By February 24, 2014 Read More →

Interview with MicaByte – Pirates and Traders

App Name: Pirates and Traders

Cost: Free / $4.99 USD

Developer: MicaByte

Market: Google Play

If you enjoy RPGs and pirates, then you should check out Pirates and Traders from MicaByte. I have been playing the game and really enjoy it. You are a pirate and your mission is to sail the Caribbean in search of fortune. There is a general story line but a huge amount of free play, so you can explore to your heart’s content. The game recently was updated that has really made it even better. I reached out the the developer, Michael Akinde and learn a little more behind the game. Enjoy!

Q. Where did you get the idea for the game Pirate and Traders?

A. All over the place. I know a lot of people think of Sid Meier’s Pirates, but if I am to point at any single game it is Pieter Spronck’s Space Traders. I was an early adopter of Android, and this was a game that I missed playing back then; that lack was a major reason why I decided to create Pirates and Traders. I didn’t want to do a clone of Space Traders, though, so being a history geek I decided to go for a historical time period and setting that would fit the gameplay I wanted.

Q. What future updates do you have planned?

A. I plan to add a few more longer story-line quests to the game. For the Gold! version, I plan to add some additional player backgrounds and starting options.

Q. What advice would you give a new player to the game?

A. My number one recommendation would probably be to heed the principles of Jack Sparrow: he who runs away, lives to fight another day. Real-life buccaneers went for the easy prey and ran from anything else. Unless you know what you are doing, attacking a ship with more crew and more cannons will lead to a last dance with the hangman or Davy Jones’ locker.

Apart from that, it can be useful to play using the default (quick-start) character the first time, and advance the leadership and sailing skills early if you’re looking to be a pirate. These two are useful survival skills, as they help your crew and ship to fight better. As a pirate, it is also important to keep a watch on the shifting alliances among nations, as you want to try and keep at least one nation on your side.  Traders would instead want to focus on bargaining and sailing.

Most importantly – if there is something that is hard to figure out (and the documentation doesn’t cover it), let me know. I try to update the game guides anytime people make me aware of the holes in it.

Q. What other games have you made, any new ones coming down the road?

A. “A Brief History of Rome” was my first effort Android app. It’s a fairly simple historical strategy game that reflects the rise and fall of the Roman Empire – which means a never-ending struggle to hold back the tide of barbarians (as in real history). The latter tends to throw off gamers used to “conquer-the-world” games.

I also have “Pirates and Traders: Retro” (the paid version of which is ”Old Gold!”) on Google Play! This is the first and simpler version of Pirates and Traders that was available on the Android market.

I’m always tinkering with new ideas, but the next game I develop will probably build on the story-telling engine of Pirates and Traders just in a fantasy setting. It will mix resource-management/strategy and role-playing in much the same way Pirates and Traders mixes trading game play with role-playing.

Q. How did you come up with the price for the Gold version?

A. “Pirates and Traders” is free, so I assume you are referring to “Pirates and Traders: Gold”? Well – how does anyone come up with a price for what they sell? A mix of guesswork, trial and error, and calculation.

“Pirates and Traders” started out as a pretty hardcore niche game. It’s a lot more forgiving these days, but it’s still a game that (I think) requires some time to master. I dislike playing “crippled” games, personally, so the free version of the game offers full-featured, unlimited game play. This means that the people who buy the Gold version are (almost) all fans of the game, who buy the game because they enjoy and want to support the continued development of these kind of games.

Q. Do you find programming for Android hard? Ever done any iOS games, if so how do they compare?

A. No and no. Android development with Java is relatively easy, though.

Q. Where do you see mobile gaming going in the next few years?

A. Impossible to say, though I suspect market forces will see freemium games dominate even more in future, with only niche games still relying on one-time purchases for revenue.

I want to thank Michael again for his time and I recommend you guys give Pirate and Traders I try!

Posted in: Developers

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