Welcome to Cloud Saving! (dot.Market 1.2 Update)

Welcome to Cloud Saving! (dot.Market 1.2 Update)

To: You, the Owner of this dot store

From: Dorothy A. Ellipsis, Dot Retail Strategist

Date: June 21, 2014

Subject: Welcome to Cloud Saving!

Hello You,

Our agreement to save our money and backup our business records in the Game Jolt cloud has begun!

Now if your dog ever eats our local records or you accidentally used them on your most recent papier-mâché project, you can just put in a request to download another copy from the cloud seamlessly and continue to run our business as if nothing had happened! Being stored in an abstract form, our puncta* are also much safer than hiding them away in the back of the fridge. The Tech Guy set it up so that your credentials are entered automatically when you come in for work, unless goes wrong then you need to enter your username and token manually. There were some other miscellaneous things that were also taken care of, you can read it here.

As an aside, I would also like to note that the big “Erase Data” you have set up in the Options room now will automatically destroy the records on the cloud in addition to the local ones.

It’s convenient should there, I don’t know, ever come a time when our business experiences complete failure and you want to, you know, torch the place for the insurance money. …Not that I endorse such extreme measures…

Actually, I did the calculations, out of pure curiosity and totally not because I think you should do this, and did you know that if you did burn the place down for the insurance, after the costs of registering a new business, buying a new location and bribing everyone, you would be left with 3000 puncta to buy new dots with. I find that quite peculiar, wasn’t that the amount you started with? Not that I’m implying anything…

OK… I think I should stop writing now.

Best Regards,
Dorothy A. Ellipsis, Dot Retail Strategist (And Totally Not Crazy)

* FYI: “Puncta” is the local currency. Just in case you forgot.

Copyright © Quadolor Games. All rights reserved.

Introducing a new member to your dot business team. (dot.Market 1.1 Update)

Introducing a new member to your dot business team. (dot.Market 1.1 Update)
My photo. I bet not many
people send you animated ones!

To: You, the owner of this particular dot store

From: Dorothy A. Ellipsis, New Recruit

Date: June 8, 2014 

Subject: My Introduction and Various Improvements Made to the Store

Dear You,

My name is Dorothy A. Ellipsis and I was hired as part of your “My Store Sucks, Someone Help Me Make It Better” initiative. I believe my previous experience as a “Lowercase I and J Quality Assurance Specialist” and my through understand of the book 44 Things Successful Dot Marketers Do While Sunbathing will make me a tremendous asset to your team. I am super excited to start working! In fact, I was so excited that I already rolled out some improvements to the store!

Low-resolution cursors

The old cursor was too expensive to replace when it broke. (It was like that when I got here! I swear!) They were high-resolution models that were made up of many dots, and have you seen the price of dots lately?! So, I decided to order another that are made of less dots and cheaper to maintain. I struck a deal with the distributor where if we put an order for the standard arrow cursor, they would throw in an animated wait cursor at no additional cost. A team of highly-trained stealth renovators have been dispatched to install the new cursors and they should be ready when you arrive at your store for your next shift.

Faster news tickers

I’ve heard of slow news days, but I thought the old tickers were ridiculous. I gave the order to install new tickers with dot presses that work 50% 100% faster. Now you can spend less time reading the news and more time conducting business. If you’re really in a hurry, you can put them into overdrive by clicking and holding anywhere on the news screen.
As the owner of your own business, you don’t have the time to deal with petty things like remembering to save your game every once in a while, and quite frankly, I don’t want to do it either. That’s why I hired a Records Saving Technician, who will update your business records at the end of each business day. The Tech Guy (I don’t remember his name) only comes in at closing, so he won’t get in your way of your daily routine and, for all intents and purposes, is invisible.
If you want the boring version, you can read it here: Changelog.
In addition to these changes, I’ve come up with a few other ideas we could do to improve the store further:
Game Jolt integration

I’ve heard about your problem with your business records and cash box being put out on the curb with the trash. I won’t pry into how this could even happen, but I’ve come up with a solution that may help. We can backup all our data onto servers run by this company called Game Jolt, and lucky for us they also offer banking services so we can put all our extra cash with them too. I’ll get the Tech Guy to work on it right away! Sure, I didn’t put this in his job description, but I’m sure he won’t mind the extra work without compensation.
I’m seeing great potential in using Game Jolt’s data storage in other areas. I’ll send out another memo when I get the details all worked out.

Best Regards,

Dorothy A. Ellipsis, New Recruit

Copyright © Quadolor Games. All rights reserved.

dot.Market Released on Game Jolt!

dot.Market Released on Game Jolt!

The LOWREZJAM has ended and dot.Market v.1.0.0 has been released on Game Jolt. Here are some screenshots of the current version:

I have already received some feedback on the game and I would like to continue to improve on the game. However, since I will be working on other projects in parallel with this one (oh, by the way, keep your eyes peeled for when they pop up on this site), it might take some time.

Enough talk, here is the link to the game:

Copyright © Quadolor Games. All rights reserved.

The Dots are coming! The Dots are coming!

The Dots are coming! The Dots are coming!
No, no, no, stop trying to click on it. This is just a picture.
The real thing will be coming soon.

The end of the month is nigh, and there’s not much left to do. I’ve noticed that I haven’t posted something regarding dot.Market in a while, so here we are. Like my previous two posts, I had some GIFs prepared to show, but the design of the interface had changed during the process of writing this blog post, so they’ve already become obsolete. Instead, here’s a video a quickly whipped up showing me fooling around the game for several minutes. (I would also like to note that this is also the first time I’m showing off the audio of the game.)

Things that have changed since last time:

  • The obligatory auto-save feature – So you can keep your play money safe between sessions.
  • New title screen – When I’m working at such a low resolution, using Photoshop suddenly became much easier.
  • New main menu buttons – I designed them to look like cash register keys, for that extra retaily-goodness.
  • Transitions – The transitions don’t only serve the aesthetic purpose of making the switches between certain screens less jarring, but it also cuts down on input error when the interface layout changes between screens.
  • Interface improvements in stock menu – I managed to fit in more buttons and widgets to make the process of stocking and replacing dots on the shelves and repricing them faster.
Things I still have left to do:

  • Some of the buttons still don’t play sound effects when clicked.
  • An options menu, where you can reset your save file and see the credits.
  • Whatever I may have forgotten.

That’s it for now. Until next time.

Copyright © Quadolor Games. All rights reserved.

1024 colourful dots arranged to look like a business simulation

1024 colourful dots arranged to look like a business simulation
With the month (and the LOWREZJAM) coming to a close and all the basic game mechanics completed, I decided to focus on making various screens and menus more presentable by adding backgrounds and coloured text. Exciting! These are still not the finalized graphics (the buttons in particular still need to be redone), but it’s getting there.
So without further ado, here are some animated GIFs of the various changes I’ve made since last time. 
Stats screen
Note the new barebones income statement that shows the previous day’s revenue (in green), expenses (in dark red) and profit/loss (in this case, a loss, in bright red).
Market Stats and Buy screens
Aside from the added background and coloured text, I added horizontal grid lines to the price history graph for better readability.
News screen
Added transparency to the news tickers, just because.
Copyright © Quadolor Games. All rights reserved.

Hey, you there! Wanna buy some dots?

Hey, you there! Wanna buy some dots?

I realized that I haven’t been posting here for a quite a while. Between the various game jams and whatnot, I had created a bunch of game prototypes, all craving for my attention to polish them up. I spent some time working on some of them on and off, until I stumbled across a link to the LOWREZJAM 2014 on /r/gamedev. I forgot how it came to this, but I got the idea to make:


A Blocky Business Simulation

Enter the exciting and lucrative world of… dot trading? In this game you take the role of the sole proprietor of a store that specializes in selling dots. You buy dots from the wholesale market, stock them onto your shelves, slap price tags on them, open up for business and watch your merchandise disappear off the shelves, replaced by gross profit. The dots come in many variations (read: colours), each with their own individual markets (i.e. prices and customers) that change from day to day, following trends, depending on the forces that shape them. The game is currently open-ended, though the largest number I can fit in the window is 999999, which currently serves as a cap on your bank account.

I spent just as much time, maybe even more, testing formulas and crunching numbers in Excel trying to create a model of the dot market as I did coding the game itself. The model seems reasonable in it’s current state. Note that I only took one course each on microeconomics and statistics in university, most of which I quickly forgot.

My inspirations are from other business simulations games, ranging from totally serious to quite fantastic:

Anyways, time for animated GIFs showing the basic functions of the game! Now with 100% more animation! (Note: these are not finalized graphics)

Checking out your bank account and inventory
Checking out price history and other market stats
Checking the news tickers

(Boy, the quality of business journalism has sunk to a new low.
But seriously, these are just placeholder news items that
don’t do anything.)

Buying dots from the market
Stocking dots onto shelves and pricing them
Opening for business and checking the changes to the market

Stay tuned for more information. I promise to post sooner this time.

Copyright © Quadolor Games. All rights reserved.