2017-03-31 10:34:37

Hi Dark, thanks for the tip about menu items.

Good will contracts rack up good will quicker than being aggressive creates bad will. Nefarious contracts rack up bad will quickly, but you may decide the balance against a quick profit early on, is worth it.
Fighters provide a financial benefit in relation to potential damage sustained in battles, especially if you want the size of your cargo fleet to increase.

At the start of the game you have a few scouts and limited funds. New players have to learn the controls and how to play the game, before learning how to win. I wanted the game to be open ended to some extent and to provide the player with options, even if they weren't perfect.

Creating a new game is definitely harder than copying an existing one, and this one went through a major redesign. For me, complexity means some level of complexity in the relationships between objects in the game. Part of the fun is discovering the rules and learning how to win effectively, and exploring the limits of the game.

What I was aming for was a balance, where potential benefits vary depending on circumstances. Otherwise the player may find a rich source of income and do nothing else. One of my favourite games of old was Elite, but one could equip a ship entirely by trading between two specific worlds near the starting point.
There is a statistical benefit to exploring, in regard to contracts, and it relates to the location of colonies.

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2017-03-31 14:13:27

i loved elite it was the father of space sims. do you think you could recreate it to some extent as an audio game? certainly if you did it as a kickstarter campaign I would definitely back it.

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2017-04-01 10:30:22

On the subject of an Elite style game, the original was a first person simulation in a single ship, trading a limited selection of goods between star systems with single planets, where combat occurred as random encounters determined by the planet's politics and the odd alien.
In some respects, Echo Quadrant is more complex with the player controlling up to 16 fleets of various ships and colonies. The supergiant arena contains more bodies than in Elite's 8 galaxies. So it would be possible to do a turn based version of Elite relatively easily.

But I'm guessing you'd like a real-time version of Elite. Not being very familiar with the audio games arena, are there any games makers who provide games with atmospheric background music and three dee effects? I started reading about three dee sound and it left me feeling dazed and confused.

There is also a middle ground, where the game is turn based, but includes a time-out on the responses required. If the game was left to run, then it would step forward on its own, moving other objects around. The player could choose the speed of the game. It's likely there's already examples of this approach.

Anyway, I'm already deep into my plans for another turn based game. In this new one every ship is comprised of technological components including beam weapons, torpedo bays, engines, shield generators, sensors, tractor beams and other things. You have to harvest resources to bulid the components, while travelling through the galaxy. Offensive components can be given a standing order, in the style of rules of engagement. For example, you may want to capture, assimilate, pirate or destroy a particular enemy ship, while potentially engaging large numbers of opponents. I'm still working through the control processes, but I think it can be done in a playable way.

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2017-04-01 12:57:27

well there are people like aprone who have developed fps games like swamp who have done a fantastic job. lol I need to get back into swamp again but am rapped up in core exiles at the moment hahahah. in all seriousness though people like aprone could teach you a great deal about how to make the audio work.

yes I'd love more of a sim style space game that's 1 thing we are seriously lacking. a good cross between elite and x-beyond the frontier. now there was a game. and by the gods do I now miss that game now I can't see anymore.

I like both turn based and rts sims as well but I think this community needs a good space sim. we haven't got one of those at all and it's great to see someone who's interested in that genre who's actively developing games for it.

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2017-04-03 12:47:27

True, true, true and again: True!
We absolutely need more complex spacesims! Turnbased, RTS, Realtimesimulation and so on and so on! This is why i cant wait to see your next release!

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2017-04-03 14:52:05

yup more space sims please!

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2017-04-04 07:38:44


I just want to say that this game is definitely my kind of thing. I've been a fan of 4X games for a long time. I was delighted when I was scrolling around and noticed the starsystem information. I have yet to make much progress, perhaps because i'm more used to the structure of a game like Master of Orion, which gives you a home world to start from.

I will be happy to grab anything you come up with  in future, and would be willing to pay or support development in whatever way I can. We need more games in this style. Thanks so much for the work so far smile

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2017-10-18 16:23:17

Just to let everyone, and Freeman69 in particular know that the game now has a db page which is here

My extreme apologies that this didn't get done far earlier on. Part of this is due to me moving house from July onwards, part is just me being generally disorganized.

the description is a wee bit short at the moment and I would like to expand it a little, though I will need to play more of the game for that.

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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2017-10-18 19:39:12

Unlike some people here, I am not at all in favor of writing a game, or any other program for that matter, so that it favors one screen reader over another. If the program is going to be accessible, it should be accessible to all, regardless of which screen reader is being used.

That's not because I'm a JAWS user, it's just plain old equal access for all common sense.

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2017-10-18 22:06:49

so has there been any more work done on this game?

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2017-10-19 14:23:00

Hmmm Orco I'm not really sure of your point there.
Like Jim Kitchin's games, The spoonbill titles and probably more games than I can think of, Echo Quadrant uses Microsoft Sapi, which is available to everyone on a windows computer and these days even comes with a semi decent voice (I still remember the days when you'd get stuck with Microsoft sam).

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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2017-10-19 14:44:19

I have no problem with the game defaulting to using SAPI since it comes with Windows and doesn't rely on any particular brand of screen reader.

My message was in response to at least one message in this this disapproving of the game's use of SAPI and requesting that it be coded to use NVDA instead.

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2017-10-19 17:12:33

I do agree, much as I like Nvda it shouldn't  be the only output method for a game  not when people use a range of screen reading programs or indeed none at all. The general idea I think at least from what Freeman69 said was to use the tolk library which supports a range of screen readers as well as sapi, though that will probably have to wait for his next game.

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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2017-11-30 20:59:16

I just came across this game a few days ago, and I must say I'm enjoying it, though it's pretty tough! I'm usually not big into simulations and things, but the fact that there's some combat where I can defeat and capture alien ships makes it worth it. Now I'm just trying to figure out how to keep a steady supply of funds, as I often end up losing because I run short of money. tongue I'm also quite interested in what little the developer has said about his next project. Thanks for your efforts!

AKA president731

2017-12-02 18:11:27

Hi all! I've just started playing the game, and I have one request. If not for this game, maybe for future games of this sort, can we not make the escape key something that exits the game without saving?
I just blew a game I've been working on for a good hour or more, and it just went poof when my instinct to exit a menu is still hitting the escape key, and it all went to data heaven. arghh!

Otherwise, thanks for this sim, its a fun game and I guess I'm still in the learning stages.

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2017-12-02 19:09:33

To exit without saving, press control+shift+escate to bring up the task manager, then locate the process that is Echo Quadrant, then terminate it.

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2017-12-02 22:04:46

I think you should reread my post. ☺️

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2017-12-02 23:18:10

I don't need to reread anything, what I posted was a way to avoid saving until the developer grants your request, if he grants it.

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2017-12-03 13:00:21

He didn't want to avoid saving. He lost a game because escape key exits the game and is also the key used to back out of menus. SO he kept on pressing escape to back out, only to lose everything because he backed out from the main menu.

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2017-12-04 04:48:52

Slight correction, as far as I can tell, if you hit escape in any menu, it exits the game without saving. So there's no hitting escape to back out of menus. If you hit escape, bam! Program closes and game is not auto-saved.
That's why I was asking for the feature if we could either get a prompt, are you sure you want to exit without saving? Or, just allow us another way of exiting besides the escape key.
Thanks for the assist though Aaron, its appreciated.

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2017-12-04 17:58:34

I've made that mistake more than once I'm afraid in the week or so I've been playing it, though thankfully it was on games I was already getting frustrated enough to probably soon quit on anyways. tongue I did win Saturday night finally, and repeated it again yesterday! I immediately tried to bump the next map up to medium, and had my backside handed to me within 15 turns I think it was. tongue

AKA president731