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1  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: SF Citybuilder- Buildings/Concept Art on: 2014-02-06 13:57:54
Huh.  Didn't realise I could modify the OP now.  Will do.

When I read that, I was initially thinking you have created a mind control facility for your game Cheesy
Mind control is actually one of the types of psyon ability the player-character can learn, and the palace level enhances range/cooldown on those, so... technically, it's pretty close.

Anyway, thanks for all the support, and I'll let you know once I have some major new feature to show off.
2  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: SF Citybuilder- Buildings/Concept Art on: 2014-01-27 19:40:29


Recent brainwave- for a long time I was agonising over the proper roles of various buildings, like the town vault, stock exchange, bastion, etc.- since a lot of the time, their functions seemed overlapping or mildly redundant, but I didn't want to just throw away all the effort invested in the art.  So I decided that I could re-use the art as different stages in a single-structure's 'upgrade sequence'.

It'll need some polish, but I'm pretty happy with how the town vault/bastion/palace sequence worked out.  In the meantime, there's been some more progress with the LibGDX conversion.  More at 11.
3  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: SF Citybuilder- Buildings/Concept Art on: 2014-01-21 16:55:07
Thank you!  Out of curiosity, any thoughts on the gameplay clips above?
4  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: SF Citybuilder- Buildings/Concept Art on: 2014-01-21 12:59:21
Good news everyoneI've taught the toaster to feel love!  Also, Kerai and I have made further progress on porting the game's graphics routines over to LibGDX & shaders, which means that we should be able to release demos for windows/linux, and possibly iOS/android, in the relatively near future.

At least one of the above statements is a lie.
5  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: SF Citybuilder- Buildings/Concept Art on: 2014-01-09 19:55:46
At any rate, closer to home, new videos covering ecology simulation and basic combat routines-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlvrmjijPsM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qGA_XUezSPw

EDIT:  Also, housing evolution-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jrt8innlkuM
6  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: SF Citybuilder- Buildings/Concept Art on: 2013-12-13 14:55:08
Haven't posted in a while, but just to keep folks in the loop:  New functionality/art is being delayed by sorting out bugs and gaps in *old* functionality/art.  Which is good, but not terribly exciting per se.  But I can likely post some new videos covering combat and housing evolution at least.

On a more promising note, I might have some good/big news to announce on the collaboration front some time in the new year.  We will see.


Expanding on some ideas from earlier in the thread, I think I may have worked out some more specific (though still hypothetical) solutions to the problems of 'scaling'.  The big step here would be to limit the game to a single planet (and possibly save others for expansions,) using a settlement paradigm similar to Deadlock or Sid Meier's Colonization.  The game therefore operates on 2-and-a-half distinct scales:  the settlement scale, and the planetary+homeworld scale.

Basically, each planetary faction (or House) has a backing or patron Homeworld which provides initial supplies and colonists, but gradually shifts from blessing to burden as your estates expand and more tribute has to be shipped back home.  Aside from being an interesting progressive-taxation mechanic, this allows a degree of integration with the larger setting, without having to model it too dynamically (the Homeworlds are too distant and populous for you to heavily impact their politics & culture during the course of the game.)

On the planetary level, however, the various sub-continental territories can all be claimed, invaded or colonised by the competing factions, who can themselves be allied or negotiated (or married?) with, all using the traditionally dynamic 4X or grand-strategy paradigm (albeit greatly simplified- we're not looking at more than 20 territories here.)  But the populations and extent of these territories are comparable, so it's reasonable to have them impact eachother.

That just leaves integration between your particular settlement and the management of a territory, which is tied to the shift between early and late-stage gameplay.  The 'early game' (at least within a particular assignment) consists of exploring the map, ferreting out resistance, and either conquering or assimilating it, while your initial base gradually expands into a mature settlement.  (The surrounding territory, of which this is merely the 'capital sector' is assumed to follow your rough example.)  This then gives you enough military, demographic or cultural clout that you can start throwing your weight around in adjacent territories, and begin gradually annexing them into your estates.

The way that this expansion is modelled on the settlement level is that your vassals and allies among the ruling classes will establish 'holiday homes' of a sort within your capital, so that as more tribute rolls in, the problems of securing and processing natural resources on the same map are largely displaced by the 'later-game' headaches of keeping visiting nobles pampered and obliging.  Which goes a fair ways toward ensuring they don't rebel, and helps provide an 'organic' method for interfacing with political intrigue, given that a large chunk of your citizens will be representatives of the ruling elite.

However, this still leaves the problem of (A) inheriting/conquering foreign settlements, and (B) coming back to your own settlement after long absences, both of which would require some method of doing relatively quick simulations of hundreds of in-game days of development and AI-ordered construction in ways which still create a functional economy.  And... I don't really want to think about that yet.

7  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: SF Citybuilder- Buildings/Concept Art on: 2013-11-23 18:37:58
Not much more progress to report at the moment (busy trying to fix up lairs, ruins and native villages, combat/contact missions, etc.)  In the meantime, here's a small demo video I might as well share:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k1WnR5yl1Vc
8  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: SF Citybuilder- Buildings/Concept Art on: 2013-11-16 18:58:19
Thank you!  We artists... well we love praise, yet we love truth better.

I don't have any immediate plans for a multiplayer option, but if it ever gets to the stage where I have proper voicelines and music done- and I hope it will- then I'll probably try adding multiplayer as well (at least over LAN or using a shared server a-la minecraft.)  I recall this was one of Kerai's wishlist options as well, so if folks have other requests, let me know.
9  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: SF Citybuilder- Buildings/Concept Art on: 2013-11-15 23:50:10
Updated the app with a couple of new psi-power features (such as save-and-quit,) and fixed a number of teething problems.
10  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: SF Citybuilder- Buildings/Concept Art on: 2013-11-11 23:50:51
Sorry about the hiatus, but here we are- a working, standalone demo app for OSX.  (I had to sort out some subtle bugs related to JVM versioning and decoding class files within jars.  Bah.)

https://github.com/Morgan-Allen/Presidium_Demo_Mac

There's a few extra features I need to either add or smooth out, but for now, this should be enough to play around with.  As always, feedback is welcome.


Oh, just so you know I haven't been idle- here's a very rough tone-sketch/preview of some supplementary art I've been working on- game-setup-screen portraits for (left to right) Houses Taygeta, Procyon, Suhail and Altair:

11  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: SF Citybuilder- Buildings/Concept Art on: 2013-10-30 16:51:31
The problem is that, although the java code itself should naturally be cross-platform, I'm apparently not making very efficient use of certain OpenGL features, and in ways that become very visible under windows drivers.  This is a problem that I certainly intend to address, but it will take time, so I won't be releasing on windows immediately.  (According to Kerai, it runs okay on Linux though, so that might be a nearer-term option.)

Thanks for the feedback anyways.
12  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: SF Citybuilder- Buildings/Concept Art on: 2013-10-30 16:11:31
Well, I have good news and bad news.  The good news is, the game should be just about ready to run as a standalone application- all the main structures are implemented (barring some inevitable tweaks and polishing,) the UI has been streamlined and psy powers implemented, and there's a main menu with setup and loading options, et cetera.  Bad news is, I need to get my machine serviced before I can reinstall the developer tools needs to bundle the app on OSX (which is the only platform I'd feel comfortable about releasing on for the moment.)

So, stay tuned...
13  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: SF Citybuilder- Buildings/Concept Art on: 2013-10-17 14:01:54
I just stumbled upon this over on hacker news.  If I'm eventually gonna port to LibGDX/shaders for the graphics side of things, I might consider porting the logic to one of those new-fangled concurrent-execution frameworks.  (Not today, mind.)

Sickbay functions seem to be working well, adding some polish/tweaks to the audit office, mining and archives.  (I keep forgetting stuff I need to do.  Ah, well.)  Also added basic version of the holo-arcade and edifice, but I'll probably need to polish up arcologies some more.
14  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: SF Citybuilder- Buildings/Concept Art on: 2013-10-07 22:25:00
...That was humour, people.

I think I just need to finish up some work on the surveillance post, sickbay and aesthete structures, and then I'll be more-or-less ready to put up something executable.
15  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: SF Citybuilder- Buildings/Concept Art on: 2013-10-05 12:12:51
@ Kagesh:  I appreciate the offer, though I should mention I'm going through some fixes to housing requirements that might cause massive housing de-evolution in the current saved-games.  (So, don't be surprised if that happens.)  But sure, testing is good!

@ opiop65:  Thanks for the link.  I would mention that site has a very attractive format in every respect aside from the centre-justified code segments.  ....Ow.
16  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: SF Citybuilder- Buildings/Concept Art on: 2013-10-03 21:12:06
I think I have that solution working now.   ...But sure, I guess a few pointers on shading technique wouldn't hurt.
17  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: SF Citybuilder- Buildings/Concept Art on: 2013-10-03 17:22:17
Oh, I fully intend to move to a shading-based engine in future, I just haven't gotten around to learning GLSL yet.  (Originally, I wanted the game to be able to run on older hardware, but at this stage anything shader-incompatible is probably on a scrapheap.)
18  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: SF Citybuilder- Buildings/Concept Art on: 2013-10-03 14:26:21
I appreciate the reference, though it seems to be going out of it's way to say 'don't ever use this, use shaders instead'.

I have thought of a different approach that might work.  I could basically store the old and new fog values as 2 layers of a 3-dimensional texture, and change the UV mapping of the fog-layer-geometry so as to interpolate between them over time.  I could either cache the intermediate results (about 1 meg per frame) or generate them as needed (maybe 1% of CPU) or simply apply the fog as one giant quad (which assumes perfectly flat terrain.)  I think the lattermost approach might be an acceptable hack for the moment (I have the capacity for proper 3d-terrain, but I'm not making any real use of it at the moment.)
19  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: SF Citybuilder- Buildings/Concept Art on: 2013-10-02 18:18:53
I've tried various blending options, but either they don't do what I need or I don't understand them properly.  (e.g, GL_MODULATE seems to multiply the two textures together, GL_ADD is too bright, and others give special treatment to the alpha channel, which I don't need.)

I could just do it on the CPU, but it's something I'd rather not every 25th of a second.
20  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: SF Citybuilder- Buildings/Concept Art on: 2013-10-02 10:40:01
Thanks for trying it out.  If you don't mind my asking, were you running it under windows/mac/linux?  I've had some noticeable slowdowns on other OS/hardware, so external reference points are good. Smiley

I've expanded considerably on the content associated with most of the structures in the game over the last month or so, and the economy mechanics are essentially sorted at this point.  There's a good deal of extra content to introduce or debug, but it's quantitative rather than qualitative- I know with some precision what needs to be done, and just have to follow well-defined steps to do it.  (Rather than being, e.g, paralysed with indecision over the proper tile resolution for terrain-mesh sections.)

This should be a representative sample of the current game-state:



There is one technical point I could use some advice on, though:  I've been updating the fog-of-war display so as to try and blend/fade visually between old and new fog values every second or so.  I'd prefer to do this purely using the GPU and without shaders (since I don't want to dive into those just yet.)  Is there any simple way for 'classic' GL to get and apply the weighted average of two textures, including their alpha... or have I missed something obvious?
21  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: SF Citybuilder- Buildings/Concept Art on: 2013-09-28 19:11:34
You can try out DebugBehaviour or DebugPathing instead (TBH, the functions are pretty loose at this stage.)  Cripes, I haven't posted in a while.  I'll letcha know what's happening soon.
22  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: SF Citybuilder- Buildings/Concept Art on: 2013-09-07 14:08:06
Planning to introduce some new critters at the moment-



From bottom-left to top-right, you can see the ee-evil looking defence drone, recon drone, demolition drone, tripod, cranial and tesseract.   At least a couple should be functional for the demo.  Working on ruins placement atm.
23  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: SF Citybuilder- Buildings/Concept Art on: 2013-09-06 09:44:32
Most of the simulation time is spent on pathfinding, so I put a lot of effort into a system for caching large-scale paths between different regions of the map.   Individual pathing-searches only happen every couple of seconds/when needed and only extend for a dozen tiles or so.  Proximity-detection uses a quad-tree registration scheme, rather than brute-force tile-checking.  And anything sim-intensive related to other AI is time-sliced using a scheduling system.

And they called me mad!  Mad they said!  Bwahahah!
24  Games Center / Featured Games / Re: Blue Saga on: 2013-09-05 11:33:03
Hmm.  Guess I'll have to try levelling up a bit more and practice my parrying. Smiley
25  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: SF Citybuilder- Buildings/Concept Art on: 2013-09-05 11:29:57
All-night coding binge.  Very tired, somewhat existentially disoriented.  Some interesting stuff though.

I was running my ecology simulation reasonably smoothly on a 64x64 map at 25x game speed with a population of around 220 creatures, which in principle translates to handling more than 5000 creatures at normal simulation speed.  Some actual profiling put the simulation-related CPU load at about 27%, up from 6.7% at 5x speed, which means that my original target capacity of handling 10,000 citizens on a 256x256 map ought to be feasible.  Whoo!  (Though on reflection that would probably be some kind of nightmarishly overcrowded hive-world dystopia.)

Rendering seems to be the more pressing bottleneck at the moment, and Kerai has done some very encouraging/promising work on porting milkshape models into the LibGDX environment.  I'll likely be looking into that next.
26  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: SF Citybuilder- Buildings/Concept Art on: 2013-09-02 19:51:00
Big bunch of small-to-medium updates (day/night effects, resting/recreation/performances at the cantina, medication and sick leave, plus tax and security patrols.)  Kerai has been kind enough to create a working .exe from an older version of the project, but I need to add a few more features and include a main menu before it's fit to demo, and there definitely seem to be serious performance problems under windows.  I'll keep y'all posted.

EDIT:  Kerai is also talking about porting at least the graphics packages to use LibGDX, but I'll leave him to fill in the details.
27  Games Center / Featured Games / Re: Blue Saga on: 2013-08-31 15:34:06
Hmm.  On reflection, some of the above might be due to network latency on my machine...

At any rate, outstanding work, so do keep it up.
28  Games Center / Featured Games / Re: Blue Saga on: 2013-08-29 09:46:02
This is fixed now!

Added some new areas and some abilities for the monsters, one of them being ink spit for the squids which covers the screen à la Mario Kart =D

Excellent.  I just finished the initial larva quest, a few other comments-
*  I think I might have run into an invisible larva someplace?  At one point, I kept taking damage without any visible enemy.
*  Is there a 'run' option of some kind, maybe at the price of a to-hit penalty?  Getting to some areas is kinda tedious, and being able to hit-and-evade would be useful in combat.
*  It's a minor point, but maybe the skills pane could keep the physical and magical skills grouped together (e.g, blunts and unarmed down at the bottom with swords/bows, etc.)?
*  Gotta say again: the art is adorable, and the music is great.  How did you come up with it?
29  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: SF Citybuilder- Buildings/Concept Art on: 2013-08-23 12:57:07
I'll PM you with the details, Keral.  Of course, any help would be appreciated.

Oh, in other news, citizen recruitment and upgrades/research are essentially done (though I still need to hook up said upgrades to their in-game effects), ambient danger levels should now factor into pathfinding, and citizen purchases of new weapons/armour seems to be working okay.

I've decided that, to placate my thirst for more stringent realism, I'll include an optional 'hard core SF' mode in the final release, where things like psion abilities will be reduced or eliminated, material and skill requirements for construction/manufacture are stricter, et cetera.
30  Games Center / Featured Games / Re: Blue Saga on: 2013-08-21 13:13:03
Sounds cool.  I'm afraid I have to report another bug at the moment- I just registered a character, and for some reason the game crashes whenever I click on the little 'helmet' icon at the top of the screen, with no error message.  It seems to be reproducible.
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