“All Aboard!” – Rethinking the Gameplay

My upcoming game "All Aboard!" is getting an overhaul. I got it to a point where 95% of the game mechanics were in place, but during play testing, I found that the game was a bit too easy to complete. I do not want to put any time-gates in this game, so I'm retooling the overall concept to make progression the main focal point, without having to wait for spins or turns or any other kind of forced timer to play. The only real timer in the game is how often the train arrives, which determines how often you get income, but this timer is very short so that the game keeps a good pace. It's also upgradable after a certain level to make it arrive more often.

The original concept for "All Aboard!" was an incremental game, where you can prestige your way through multiple play-throughs of the game, earning gazillions of dollars. There are lots of Passengers to unlock and spawn for the train, but it was a bit too easy to complete and I found that I didn't care enough about the passengers because it was so quick. I also didn't really care too much for the mega-number concept. Incremental games are fun, but leveling income and pricing down to real-world numbers seems more manageable for the regular casual game player.

Hula Girl Avatar

The new ideas I have put more of a focus on the Passengers and the train yards themselves. My plan, if I can pull it off, is to have the player play through multiple levels that would introduce new Passengers and new train yard layouts, buildings and amenities. I think it will be a lot more fun actually seeing things change as you progress instead of just updating numbers for increased income.

These new ideas that I'm working toward all need to be play tested for pacing and fun, but I think it's going to improve the overall gameplay. Here are some of the thoughts I'm putting on paper and getting started with:

  • There will be 10+ (hopefully!) train yards to progress through. Each will have its own unique layout and buildings to construct and upgrade.
  • Train yard buildings will have upgrades to increase their bonuses
  • Each train yard will have a set of Passengers that are unlocked with them. Passengers all have unique bonuses. For example, the first train yard might include the Business Man and Cheerleader, the second will unlock the Clown and Grandma, and so on. By the last train yard, you will have all the different Passengers unlocked and all bonuses applied.
  • The drivers will still be in the game, though I have not yet decided what I want to do with them...but they're important for something!
  • Considering making this a Steam game as well as mobile, but haven't looked into this at all so no promises!

"All Aboard!"
On the Platform

These updates are a big challenge for me. I am not a very creative person when it comes to asset generation. Most everything I have in both "Stupid Aliens!" and "All Aboard!" are purchased assets, but I'm up for the challenge and can't wait to see what becomes on this game.

I'm really excited about what's to come in 2018, and I hope that you stick it out with me! I'll try to keep you all updated as much as I can, and I might even reach out to some of you for beta testing when I get closer.

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