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Mini Metro
owen Mar 21, 2014 @ 5:01am
Thoughts on Reducing Micromangement
The techniques described in the thread with the high score screenshots suggests that the highest scores can be attained by constantly redeveloping metro lines to alleviate load. Given that this game has a light-rail theme, and not a "big green shuttle bus" theme, it seems to me that some element of permanence should be introduced. I believe that planning should play a more prominent role, because it will ultimately give the game more replay value.

First of all, dissociate lines from tracks:

  • "Tracks," indicated by light grey segments, are the pieces of rail on which the cars travel. Once a track is placed, it cannot be retrieved, (although it can be bulldozed if it gets in your way). Track segments have a maximum distance (one or two cities away).
  • "Lines" are placed on top of tracks, and several lines can share the same track segment.

Introduce macro and microperiods, although by more familiar names (e.g month/week, financial quarter/month, etc)

Start of the Macroperiod
  • The new destinations that will appear for this month are indicated, and the screen zooms out.
  • Tracks can be laid during this time, and only during this time. A monthly track budget is allotted (e.g., Receive new track segments at 3 times the number of new destinations that appear)

Start of the microperiod
  • Lines can be completely redrawn during this time, but they have to follow the existing track structure.
  • New destinations become active.
  • A transit upgrade can be applied.
  • Existing station traffic is reset.

    At any time when the simulation is paused
    • Train cars can be reassigned to a separate line, but they have to travel to their new route so as to prevent abuse.
    • Player can activate a "get out of jail free card." This would be a shuttle bus option that completely clears one station of traffic. But you only get one per microperiod (or maybe a set number for the whole game, so they act like "lives," in a sense).

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Showing 1-2 of 2 comments
becephalus Apr 25, 2014 @ 2:15pm 
Those are not terrible ideas. Not sure if that is the direciton they want the day to go, but definitely not being able to just walk away from track invest is one of the coresof modern metro system use.

A more organic way to handle it if they want to keep it more like a phone gamemight just be to have a long waiting period before new lines either start up, or become available again after destruciton. That would at least stop the "shuttlebus" from happening.
The Bearded Brit Jun 9, 2014 @ 5:16pm 
I like the idea of separating tracks and lines, though I'm not sure how nicely it could be implemented without breaking the flow of the game. Perhaps dragging between stations lays down new track, and you can drag train cars on and off track similarly to the way some upgrades work - once a new train car is placed you can drag within the existing track to tell it which route to take, and dragging a train car off the track removes that route once all passengers are emptied.
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