Update – Java Version of Super Star Trek

I have updated the Java code for my port of the old Super Star Trek game. I first wrote about this about a year ago. See “Java Version of Super Star Trek“.

This update has many bug fixes and enhancements, including support for a deathray, a special kind of beacon planet, an alien home world, and firing phasers and torpedos at up to three targets at once. The new code is available on the SST2k page on Wglxy.com.

Moving in Super Star Trek

More News about Super Star Trek

Android App. I have built an Android app based on this Java code. The app is more than just destroying alien ships, which is the main objective of Super Star Trek. The app has a storyline about searching the galaxy for the aliens’ home world. If you would like to try that game, more information is available here: Beta Test for Double Star.

SST2k website. The website where I originally found the C code for Super Star Trek is no longer around. I did locate the original SST2k manual in one of the places that caches old web pages. See SST2k game instructions.

Review on Space Game Junkie. The old game was recently reviewed on the Space Game Junkie website. That website is a fun place to visit if you like space games. Brian Rubin did a four part series on Super Star Trek. The link to the first of the series is here: Super Star Trek (entry 1). If you like the game, you will undoubtedly enjoy Brian’s entertaining attempt to learn the game. If you visit his Google+ page, you will find a post from me about movement, where I try to explain why his encounters with blackholes are not as unpredictable as he thought.

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Beta Test for the Double Star Game

Beta test continues for the Double Star app for Android.

Double Star is a turn-based, single player, space war game. In the game, you command a powerful starship. You must first save our planet from the invasion. Then you search the galaxy for the home world of the invaders so you can destroy them once and for all.

Double Star is available now for Android phones and tablets. To install the Double Star game, do one of the following:

Instructions on how to install the app from the Google Play store are in the group and in the community.

double_star_play_red

For a longer version of this announcement, visit the Double Star page on wglxy.com.

 

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A game to try: Alien Star Menace

Don’t know if you have time to try another game, but here’s one from one of the people in an Indie Games Meetup group I am in. It’s called “Alien Star Menace” and it is available on both Android and iOS. It was just released in the last two weeks. It’s done in Unity.

alien_star_menace_screenshot

Alien Star Menace

I like it because it is a turn-based strategy game, and it is set in space. I also like the “Hero Academy” style of play. I am not very far along, just a few levels in. It’s amusing and challenging at the same time.

For more information, see http://spacehorrorgame.tumblr.com/.

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The Thirty Second Hook and Double Star

I recently read “The 30-Second Hook” on Gamasutra. It’s a very good article about the experience of the developers of Blowfish Meets Meteor. The author talks about the experience dealing with the problem of making your game appealing to players trying your game.  You have to hook players quickly or, in many cases, you lose them. He writes, “people played only the rather simplistic, tutorial-based first level and put it down because they assumed this was a reflection of the entire game.”

It seems that this might apply to my Double Star Android game. Twenty levels of play are provided in the game, with mysteries, challenges, and rewards along the way. However, it all starts with a training level. If training takes too long, players might never get to the more interesting parts of the game. So that got me thinking that maybe I have to throw players in the deep end. Wait until they flounder and then offer them further assistance. The latest release does just that.

Short / Long Training in Double Star

The latest beta version of Double Star (version 0.980) has a new setting where the player selects either short or long training. Short is the default setting. Players receive minimal training, which includes only the basics of issuing commands and checking ship status. That gets players into battle sooner, but it also means that players are responsible for learning most of the game on their own. To help with that, an extensive list of tutorials is available on the Help screen.

Long training is much more complete. For long training, players learn how to play as they progress through five ranks, from Weapons Officer to Captain. By the time they reach Captain, players know about all of the equipment and have had several longer training missions to practice.

ds-admiral-advice

Training is the first of three phases of game play in Double Star: (1) training at the academy; (2) saving our planet from the alien invasion; (3) searching the galaxy for the alien home world. Throughout the game, you receive suggestions and hints from Star Fleet and your crew, as shown in the figure above.

I hope that a few readers will try the game and let me know what you think about the new training level.

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Revised – Lessons From Angry Birds

Back in February 2014, I wrote an article about how I did tutorials in a space war game app. The article was “Lessons From Angry Birds: My Thoughts on Android Game Tutorials“. The topics covered include game tutorials, engaging users, and gamification. The article has been revised a bit, primarily because the game changed names from “Starship” to “Double Star”.

ss-how-to-dock

I posted the following questions and would love to hear from a few readers:

  1. Does an Angry Birds style tutorial work? Do you really know what to touch to make something happen?
  2. Is it effective to earn ranks while you learn the game?
  3. Or does it make it look like the game is not interesting?
    In other words, does it take too long to get to a game that’s fairly challenging?

Please read the old article, try the Double Star app, and think about the questions. Post comments here or in the Double Star community on Google+.

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Game Difficulty Setting for Double Star

The latest version of Double Star, an Android space war app, allows you to set game difficulty on the Settings screen. In the EASY game, there are fewer alien starships, and the enemy are less aggressive. A few people had commented that the game was perhaps too difficult. The EASY setting should help.

To download the beta version of the app, visit the Double Star community on Google+, here is the link: https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/113741436953313178716.

mission-from-admiral-2

The full game experience includes:  (1) training at the academy; (2) saving our planet from the alien invasion; (3) searching the galaxy for the enemy home world. Twenty levels are available for play. There are mysteries, challenges, and rewards along the way.

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2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats team prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 180,000 times in 2014. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 8 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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