2019-01-13 11:36:23 (edited by freeman69 2019-01-21 11:08:35)

New Horizons is a single player trading and space combat, freeware, audio game, written for Windows.
The game design was heavily influenced by Elite, originally created by Bell and Brabham.
Game play is split between a menu system when in port, and 2D arcade navigation and combat in space.
It makes use of FMOD by Firelight Technologies, for the sound.
Music by Eric Matyas, of sound image dot org
Screen reader speech interface provided by Tolk
The game is set in an area of space containing 10 thousand star systems, with a background story.
The player can start at the capital of any of 14 factions.
Hyperspace engines open artificial wormholes to neighbouring systems.
Systems contain stars, planets and many other objects.
Combat is optional at the start, aided by friend or foe systems, simulated beacons and optional radar.
The player can accrue credits to purchase equipment, or a better ship, perhaps even a small moon.
There are 17 different ships, with different specifications.
You may wish to increase your combat rank, and eventually gain access to the Dark Wheel.
A few optional missions are available within the alien sectors.
Career paths are open, allowing the player to trade, mine for resources, become a pirate or bounty hunter.
Star systems vary in population density. There are areas where you will be overwhelmed.
The interactive inhabitants of New Horizons are following their own career paths, in their own ships.
You will discover myriad stars, planets, asteroid fields, wormholes and space stations.
New Horizons 1.1 download link via Google Drive
It's pretty complex and took over a year to develop and write, part time. So please be kind.

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2019-01-13 12:47:43

hi, this game looks really cool from what I've tried so far. I just have a question, I sometimes seem to be flying past crates. Is there a way I can pick those up or salvage them? I looked through the guides, but it doesn't say.

Bar, bar, bar...
Bar is my name and to go bar is my aim...
Sometimes I'll go "Bad bar",
But in the end its always bar, ahem beer, ahem bar! beer bar!

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2019-01-13 13:10:06

Hi Connor
As long as you have room in your cargo hold, you can fly over any crates of goods to pick them up, but they don't make any sound.
You may be hearing shrapnel flying past, or distant ship engines.
When you are pointing towards a crate, or any object, the game will tell you what it is.
Objects are flying in all directions, which makes collecting salvage tricky at times.

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2019-01-13 13:16:01

Wow, Freeman69! Thats realy cool stuff!
Could you give us a little tutorial how to get to an asteroidfield, how to mine and how to get back?
Just to learn a little how the basics are working.

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2019-01-13 13:29:44

I should have mentioned to Connor that you only have to fly over an object to collect it.
Also, pirates are opportunistic and will also be chasing salvage.
Hi Firefly. You can ask for directions to a local asteroid field when docked at a freeport or landed on a planet.
If there is one, then the autopilot is automatically programmed.
When you launch, the autopilot will point you in the right direction and instruct you to jump. It may take two hyperspace jumps.
When you are in the correct system the autopilot will point you towards the field. Use the overdrive system to hop quickly to the field.
Asteroids circulate in a clockwise pattern.
Use you laser to break them down into meteors then minerals. Then fly over the minerals to collect.
Minerals are traded in freeports, and virtually every system has a freeport.
Turn the autopilot off and then on again, and hopefully it should steer you towards the local primary planet.
Fly towards the planet and listen for the freeport beacon. That will help you locate the station.
Use the status item on the pause menu for a description of your current location, which includes the minerals present.
It will take a bit of practice to gain familiarity, but you will be hyperspacing without thinking soon enough.

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2019-01-13 13:40:24

man i like this type of games, downloading right  now

2019-01-13 13:44:20

wow i've been wondering where you've been i'm seriously going to have to try this out. do you need headphones with this game? is this the final version? are you going to update it? what plans do you have for this game? can you fly to a planet without having to use the overdrive i'm guessing it will take a long time to do stuff like that? lol now the big question. any plans to make this game multiplayer and the like? just by reading what you've written here there's so much potential here.

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2019-01-13 14:06:57

Well, that's strange. When i launch off the planet, you were talking about beacon sounds or what ever, the point is i don't hear anything. Hmmm

flawless victory!

2019-01-13 14:12:01

Very exciting, thank you!!

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2019-01-13 14:13:17

hi, ok so after a little more flying around and actually choosing the later start just to make it a bit easier, I have one question. What are those little noises you hear all the time? I'm not talking about the ship engines,, friend/foe beeps, or station alerts. I've figured those out, but don't know what those other small panned noises mean. They change when I enter a unique area such as a star's corona, to panned ticking sounds instead.

Bar, bar, bar...
Bar is my name and to go bar is my aim...
Sometimes I'll go "Bad bar",
But in the end its always bar, ahem beer, ahem bar! beer bar!

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2019-01-13 14:17:10

Hi Darren
It took quite a bit of development to get the game where it is, even though it was based on Elite.
I designed it for headphones, but if your computer speakers provide a decent stereo effect, you might not need them.
The major elements were creating 10 thousand star systems, trading, flight and combat, and the autopilot.
The missions add to the game too, and were the last addition. That's where i drew the line.
I've been most active on the game during the last 7 months, when it started to really take shape.
So I need a break from it, but have ideas for other smaller projects.
You're right about the overdrive, as its there to speed things along and provide a quick escape.
No plans for making it multiplayer I'm afraid. I have no skills in that direction, and the methods I've used are geared towards single players.
Things that didn't get added include: stargates in space, very large vessels and owning multiple ships.
Originally, the design allowed for the player to ghost planets and remove them from history, affecting how the colonies evolved in the past.
The aim was to find a time line where the human colonies, as a whole, would be able to repel the invaders.
That idea got dropped, but the bad aliens are still out there.

Thumbs up +2

2019-01-13 14:27:03 (edited by freeman69 2019-01-13 14:28:38)

To answer a couple of other questions.
The Freeport or Zokalo beacon can only be heard when its in front of you, not behind.
The ticking sounds are micrometeorites impacting on your hull, packed more densely in the vicinity of large objects.
They were an early addition to indicate that you weren't in open space.
When in open space, micrometeorites are spread thinly and whoosh by to provide a crude indication of your speed.

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2019-01-13 14:32:11

if you can buy different weapons do they also have different sounds? do we have sounds for exploding vessels once destroyed?

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2019-01-13 14:39:49

There are four lasers, with different firing patterns.
However, the basic sound they make is the same. The emphasis was on indicating the level of damage being inflicted.
I had to experiment to make all of the sounds and to be honest it didn't cross my mind.
I expect there's more than a few places where improvements could be made, but hopefully it doesn't detract from the game too much.

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2019-01-13 14:42:50

There are explosions that are relative to the size of the object destroyed.
Amplitude is relative to distance.
As explosions occur over time, they also change in apparent direction, but this may not be perceivable.

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2019-01-13 14:53:37

ok thanks. sometimes i press c and something seems to interrupt it. i'm using NVDA. any ideas? also is there a way of determining what sorts of things to buy? for example with the original elite it would give you a blirb about a given starsystem so you could make an intelligent choice.

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2019-01-13 14:54:10

oh another question the -10's etc the market value does that mean that you are buying below market price?

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2019-01-13 15:32:18

Thanks Freeman!
I think, the autopilot sometimes lose its target. Sometimes it flys the ship to a near planet or something called medium.

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2019-01-13 15:52:13

@18 that's happened to me too, medium in this case is a classification of star. The auto pilot will take you to your destination as the space crow flies so to speak, so if there's anything in the way like a star or something else that inhibits your overdrive, you should try to fly around it.

Bar, bar, bar...
Bar is my name and to go bar is my aim...
Sometimes I'll go "Bad bar",
But in the end its always bar, ahem beer, ahem bar! beer bar!

Thumbs up

2019-01-13 16:02:19

@darren, make sure your keyboard interrupt for typing in NVDA or whatever other screen reader you're using is off. What I did and would recommend you do is make a configuration profile for the game so that it's off while you play, or switch to using SAPI.

I was overwelmed at what was going on at first, but once I got a grip on how to play, mined a bit and upgraded my laser... Yeah, I really started having fun. This game is easily one of the best new releases in a long time. Congratulations on a job well done!

<Insert passage from "The Book Of Chrome" here>

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2019-01-13 16:41:22

Am I the only one finding this game weirdly relaxing? Reminds me of the Escape Velocity games from years ago.

Also, to the comment about autopilot....yeah,  though I decided to point it at a star and was amused it didn't mu8rder me.

@Darren: Yeah, it gave you a little bit of info like tech level, planet types....from that you could infer what to buy or sell. Also, in the original Elite....hello rotating staions and having to match that rotation or die. That was always a pain. Though...as a general rule.....buy low, sel high. That worked out well in Elite when I had no idea what to buy back in the DOS days. Plus, it's a good rule for any game.

Okay. Question. Any ideas for combat? I keep on just ducking and weaving and firing whenever I got a clear shot. Am I doing it wrong?

If in doubt, chocolate and coffee. Enough said.

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2019-01-13 16:42:26

A few more answers below
The autopilot disengages if you steer the ship manually. To re-engage the autopilot you must turn it off and then on again.
When buying goods, the second value, if negative, is quoting how far below the average price it is.
The list is sorted in order of best bargains first, although not everything may be available.
The c key has to be held down continuously, to hear everything about a neighbouring system.
Basically it pauses the game for as long as the button is pressed.
It was one way to get around the problem of not knowing if the speech synthesizer was still speaking.

Thumbs up +1

2019-01-13 17:15:08


Great to see a game like this, though I confess I've not really worked out what's going on with all the beeps and boops and such at the moment.
One thing I find a bit odd, is when you've selected an auto pilot destination like an asteroid field there isn't really a way to see how far away it is, since its not usually in view so I'm never sure whether its still the current destination or not, especially after I've flown around something.

I'm also randomly dying and not really sure why since I don't hear anything wrong, and my laser hasn't worked yet, but still this is a game I'm obviously going to have to work at.

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.)

Thumbs up +1

2019-01-13 17:23:59

hi, another thing I'm curious about. How do you have it set up if someone happens to enter systems at the game's map border? I mean, yes this would be very unlikely since you have 10000 systems, but what if you happened to spawn, say, in a corner of the 2d map?

Bar, bar, bar...
Bar is my name and to go bar is my aim...
Sometimes I'll go "Bad bar",
But in the end its always bar, ahem beer, ahem bar! beer bar!

Thumbs up

2019-01-13 17:37:17

the other issue i'm having is to work out which direction i'm facing so i can work out which way to jump; to new systems. for example by holding c when it tells me a direction does it mean i have to then go face that direction or is it relative to the way i'm facing if it is relative then how do i work this out?

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