2015-07-09 13:49:08

Word of caution:

Most of the changes to TKS will be quality of life changes and some imports from Yellowbonnet, such as the ability to name your ship and your captain.  A number of the more sweeping changes that have been suggested on this forum and in other places will find their way into the commercial version of TKS which is projected to be larger, more complex, and use different mechanics for a number of elements.  That said, we welcome all suggestions: what we don't use for TKS 6 will find their way into the commercial game.

As to comparisons to other games: I honestly can't speak to that; I've read up on Smugglers, and once I have enough money to buy a copy intend to try it, it sounds neat.  I vaguely remember Elite, but I don't remember if I actually played it, or again, just read about it.

TKS was meant to emulate games such as TaiPan, Egypt Trader, and the like in a science fiction setting.  It got much more complicated than most of those games, and some elements took on more prominence than I had intended.  The combat is one aspect that many players wanted to have as a larger part of the game.

Aaron and I are both gratified that it has achieved what little notoriety it has; it was a labor of love.  Aaron wanted to use it in a technology camp he was helping to organize, and I wanted to put a free game into the market to show case some of the ideas inherent in our setting.  Thank you all for the responses, the criticisms, and the suggestions.  They made TKS 5 a lot better and will improve TKS 6 as well.  When big brother comes out, I hope that it will satisfy and show off your contributions to your satisfaction.

Take care,

Jeremy

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

2015-07-09 13:58:47

Jeremy here:

Gene,

Good suggestions.  Some of these are ones we are pursuing, and some are not.  Thanks again. 

Dark,
TKS suffered from speed development.  A number of the mechanics, economics, etc were made much simpler in the interest of speeding up development and coding.  One reason we want to develop a larger commercial version of the game is to correct our own dissatisfactions with the game as well as  those expressed by players and critics.  We never liked the economic system for instance, and the end-game/early-game issues were things that bothered us as well.  For what it is, TKS is a good game and a lot of fun.  However, to compare it against a large scale game with a lot of story elements is like comparing Lunar Lander to a fully fledged game that involves a combat landing on a planet. 

I hope the commercial version will address enough of the issues, and do so in an engaging enough way, that it is not merely another take on territory already well covered by others.  We will see what comes of it.:)

Take care,

Jeremy

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

2015-07-09 14:53:35

Crap, unfortunately, I just found out that Guide Dog is a distribution client similar to Steam and Origin in that it has to be running when the game runs. From experience with those two and other distribution clients, I've found that they often cause more problems than they are worth. So, I've made it a policy that if a game or other software ins't available without the distribution client requirement, I don't buy the game.

Even if TKS doesn't currently require the Guide Dog be running when it runs, its future is in that direction.

Enjoy the game folks, and good luck with it and your other games,vga.

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2015-07-09 16:35:29

@Gene, I'm familiar withh Elite in the sense that I've had friends who were big fans, seen tv reviews and have read a little about the game, but too much text and graphical issues with 3D space flight even in 80's graphics put it beyond the level of stuff I can play, one reason I was so pleased to discover the Smugglers series and similar games I could play with a screen reader. [email protected] quite the smugglers fan as you might gather and have spent many hours on all the games,  but especially smugglers 5 (both versions), with it's random and advanced combat system and explorable planets.

The only miner issue is that  I've heard people state Jaws works less well with the Smugglers games than other screen readers. This is because the games are essentially mainstream graphical rpgs that the developer has included screen reader accessible ascii text with (you have to activate the blind compatibility mode in the game settings menu when starting the game). You then need to use your screen reader's virtual curser to read the screen and emulate mouse clicks.

Apparently, because of the way Jaws Columnizes it's information with the Jaws curser, it doesn't handle the text as well as some other programs, indeed I've heard people state they switch screen readers to play the smugglers games.

Again, not sure on confirmation of this sinse I don't use Jaws myself, or if there is a work around, but if you start the game and find the text somewhat mangled, that might be the reason why and you should possibly be aware before trying, indeed I'd recommend giving the db pages a read, (the db generally is a useful resource, though sinse I have written a significant amount of it I probably would say that), big_smile.

Getting back to Tks, as I said it's not really intended to be a massive game like Smugglers (or elite for that matter). it's got it's own rather different style however, and i will say I like the fact that trading is so easy and Tks is such a great game to just pick up and bang a quick half hour out on, as however it's free, you can  just give it a try for yourself.

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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2015-07-09 18:31:01

Hi from Aaron.

Tks already includes a pretty hefty portion of Guidedog's services. Those who installed the original release and later self updated it to the new release simply by launching the game after the update was made available were making use of one of Guidedog's major advantages.

We are going to link tks to guidedog so that you can save your settings online and retrieve them on other machines by logging into guidedog with the same account, but the game is not going to bug you like Interceptor and Yellowbonnet do if you don't use the client. The game also will cheerfully save your settings locally in the event that it doesn't have online access.

GeneWarner, I don't know anything about steam, but Guidedog is really small, and uses virtually no system resources while guidedog client is running. Additionally, no background services are used so when guidedog client is not running there is no affect what so ever on the machine. Guidedog is downloaded and installed during the first run of the first game that you have which uses it, and that process takes just a few seconds even on a slower connection. The point being that if your past experience with such services being more trouble than they're worth has to do with complicated install procedures and lots of system resource consumption, that should not be of concern at all with Gidedog.

The new version of TKS will launch guidedog client when it is started, but if you close the client TKS will run fully without it. I may be able to work out a way to optionally start the game without launching the client at all, but not sure about that.

Having said that, we all have the freedom to decide to or not to use a product based on any aspect of that product. It helps to be informed most of the time though.

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

2015-07-16 00:36:12

Hi from Aaron.

I was trying to do a little code work on the upcoming minor update to TKS, and got a little distracted to say the least.

Statistics for Playthrough of Traders of Known Space - a free game from Valiant Galaxy Associates, on Version 6 BETA
The game lasted 3 hours, 43 minutes and 47 seconds and ended on Wednesday, July 15, 2015 at 6:17 PM - The player beat the game! woohoo!

In a career spanning 53 years (unlimited mode), the player accumulated 6286341 credits.
At career's end, the envy of all space merchants was trading in a vessel with the following capabilities:
Integrity: 10 / 10
Engine: 22 / 22
Gun: 6 / 6
Deflector: 10 / 10
Cargo hold: 5180 / 5180
Final score: 6437141!

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

2015-07-16 12:01:23

Hi.
A suggestion to the guide dog system: Would it be possible to download the games directly through the client instead downloading them from the website? That would be awesome, and much easier for people.

Best regards SLJ.
If you like the post, then please give it a thumps up.
Feel free to contact me privately if you have something in mind. If you do so, then please send me a mail instead of using the private message on the forum, since I don't check those very often.
Happy gaming... :D

2015-07-16 17:30:13

SLJ, yes, we have that kind of integration planned.  It might be a while before we get all the detailed worked out though, I'm not going to have the ability to work on it full time for a while.

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2018-07-03 20:57:38

Well, here I am reviving an old thread again. While looking for strategy games in the database, I came across this game and decided to give it a shot.

I downloaded and installed the game with no problems, but when I ran it, I got errors. I am running it with 32 bit Windows 7 Home Premium. The errors I get are:

Warning - failed to set download target directory to pwd.
Warning - failed to set temporary download file ’tmp/update.tmp’.

The problem seems obvious, the target directories or files don't exist, or so I think, but because the entire path isn't provided, I can't be certain. Does anyone know what is going on here and what I need to do to resolve these? I have sent the developer an email about this, but thought I'd also try here too.

Thanks!

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2018-07-03 23:36:27

I just tried installing the game myself and got the same errors, however the game installed fine and when I ran it second time it seemed to be okay.
I suspect its because the installer automatically checks for updates when it is installed, once its done that there's no problem, so try the game again and see if you get the same error.

it might also be something to do with writing to the program files folder in windows 10, since I do know traders of known space uses stat tracking but until I've played a game through myself I can't say for certain on that one.

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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2018-07-03 23:48:56 (edited by Orko 2018-07-04 00:29:08)

Unfortunately, I still get the messages.

Fortunately, I figured out what the problem is. This game was written for Windows XP, so it runs smack into the UAC wall. So my solution will be to uninstall it, then reinstall it into my games folder set up for such badly behaving programs.

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