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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsMini Metro [playable build + Greenlit!]
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Author Topic: Mini Metro [playable build + Greenlit!]  (Read 38998 times)
rek
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« Reply #40 on: February 22, 2014, 10:50:17 PM »

The looping strategy doubled my score, but eventually I had 5 stations overcrowding at the same time and couldn't do anything about it. Maybe the carriage upgrade should apply to every line.

Also found a bug/issue: A terminal that appears behind the clock can't be grabbed.


It seems like half the stations are always circles. Is there a set proportion for the types of stations?
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billyboob
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« Reply #41 on: February 22, 2014, 11:18:31 PM »

It seems like half the stations are always circles. Is there a set proportion for the types of stations?

The circles always get you in the end! Considering you only get five lines and the game is called Mini Metro it kinda makes sense that you get overwhelmed eventually. But yes. Damn those circle stations!
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failrate
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« Reply #42 on: February 23, 2014, 11:27:42 AM »

Another polish bug:   Stations on the right hand of the screen do not correctly display their populations (the shapes get cut off).
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rek
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« Reply #43 on: February 24, 2014, 11:03:42 AM »

It seems like half the stations are always circles. Is there a set proportion for the types of stations?

The circles always get you in the end! Considering you only get five lines and the game is called Mini Metro it kinda makes sense that you get overwhelmed eventually. But yes. Damn those circle stations!

Does it make sense? I think I'd rather "win" by achieving stability in a finite system than "lose" by being unable to keep up, or lacking the means to keep up, in a system designed to grow until it collapses.
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failrate
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« Reply #44 on: February 24, 2014, 11:58:51 PM »

I like the current game mode.
A zen mode would also be nice.
A third mode could be like the route system in Ticket to Ride, where you essentially bid for bonuses.  Maybe you could have a button to add more stations as you want them?  Something like that.  Or a throttle (more points for faster speed, but more risk)?
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Excy
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« Reply #45 on: February 25, 2014, 06:03:20 AM »

Yeah I think I'm at the same point as everyone else. I made it to 5 lines once and the 5th line was so crucial for me at that point that by the time I'd put it down, I'd lost.

Just got the "Smaller Faster" train, didn't really seem like an upgrade though, just a faster train would've done.

Best I've done yet.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2014, 06:20:21 AM by Exception » Logged

rek
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« Reply #46 on: February 25, 2014, 11:57:34 AM »

Whatever its faults, it sure is addictive.
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peterc_nz
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« Reply #47 on: February 26, 2014, 03:38:10 AM »

Apologies for being AWOL from the thread - I didn't get an email since my last reply so I didn't realise there was so much discussion going on! It's very late here and I'm up waaaaaay past my bedtime so I'll try to get back on tomorrow.

I just popped on to say that we've updated the alpha to alpha4; tutorials and random starting locations.

And I finally got the Greenlight page up! You can find us (and vote for us!) here: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=232325568
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Excy
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« Reply #48 on: February 26, 2014, 06:12:53 AM »

I just popped on to say that we've updated the alpha to alpha4; tutorials and random starting locations.

And I finally got the Greenlight page up! You can find us (and vote for us!) here: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=232325568

Damnit, there goes my evening.

Will definitely vote
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rek
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« Reply #49 on: February 26, 2014, 09:07:03 AM »

Awesome! Starting with two tunnels has made such a difference. The stations also seem (but maybe aren't?) to start closer together, which is also good.

I tried a new strategy: have as many loops feed into the unique square station as possible, since riders from all over the city wanted to get there. If I had another tunnel I probably would have lasted a bit longer (I lost a second after this shot:


How about putting the week count down there with the rider tally?

Noticed:
• The lines of the river and subways shrink and redraw quite frequently. The more lines on the screen, the more noticeable it was.
• Sometimes when you reroute a line, the train changes direction once it hits the first station the ghost line connects to. This could have strategic value if it's predictable, but it could also be really frustrating if a train turns back one stop away from an overcrowded station.

Edit: I just realized the shrink/redraw thing is caused by how the map is constantly slowly zooming out.

Edit 2: A personal best:


The Fast Train didn't seem faster than the normal one, and I didn't realize it would replace an existing train.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2014, 02:45:55 PM by rek » Logged
jgrams
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« Reply #50 on: February 26, 2014, 09:26:16 AM »

Just got around to trying this. Very fun! I expect to waste way too much time messing with it...

These may already be on your list, but here are my thoughts:

  • Stations sometimes spawn near enough to the edge (particularly the left edge where the upgrades menu is) that the terminals get partly cut off and are very hard to drag.
  • I'm getting better at it, but my initial impression is that the terminals are hard to get hold of.
  • I wish that when there were no more lines and only one line at a given station, it would just grab the #%!&%! existing line and not give me stupid messages about how I can't build any more lines. Maybe it should warn you once or twice, but after that...
  • I tend to die because I've lost track of what's going on, and sometimes the "The Metro has closed" window covers up the overcrowded station. So I wish you could move it around and let you see the whole final state.
  • I wish the new stations were more noticeable. Like, pulsing dayglo orange or something? Wink I keep dying around 450-500 because I didn't notice a new station spawning off in a corner somewhere...
  • And...this is a stupid newbie thing, but I feel like those first impressions are important... I wish there wasn't a station shaped like an arrow. On my first game, it was the first station to spawn that wasn't a circle, triangle, or square. And it spawned near the top of the screen, and... I spent an increasingly frantic 15 seconds trying to figure out how to scroll the screen up to get at the new station which it was obviously trying to tell me was up there somewhere...  Facepalm

--Josh
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peterc_nz
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« Reply #51 on: February 27, 2014, 01:34:09 AM »

Steam Greenlight

Well the Greenlight submission is going well so far. 913 yes votes from 1644 total votes (55% - about average from what I've heard), 11% to the top 100. Looks to be tracking ok! Steam will stop directing people to our page (which is http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=232325568!) once we drop off the newly-added games list, so we'll have to do some legwork to get the word out.

Roadmap

We've gone over the comments and bug reports from this forum (thank you all so much for the feedback!) and on Steam Greenlight, and we've produced this list of issues to be resolved in Mini Metro.

  • Endless zen mode.
  • Fix margins. All to come in, extra on the right.
  • Upgrades menu to come on only when upgrades are available.
  • Investigate click detection issues. There are definitely problems around station / handle hitboxes.
  • Highly-visible alert when a station has commuters and no connections. Possibly also an alert when a station spawns.
  • Change the 'arrow' custom station shape to something else that won't be as confusing.
  • Death timer to pause when one or more trains are at a station.
  • Ease down the difficulty escalation. As it is the increasing number of stations and commuters multiply together to make it basically impossible to get past week 5. Around the week 4 / 5 mark it should definitely be challenging but not impossible.
  • Make unique fronts for the different locomotive types.
  • Show your record high score next to your current score.
  • Make a more fully-featured post-game experience. The offending station will be highlighted more dramatically. There'll be an option to view the map without obstructions and take screenshots. It would be great to have a Civ-style replay too ...
  • Investigate alternatives for editing circular lines. As it stands, clicking on their handles results in different behaviour than clicking on the handle of a straight line.
  • Upgrades to be represented with icons.
  • Lines to be displayed translucent where they go through a station that they do not connect to.
  • Fix the track welding. It's a bit janky when tracks meet and one or both of them is to the left or right of centre, and it doesn't need to be. Low priority but it bugs me!
  • Audio. We're working with an outside contractor on this. Odds are it won't go in until just before release, but it's going to be very cool!
  • Boring stuff. Finish menus, profile storage, aspect ratio independence, etc.
  • Look into internationalisation. All strings are read from a string table, and there isn't a lot of text, so it should be feasible. What languages should we translate into?
  • Add a tutorial tip for the pause button.

The upgrades need to be tweaked and balanced. Current ideas are:
  • Change the carriage upgrade to add a carriage to ALL lines, not just one. At the moment it's good, but not comparable to other upgrades. Speed is generally more of an issue than capacity.
  • Change the the alternative locomotives to be radically different. We'll try out a bullet train (very fast, high capacity, slow acceleration) and light rail (zippy, but very very low capacity).
  • Put the station upgrade into the mix. We have it all coded up, it just never made it into the level for some reason. It increases a station's capacity by 5 commuters.

It's not ordered, or even sorted into things we'll tackle before or after release ... so it's not really a roadmap, but roadmap sounds like we know what we're doing.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2014, 01:46:03 AM by peterc_nz » Logged

wccrawford
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« Reply #52 on: February 27, 2014, 04:15:45 AM »

While fun, I think it needs some work to make it more long-term playable...  But that might be something as simple as multiple cities, starting with really easy ones that grow slowly and don't have much complicated landscape, and ending up at huge monster cities.

I also can't help but feel maybe the upgrades should be tied to income rather than time, or something.

But this is quite good, and you definitely got a 'yes' from me on Greenlight.  Smiley
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rek
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« Reply #53 on: February 27, 2014, 06:33:30 AM »

How about making it possible for lines to figure-8, like so?


That could be a station upgrade – Double Platform Station, or something.

And what about running a second train on the line, in the opposite direction? That's how most subways work.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2014, 09:31:32 AM by rek » Logged
blip
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« Reply #54 on: February 27, 2014, 08:21:09 PM »

Lots of fun, but a few things that would make a big difference:
  • clear indication when and where a new station appears
  • show how many free lines/tunnels/etc, not just "more than zero"
  • messages about not enough lines/tunnels would be better if they were a bit bigger, in a consistent position and did not disappear so fast

Also, I understand your minimal design aesthetic but I found it quite annoying to have to poke the slide out menu to see what unused things I had available.

EDIT:
Found a bug: when a two carriage train stops at a station, not all matching passengers are unloaded as they should be.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2014, 07:58:00 AM by blip » Logged
peterc_nz
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« Reply #55 on: March 01, 2014, 01:22:25 AM »

@wccrawford: Thanks for the vote! 2000 down, only 6000 to go. Smiley The version we ship will have at least four cities, and we hope to release more post-launch. They will be fairly similar in scope though (at least that's the plan right now), but have different terrain and upgrade options.

We did actually talk about having money in the game. You'd earn it by delivering passengers and spend it to do pretty much anything: lay track, buy trains, upgrade stations, etc. In the end we decided to strip out everything that got in the way of the core goal, optimising the network the best you can with limited assets.

@rek: Eeeek! I deliberately wanted to keep the track code as simple as I could, which does remove options like the figure-8, but even so the code complexity blew out. You wouldn't believe the amount of code there is in Mini Metro for the track even now! I've been considering added support for lollipop-type layouts (a loop with a 'stick' coming out). I'm going to avoid situations like in the figure-8 though with 4 separate links on the same line coming in to the same station.

We've thought about having a second train on a line as an upgrade. Actually at the moment we're revisiting how the train upgrades work so it be incorporated into that. In the next alpha you'll upgrade the entire train instead of just adding a carriage, which will essentially give the train a speed and acceleration boost in addition to extra capacity. It would be neat if upgrading a train a SECOND time would add a second train onto the line. So you could pour all of your resources into a single line if you wanted one very powerful asset.

@blip: I just added a new station indicator this afternoon! It'll be in the next alpha. There's also a warning when an unconnected station has commuters.

The upgrade panel is going to get some love at some point. I've tried to keep the UI looking slick and still be useful, but, err, I'm not a graphic designer unfortunately so I haven't been entirely successful!

Hurm I'll take a look over the unloading code and see if there are any issues with multiple carriages - thanks for reporting that.
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Martoon
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« Reply #56 on: March 01, 2014, 03:36:25 PM »

Beautifully conceived game. I hope your Greenlight makes it (it's got an upvote from me).

One of my favorite things in the execution is how the interface so gradually, imperceptibly scales down over time as stations are added. Every time my game would end and I'd start another one (which is difficult to resist), I'd notice that the station icons seemed substantially bigger in the new game, but I couldn't seem to ever remember seeing them getting smaller when playing. Until I overtly focused on this while playing, and saw them slowly shrinking. Very slick.  Smiley
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ryansumo
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« Reply #57 on: March 01, 2014, 11:01:47 PM »

Glad this is finally getting some traction! Let us know when you need a marketing push and we'll spam our social networks!
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peterc_nz
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« Reply #58 on: March 01, 2014, 11:08:14 PM »

@Martoon: Thank you! The Greenlight submission seems to be going well. We've got 51% yes votes (down from 56% on day one) and have just topped 30% of the votes of the #100 game. What a horrible system. Oh well.

We only just put the slow zoom back in, very glad we did now. The prototype had the slow zoom but for Mini Metro we originally had a quick zoom out each week. Pretty much everyone who played the prototype and Mini Metro strongly urged us to go back to the constant slow zoom. In hindsight we were overthinking it and trying to make it more gamey, less zen.

@ryansumo: Yeah it's been great on Steam so far - we're getting so much more exposure, and to 'real people' instead of other game developers, hah. Smiley Looks iike we've come to the end of the initial buzz that every new title gets on Greenlight so we'll contacting journalists soon. Probably just after the next alpha is released as it'll have some usability fixes and a bit more of a professional vibe.
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rek
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« Reply #59 on: March 02, 2014, 07:55:16 AM »

@rek: Eeeek!

Corny Laugh

Lollipop lines are good too!
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