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Valiant Galaxy Associates is proud to announce the release of our first free game.  While we were waiting to get all the bugs worked out of our first commercial game, Interceptor (coming soon), we decided to devise a simple trading game.  That game is here and called Traders of Known Space.  The year is 3051 and the human federations of planets are at war with aliens known as the grays, but even during a war, commerce continues.  You are commander of an independent merchant ship that must make your way in these uncertain times.  Buy goods cheap, sell goods at a premium, upgrade your ship, gather information, fight space battles, and avoid hazards.  The game uses a map mode for navigating between planets, and a menu mode for performing actions in the game.  It can be played with relatively few keyboarding skills.  The game is completely self-voicing and requires no special equipment or software to play.  You can find Traders of Known Space at http://www.valiantGalaxy.com under downloads.  Documentation is available from inside the game as well as on the web site under games, then Traders of Known Space, then click here for documentation.  Good luck, and we hope you enjoy the game.  For questions, complaints, hate mail, bug reports, personal invitations, etc, send email to [email protected]

Valiant Galaxy Associates Company, owned by Aaron Spears and Jeremy Brown develops and markets audiogames for the Blind and Low Vision markets.

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[wow], gonna check this one out.
Looks interesting

Regards,
follow me on twitter: @scorpion_nr

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Hello folks. I'll grab a copy too. It sounds cool though space is not my favorite game theme, it seems well balanced with all the races descriptions and such.
Best regards, Haramir.

The true blind is the one who refuses to see.

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Well I've tried it and I like, the flying around space and encounters are interesting and once I got the idea of what was going on in the game it made sense. I also like the idea that it pays you to carry a bit of everything cargo wise rather than being stuck with one cargo type and waiting to get rid of it, that is a trap I fell into myself (memo to self, only buy 5 of a given cargo type).

My only issue is that on the selling menu it doesn't display the planet's stock of a given item or the price you paid for it, so you don't know whether the price being offered is good or bad without checking the buy menu for the stocks of that item. It'd be nice to know the planetary stock on the sell menu.

I'd also like the ability to know the planet's locations relative to your ship as they appear on the scan sinse it was a little irritating to have to constntly open the planet menu to check locations of other planets, indeed I was a little confused why the planetary location information was on the planet menu but not on the map exploration screen, though it might be i'm forgetting a hotkey.

The information I also didn't particularly find helped too much because in my particular game all the planets were spread very much in a set string one to another to another, thus it never really paid that much to say fly to earth if I was on Vesta just because I heard earth had a shortage of scientific equipment.

It would be a nice way to break up the game and helpful if say occasionally you got the offer to transport your ship to another planet, say a ship convoy that was travelling somewhere and would be expensive, but cost less in fuel than flying there yourself, by making this based on luck but cost say 300 credits you'd break up your single route a little and give you chance to take advantage of that information.

It might also be fun if some encounters gave you free items, say you find some space debris or someone in the bar wants to offload a certain quantity of something to you.

I only got into a couple of fights but was able to successfully run away big_smile.

One thing I will say though is this bodes extremely well for your other exploration and stratogy games, sinse I do like the coordinates system.

With our dreaming and singing, Ceaseless and sorrowless we! The glory about us clinging Of the glorious futures we see,
Our souls with high music ringing; O men! It must ever be
That we dwell in our dreaming and singing, A little apart from ye. (Arthur O'Shaughnessy 1873.)

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Thanks for that game, seems interesting.

Download Crazy Party's remade English translation right now from:
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B_GXp … 3ZTR3JIOTg

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Well, sounds cool but I am the next one who don't really like space type of games and it seems your all games will be in the same style, current games on the page, sadly but it sounds good.

love is my destiny.
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STEAM-ID: lirin123

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7 (edited by frastlin 2014-06-21 09:36:28)

[wow],
this looks sooooooo fun! I've got it downloaded and I've read the manual and can't wait to play! I'll do it when it is not 1 AM!
I have been waiting for a game like this to come out!
The world needs more finance type games!

Have you considered adding a save option?

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Hi all and sundry (especially sundry),

I'll hit the main points in this post.

First off, we intend, if the response to this version of the game is positive, to expand features, map, planets, options, etc and release a commercial form of TKS called TKS Extreme.  As I said in the original announcement, this sprang out of the fact that while Interceptor is done, there are business issues that have to be resolved and some distribution and other things on the code side that have to be finished up.  So Aaron and I knocked together TKS as a challenge to ourselves: could we create a relatively simple game that could serve as a free game and act as an intro to our setting idea.  There are still some warts on the game, because we went for speed and simplicity, and many of these we are aware of (I'm sure the expert community here will find far, far more).

Now to comments:

First, we are looking into a save option for the paid edition.  Currently, if you play the short game or unlimited mode, it's easy enough to finish in under an hour to an hour and 15 minutes.  If you don't care that the game timer continues running, the game is very forgiving and you can leave it open.  One of our beta testers "played" a 7.5 hour game so he could destroy everyone's high score.  He told me that most of that game consisted of him washing dishes, getting his kids ready for school, and making and eating dinner.

Strategy point: Diversifying cargo does pay off.  However, later in the game being able to build up large supplies of items such as radioactive isotopes gives you a big leg up.  It's worth it to fly around to various planets, buy up their supplies, and then sell 500 isotopes at 700 or 800 credits apiece.  I've done it, it's a rush:)  In general however, and especially at the beginning, diversification is the way to go.

Selling Menu and its Problems:  We are aware of this issue, and again in the paid version this is something we intend to address if possible.  We were striking for a balance between ease of interface and amount of information to absorb.  Our beta testers also made this point repeatedly.  A good rule of thumb though is if you have a good memory, look at the total you pay for an item and remember that one number.  If you paied 348 or three forty something, you can quickly use the right arrow to scroll to the max amount.  If it's less than 348 then forget it.  Thanks for bringing this one up.

Scanning for Planets:  Dark, there is a relative direction finder on the map menu, but it is a hot key.  The scan area option is accessed with s.  It will say things like Vesta is 2 squares north and 1 square east.  North of course is lower on the Y axis, and east is higher on the X axis.  It would be easy enough to add a menu item to the status menu (accessible from map mode) to reach scan through a menu as well however.  The planetary locations on planet menu were more to provide a quick overview for the player.  If you pop a map where Earth is in one corner of the map, you don't want to fly around hoping you'll hit a planet, and some people don't like scrolling through the map to explore the entire galaxy.  The planet locations menu was a compromise position.

Gather Information: This one is dicey at best.  One thing we intend on making improvements in in the paid version is with gather information.  However, it can be very useful in the sort of game you described.  Knowing that skipping one planet in the line to get a high ticket item cheap, or to sell a high ticket item more expensively, is well worth the 5-20 credits you spend on the gather information option.

Suggestions: Keep the suggestions flowing.  Some of these are already cued up for the paid version.  Some we hadn't thought about and are well worth considering.

Reactions: Thank you so much for the positive response.  Aaron and I started this project with three things in mind:
1. We wanted to design games that we found fun, challenging, and that operated differently from or built on positive aspects of games we had tried and liked.  Where possible we wished to fill voids, or perceived voids, in the gaming experience for the blind community.
2. We wanted to expand our own abilities as gamers, in Aaron's case (and lately in my own) as coders, and to try something new.
3. When the games go commercial, we intend them to be on the low end of the market in terms of expense.  We hope to avoid losing quality due to this decision, but as 1-7 dollars apps sweep the mobile device market, the age of the 40 dollar computer game will slowly be dying.  We intend to capitalize on this trend as much as possible. 

So far, we succeeded with the first two points.  The third will have to wait for time to tell.

Lastly, many of you are disappointed in the science fiction theme.  I can well understand that.  Though I myself am an avid science fiction reader, Aaron for instance, prefers westerns.  Aaron and I met on the fantasy mud Alter Aeon.  Although we currently have planned to follow the science fiction line exclusively for now, we purposefully have not set limits on what we will do.  The Valiant Galaxy is a big place.  It's quite possible that at some point in the future, we will try our hand at other genres.  That said, I suspect it will take some time.  We are both very busy.  Aaron is currently helping with several summer enrichment programs at the West Vriginia School for the Blind and I run a business that helps to support my family.  VGA is near and dear to our hearts, but it has to be juggled with other priorities and responsibilities.  Interceptor took us most of two years to reach its current state, and TKS while it took only a month to reach release, took that month primarily because we walled ourselves up and worked like mad.  End result, since our company consists of two people, chances are new releases will come slowly.  However, I hope that they are worth waiting for.

Take care, and thank you all again for the feedback,

Jeremy

Valiant Galaxy Associates Company, owned by Aaron Spears and Jeremy Brown develops and markets audiogames for the Blind and Low Vision markets.

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Regarding setting, well i personally enjoy space games however I do think people who miss off playing a game simply because of it's setting are rather missing out. Super heros aren't my thing at all, but I very much enjoyed Superliam as a game. After all a game's setting is only half of the point, the question is also whether it's a decent game to play.

I knew about the scan option, however it only scans in a 2 x 2 radius around your ship, which is okay as far as it goes, but I was thinking more of an overview similar to that on the planet menu. Exploring the galaxy is a good thought, however it can get a little irritating if you knew a planet was on a certain row and aren't sure of the exact coordinatees of that planet. 

Regarding the selling menu and prices, one fairly easy way around would be to either A, have a hotkey on the menu say control enter to tell you the price you paid for each item, or B, have the stock of each item on the planet displayed, sinse you know if you bought 10 units of radioactive isotopes when the planet had 200 odd, and the planet your currently on has only 30 units of isotopes you'll be making good money by selling.

This I think is an instance where restricting information on the interface is making the game clunky, sinse having to go into the buy menu and check stock of an item on a planet then come back out and go and sell it rather irritating.

I can definitely see how the game could be expanded into a full commercial project, particularly with more planets, encounters, maybe some stuff that happens later in the game as opposed to earlier, different features etc, so good luck with that one.


Btw, funny you talking about Westerns. Now i think about it a western mod of the game would be comparatively easy, just a case of renaming all the objects and encounters, and having different sounds, eg, towns instead of planets, stats for your wagon trane such as wagon repare, horse feed, food and water instead of starship fuel, bandits instead of space pirates etc, sinse that style of independent trading game would work just as well in a wild west setting as in space.

heck you could do a pirate themed mod with different islands in the carribian, stats on your sailing ship such as hull integrity, encounters with pirates etc.

Really sinse the mechanics of trading are sort of universal to a lot of settings throughout history, there are various periods you could set a game with similar mechanics in and they would still work, it'd just mean replacing all the sounds and text, and though that is probably such a majorly tall order this might show people that this isn't an exclusively space game in terms of the way the game mechanics relate to it's setting.

With our dreaming and singing, Ceaseless and sorrowless we! The glory about us clinging Of the glorious futures we see,
Our souls with high music ringing; O men! It must ever be
That we dwell in our dreaming and singing, A little apart from ye. (Arthur O'Shaughnessy 1873.)

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[wow], nice description and also nice game too!

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What about Dragon Riders of Pern? That was Sci-Fi and medieval together!
Is there any way to call my TTS? I really am not the fan of the current TTS...

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Well there are several sf plus fantasy settings, it's an interesting possibility.

As for the voice, It's not tts it's a recorded voice sample so probably not.

With our dreaming and singing, Ceaseless and sorrowless we! The glory about us clinging Of the glorious futures we see,
Our souls with high music ringing; O men! It must ever be
That we dwell in our dreaming and singing, A little apart from ye. (Arthur O'Shaughnessy 1873.)

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The voice over script for BGT that we are using doesn't use a traditional TTS.  It uses snippets of recorded human voice to reproduce the text of the game.  There are advantages and disadvantages to both methods, but we felt that the advantages of having a real human voice outweighed the disadvantages.  You can alleviate some of the choppiness by playing with the cue pause before end delay option in the settings menu.  I'm sorry it doesn't work for you, and that was one other disadvantage to going this route.  That said, we have considered adding support for braille displays.  If we do, then adding an option to turn off the voice over script and use the normal screen reader options is a possibility.

Thanks for the feedback,

Jeremy

Valiant Galaxy Associates Company, owned by Aaron Spears and Jeremy Brown develops and markets audiogames for the Blind and Low Vision markets.

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Hi,
I must say, I love it. The game idea is unique in that it happens in realtime. the only other game I've seen like this is lords of the galaxy, and that doesn't compare to this in many ways, one being that I found the interface slow and I definitly prefer a map.
Having played tactical battle, I must say the interface is very similar.
Well done for making such a great game!

Underworld Tech.
Accessibility from us, to you.
Visit us

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Lords of the galaxy was a nice idea with good sound effects but the balance in the game was so off it was unbelievable, sinse some planets just generated too much income, the ability to teleport anywhere ruined the monopoly game aspect and the exchange coins option which basically could double your money was a bit ridiculous, though I applaud Vip gameszone for the monopoly in space idea and I also rather liked the soundscape and style of the game.

Tks is a very different beast working on the map as it does, being a much more structured game. I can also see the similarity to tactical battle given the movement structureand the turn basis of the game.

As another comment however, playing a little more, one reason I realize why I had trouble with cargo diversity in my first game was that I kept forgetting how many units of cargo space each commodity took up. While I know this information is available in the documentation, it might be helpful to have this information available somewhere on the planet menu. Perhaps hitting i on each of the resources in the buy menu gave you additional information about it (maybe reading the entry from the help). You might also considder having this command on planets on the map, sinse while you don't particularly need the informational entries from the help system on planets it would add to the game's atmosphere if you could get those descriptions of planet Darling and planet Vishnu in the game and thus had some idea of what sort of place your ship docked.

With our dreaming and singing, Ceaseless and sorrowless we! The glory about us clinging Of the glorious futures we see,
Our souls with high music ringing; O men! It must ever be
That we dwell in our dreaming and singing, A little apart from ye. (Arthur O'Shaughnessy 1873.)

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I like this game, for as little as I've played it. At the beginning, it says it uses the BGT Voiceover script available at valiant8086.com, but I can't actually find that script anywhere. Where is it, and how does it work from a technical perspective?

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HI. I must admit, i love this game! It has grate voice capabilities, really good mechanics, and generally works out pritty good! I will provide my best high scores results now, for anyone whos interested.  -
Statistics for Playthrough of Traders of Known Space - a free game from Valiant Galaxy Associates, on Version 4
The game lasted 1 hours, 30 minutes and 33 seconds and ended on Saturday, June 21, 2014 at 6:11 PM - The player beat the game! woohoo!

In a career spanning 9 years (unlimited mode), the player accumulated 1937 credits.
At career's end, the envy of all space merchants was trading in a vessel with the following capabilities:
Integrity: 9 / 9
Engine: 9 / 9
Gun: 1 / 1
Deflector: 9 / 9
Cargo hold: 90 / 90
Final score: 39837!

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18 (edited by vga 2014-06-21 19:35:39)

Jaybird, Aaron here. Thanks for reminding me about that. I just put it up on my website. Go back to http://valiant8086.com. It should be in the navigation bar frame. You're looking for a link that says "My BGT Scripts". If it's not there try refreshing the browser.

jaybird wrote:

I like this game, for as little as I've played it. At the beginning, it says it uses the BGT Voiceover script available at valiant8086.com, but I can't actually find that script anywhere. Where is it, and how does it work from a technical perspective?

Valiant Galaxy Associates Company, owned by Aaron Spears and Jeremy Brown develops and markets audiogames for the Blind and Low Vision markets.

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Anyone played a short career yet? I got a score of 95555, and had about 35000 credits at the end, but that could've been a lot more if I sold everything before the game ended (I had around 100 units of radioactive isotopes among some other things).

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I agree with Dark on just about everything now.
As someone with a lot of money, I want options to sell everything, or upgrade everything all at once. Selling over 100 of an item or buying the same amount is just a lot of arrowing and I know I can type in a number (btw this is not spoken), but I would like a "sell all" option or "buy all" function.

Here is my score:
Statistics for Playthrough of Traders of Known Space - a free game from Valiant Galaxy Associates, on Version 4
The game lasted 1 hours, 46 minutes and 6 seconds and ended on Saturday, June 21, 2014 at 1:0 PM - The player beat the game! woohoo!

In a career spanning 15 years (short mode), the player accumulated 83568 credits.
At career's end, the envy of all space merchants was trading in a vessel with the following capabilities:
Integrity: 24 / 25
Engine: 38 / 38
Gun: 10 / 11
Deflector: 23 / 24
Cargo hold: 500 / 500
Final score: 200568!

It would be cool if there was a stock market and business you could invest in and land you could buy and sell!!! LOL big_smile

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Whoa that sure is a lot of credits. Anyway, I do have an advantage I suppose because my braille display can already read the dialog so I know what the max amounts are, that does speed things up quite a bit.

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I had about 30K in goods when they said I needed to finish LOL
Also, I would like the upgrades to say what they do and how much for each 1 of upgrades by hitting the I key.
Time to play armed!
Although the one ship I did obliterate only gave me like $200. Is there any way to upgrade the power of guns? For example, I would have fired all my guns at the ship at once so it would poof into nothingness in one hit. But frankly I wouldn't want the other ships to do that to me, so perhaps just more expensive guns or upgrades to guns that I can buy for like $5000 or $10000 an upgrade.

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Well I had a slightly less epic game sinse I had a bad habbit of being warped streight into debris fields and solar flares which lost me a good few thousand points, as well as running into asteroids and wiping out all my fuel, still as my first complete short game I'm not overly disappointed in my score.

One thing I noticed is that though I spent all my cash on ship upgrades other than the fuel and cargo they didn't make massive amounts of difference sinse deflecters and integrity were still getting damaged at one gun per hit, Engines probably would've helped run away from any pirates accept that the one hostile ship I met after I started buying upgrades ran away from me! big_smile.

I agree with Frastlin that more weapons would be nice, also something to do with them, ditto with the other upgrades, eg, perhaps stronger deflecters or engine avoid damage in some encounters, or maybe you could use that upgraded gun to blast asteroids out of your path or disperse clouds of dark matter with concentrated laser fire.

Indeed, I would've liked to see a little game change in content as things continued, sinse as it stands while I enjoyed my short game I don't really see practically why I'd want to play a longer game given that I wouldn't be doing anything that different at 30, 45 etc years to what I was doing at 15, just hauling around larger amounts of cargo. Perhaps Frastlin's stock market and land idea could build into this though to be honest I'm less in favour of that idea sinse while land development, factories etc could be interesting I'd prefer to save that for your planned exploration and expantion game, and I've never really seen a stock market in a game that I found contributed to interesting gameplay or really required you to do more than just buy something at low price, hang around until it goes up and sell it at a higher one.

For later game activities I'd myself prefer something a little more dynamic and based in space, such as maybe asteroid mining, planet  teraforming to get drugs etc, or heading to battle fields to grab salvage.

I didn't personally mind the numbers system myself sinse holding the right arrow for about half a second was enough to max out each comodity.

Statistics for Playthrough of Traders of Known Space - a free game from Valiant Galaxy Associates, on Version 4
The game lasted 1 hours, 49 minutes and 42 seconds and ended on Saturday, June 21, 2014 at 10:37 PM - The player beat the game! woohoo!

In a career spanning 15 years (short mode), the player accumulated 530 credits.
At career's end, the envy of all space merchants was trading in a vessel with the following capabilities:
Integrity: 10 / 10
Engine: 10 / 10
Gun: 8 / 8
Deflector: 10 / 10
Cargo hold: 140 / 140
Final score: 43930!

With our dreaming and singing, Ceaseless and sorrowless we! The glory about us clinging Of the glorious futures we see,
Our souls with high music ringing; O men! It must ever be
That we dwell in our dreaming and singing, A little apart from ye. (Arthur O'Shaughnessy 1873.)

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Comments on my second finish:
1. The xy system is backwards, x is normally right to left and y is up and down.
2. I would like a title of x4, y6 when I go to each new square.
3. I never used the info that I got from the planets except to show me where the bad squares were.
4. For most of my money I would get to a group of planets that were 1-4 squares apart and just go between them. There was no reason for me to explore and find new places.
5. It would be nice if there was quests you could go on to recover items from ships or fields and return it to a planet for gold.
6. It would increase the awesomeness of the game if you could read newspapers that would have headlines when you look for info. Perhaps when you click on info, you can get newspapers with headlines and you chose the paper from the world you want to see and buy it. Then you read the articles and you learn what is going on in those areas. If a university is opening on earth they will probably wanting tec and leisure stuff.
7. If I'm a rich merchant I will probably have businesses and rich people that I buy and sell from. If I can create those alliances, I can start getting into politics and influencing government.
8. I would like a server so I can see high scores from other people!
9. This could totally become multiplayer, with people being able to buy goods from other people and fighting in political parties as well as attacking other ships.
10. There should be black market worlds and worlds that produce certain items, so if I attack other good ships and lower my reputation, I can't go to some worlds and I'm forced to sell at black market worlds.
11. It would be nice if I could pay for locations of other ships so I can find them easily. Same with the dimensional rifts that transport you to random spots on the map.

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Hi.
Space theamed games aren't my thing as others have said.
I tried this, but don't really like the stile. The game it's self is good but it's not my kind of thing.

One Thing I'd look out for is choppiness in speech. Sometimes I've found the numbers not to sound natural?
Like it would say, 1, stop, hundred stop and stop seven stop. That could just be me being picky though.

If you like harry potter fan fiction, click on this link to download a zipped folder containing 9 point something gigs of harry potter fan fiction when unzipped. It's around 3 gigs zipped. https://tinyurl.com/y9dl9zev

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