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Trafficator 2 (in-depth analysis/guide)

Posted Sep 29, '12 at 8:06pm

bTRAIN

bTRAIN

23 posts

Trafficator 2. The game that could have been a front page hit, had it not been so scream-at-your-monitor aggravating.

The problem with this game is not the core challenge, it's that the challenge feels unfair and things arent explained to the player. Whether it be text or some better visual/audio cues, this game does need work. OH WELL- had this game been developed more, it wouldve stood as one of the better flash puzzle/strat games on this site period. STILL- despite shortcomings, it's a very worthy challenge and that's why I'm here to help you get through it.

First of all- the easy difficulty is not easy. In fact the 3 difficultys dont have much difference in them, just slightly altered vehicle speed/accel. So start with easy, but know it's really hard. And the AI will ONLY auto-brake if they're behind another stopped car.

The first few levels arent too bad. Pause car A, car B goes through. But this game gets brutal fast and that's in part because it throws a lot of s**t at you all at once.

Before any level take a second to run down what you're dealing with. Take note of ped walkways, traffic cone blocks, turn lanes, small one-way lanes and how they should work with the (major) streets where more cars should be flowing.

In order to maintain the traffic you're going to have to emulate traffic lights at intersections just like IRL. Pause the small one ways more often, but balance traffic whenever it's clear. In some levels, walk ways and cone blocks also have to become virtual intersections too.

The more cars you let drive through, the more chaotic the game becomes. When you stop cars you add control to the equation and make the game possible to beat. Use the power of the mouse click! Stop cars first, and you can always make them go again once your brain catches up to all the insanity going on.

Conversely, if traffic queue lines become too long (5 'red lights the level will end. Unless you start sinking, you wont lose this way too often. More often youre going to lose to the chaos(car accidents and hit peds). Just keep intersections orderly but moving and the queues and overall timer wont hurt you.

You will always have to keep track of ANY pedestrians on screen. Take quick mental note that someone just came on screen and will be crossing the street soon. Sometimes the ped AI stops for a car but don't count on it. Never flat out ignore crosswalks! If no cars are even close to walkers, it's safe to focus attention elsewhere(for the moment).

When it comes to cone blocks, figure out where you need to stop cars in the regular lane(and vice versa sometimes), so cars coming through the wrong lane can drive with enough clearance. Again, you can always hesitate cars for a moment just to catch your breath.

With turn lanes, the cars generally put on their blinkers too late and once they begin turning it's hard to pause them before they're already in the oncoming lanes. One of many visual cues that needs to be improved. Just one more thing to watch for, so any car that might be turning should be stopped well before the intersection.

That about covers it. Hope this read helped, and hope someone else enjoys a good multi-task challenge. Pretty much dont rely on AI for anything and control the map and the game flys by.

 

Posted Oct 6, '12 at 12:42pm

Lonis

Lonis

23 posts

Thank you for your tips. This game really isn't easy.

 

Posted Oct 12, '12 at 11:25am

EagleOfFire2

EagleOfFire2

131 posts

Well, most of those points are common sense. I have no problem with that.

What I do have a problem with, however, is the pace of the game. It is excruciatingly slow. And the author make up for that by zooming the point of view in such a way that you cannot efficiently react to the traffic coming directly out of the screen.

Everything else is very easy and can easily be planned... But then again, with such a slow pace, the game become more a fight against boredom than it is or could be a competition against the AI or the author.

All in all, a bad game.

 
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