Iwan Gabovitch (qubodup)
Hi, I tried your game and like what I see.
The game is unplayable yet of course; path finding is very bad, graphical errors occur (red lines around newly built base camp for example.)
I like the graphical style so far (except for the gui).
Nothing more to say though. I'm glad you want to keep the code readable.
Thanks, mate. I'm glad to see I'm moving in the right direction, and I'll have those errors in the base camp and other units fixed by version 0.1.3. Other than the pathfinding bugs (being worked on by another dev), is there anything else particularly painful that needs be fixed?
It's not often, that I have so little (none) problems at compiling something from source like I had with I:S =)
Today, instead of the archive, I tried compiling the svn source. No problems compiling. The execution doesn't work though: "Segmentation fault (core dumped)", so back to the archive again.
I'm not sure what to criticize. Well, the units are kind of slow-mooving and the wood-hacking is kind of loud.. but that's nothing important (at least at the moment) I think.
One problem: The three existing resolutions are not good enough, you should allow the user to select the resolution s/he wants to use.
This leads to a big question: The game is a 2d-one... fixed resolutions are often a consequence... have you considered using svg 'source'-images and 'compiling' bitmaps from them? Do you too see the advantages in this method?
One more thing: why does the tree and town center images have black background(bg) while units and the mountains have transparent bg? I think the use of alpha = transparency is better, since it is kind of ugly, to make one color be the transparent one.
Iwan Gabovitch (qubodup)
Take a look at a screen I did
I replaced the in my humble opinion not-fitting tree and mountain images.
There's not enough distinction between gold and metal yet.
The images are licensed under the WTFPL, if you think that the license is funny and want to use the images, plz tell that they are under that license (a readme file included in the image folder probably) of course you don't have to (as you will find out when reading the license text)
What's the game's media license btw? something liberal (as in GPL or Free Art License) I hope?
The anonymous above is me btw =)
Iwan Gabovitch (qubodup)
I totally forgot: there *is* one very annoying thing!
When I make a left-click-drag-selection-rectangle, not only units under the rectangle get selected, but also such, not 'touched' by it (the rectangle which appears around the selected units was not even clipping the area of the select-drag-rectangle, still the units get selected..)
True, on what you've written. The black background on the images were from run-length encoding trials, and in the future all images will use transparent backgrounds. The new base camp and stockyard images already do. Run-time compiled bitmaps from SVG, I hadn't thought about it before. Sound volume adjustment is coming in a version or two now that the map is converted. And yeah, mate, the drag-selection needs to be fixed. I've tagged that and I'll have it fixed by the next release.
The SVN compile crashes 'cause the image files aren't present, nor are some of the newer description files; no reason they're not there, other than I haven't put them up. I'll take care of that this weekend.
And if you don't mind, I *would* like to use your images in the game. I agree that they're a lot better than what's there now. I'll include a copyright file in the directory and add a page to the site linking the files to the license file listed above, no worries. But I should mention that there's a chance that they may be replaced in the future if the game direction changes; can't see it happening anytime soon, though. They're a really good fit with the artwork that's in place today, and I think that they make the game look better, smoother. I'll incorporate them this weekend, also.
As for the stuff I've drawn, I hadn't really thought about the license for the media files. Guess I have some research to do over at Creative Commons...
Iwan Gabovitch (qubodup)
http://freedomdefined.org/ might be of help.
You can use the GPL for everything, which I would recommend, as it's always handy to have code and content under the same conditions (games I know which have all content & code GPL-ed are Nexuiz, Warzone 2100 and The Ur-Quan Masters) AND under some art-ish license. Especially the guys from debian would like everything to be GPL-compliant, when including software in their repositories. You can also dual-license (GPL + CC-BY-SA for example)
The art-specific licenses I know of (which I concider ok) are "Cretive Commons Attribution" (CC-BY), "Cretive Commons Attribution-ShareAlike" (CC-BY-SA) and "Free Art License" (FAL). If you find some new licenses you find interesting, please tell.
There are also "Noncommercial" and "Nonderivate" Creative Common licenses, which I totally hate, as they are anti-GPL-ish and evil ;)
Of course you can use the stuff I did (you can do what you want with it according to WTFPL, even re-license them), I recommend having the source (svg) in the svn-repositories.
Of course I understand that you will replace stuff if you find better or change style.
Svg is, I think, a good way to be future-safe, because you can always increase resolution or even provide different resolutions. Maybe a zoom-feature could be implemented with the help of vector files..
I don't think "run-time svg->bitmap" is very good for old machnes, it might be implemented for people with monster-pcs though.. I was thinking about "render-after-resolution-change"
I would like to stick arround, take some image-orders, vectorize existing images.. so you should tell what you think of style and perspective maybe, give some hints, tell me what you want, otherwise I'll have to experiment. =)
Are there art guidelines? The style is kind of clear, but the perspective isn't at all.. I think the only other two rts games I know, which have the same rectangle-based map structure are Warcraft 2 and Starcraft, so you might want to take a look at some videos and screens for inspiration regarding angles and perspective and 'unit clipping' (x and y dimensions a unit requires for itself alone)
One more thing: Why do you give alternative options for female and male units? Why not have one button which will randomly give male or female? Do the different genders have different stats?
Ah, no worries, the graphics license will, if I don't just place the images in the public domain, will be very liberal. And I understand now about storing the graphics as SVG; I hadn't thought about that, and it makes good sense, and helps solve a problem I had with respect to image scaling. I'll give that a try.
Art guidelines I haven't done up, as I have as much artistic talent as the desert has rain. Top-down perspective from the front is what I'm going for, though.
As for the different unit genders, they do have different stats, as will all people-based units. Currently, the female villagers and axewomen move, attack, and harvest resources faster, but the male units are stonger, and in a future release, will be able to carry more. That's for now. Later on, a player's choice of unit genders will also influence the cost of units (for example, selecting predominantly male units demonstrates a society where men are given more training and schooling than women, reflected in a lower cost for male units versus higher costs for female units, and selecting primarily female units will demonstrate a matriarchy, resulting in lower costs for female units vs male units), as well as relationships with computer players (AIs in a matriarchy will react more negatively to a patriarchy, but be more willing to ally with a fellow matriarchy), the rate of technological development (players ignoring half their population will not be making the most efficient use of their brain pool), and will affect their technology tree (some technology branches will be presented in certain situations, and hidden in others).As well, I plan to put in place attack modifiers when civilizations who, for example, always train male fighters, come up against female troops from an opposing civilization; do they react with surprise, shock, how? That will affect their attack/defense stats. I hope to have most of that in place by v0.2.
Iwan Gabovitch (qubodup)
Interesting, very interesting the whole gender play you have in mind!
I can't imagine a simple/easy implementation of what you described..
You appear to be very Civilization-oriented. Some of your ideas seem hard to imagine in a real time strategy game, for example diplomacy. The research system also appears Civilization-like and non-rts-like. I like new ideas and projects taking inspiration from other genres, but I wonder how concepts from Civilization can be taken and put into a rts game.
Again about the genders:
Training females -> female units are cheaper, you have more female units, research is slower
Training males -> male units are cheaper, you have more male units, research is slower
Training balanced -> research is faster
(ignored the diplomacy stuff for now)
So what kind of units will be there? Because if you only train male warriors, this doesn't mean that you don't use female brain power...
Right now my thought is that having matriarchal (mat) and patriarchal (pat) parties as 'races' would be much simpler, clearer and easier to implement and understand =) My idea sucks for it's non-creativity though.
Another idea is to have mat and pat as 'government systems' next to democracy, tyranny etc. This would certainly push the whole male/female system pretty much in the background I'm afraid though.
Right. Every human unit will have male/female equivalents, not just warriors, but scholars, priests, what have you, so a player can have mainly male warriors and mainly female priests and scholars, say, and still remain balanced...sort of like the old Celtic society 2,000 years ago in Britain (historians, feel free to step in). It'll be just as you wrote above, balanced as long as the numbers are balanced. I do want to keep them separate from the government types, though - for those that want an all female Junta, yeah? :) With version 0.1.3, I've started implementing this.
The diplomacy piece won't be like the system in Civilization; instead, it'll come through as options for the player civilization; to treat other society types with interest, hostility, fear, and adjust attack/defense/trade rates accordingly. As well, there'll be options to have trade pacts with other civilizations, in which military units are attacked but trade unites can travel unmolested, mutual aggression pacts, in which other civilization units can pass through your territory on the way to attack another civ without being attacked, and so on.
The research piece I'm trying to make a blend of Civilization and Age of Empires, where basic research is done independently of the player, based on allocated resources, and civilization improvements are researched directly. The skeleton code for that is there, with a couple of sample techs, both independent and directed.
please make sure that the svn is up-to-date (I still can't build & play as images are missing)
Also think about not deleting old images but keeping them as concpet drawings, maybe in some svn corner.
I've uploaded the remaining images to SVN, and the trunk should be up to date (been down with the flu this week). Anything still missing, if it still crashes, please let me know. The old drawings I'll be placing on the website after the new version's out the door, for other folks to use if they want to.
Iwan Gabovitch (qubodup)
I 'recreated' the lodge from top-down perspective in inkscape svg file format.
The file has layers, layer1 is first construction phase, layer1+2 is second, 1+2+3 is finished phase. one can rotate an svg of couse, maybe you should think about allowing player to rotate buildings before constructing? (not a really great idea...)
you should create some standards for buildings I think, like size.. though for svg it doesn't matter tooo much =)
thank god I have boring statistics lessons ^^
Thanks, mate. I've already built an updated lodge, but if you don't mind, I'd like to use the image for the initial Wisdom House, for creating the scholar units.
What do you use to create the SVG images?
Iwan Gabovitch (qubodup)
You're welcome - do wit it what you like to =)
I use Inkscape, http://www.inkscape.org/ - If you want to use it I'll just give one hint: Use layers, especially for the buildings.
Iwan Gabovitch (qubodup)
There is a sdl svg library: http://www.linuxmotors.com/SDL_svg/ It has some dependencies, the readme tells that it's feature incomplete, it isn't included in Ubuntu's repository. Too bad...
Didn't include the plants though. Also didn't do it in layers.
The image is pretty hard to compute, as there are multiple overlapping non100%alpha-layers (and many clones.) I like your design pretty much btw (the original design of this building)
PS: I think it's important for the cuteness-effect for the player to see the resources in the stockyard =) but this is probably not so good an idea, since harvested resources are not location-fixed in the game.
Hey, that's nifty. I'll add it this week. The animals I've placed in the stockyard as separate units as they belong, not to the player which builds them, but to the resource structure; the idea was that if the city is sacked, the animals can be taken and used by the other civilization as food units. As separate units I can also generate wild animals that can be rounded up or hunted...you know, wild turkeys and the like. Most of what will be in this next release will be skeleton code to support independently owned units.
As well, in the future, the type of animal grown will have an effect on the civilization units; for example, beef units will be more expensive, but give strength bonuses to the civ's units ("They grew strong on beef"), but since too much red meat's not good for the body, that's have a negative impact on the maximum health of the units. Fowl will be cheap but not produce much food (the chicken's current 100 will be dropped down to 25 soon, and the cost dropped to 2 or 3), with no bonuses and penalties, and lamb and pigs will be somewhere in the middle. Hopefully by version 0.2 that'll all be in place.
Iwan Gabovitch (qubodup)
Oh I thought stockyard would mean something like the main building in aoe http://aoe.heavengames.com/academy/buildings/town.shtml or the ressource collecting points in settlers 3 http://beta.ninetiesgames.com/screenshots/9.jpg (the two buildings in the upper left)
The animal stuff sounds neat! Reminds me of a strategy game, where you have to catch horses to be able to use them for cavalry ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_Realms#Overview )
I'm a bit skeptical towards the game design - it's supposed to have a civ-like development in the sense that at some point the industrial and atomic and the information age will be reached, right? But! Infrastructure and resource gathering are a heap different nowadays, can this be implemented realistically? Is it important for you to everything to be realistic? (Not doing it realistically would pretty much mean, that ages have similar game mechanics but differ in visual style.) That would be ok, but maybe there's a cooler solution =).
Another thing that would be problematic if a realistic game is the aim is the 'social evolution'. - For me it means for example, that societies grow bigger and bigger from the small clans/tribes to states. I prefer the clan, I prefer a small ammount of units, I prefer Warcraft 3 to C&C. Will this 'getting bigger' of nations be represented in the game? how will it still be managable?
Am I wrong about you wanting the 'evolution' to happen in eras? Maybe you rather want it to happen in different technical 'trees' individually? (like for example it works in, master of orion 2)
Your ideas about the kind of meat affecting the people are really funny/cool/fresh! With so you having much detail in mind, you still want the whole scale of human history to be included? =D
So you want animals to be 'stealable'... this would mean that ressources must have a place on the map, not like in aoe, but like in the settlers games or populous 3 (ressources have to be taken to the place where they are used). Would that also mean that each unit has to eat?
Or is this a misunderstanding? You still want delocalized ressource management, but animals as representatives? Are the animals one-time-food or rather continually providing food? (via reproduction as the explanation for example)
Oh, or are you talking about the lambs from aoe2?
Hmm.....it's hard to really compare against other games, since the only game I've really played was Civilization, and that was back in '92 or thereabouts, and WarCraft back in '93 or so. I've seen and tried Age of Empires 2 a few times, back in 2000 or so, though.
Resource design I had planned to change over time gradually, allowing machines and specialized units for greater efficiency. Right now, a worker brings in 5 wood for every 10 harvested to simulate the inefficiency of primitive tools and lack of skilled workers; soon units will be able to bring in, say, 15 for 10 to simulate advances in technology, using logging trucks and power saws. So, I guess, no, not too realistically... :)
The game will stay clan-like; it'll be too much work to make folks create multiple cities and manage them (unless they want to, of course), similar to AoE2. Nations will be abstract; I'd like to use border lines, perhaps in a later version.
Evolution won't be in stages, like in AoE, there'll be no upgrade button to go from age to age; it'll be more like Civilization that way. As advances come in and technology is researched, units will have their art and stats refreshed if the advance warrants it (blacksmith to foundry, say). The multiple tech trees will be used so the game isn't a linear path; I'd like to set it so that while each advance may have prerequisites, the prerequisites aren't cast in stone, so that while gunpowder may require Alchemy and Chemistry, Explosive Naptha may require Alchemy and Distillation, and the discovery of Naptha would preclude the discovery of Gunpowder (the civ creates weapons out of Naptha, never going down the Gunpowder route), and the advances that follow gunpowder are now on a dead fork of the tree. This work is already in place in the code, all I need to do now is sit down and trace out the various branches of the tree, and determine what tech leads to what.
Yes, this sounds like it may all be too much, but really, the bulk of the work is going to be in drawing and animating the units. Much of the framework is already coded and ready to be extended.
The animal resources will be like the lambs in AoE2, will need to be brought to the town for slaughter. That piece, capturing the animals, hasn't been done yet; I wanted to get the stockyard work done first, as that's the heavy lifting piece of using mobile resource units.
And hey! Nothing's cast in stone yet. All the basic systems are there, and once pathfinding and obstacle avoidance are working properly, then I will start adding content and extending the core systems outwards, adding new units, societal variable expansion, and re-enabling the AI (AI was disabled due to the bugs in obstacle navigation).
> Tech tree
The tech tree is hard-coded? this sounds dangerous! (balancing is one of the devils of game making afaik.) By the way: http://www.optisch-edel.de/fo/screenshots/research.jpg It's from FreeOrion.
> Alchemy, Distillation, Chemistry
Alchemy => (modern) chemistry; Distillation is a technique used in Alchemy/Chemistry. Ok, this is hairsplitting, I guess you simply wanted to make an example.
> Gunpowder and Naphta exclude each other
Now that sounds strange. _We_ know both after all. Why exclude one of the two? The player could have one, could have two - If he wants two, he'll have to pay the 'extra' resources/time.
Later reproduction and/or breeding (as in farm) of animals can be implemented.
By the way, if you feel like getting in touch with the free gaming community as I know it: http://forum.freegamedev.net/
I checked out the FreeOrion screenshot, and that's sort of what I had in mind, yeah? I need to define the techs and then define the relationships between them. And yea, they were just meant as examples. :) I hadn't gotten that far in the tree; the only techs I've defined so far are those in the techtree SVG on the website.
In a later version, I'll be setting farms and animal units to reproduce, so that while some research will give players the ability to harvest more resources faster, other research will allow crop farms and animals to regrow/reproduce faster. If players spend all their research time researching techs to harvest faster but not as much research to farm more, then players could outstrip their food production and run out of food.
And I'll check out the forum, mate. Thanks!