are clear.

That is why our art team has resolved--we will not hide the grid! The grid will be subtly obvious. Check out these sample environments based on our new tile sets. What do you think? Imagine them on your phone, and send in your valuable feedback!




Friday, November 26, 2010

Star Traders RPG New Ships List


EDIT: There is now a PDF document that includes the names AND statistics for these ships.

  1. Farfallen Space-Hulk
  2. Righteous Space-Hulk
  3. Zendu Space-Hulk
  4. Krangg Alien
  5. Bolllish Alien
  6. Heela Alien
  7. Narvidian Fighter
  8. Narvidian Carrier
  9. Narvidian Hive
  10. Lance Class
  11. Paladin Class
  12. Vegas Class
  13. Warhammer Class
  14. Assualt Cruiser
  15. Attack Cruiser
  16. Patrol Cruiser
  17. Longbow Carrier
  18. Star Carrier
  19. Pirate Gunboat
  20. Pirate Crossbow
  21. Tiberia Runner
  22. Refugee Shuttle
  23. Pilgrim Shuttle
  24. Firefly Hauler
  25. Atmo Liner
  26. Fronteir Freighter
  27. Ultra Freighter
  28. Mega Freighter
  29. Solar Liner
  30. Fronteir Liner
  31. Star Liner
  32. Moon Liner

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Star Traders RPG Gets Reviewed!

I am hard at work to improve the UI, and a "move all"/"sell all" set of buttons are in the works.

In a few weeks I suspect we will have finished testing and creating art for building player bases, which will be similar to taking over a planet.

The ability for players to submit Captains online will allow everyone to compete, become faction Prince or Planetary Governor and help define larger story elements of the Syndicate/House conflicts.

My brother and I would appreciate if you purchase Elite, it helps pay for the hosting and development costs.

Read our recent review over at PlayDroid. They gave us a tentative 4 stars and we are taking the suggestions for better graphics, sounds and animated explosions seriously.


I'd love to hear your feedback on PlayDroid's feedback =)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Star Traders - Favorite Captain - The Loyalist

I wanted to share my favorite character type with all the Star Traders RPG players out there. I have been playing ST RPG from the very beginning, and have always loved the character type I call "The Loyalist."

The Loyalist joins a fashion as a military officer. He does missions exclusively for his faction, and wracks up immense reputation. His main goal is military promotions, riches, and a new ship. I run contracts and get promotions, watching my commissions rise and the cost of repairs at the Stardock fall. The Loyalist only takes aggressive action when his faction commands it--he buys a Trade Permit, and a Death Warrant, but he never kills unless the mission asks for it.

Another really important aspect of The Loyalist's early game is the proximity to home. I always play Cadar, and I always stay very close to the Cadar capital until I have reached a significant base of power. and cash. The Loyalist stays close to home, running to a mission, and back to the capital. The Loyalist keeps his ship in the best repair, and recruits from Cadar-only planets as often as he can, but will do recruiting tours when necessary.

When The Loyalist (can you tell I love this character?) gets rich, he starts his trek across the insanely huge Elite galaxy to the true core worlds, heading for the Cadar capital. It is a hard trek, because he has made many enemies in his days of serving loyally.

This is my favorite captain type. What's yours?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Star Traders RPG Game Web Site Update

There is a new version of the game's web site available:

http://www.corytrese.com/games/startraders/

This includes the new PDF Player's Guide v2.0

http://www.corytrese.com/games/startraders/StarTradersRpg.pdf

The Politics of ST RPG

The Quadrant is rife with conflict and shifting alliances. The two major powers in this area of space are the House and the Syndicates. At odds for centuries, these two loose groups of stellar nations are vastly different in laws, attitude, culture and belief systems.

Unable to reconcile these differences for very long, conflicts between House and Syndicate define the political landscape of the Quadrant. The House is often more willing to form internal alliances than the Syndicates. Constant struggles for resources and an undertone of jealousy towards the Thulun keep most Alliances short. Star Traders will find Trade Wars, embargo and shortages common near in House space. Among the Syndicate worlds Taxes, Bans and rampant stockpiling cause regular surplus of manufactured goods.

Star Traders RPG Official Forum

Star Traders RPG and Star Traders RPG Elite now have an official forum:

http://startradersrpg.proboards.com/index.cgi

If you would like to help moderate, please contact 'cory.trese@gmail.com'

Monday, November 22, 2010

Water-Fuel

I just wrote this for a player who was asking about techniques and Water-Fuel



The water-fuel calculator is concerned about a number of things:

  • Is the ship fully staffed (100% Crew)
  • How many crew members?
  • How large is the ship's hull?
  • Does the Ship Have 20+ Solar Sail?
  • Does the Ship Have 30+ Solar Sail?
  • Is the Ship's Solar Sail Full Repaired?
  • Does the Ship Have 20+ Reactor Engine?
  • Does the Ship Have 30+ Reactor Engine?
  • How High is the Captain's Pilot?
  • How High is the Captain's Intimidation?
  • What is the current difficulty?
The scaling equation that's used has rapid fall-off towards the edges, so there are a number of ways to push the results out to Infinity (the goal of most bounty hunters, certainly) for Green and even Red.

The ratio in v2.2 is more tightly controlled than previous versions, but a single solar sail damage can make a big difference. Three missing sails can be a serious problem unless the Captain's skills are up to it.

My tip guide for getting to best fuel range:
  • Pilot & Intimidate = 1/2 of Hull
  • Nano-Coat Solar Upgrade to 25 Solar Sail
  • Always Repair Sails first
  • then engines
  • then hull
  • Keep a full crew when possible
  • running out of water-fuel is only an issue without luxury rations
  • negotiation can help luxury rations last longer

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Star Traders RPG v1.81

Rich Mission Engine
  • 25 Mission Types
  • Capture Criminals in Deep Space and Spice Halls
  • Assassinate the Enemy on Hostile Planets and Fringe Settlements
  • Deliver Messages to agents in the Palace or Halls of Government
  • Escort Wanted Criminals between Worlds, Star Ports and Dead Worlds
  • And many more!

Faction System
  • 6 Competing Factions Split into Two Types -- Corporations and Monarchies
  • Be Vagabond, Hero, Criminal, Prince or CEO -- The choice is yours
  • Inspect Enemy Plants Spying
  • Blockade Enemy Planets
  • Earn Promotions to Military Rank
  • Purchase Trade Permits to Buy and Sell Illegal Goods
  • Carry A Bounty Hunter License
  • Gain Access To Military Starports
Complex Economy
  • Trade, Steal, Transport and Stockpile more than 10 unique Resource Types
  • The Choice To Deal in Illegal Goods is Yours to Make
  • Trade in Permit-Only Resources, such as Weapons and recovered Artifacts, is risky but highly profitable
  • Negotiation, Charisma, Rank, Reputation and other factors considered in pricing
Advanced Dynamic Politics
  • Criminal and Hero Status for 6 Factions
  • 5 Types of Conflicts between Factions the Player can Participate In
  • Assassin Wars
  • Trade Embargo
  • Open Stellar War
  • Spy Wars
  • Economy War
2 Types of Alliances between Factions

  • that can Hurt or Help the Player
  • Military Alliances
  • Trade Agreements
Dangerous Worlds and Complex Cities
  • More than 30 unique cities and hostile planets to explore
  • Gather Resources, Information
  • Seek out Ancient Ruins
  • Search for Criminals in Wastelands, Spice Halls and in the Palace
  • Cities respond to your rank, reputation and alliances -- be banned from your enemies Star Ports and get special treatment at the palace
Fast Paced "Card Game" Combat
  • Capture Ships
  • Enslave your Enemies
  • Capture Valuable Goods
  • Cover Your Tracks
  • Avoid Aliens, Bounty Hunters, Pirates, Opposition Military and Independent Spaces

Newest Star Traders RPG Promo

Thursday, November 11, 2010

ST RPG Elite Map Preview


Here is a preview of what the new Star Traders RPG Elite map looks like:



Green = Old Zone (AKA, ST RPG Map)
Orange = Farfallen Belt (Dangerous, Void Space)
Blue = Galactic Frontier (Syndicate and Clan Bases)
Red = Incursion Zones

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Star Traders RPG v1.4

Star Traders RPG - Version 1.4 Update

Features
- First (of Many) New Ship Artwork Added
- New Enemy Ships
- New Enemy Captains

Bugs
- Improving Performance
- Fixed Game Text
- No New Force Closes? [Please Report!]

Coming Soon
- Achievements
- New Missions
- New Ships
- New Artwork
- Better Writing


Thanks!!!

Star Traders RPG v1.31

New Bug Fix and Feature Release v1.31

+ Details on Blog

Features:
* All New Ship Pricing Rules
* Fuel Usage Rules Overhaul!
- New Fuel Usage Estimator In "Cargo"

Bugs:
- Blockade & Surveillance Enhanced
- Major Game Text Improvements
- Fixed a FC Bug (Sorry!)
- Enhanced Shortages & Surplus
- Score Fixes

Star Traders RPG v1.3 Player Update



Star Traders RPG v1.3 contains some significant rules changes and this post will hope to clarify them.

New: There is now a upper limit to the Water-Fuel consumption equation.

Major Factors for Low Fuel Use
  • 100% Fully Repaired Engines
  • 100% Fully Repaired Sails
  • Sails Above 20 (or above 30)
  • Engines Above 20 (or above 30)
  • Green Sectors
  • High Intimidation Skill
How to Avoid Mutiny
  • When possible, have Water-Fuel
  • Conserve Water Fuel by Repairing Solar Sails
  • Carry Luxury Rations At all Times
  • Have High Intimidate Score
  • Have High Strength Statistic
  • Avoid Red Sectors

New Fuel Usage Calculator
Limitations: Assumes Green Sector and Deep Space. Landing, Docking and Red Sectors are lots higher in some cases BUT: There is now a upper limit to the Water-Fuel consumption equation and that is true of all situations.



Ship Prices Revised

The feedback we have received was the ship prices were too high for non-combat Captains to use, so we have revised the ship cost equation. It should also be noted for those Captains shopping for a new Ship that changing the vessel can do wonders for your reputation:

Buying a ship also includes a universal pardon and reset of all criminal warrants for the Captain and Crew. Buying a new ship sets Morale to 10.

Star Traders RPG v1.3

New Bug Fix and Feature Release v1.3

+ Details on Blog

Features:
* All New Ship Pricing Rules
* Fuel Usage Rules Overhaul!
- New Fuel Usage Estimator In "Cargo"

Bugs:
- Blockade & Surveillance Enhanced
- Major Game Text Improvements
- Fixed a FC Bug (Sorry!)
- Enhanced Shortages & Surplus
- Score Fixes

Star Traders RPG v1.22

New Bug Fix and Feature Release v1.22

Features:
- Added NEW Deep Space Contract Type
- Unlimited Levels for all Professions (Previously Was 50)
- Updated Intimidation Skill Text
- New Roster

Bugs:
- Game Text Improvements
- Fixed 3 FC Bugs (Sorry!)
- Improved Doctor Pricing
- Fix Blockade & Surveillance Bugs

Saturday, November 6, 2010

You are Better at Our Game Than We Are

We are constantly impressed by the reports of people's successful Captains in Star Traders RPG.

The creators of the game often struggle to pass level 12 and we are hearing reports of players with captured Flagship Cruisers and Level 50 Captains.

So, please -- keep sending us your reports. We don't know how you're doing it but it would be nice to know -- I would like to use your techniques!!!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Star Traders Work in Progress

Here are the comments I found on the Android Market about ST-RPG.
  1. base price for comodities
  2. move to sd
  3. healing your captain
  4. understand what exactly the stats do
  5. explain defeat
  6. save game / copy game
  7. so easy to die
  8. Needs a check to be sure you wish to trade in your ship
  9. Could use more animation
  10. How do you delete an old captian?
  11. Diplomacy system is schizo
  12. index file explaining things like surveillance
  13. Art gets a bit dull after a while
Everything that I made small and gray is in the current v1.2 release based on your requests.

The rest of them have been put into my Google Documents Spreadsheet and will be included ASAP!

Thank you so much for playing our Games (Evil Bears and Star Traders.)

Evil Bears v1.0 Released

Our exciting new Arcade style gesture drawing game is on the Android Market for only $0.99

Landscape

Is anyone playing Star Traders RPG in landscape mode? I spent a lot of time trying to make it work in both ...

Getting Past Level 12 in Star Traders RPG

A few people have e-mailed me about their favorite Captains and I was pretty surprised to hear about people getting up above level 12. I usually die between level 4 and level 8.

My Captains are often risk takers, but I thought I would ask anyone who is reading (and was/is playing ST-RPG)

  • Have you made it to double digit levels?
  • What is your strategy?
  • What "profession" are you playing?

Star Traders RPG 1.2 Released

This is a major bug fix and feature release!

New Version of Application and Web Site Enhancements..


Fixes
  1. Spelling
  2. Grammar
  3. Crashes
  4. Lameness

Features:
  1. New and Improved Difficulty Levels
  2. Doctors to Heal Captain
  3. No Perma-Death Difficulties
  4. New Defeat Screens
  5. Captain Stats Explained
  6. Ship Upgrades Explained