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###November 23, 2023
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September 21, 2019
The much discussed update to Expanding known Space is finally here. This update adds the ability to make your own speech packs or use ones hosted by our web site, the ability to invert the Y axis of the map, three new missions, and other goodies. For a full list of changes, please see the change log by clicking “View Change Log” when you open the game. Unfortunately, due to adding new statistic tracking in the end game process, you can no longer use previously saved games with version 28. We apologize for any frustration this causes. We hope the galaxy is a funner place to conquer now. Also, although this is something that is still in the hush-hush planning stages, interstellar Union spies have uncovered plans to attempt the development of online play between human admirals. However, that will have to wait for the next update.
- If you want a tutorial, click here
- Expanding Known Space documentation
- Download Expanding Known Space
- Purchase Expanding known Space
- For an alternative speech pack using ESpeak click here
- For an alternative speech pack using Microsoft Mark for SAPI click here
- For an alternative speech pack using Microsoft Eva for SAPI click here
Announcing Release of Expanding Known Space
July 14, 2019
Valiant Galaxy Associates is proud to announce the release of Expanding Known Space, the third title in our flagship line of science fiction games.
The year is 2850, and the freedom-loving frontier planets of the interstellar Union are about to launch a pre-emptive strike against the encroachments of the authoritarian Solarian Federation. The First Interstellar Wars are beginning, and it is up to you to win the war quickly and with as little loss of life as possible.
Expanding Known Space is self-voicing and uses recorded human speech. The game, like many of our other titles, features both map and menu modes. The map is 20 by 20 and features 40 planets and 40 static hazards. The map is different for each game. Over 50 hot keys have been added to aid in navigation and information gathering. However, most players use about a dozen regularly.
The game features five difficulty modes, four victory conditions which can be customized, five AI modes, and allows for manual or automatic selection of the player’s initial planets. Besides these options, nine missions have been included which change starting conditions or victory conditions during the game. These include such options as starting with only your capital planet and no ships, a lightning mode which allows for a quick game focused on colonization, and a total war mode where all planets begin play colonized and garrisoned, and the player must win through a military victory.
The gameplay uses a phase system similar to many board games to handle gameplay. Purchase phase allows the player to build units to replace those that might be lost in the coming turn. At this time, random events occur that help or hinder the player’s war effort. Movement phase is a map phase and allows the player to survey the situation and move forces to accomplish goals. Combat phase resolves any combats resulting from the movement phase. Placement phase allows the player to use map mode or menus to select where and how much to place on his planets.
Several automatic routines have been added to aid players, including an auto damage routine and an automatic placement routine that places ships as evenly as possible on all planets. The game features other innovations such as an autonav option, the ability to group ships in fleets, and the ability to send ships on an automated scouting routine to find undiscovered portions of the map. Further, the game can be saved and loaded later.
Not Only Did We Survive the Black Hole, but We Brought Goodies Out With Us
March 31, 2019
We have been very quiet of late. We both had health issues, and real-life schedules that prevented much work. However, we have been working on a new game, tentatively scheduled to be released late in 2019 called Expanding Known Space. In Expanding Known Space, you take the role of admiral of the space fleets during the First Interstellar Wars. Your mission? To conquer the enemy alliance of planets. With an expanded galactic map, expanded hazards, six types of ships, 40 planets, and an easy-to-use interface, Expanding Known Space promises to be one of our best games yet. The game uses both a map mode and menus, similar to Traders of Known Space, but with many added features to make managing and manipulating the hundreds of ships involved easier.
For those of you awaiting Traders of Known Space Extreme, we haven’t forgotten it. We are still working on it, but we are trying to finish Expanding Known Space, an older project, first. We then plan to release two other games, hopefully soon after EKS, then return to the TKSX project. We haven’t forgotten, just put off expanding the trade options open to merchants of the galaxy.
We hope to have Expanding Known Space out during the summer, but it should be out by the early fall at the latest. We are in beta test now, and nearing the end of the process. If you like strategy games such as Time of Conflict or Sound RTS, Expanding Known Space will be a welcome addition to your library.
Rumors of Our Death at the Hands of Solarian Federation Vigilantes Are Exaggerated
February 24, 2017
For those of you who are wondering whatever happened to those two guys, I have a report to make. Our current projects have been slowed down by health issues on both our parts, and due to necessary real-life complications. No, none of these health issues, or RL complications involved the Solarian Federation vigilante group Humans First, though we have received death threats from them if we do not release a new game soon.
On that topic, I have a report. We have made significant progress on our main project for now, but it will not be finished and ready for beta testing this year. However, have no fears. We are revisiting one of our earlier attempts at a game, restructuring it, making it simpler, and releasing it this year hopefully by July as a game set during the First Interstellar Wars between the Solarian Federation and the Interstellar Union. The game will be called Expanding Known Space, and will be a strategy game.
The main project you ask? Besides building a map utility that will help us design games faster, we are working on a large scale, commercial expansion to Traders of Known Space. Have no fears, those of you who have enjoyed the free version will be getting goodies as well, but the commercial game will be adding layers of complexity and interest to the game that we hope will make it even more enjoyable than it already was. However, as noted before, this project has been slowed down due to issues. We hope to have TKS Extreme out by July of 2018.
As always, we appreciate your feedback, interest, and business. Our efforts, while fun for us, are primarily directed at increasing your fun with every game.
No, We Haven’t Been Abducted by the Grays!
April 27, 2016
As part of my normal yearly update for the site, I am happy to announce that neither I nor Aaron have been abducted by the grays. To fans of our games, it may seem that nothing much is happening. As usual, we are plodding along, slowly, behind the scenes, working to create games while having busy lives away from the computer as well.
However, some progress has been made on games so far this year. We currently have added design notes for some possible future titles. We’ve also begun work on a program that will allow us to create map-based games such as Yellowbonnet more quickly and more consistently in the future. This project is still not finished, as we began work on updating both Traders of Known Space and Interceptor.
The Interceptor update is still in its infancy, but I can assure you that it will be worth the wait. Plans are based mostly on feedback we received from players of the game. Besides this feedback, we are introducing some new quirks to the game that will improve it greatly. New systems, new enemy ship classes, a new game mode, and missions are all in the mix. This will take a while, though, so don’t hold your breath.
TKS is also getting a lot of loving. Our plan is to greatly update the free version of the game, adding some useful quality of life features as well as expanding the map and the number of planets and hazards. However, we also wish to introduce a paid version of the game which will include more options to make money, lose money, and blast aliens. This project has been long and involved. At this point, I estimate that we are about halfway through it. If we can, we will release this summer, but if that doesn’t happen, it will be soon thereafter hopefully.
We have been very gratified by the reception Interceptor has gotten, both as a game in and of itself, and in terms of some praise we have received for design and direction. In some ways, menu-based gaming is a step backward from the sorts of full-on arcade experiences that some other developers are offering. However, we have enjoyed it.
We hope to complete all three of our current projects before moving on to new ones. Since, as we have often pointed out, the entire company consists of just myself and Aaron, it’s unrealistic to expect a huge production from us each year. That said, once our game-building map program is in place, games should begin rolling out a little faster, especially ones similar to Yellowbonnet.
Thank you again for the kind words, feedback, criticism of the games, and most of all, your interest. We appreciate it, and in our third year, we are excited to be a part of the audiogame community.
Announcing Release of Interceptor
July 8, 2015
Valiant Galaxy Associates is proud to announce the release of their long-awaited game Interceptor. In Interceptor, you take control of a space fighter struggling to defend your mother ship from waves of gray fighters attacking. The game can be played on a simple quick mode good for stress relief or on a normal mode which requires resource management and strategic decision-making. The game includes 10 levels, 8 types of enemy ships, and a high degree of randomness to increase replay value. The game is menu-driven and requires few keyboarding skills. For more information, see the games page here.
Yellowbonnet Version 9 Released
June 30, 2015
Valiant Galaxy Associates is proud to announce the release of version 9 of Yellowbonnet. After receiving some feedback from purchasers, beta testers, and people who tried the demo version of the game, we have made some extensive changes:
- Added a lot of sound material both as ambience and for specific characters.
- Added introductory and closing text to the game.
- Added new hot keys J to check the number of jobs left, s to search, and o to open look menu.
- Added an inventory menu with a brief description of weapons in statistical form and a note that other items are of no practical use implying they are best sold.
- Cash spent no longer penalizes score. However, found items do add to the score.
- All characters fought, and all hazards encountered, are now tracked.
- The copy to clipboard text is radically changed.
- Attempted to eliminate odd strings in combat where snakes were blocking blows with arms.
- Changed encounter text on mobile hazards to make it clearer what happened.
- The burglar no longer appears if the deputy does not have a job for the player.
- A number of other minor bug and string cleanup changes were made. For full information see the change log.
Current customers do not need to do anything. Once you start Yellowbonnet again, the game will automatically download new files and update itself. This update is completely free. As usual our beta test team was amazing, and we believe we’ve squashed all known bugs. If you find any, please notify us. We hope you enjoy the game even more now. Thank you for the feedback and support.
Announcing Release of Yellowbonnet
June 8, 2015
We are happy to announce the inauguration of our new line of minigames. These games will be priced inexpensively and allow us to explore other genres and time periods from our main line of Valiant Galaxy products. Fresh from the amazing efforts of our beta test team comes Yellowbonnet.
Yellowbonnet is the first minigame in Valiant Galaxy Associates’ series of Western games. In the game, the player takes on the role of a new arrival in the western town of Yellowbonnet in the year 1885. As a newcomer, you need income. There are six jobs hidden about the map, as well as objects for finding that can be sold for money. Complete all six jobs in the shortest amount of time, and gain as much money as possible. But be warned: Yellowbonnet holds dangers as well. Mad bulls, vicious outlaws, and drunken cowboys can all pose a threat as you progress through the town.
Yellowbonnet uses a map mode for exploration and movement and a menu mode for interaction and combat. The map is laid out on a simple seven by seven grid, and the town has twenty locations and five main streets. As the player navigates, they will find characters to interact with, locations to look at and search, and possibly items to buy or sell. The controls are simple, and the gameplay is quick. A typical game can be completed in 15-45 minutes.
Yellowbonnet is completely self-voicing. The game is menu-driven, and there is no need to worry about being able to place your mouse in an exact position. Documentation is included with the game itself, and you can access our online documentation from inside the game. The game is forgiving, and if you must take a phone call or step away from your computer, your Wild West adventure will still be waiting. With over three dozen characters, twenty locations, and a high degree of random chance, the game is extremely replayable.
Yellowbonnet is our first game to utilize the Guidedog Games service. Guidedog is a revolutionary games distribution service designed to act as an interface between game developers and visually impaired players (similar to Steam). The service is operated by Dennis Towne, owner and operator of Alter Aeon, and uses the same sorts of credit card encryption and account management system that Alter Aeon uses. Once you have an account with Guidedog, you can purchase any of our future games through it with no trouble. Account creation is quick and easy, and purchasing a game from start to finish takes about five minutes.
Yellowbonnet needs heroes, won’t you step up and be counted?
First Year in Review
April 3, 2015
Valiant Galaxy Associates’ web site is one year old. We’ve had a good last year over all. You might be asking how do you figure? We released our first free game, Traders of Known Space. The game received some minor attention and has provided a springboard for other projects. Further, we are now nearing the end of our long development process with our first commercial game Interceptor. Much of the last year has been taken up with ripping apart things that we were unsatisfied with in the beta version, and making it work more efficiently. Again, much of this code may find its way into future products. This sort of work isn’t sexy, but it’s where we save time and effort further on down the road. Also, we tried to expand Interceptor beyond its original concept. This proved impossible to implement in the current version of the game, but again, may find its way into future iterations of the game or other projects. We also began developing some nonscience fiction ideas as subsidiary product lines. One of these, Yellowbonnet, a Western minigame, is nearing completion and should be available at the same time Interceptor is. We have a number of other projects in various degrees of completion. While we can’t go into detail about those as of yet, we hope to have other small game projects available in the near future. We appreciate your continuing support and interest, and we hope that Interceptor will build on the promises delivered by Traders of Known Space.
Release of Traders of Known Space Version 5
July 20, 2014
VGA releases version 5 of our free game Traders of Known Space. This version incorporates a number of player convenience changes, improves the context-sensitive help and documentation, and adds better map navigation features. Check out the change log by hitting F4 within the game itself.
Traders of Known Space Released
June 20, 2014
Valiant Galaxy Associates is proud to announce the release of our first free game. While we were waiting to get all the bugs worked out of our first commercial game, Interceptor (coming soon), we decided to devise a simple trading game. That game is here and called Traders of Known Space. The year is 3051, and the human federations of planets are at war with aliens known as the grays, but even during a war, commerce continues. You are commander of an independent merchant ship that must make your way in these uncertain times. Buy goods cheap, sell goods at a premium, upgrade your ship, gather information, fight space battles, and avoid hazards. The game uses a map mode for navigating between planets, and a menu mode for performing actions in the game. It can be played with relatively few keyboarding skills. The game is completely self-voicing and requires no special equipment or software to play. You can find Traders of Known Space at this link under downloads. Documentation is available from inside the game as well as on the website under games, then Traders of Known Space, then click here for documentation. Good luck, and we hope you enjoy the game. For questions, complaints, hate mail, bug reports, personal invitations, etc, send email to [email protected].
Interceptor Enters Beta Testing
April 6, 2014
Valiant Galaxy Associates is happy to announce the beta release of its first game Interceptor. Interceptor is a space fighter simulator in which you battle waves of enemy fighters in an attempt to screen your mother ship from attack. The game is self-voicing, will work on any Windows XP or later machine, and is menu-driven. Unlike some audio games, the game requires little in the way of keyboarding skills or knowledge of intricate keyboard shortcuts. Interceptor can be downloaded here.
Valiant Galaxy Established
April 1, 2014
Valiant Galaxy Associates announces its birthday. This is not an April Fools joke. VGA is nearing completion of its first audio project, the game Interceptor, and hopes to have it available soon. We have also made our Valiant Galaxy Timeline available for interested parties. All of our future game releases will be set within the Valiant Galaxy setting and use its underlying assumptions about technology, alien races, and future history.