Author Topic: Specs are finally feature-complete. :)  (Read 6361 times)

Offline x4000

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Specs are finally feature-complete. :)
« on: February 28, 2015, 12:24:17 AM »
The actual implementation won't be finished until about Thursday most likely, but I'm going to be shifting majorly into more full-testing mode even prior to then.  As well as working on the attack animations and getting those wired up so that I'll be comfortable doing a video of the game, heh.

This is a very exciting milestone, because it means that now -- once Keith finishes his implementation, which of course logically always lags after specs being written (it's a pipeline, after all) -- we'll be able to shift into refinement, refactoring, bugfixing, enhancing, balancing, testing, etc.  We've been doing some of that the whole way, of course, but this will really let us go into that full-out.

I want to have about two weeks of time with just myself on that sort of testing so that we can get all the main things nailed down, and then we'll start bringing in alpha players.  Then about two months, give or take slightly, of testing with more players.

We might add a feature here or there, particularly small stuff that fits into the existing framework, and we will certainly add some more pure-content things like disease names (which require very little data and absolutely no art or programming), but in terms of the main structure of the game the goal was to get that complete so that it can actually be played as it was intended.

All in all at the moment we have:
- 104 technologies on the main tech tree
- 17 unique social progress categories
- 8 different categories of procedurally-generated "market items," which are kind of a tech tree of their own.
- 118 underground buildings, most of which are AI-only alien-specific (only 3 are not).
- 200 surface city buildings overall, with 107 of those being human-only and 93 being AI-only.
- A further 6 "multi-racial" buildings that are used for 11 of the races in AI-only circumstances, and skinned to match the race's theme.
- 42 leaders overall, split across the 14 races (3 each).
- A semi-procedural disease model.
- Diplomacy
- Translations of 14 alien races.
- 5 ways to "dominate" a race other than militarily (those being diplomacy, economy, intellectual, entertainment, and espionage).
- Thieves, spies, blockades, and a variety of other things.
- Straightforward air, sea, land, and ranged combat -- but no units!
- 11 overall "wonders" that are unrelated to special victory conditions, and then a further 7 wonders that are exclusively for specific victory conditions (the other 11 wonders may be required for various victory conditions but also have functions outside of those victory conditions).
- 9 different "natural wonders" for you to encounter in the world via exploration.  These we likely will add more of, but probably late in the process.
- 17 different "underground monsters."
- Oh yeah, there are 49 different special things you can get various races to do.  We called the system "superpowers" under the hood, but some of them are mundane and some of them are definitely superpowers.  Some of these are shared by many races, others are limited to just a single race.
- The AI is a really extensible system (internally, by us) that is also multi-threaded per AI race, all running in parallel.
- Pollution is modeled.
- Also crime, woundings in battle, accidents, taxes, waste disposal, body disposal or burial, food/water/meal production, power production, etc.  Most of those systems are very simple, but there are a lot of them all intermingling so that's really good!
- 33 unique resources are in the game, and have a variety of special effects, as well as resource-user buildings that let you augment adjacent buildings.  Or you can sell the resources.
- The terraforming thing is in there, with 3 unique terrain types per race except for the flying and underwater ones (which have none), and the Acutians, which happen to have 4.  This is the method for managing climatology, aka the atmospheric composition.

Art-wise:
- All of the terrain art is 100% complete.
- Some of the particle effects are complete.
- All of the soldier art for combat animations is complete, but the animations themselves are not.
- The various vehicle art is a mixture of levels of complete, but all of it is modeled.
- 96 out of the 104 tech tree icons are complete.
- 75 out of the 118 underground building images are complete.
- None of the underground monsters have official art yet, but the stand-in stuff is clear for now (just not too pretty).
- 87 out of 107 human buildings are completely done (although 3 more are almost done except for some last tuning).
- 18 out of the 66 surface multi-racial buildings are done.
- 26 out of the 94 surface alien buildings are done.
- 35 out of 42 of the alien leader portraits are done.
- 6 out of the 17 social progress images are complete.
- the gui for the tech tree and social progress screens are pretty much complete.
- the gui for the other subscreens are semi-done, but have a lot of visual touching-up that is needed in various parts.
- the gui for the top of the main screen is pretty much done, pending any last shifts.
- the gui for the bottom of the main screen is about 70% done, and still needs some shifts that we just haven't made a priority yet.
- the lobby gui is really kind of a joke right now, because we just implemented it as roughly as we could for our own testing.  so that's one more thing prior to larger-scale testing, not that it's a big part of the game (but it's an important first impression).


Overall the specs that I wrote up are currently 215 pages, or 85,135 words.  That's not really including much in the way of data definitions, which fills many code files and spreadsheets and xml files and flat files, as the case warrants.  The code itself is large and robust, and though it's not fully optimized yet it already runs very pleasingly smoothly.  So far we have managed to keep between-turn times sub-second on my machine, although that won't always be the case I imagine.  Still, substantial late-game slowdown is not something we expect to be a huge thing given the way this is design.  We hate that slowdown as much as you.  In fact, I might hate it more than you, depending on how you are. ;)


Ah... yeah.  So, it's coming along very well, and I'm super pleased to be at this point.  It's a huge game, and there is still a lot for us to do in terms of bringing it to 1.0 status, but it's looking really good so far. :)
« Last Edit: February 28, 2015, 03:34:44 PM by x4000 »
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Offline Captain Jack

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Re: Specs are finally feature-complete. :)
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2015, 12:34:26 AM »
Congratulations!  :) Love to see how much you're into the soft-power interactions. So many games forget how powerful--and immersive--that can be. Art imitating life maybe?

Got any more terrain art you're willing to share? That's always fun to look at.

Offline Aklyon

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Re: Specs are finally feature-complete. :)
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2015, 10:54:34 AM »
Huzzah for progress :)

Offline chemical_art

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Re: Specs are finally feature-complete. :)
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2015, 11:09:35 AM »
Sounds great!

I volunteer to be the last wave of testers, to give a "experienced but unlearned" view of the game from someone who only has a hint of what to do.
Life is short. Have fun.

Offline mrhanman

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Re: Specs are finally feature-complete. :)
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2015, 12:34:12 PM »
Woohoo! It's finally happening!  :D


Offline x4000

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Re: Specs are finally feature-complete. :)
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2015, 12:56:10 PM »
Thanks all! :)  I'm really excited, too.  And yep, I like things being a bit more subtle with the relationships between the races, etc.

chemical_art: I have you added down.

Watashiwa: Here's some more art for you, just some bits I had lying around.  Those are some of the "multi-racial" tiles that are the same buildings, but reskinned for different races.  First skylaxians and then boarines.



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Offline Aklyon

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Re: Specs are finally feature-complete. :)
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2015, 01:16:51 PM »
Neo Neodor?

Offline x4000

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Re: Specs are finally feature-complete. :)
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2015, 02:20:02 PM »
Neo Neodor?

Heh, that reference whooshed over my head and google fails me. What is it?
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Offline x4000

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Re: Specs are finally feature-complete. :)
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2015, 02:21:28 PM »
Oh! The screenshot, got it. Necdor. Hence my confusion. It's just the name of that particular city.
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Offline Captain Jack

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Re: Specs are finally feature-complete. :)
« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2015, 03:04:14 PM »
Thanks Chris! I love how thematic the buildings are.

You mentioned in places that you have separate cities. Since you're building the cities straight on the map, the world is several times larger than most 4X games, right? How computer intensive is SBR? My desktop is future proof, but my laptop much less so.

Offline x4000

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Re: Specs are finally feature-complete. :)
« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2015, 03:26:58 PM »
I think I had a thread about this somewhere else, but the map sizes are definitely larger than, say, Civilization.  The smallest map here is I think 2x larger than the largest Civ map?  Something like that.

The AI empires are much smaller, visually, than yours.  You can build up to around 6 cities, but honestly beyond 2-3 is probably going to be a pain unless you're doing something really specific.  Having 2 is really good, 3 is often a good idea.  4 and up is something that is a more esoteric strategy most of the time, is what I mean.

Also, if you're having 4+ cities then you are probably either terraforming away the oceans (or playing with very little water to start with), or you're destroying several other races to make room.

You can "have" more cities than that in some respects, though, in that you can subjugate foes that you have on the ropes so to speak, and then they will keep doing their own thing on their own, but never attack you and instead lend you some of their power and all of their production.  So you can get little puppet states if you so desire, but you don't get to manage those directly like you do your own cities.

All of the AI races just have one city each, mainly because that turned out to be easier to code.  But they can use special buildings to have remote locations that then build outwards.  A city does not have to be geographically continuous -- it's more of an organizational thing.  If you wanted to get really confusing and build yourself a patchwork pair of cities where literally you made a checkerboard out of which tiles belonged to which of your cities that were on top of one another... well, you could do that I suppose.  You could also have one city in the east, another in the west, and then some more pieces of the west city even further east than the east city.  But just some little parts, etc.  There are pros and cons to doing that versus having an actual third city, or keeping all your pieces together.

For the first while in each game, you just get one city, period.  You have to get to social level 7 at minimum before you can even consider adding a second city, so by that point you've gotten your capitol up and going to the point where your strategy for the middle game is at least probably pretty clear.

Anyway, I realized that there was no benefit to the individual AI players having more than one city, because they could just build geographically-disjointed single cities and that keeps the management layer for their AI simpler.  And it's all the same to you as the player, really.  Either way the rules on things like transport and so forth apply, whether it's founding a new city or establishing a new... let's say "suburb" of an existing city.
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Offline Cinth

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Re: Specs are finally feature-complete. :)
« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2015, 03:30:30 PM »
!!!

~posting obligatory excitement building meme~
Quote from: keith.lamothe
Opened your save. My computer wept. Switched to the ST planet and ship icons filled my screen, so I zoomed out. Game told me that it _was_ totally zoomed out. You could seriously walk from one end of the inner grav well to the other without getting your feet cold.

Offline x4000

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Re: Specs are finally feature-complete. :)
« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2015, 03:35:35 PM »
 ;D
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Offline Captain Jack

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Re: Specs are finally feature-complete. :)
« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2015, 04:31:47 PM »
And I said wow. How did you come up with this?

Offline Aklyon

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Re: Specs are finally feature-complete. :)
« Reply #14 on: February 28, 2015, 04:44:07 PM »
Oh! The screenshot, got it. Necdor. Hence my confusion. It's just the name of that particular city.
Ah. Neo Neodor just sounded silly, Neo Necdor not so much. :)

 

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