Author Topic: (Chris) I'm working on a few things (territories).  (Read 4079 times)

Offline x4000

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(Chris) I'm working on a few things (territories).
« on: June 08, 2015, 12:55:23 PM »
Lots of interesting thoughts here, and on mantis and the beta area recently.

A lot of the general things people are not liking at the moment, or wanting clarity on, come back a bit to some of my original intent for the game and how I had to give up a few things in order to make sense of things like combat and the world itself.  Now some of those are coming back to bite me in terms of combat and building ranges for this and that, and so that has me looking back to my original intent some now that I know all the things that I've learned about the game in the last half year.  I think I can bring back some of those elements in a straightforward way, and both simplify some of the range/combat woes as well as actually bringing more depth to expansion and so on.

We shall see.  It's something I'm spending a fair bit of time on today seeing if I can make work visually, because that's the number one thing for me right now.  I think that this works conceptually very well, so long as I can make it work visually in a way that doesn't make the entire game ugly or unclear or what have you.

I don't really want to say what these things are yet because I don't want to debate something that may not pan out or that may need some serious changes soon in.  But if I can get this working, then I'd like to try moving in this direction and I think you guys will be quite happy with it.

I know this seems like a big tease, but I'm basically trying to say "I'm listening to what you're saying, and I recognize that there are a number of common themes, and I have some unorthodox potential solutions that I want to tinker with before making any sort of real statement -- but at the same time, this is something I'm working on and not just ignoring."
« Last Edit: June 10, 2015, 11:57:53 AM by x4000 »
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Offline Mick

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Re: (Chris) I'm working on a few things.
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2015, 01:51:42 PM »
I'm hyped.

Offline nas1m

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Re: (Chris) I'm working on a few things.
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2015, 01:57:14 PM »
I'm hyped.
+1
Also: Sure this is a big tease - there just is no way turning against your second nature, Chris ;D.
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Offline kasnavada

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Re: (Chris) I'm working on a few things.
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2015, 02:15:24 PM »
Quote
I know this seems like a big tease

That's quite an understatement.

Waiting  :)

Offline x4000

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Re: (Chris) I'm working on a few things.
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2015, 02:45:51 PM »
Sorry guys -- I really don't intend to be a tease with things, in a mean sense!  I just like to acknowledge that I'm hearing what is being said, though I'm not always ready to discuss my thought process yet in terms of the solutions I'm trying out.  I've tried the latter before, and it winds up taking a ton of time and creating huge amounts of confusion and debate and general unhappiness.  I'm thinking mainly back to Valley 1.  Anyway, so I learned my lesson on that.

But at the same time I don't want to tell you nothing, and just leave you thinking that nothing is in the works or being considered, so it winds up being a tease.  Blah.   :P
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Offline nas1m

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Re: (Chris) I'm working on a few things.
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2015, 02:56:37 PM »
Sorry guys -- I really don't intend to be a tease with things, in a mean sense!  I just like to acknowledge that I'm hearing what is being said, though I'm not always ready to discuss my thought process yet in terms of the solutions I'm trying out.  I've tried the latter before, and it winds up taking a ton of time and creating huge amounts of confusion and debate and general unhappiness.  I'm thinking mainly back to Valley 1.  Anyway, so I learned my lesson on that.

But at the same time I don't want to tell you nothing, and just leave you thinking that nothing is in the works or being considered, so it winds up being a tease.  Blah.   :P
No worries. All is good :).
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Offline x4000

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Re: (Chris) I'm working on a few things.
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2015, 03:08:09 PM »
I know, I could tell; but I don't like being an accidental tease when I can help it. :)
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Offline crazyroosterman

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Re: (Chris) I'm working on a few things.
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2015, 04:14:19 PM »
Sorry guys -- I really don't intend to be a tease with things, in a mean sense!  I just like to acknowledge that I'm hearing what is being said, though I'm not always ready to discuss my thought process yet in terms of the solutions I'm trying out.  I've tried the latter before, and it winds up taking a ton of time and creating huge amounts of confusion and debate and general unhappiness.  I'm thinking mainly back to Valley 1.  Anyway, so I learned my lesson on that.

But at the same time I don't want to tell you nothing, and just leave you thinking that nothing is in the works or being considered, so it winds up being a tease.  Blah.   :P
no problem this should be very interesting if you told us what you were doing ptarth would just criticise you any way and tell you that your completely wrong any way so I think this is for the better. (disclaimer I'm joking)
c.r

Offline kasnavada

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Re: (Chris) I'm working on a few things.
« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2015, 05:13:30 PM »
@crazyroosterman: I see a camel around the corner, RUNNNN !

Offline x4000

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Re: (Chris) I'm working on a few things.
« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2015, 09:07:19 PM »
Hahaha, you guys crack me up.   :D  I love it here.  :)
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Offline x4000

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Re: (Chris) I'm working on a few things.
« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2015, 11:57:43 AM »
Work on this is coming along, I just wanted to let you know.  It's a big undertaking, though, because it changes a huge amount of stuff code-wise.  Basically the game is getting discrete Risk-style territories that you can control, and a lot of things that previously had invisible radii that you had to see lots of overlays to understand instead move to being  territory-wide, or in some cases "this territory plus adjacent ones."

It also does some really cool things with the larger bodies of water, based on inspiration from one of my favorite Risk variants, the Lord of the Rings Trilogy Edition Risk.  That's an awesome boardgame, and the sea paths are set up there in a way more interesting way than in regular Risk or even Risk 2210 AD, which is another one I like a lot (but you only get 5 ultra-long turns in that one, which I don't like).

There have been ongoing requests for clarity of area of effects, and this really will clear up so many of those things while also adding some cool new strategic aspects to the terrain (thanks to Territory shapes) that didn't exist before.

You guys wanted ways to keep the AI from building random junk inside your city limits.  Well, with Territories, now that's a thing.

You guys wanted ways to see district distances better, and plan those more ideally.  Well, districts are going away, in exchange for much more straightforward territory control that follows some similar rules but makes it all a lot simpler.

You guys want ways to know when you're getting too close to an isolationist AI, and ways to build up military which then doesn't feel too static in terms of doing an invasion.  Well, with attacks shifting to mostly be based on district adjacency (a few exceptions) rather than literal ranges of stuff, a lot of that fiddling goes away.  Some things still need to be tested there in terms of what is ideal in terms of interceptors in particular to eliminate first-mover advantages.  I have about three different ways I'm thinking of handling that, and I'm not sure yet which is the best.  Some of that will also come down to diplomacy, which is still in for a giant makeover but required the territory stuff first.

On my own end, I wanted some simpler ways for AIs to evaluate distances between groups of things and thus make decisions about threats.  With 10k+ tiles, that gets computationally expensive or RAM expensive or both, so with territories this gets a lot simpler and thus allows for more complex AI decision making that can factor in a ton more.

Oh, and also you guys wanted more early-game goals and investment, and part of that for me comes down to capturing unoccupied territories.  It's a lot like the early grab for planets in AI War, which I always liked a lot.  It gives clear and immediate goals.  And with upcoming changes and additions that we're going to be making to monsters -- some of those are still a couple of weeks out, though -- that will fit right in and give you some early-game foes of appropriate challenge without wrecking your relations with the main factions.

This also allows me to do a lot of position-based stuff that I've been wanting to do with trade and diplomacy and other things of that nature, and that's very exciting because it will now be possible to do this both clearly and quickly, thus streamlining certain things for you as well as adding another layer of tactics because you have to think about adjacency there as well as protecting those things rather than just putting them wherever.  Those changes won't be in this week, but I'm really excited about them.

Territories were in my initial designs for the game, but got cut before we got too far because I couldn't make them visually work, and because enough of the rest of the game wasn't fleshed out enough for it to really make sense.  But in terms of the combat model, you can really feel the lack of territories since that was a part of their original concept that had to be adapted to a territory-less model (and didn't make the transition smoothly).

I've spent the last couple of days getting territories generating in new and existing maps, and making sure that there is a way that they are feasible to draw and make clear and attractive.  They aren't actually attractive yet, because it's still programmer scribbles to some extent, so I'm not yet ready to show screenshots (maybe tomorrow).  But I've proved to myself that it's technically possible, and even my programmer scribbles look pretty darn cool except if you look too closely at them.  So that problem has been solved, which is an elating sort of feeling.  Part of that was actually making the territories generate in ways that are interesting and that conform to the terrain in somewhat-sensible ways.  That's all done, and it's amazing how much more exciting I now find the maps when I look at them.  That's me, anyway.

The TLDR is that territories solve almost all of the game's largest problems, and I've been quietly mulling and planning and writing notes on them for the last couple of weeks as I tried to pull everything together in my head.  Once I had that solidified enough, I wanted to test out the visuals first to make sure this wouldn't make the game look suddenly like junk.  It's the opposite effect, so I'm now doubly happy and going full blast with this.

In unrelated news:

Keith is working on a huge amount of stuff with the top toolbar, which should make the clarity on that waaaay better.  There will still be more things I want to do with some of that in terms of cutting things or moving things, but those are a lot less critical in my view than what he is working on right now.


Anyway, just thought I'd share a bit more news on this now that I'm comfortable.  The next patch is not going to be available until late tomorrow at the very earliest, and probably on Friday more realistically.  We shall see.  I might do a release sooner than later, but just with the AI midlly lobotomized in how it handles things, so we can test the citybuilding components and get that working before the real work with the AIs kicks in.  We're a couple of weeks out before my current "true vision" for the game is realized in terms of all the things that are changing based on feedback and testing.

It's all an evolution of what's there, but like the change to being able to place buildings wherever you want in your city bounds, as opposed to only being able to place them adjacent to other buildings, those evolutions can really feel like a revolution in terms of how it plays and just... well, feels.  So I'm very excited about this, as you might gather. ;)
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Offline topper

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Re: (Chris) I'm working on a few things (territories).
« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2015, 12:38:47 PM »
Sounds awesome.

I had been pondering a way to care more about specific areas on the map by combining hexes into regions (territories now).

They could also be an excellent way of interacting with the AI. "I claim this territory, we go to war over it, if anybody else builds in it i will war them too". This can be used to create clear boundaries and goals for wars.

Offline x4000

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Re: (Chris) I'm working on a few things (territories).
« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2015, 12:40:33 PM »
Yep, exactly.  It also creates a new "currency" of sorts that you can use in negotiations with the AI.

Thoraxians: "Give me territory X or saucers will be showing up imminently."

Etc.
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Offline Mick

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Re: (Chris) I'm working on a few things (territories).
« Reply #13 on: June 10, 2015, 12:50:40 PM »
Interesting. Territories sound similar to how Endless Legend's regions work. Definitely will make the game look much more like a 4X.

Offline topper

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Re: (Chris) I'm working on a few things (territories).
« Reply #14 on: June 10, 2015, 01:07:59 PM »
Yep, exactly.  It also creates a new "currency" of sorts that you can use in negotiations with the AI.

Thoraxians: "Give me territory X or saucers will be showing up imminently."

Etc.

Plus you can snag territory and not need to immediately fill all the gaps with buildings in order to hold it.