bontegames

Hi! I'm Bart Bonte, a Belgian independent game designer and bontegames.com is where I blog about fun new interesting browser games. My own games are all in the left column. More info about me and my games on bartbonte.com.
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August 13, 2016

spaceplan

It starts with a blank screen and the damaged controls of your spaceship and you will have to click (a lot) to find out what is going on in spaceplan by Jake Hollands.

50 comments:

Stevens Miller said...

Just started, but it's pretty cool, so far.

Stevens Miller said...

Well, pausing a bit to let "watts" accumulate. Still an interesting game so far, but I notice they have confused power with energy, which is a common mistake. Mathematically, it works, but their nomeclature is wrong.

Stevens Miller said...

First complaint: the red text is hard to read on the gray background.

Stevens Miller said...

Okay, so... am I the only person playing this?

Anonymous said...

No,Stevens Miller, you are not! :)
Right now I have the Pod Module and the Super Kinetigen on my Idea Lister. And the Tater Tower and another "thing" on the Thing Maker.
I like it - somehow. :D

Stevens Miller said...

Anonymous, a kindred spirit! Yes, it's oddly gripping, isn't it? I think I am a bit ahead of you, but it is only a matter of time. Watts accumulate at rates that make milestones available somewhat unevenly. I've been dealing with that by getting a few weekend chores done. Loading the dishwasher got me up to the power needed to land a Tater Tower.

I've actually been craving a game like this for a long time, one where you are managing a process over macro time, rather than just reacting to instant, short-lived events (Flappy Bird, dig?). I kind of wish they had played it more straight, instead of going for the "Hitchhiker's Guide" motif. But, it seems, humor is the norm in casual games these days. (Kind of feels a bit dismissive to call this a "casual" game, though. Clearly, a lot of effort went into this one.)

Have you noticed that the entire Planet Looker display dims and brightens from time to time? I had thought was when the ship was in the planet's shadow, but now I think there is something large out there, off the screen, that must be casting a big shadow over everything from time to time. Wondering what it is...

Tom said...

Just finished. Interesting game. The animation with the potatoes at the end was kind of funny.

Tom said...

@Stevens the dimming and brightening is just a matter of you passing through the shadow of the planet.

Stevens Miller said...

@Tom, I don't think so. It dims when the planet's shadow is at about 11 o'clock, and brightens back up when the planet's shadow is at about 4 o'clock, regardless of whether or not my spaceship is in the planet's shadow.

Stevens Miller said...

Finished it. That was rather cool! Different, and in a very good way.

Anonymous said...

The darkening of the background is cause either by the planet's shadow OR by the passage of a year on the game's calendar. Note though, that the calendar is measuring days on a timescale apparently unrelated to the watts display measuring power. Neither is measuring seconds, orbits match the calendar. The speed with which power builds seems to be related to display speed rather than game time elapsing. That means you're stuck with a constant energy refresh rate rather than one that increases as the calendar speed does. Major annoyance - makes the game slow to play. Otherwise, and interesting game.

Stevens Miller said...

@Anonymous, one might explain the difference between accumulated energy and time by considering that the energy is being accumulated in the reference frame of the spaceship, while the time display is in the reference frame of the solar system.

Anonymous said...

Like this game and want something similar? Try: http://www.kongregate.com/games/GazThomas/tangerine-tycoon

Peter said...

The ending made it worth the effort ;)

Tom said...

I consider one thing to be a flaw in this game: If you keep buying probetatoes before buying foil to protect them, the cost continues to go up with each purchase even though you have zero of them. I think it would be better to drop the cost back to the previous level each time one is destroyed, at least after the foil becomes available (if not always). Otherwise, if you make the mistake of not buying the foil as soon as it becomes available (i.e., after losing the first three), you suffer a permanent cost increase without having the probetatoes you paid for.

Anonymous said...

"Stevens Miller said...

@Anonymous, one might explain the difference between accumulated energy and time by considering that the energy is being accumulated in the reference frame of the spaceship, while the time display is in the reference frame of the solar system."

I would have preferred a "reference frame for user" = "it doesn't take hours to gain the energy to upgrade." But then I started playing at about 9pm my time and went to bed at 2:30am. Not a realistic game play experience without some form of a) warning and b) pause capability. You can stop and restart without loss, as I found this morning, but expecting HOURS of game play to get anywhere? Needs forewarning or needs tuning to be less onerous. Many users wont bother.

Jessica said...

PO-TAY-TOE! PO-TAY-TOE! This isn't an action-y game, but it's easy to "win" if you have some hours to let it just kind of hang out and run itself to gain watts. I thought it was a fun little creative "misc category" game.

Anonymous said...

How do I unlock spud gun?

wyatt (leslie on FB) said...

oddly fascinating and addicting! and i, too, have gotten a few chores done around the house... might even go to the grocery store... landed my pod... plus 2 potato towers :)

Anonymous said...

How do I unlock planet boosters?

Anonymous said...

Now, I understand. Toggling the planet view/system view makes the story move along and unlocks different items.

Helen said...

I got bored after getting Probetato Roots and a couple of Spudniks on the go, doesn't appeal to me I'm afraid, it's too Farmville as in sit and wait and then hit a load of buttons.

Emily said...

Aw, I finished it. :'( Interesting ending though...

@Stevens Miller: The darkening is whether or not YOU are in the planet's shadow. Keep in mind that once you launch the pod, you are no longer in the spaceship, you're in that blue dot on Earth's surface.

Anonymous said...

If your going to just go do chores and wait for the watts then don't waste your time upgrading the clicker lol & it will take a lot longer.

Anonymous said...

POTATO!

Anonymous said...

There's nothing in the Idea Lister. and my max item is the potato tower. What do I do now.

Christine Stevenson said...

I really enjoyed this, which surprised me. It's reminiscent of "cookie clicker" style games, which I could never really get into. This one was much more fast-paced (seriously) and simpler. I didn't really get to enjoy the end animation, though; it kept freezing every couple of seconds.

Anonymous said...

Tangerine Tycoon is more involved, but with achievements like :
1e100 speed challenge = get 1*10^100 Tangerine in under 10 days.
It most definitely is not for most people of Earth.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's nothing in the Idea Lister. and my max item is the potato tower. What do I do now.

press: System Peeker?

Anonymous said...

really wishing there was a language warning, as the language didn't become an issue till i was already pretty far into the game. :/

Anonymous said...

There's nothing in the Idea Lister. and my max item is the potato tower. What do I do now.

press: System Peeker?

Already got that. No new ideas.

Anonymous said...

There's nothing in the Idea Lister. and my max item is the potato tower. What do I do now.

press: System Peeker?

Already got that. No new ideas.
OH, It's a button. thanks.

Brian Berta said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brian Berta said...

It's taking a while to unlock the Spud Gun. How high do you have to get your watts per second to unlock it? Also, how long does it take to get the potato launcher? I ask this, because I'm hoping for the game to move along. So far, I'm at 124,063 watts per second.

Anonymous said...

Why am I still playing this? Why can't I stop?

Ruud said...

Just keep playing, just keep playing... Actually place it behind something else and come back later. Took me the whole day to finish.

Potatoes rule!

Donut Lover said...

This game was very fun with a silly bent on world destroying time loops. I will definitely remember and laugh about this spud for quite some time. Crunch time is a good way to eat potatoes too...
Thanks Bart!

Brian Berta said...

Note: This comment discusses the games' endings.

Scratch my above comment. I just finished the game. It turns out that I was missing out on one very minor detail. I feel stupid now that I figured it out. Anyways, I really loved the game. One of my issues with many incremental games is that you have to do the same thing for several hours. The gameplay gets very repetitive and every time I take a break for the night and pick up the next day, I have less of a motive to finish. I often lose interest in them. This is why I disliked "Gridland" (It topped one of Bart's best of the year lists. If you're reading this Bart, I respect your opinion in it.). However, I really loved this game. The game went on just long enough without me getting bored. My only issue with this game is that its ending didn't explain why the population on Earth was wiped out. I would've liked an explanation to it. I would've preferred a dark/tragic ending stating that you killed everyone somehow, and now you have to live out the remainder of your days in the shuttle, looking down at what you've done. I kind of like tragic endings to games, movies, books, plays, etc. They often stick with me more than happy endings for some reason. However, I still really loved it. I think that I owe it another playthrough.

My Rating: 9/10. Honestly, one of my favorite flash games now.

Anonymous said...

still have no idea whats happening here how many of each thing is everyone getting? im at 219000 watts per second and saving up for the potato launcher. otherwise i have no clue whats happening.

t.

Emily said...

t.-
Most of your systems are offline, but you learn what's going on as you progress.

balu said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jonas72 said...

Worth sticking with for the ending. ;) I recommend downloading an auto-clicker, though.

Jean-Luc Renouil said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I finally figured out what was happening but really close to the end. Actually it all went nova without me. I had stepped away for a few minutes. LOL. Anyway there's more to do after that but not much. It's over when you see the donate page.

And I wanted to play again but it won't let me. I guess I have to clear the cache or the cookies or something.

T.

Anonymous said...

To replay - click the link to the game; go to the settings page (gear symbol); clear the save; close the tab; click the link to the game. Should start from scratch.

The Gordo said...

Fun. I liked this -- subtle story exploration.

Thank you, Bart!

SgtThursday said...

I loved everything about this game, especially the gradual unfolding of the story at the beginning.

I liked it so much I played it twice. First time was about a week ago and I can still feel it burning in my arm. Second time I didn't bother with the clicker other than the necessary bits at the start and finish.

Perhaps not bothering to upgrade solar panels and kinetigen saves a bit of time but you get to a point where energy is coming in so fast that they are immaterial. I just wanted to clear them from my screen!

I wonder what the thinking was about the escalation of energy costs for each device. They seem to go up rather dramatically. I am trying to think of a situation that mirrors this in real life but the only thing I can imagine is that the efficiency of the system making things degrades over time (but in real life that shouldn't happen exponentially??!).

Bonzo 5 said...

Download Auto Clicker and skip the chores.

Anonymous said...

Really cool animation at the end. I finished this game in one day. Left the tab open while I work on other things.

SgtThursday said...

Thanks for the tip-off on Tangerine Tycoon, by the way... I am one of the few!

All this time I have been searching, I never knew what I was missing - a realistic tangerine economy simulator...!

 

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