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Cart #remco_hextrade-1 | 2023-06-21 | Code ▽ | Embed ▽ | License: CC4-BY-NC-SA

HEXTRADE v1.0 manual

What is this?

A little trader game you should be able to enjoy a session of over lunchbreak.

Take care you don't run out of food or water, as each tile you travel (except cities) will take their toll.

When you start, choose a map (0 through 9999), each of which has 1 of 4 possible goals:

  • 'supersaver': get 1000 gold
  • 'marco pico': uncover the whole map
  • 'gem fantasy': play until you own four gems
  • 'all aboat': sell a boat the (only) island city on that map

(The game also remembers the least amount of turns per mission-type.)

Playing with the mouse is recommended, but care was taken that the entire game can be played with just the pico-8 buttons as well. (Just not when the mouse is on.)
Note that the mouse is off on the title/menu on boot, and will only be enabled after start is chosen (when the mouse is on).

The lay of the land.

Once you've (pressed start on the menu and) chosen a map/scenario in the map selection screen, (and once again press start), you'll see a screen divided in the following sections:


A.) Map.

Your position is marked by the critter outlined in blue, and you can move to each position marked with a red pylon.
You can only move to sites one tile away, and only if you can afford the resources (food and water) to go there.
Additionally, you cannot initially travel over water, but there may be a way around that.
(Moves like these are the only thing that takes a turn.)

B.) Gold

Your current cash reserves, conveniently displayed as an integer. You always start with 25 of this resource.

C.) Inventory.

Any other item, besides gold, that you currently travel with.
Keep an eye on your food and water, which, if depleted by travel, mean a game over.
The other items will not spoil, and are safe to assume will just stay in your inventory if not actively sold.

D.) Current mode.

  • In 'action' mode you can take a turn by moving to another tile, or buy/sell things when in a city.
  • In 'view' mode, place the cursor on the map to view the tile-properties (including the price-lists for any visible cities, whether you are there or not), or on 'E' to see the current goal.

E.) Information & actions for the current selection.

Depending on the selected tile and/or mode, this block will either display:

  • Price-list for a city (including buy/sell options, if you are present there).
  • Resource costs of a tile to move there.
  • A reminder that you can't see through fog.
  • The goal of the mission on this map.

Buying & selling.

If you are located in a city, you can buy/sell items.
For each item, the lower number --in yellow-- shows how much something costs, for both the buy and sell actions (so you can change your mind often, if not on the move).
Each item's upper number --in green, when more than 2-- represents the cities' inventory for that item-type. A city can't sell you what it doesn't have (any more)!
(Cities will not increase their stock to more than what they start with, ... well unless you sell it to them of course.)

Some assorted details.

Originally attempted as a one-day build for my sibling as an addition to their birthday present, this got a bit out of hand and I spent way more time polishing it up after.

The code is largely un-optimized, and a giant mess. Despite not being made for a game-jam, it's about that quality. Please take anything you learn from it with a grain of salt, as there may be better ways of doing that.

Going back to the menu quits the current game.

In the map-selection screen, left/right buttons increase/decrease the seed by one, up/down increase/decreases it by 100. In mouse-mode, it's also possible to hover over the seed to show the buttons.

City-names are generated by selecting from two lists. I don't think there's anything offensive that can be made with these combinations, but if you find anything, let me know.

The price-lists of cities are not completely random, there is a method to the madness. (Hint: Look at the tiles surrounding the cities.)

Yes, there are cities that have gems. There is quite a simple rule to determine which ones actually.


    1. Initial release.
    1. Fixed big bug(s) in keyboard input (crashes) and a little one for the mouse (old menu still 'worked', including disabling the mouse).
P#131202 2023-06-21 17:32 ( Edited 2023-06-21 20:04)


Found a bug: disabling the in-game mouse, moving the cursor to the top-left (see pic) and pressing either down or right causes a runtime error on line 271 "attempt to reference a nil value".

P#131203 2023-06-21 19:27

@Verb Thanks for the report! It turns out that I forgot to update the keyboard code (and even part of the mouse code) after moving the options to the pico-8 menu (instead of a bespoke one that I had created earlier).

I've now updated the cart, and that bug at least should be gone.

P#131204 2023-06-21 20:05

Thank you for the quick fix.
For my first map I bought gems cheaply from the first city and resold for big $$$ in the neighboring one. I think by the end I stockpiled enough food and water to do at least one victory lap around the map :)

P#131212 2023-06-22 00:30 ( Edited 2023-06-22 00:30)

@Verb Thanks for playing!

Some maps will indeed be a lot easier than others. There could even be a few impossible ones :-)

P#131222 2023-06-22 04:38

Fun games. Gold star.

Minor fix: the text description for the "Gem Fantasy" mission says the goal is 3 gems. The goal to win was 4, as stated in the game description, and there were 4 gems available for purchase. (Although the city with 2 of those gems was on the very last hex I explored.)

Here are my scores after winning one of each game type.

It was fun realising how different missions affected play differently. It took a while to find a seed with the "All Aboat" mission...

...However, when I found it, it was brief.

P#131227 2023-06-22 09:35

Here are how many turns each mission type took me

Ironically, at the end of the gem mission I had well over 1k gold, and the boat mission could have been done in 4 moves if I hadn't traded between 2 cities to build up supplies before venturing into the water and discovering that the island was only 1 more block away.

Trading games like this are some of my favorites. I really like how there are different objectives for different seeds, it encourages replay.

P#131230 2023-06-22 14:42

@Cowirrie @TrevorJacobs

Thanks so much for the reviews -- I love that everyone is including screenshots as well :-)

I'm glad the seeds/missions seem to work (largely) as intended, in the sense that they vary up the gameplay, and are mostly 15~55 turns or so.

I think I'll hold off on fixing the no. of gems needed typo for a bit, until I have some other issues collected, so I can fix them all in one go. (And maybe have figured out what to do with the 'all aboat' mission -- perhaps just always place the player further away from the island.)

P#131266 2023-06-23 08:19

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