Thanks a ton for your testing and feedback! It's very nice to see that several people either registered on the forum just to post in this thread, or at least posted their first post in here. Welcome to JGO!
I already did some changes in my test environment based upon you playing (even before you posted this
) as I noticed that some things went terribly wrong for players starting late in the game.
a. Remove the $4,000 cost to bulldoze (remove) a bus station.
Reason: In the beginning of the game you start with $400K which is understandable so that a player can make roads and help expand and connect the towns within the game. In my first attempt I expanded without knowing how the game worked, it's hard not to over expand with $400K at the start. I built stations with no buses ( I thought they would be automatic ) and by the time I realized this I couldn't afford 2 buses in all my stations, I actually had 2 stations with zero buses. At this point in the game I'm losing money and the game is over. If you can't make profit you can't buy more buses, without buses there is no income, if you can't get rid of stations they will always cost you in maintenance fees. It's a lose lose situation.
Also, in my second attempt at the game I started with 6 bus stations in 6 big towns. I "grouped" them in pairs of 3, each bus station had 2 buses. All of my buses were making great profit, at least $500... most were making $1,000 and some $1,500. Even with this profit I'm still -$4,000...
As for your first attempt I'll consider removing the fee (or at least half it or so) but once I manage to get some kind of guide or help into the game for new players, building stations but not buses shouldn't be an issue.
It was your second attempt that made me change things in my test environment. You built a station in a big city where there were only one other player. This gave you a ton of passengers and therefore you had to pay 20.000 in bus station maintenance per hour. I lowered the maintenance fee significantly so it won't happen again. Better yet, after the next reset when farms will be necessary to grow big cities, people should take care of their big cities. They won't grow big without some attention from the player(s) that have stations in there. This will hopefully make it even more unlikely that people end up with huge maintenance bills in the beginning of the game.
b. Limit the number of stations a player can build within the first 24 hours of the game.
Reason: This sort of plays with idea “a”. If the concept of the game is to start with 2 or maybe even 3 bus stations, and then have 5+ buses in each then you may want to limit a players ability to make bus stations in the first 24 hours. This way they will be playing the way the game is intended and stick around longer. I started with the theory of multiple stations with 2-3 buses in each, and it failed twice haha.
Under the money symbol in the top right of the screen you could put “2/4 Bus Stations” or something.
This seems to play nicely into having some kind of guide or help system early on. I know that there are people that will just click through it and try to play by themselves, but somewhere I'll have to draw the line between forcing people to play the game "the correct way" and letting them figure things out by themselves.
c. Work on the GUI.
Reason: I feel like some sort of UI giving you more information about your investments would be beneficial and keep the user wanting to play and see his stats improve. You can take the items from the left menu and build them into the GUI for a better look. I also understand you are probably going for a look to keep the screen open so people can view the world more freely, but nevertheless a GUI would keep people interested.
I have two things planned for this topic and I hope you'll agree with me
1. Soon(tm) I'll add an economy overview page that shows you all revenue and expenses for the previous 24 hours and for the 24 hours before that (I think, it might be last 2 hours or something as 2 hours in the real world will be 24 hours in the game).
2. I've already got sketches for a menu bar with nice looking buttons instead of the current text one and where you also can see things like the current time in the game world.
As for other gui impovements I agree with you to 100%, the problem is that I suck in graphics (all the graphics in the game and the website so far is by me and as you can see they are lacking some
) I'll try to prioratize it down the line but I'm hoping that I'll find someone to do some pixel artisty things for me instead
If anyone feels called I'm even prepared to pay some for it as long as the results are good!
d. Chat window.
Reason: As this is an MMO people do like to communicate with each other. They may want to talk about strategies, get other players to help them develop a part of the map or just have a conversation with each other while they review their buses.
The missis is telling me the same all the time
, I'll definately put one in. My plan was to only add a chat for people in the same "Cartel" to not get lots of spam and need for moderation. Until there are cartels I'm guessing I'll add one for now though that is for everyone logged in and change it down the line.
Also, I'll add a forum today/tomorrow so people can exchange ideas and come with suggestions.
e. More building types in the future.
Reason: As you expand the game I'd consider adding in some different types of buildings to make the towns feel like a good community. Schools, police stations, bank, shopping mall or anything else would be a pleasant addition.
From your suggestions it seems like you mean building types in the city and not building types you can make yourself. Making the cities more vibrant with skyscrapers and special buildings is definately the idea, and will probably be part of the updates I put in before 1.3.
Again, this is a great game and I see potential here. Keep up the good work and I hope my feedback helps you.
It's people like you that keep me motivated to put so many hours into the game in the evenings after the kid is to bed. Thank you so very much for the feedback and I hope you'll find your way to the game forum once it's up and running.