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  Presidium- An SF Citybuilder  (Read 24150 times)
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Offline Morgan Allen
« Posted 2011-07-27 16:30:06 »

EDIT:  I only just realised I could modify this post- a lot of the art has been substantially modified by now, and the actual game engine is much more mature.  Youtube vid and github codebase here-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k1WnR5yl1Vc
https://github.com/Morgan-Allen/Presidium

I'll clean this up more later.



Bastion
Part palace, part fortress, part centre of administration.  Houses the governing family of the fief, visiting diplomats, and a cadre of veteran soldiers, technicians, and auditors.


Artificer's Foundry
Blacksmith-equivalent.  Furnishes weapons, armour, parts and circuitry from ores and plastics.  Also pollutes.  Needed to build/supervise Reactors, Shipyards or Excavation Sites.


Ecologist's Conservatory
Used to capture, study, and modify native or introduced species, in order to enhance agricultural output, foment symbiosis, or prevent runaway growth.  Needed to construct Botanical Stations, Flesh Stills, Former Plants or Solar Arrays.


Cantina
You will nowhere find a more wretched hive, etc.  Provides low-grade entertainment and a ready supply of soma.  Tends to attract the criminal underclasses, such as runners and mercenaries.


Culture Vats
Used to brew up medicine, soma, and, if need be, basic foodstuffs.  Takes up less space than farms, but increases pollution and power consumption.


Excavation Site
Used to extract ores from the local terrain, either via strip mining, underground shafts, or mantle drilling.  Occasionally, excavators can uncover rare and powerful artifacts (and/or robotic guardians best left undisturbed.)  Generates significant pollution.


Fabricator
Weaves plastics and finery from foodstuffs (carbs, protein, greens) or ores.


Reactor
Converts ores into power and fuel rods.  Essential to constructing Field Projectors, Former Plants or an Atomic Fane, but generates significant waste/pollution.


Field Projector
Erects a defensive shield around a given sector to ward off enemy bombardment, and/or (on marginal worlds,) a containment field to minimise loss of atmosphere.  Advanced infrastructure may even permit cloaking.


House Garrison
Extends the administrative and military functions of the Bastion, including emergency quarters for base personnel.


Botanical Station
Used to promote farming/aquaculture/forestry, both as a food source (carbs and greens) and to advance terraforming.


Physician's Clinic
Provides healthcare to the local populace, given an adequate supply of medicine and/or spices, and keeps the dead in cold storage for dissection and possible revival.  (Lax security protocols may lead an epidemic of Infected instead.)  Needed to construct a House Archives, Culture Vats, Detention Facility or Minder's Creche.


P.L.A.Z.A
Short for Personnel Life-support Administration Zone Access.  A sort of 'town square/fountain' combination, also helping to recycle waste/water and provide beautification.


Pleasure Dome
In Xanadu did Kubla Khan, etc.  A place for upper-class citizens to go and unwind.  (Think Star Trek's Risa crossed with the Companion training house from Firefly.)


Press Office
Generates prolefeed to keep your populace happy, loyal and intellectually sedated.  Can also print a limited amount of physical credits, but that won't endear you with the Senate.


Stock Exchange
A shopping centre for upper class goods- greens, protein, spices, plastics.  Allows development- and taxation- of higher tiers of housing nearby.


Supply Depot
Permits requisition of basic goods- carbs, fuel rods, parts and medicine.  Needed for offworld or long-distance trade.


Surveyor's Redoubt
A cheaply-built and easily relocated 'camp' for the benefit of those brave souls which patrol your borders and map the landscape.  Camouflaged to avoid detection.


Vault Entrance
Provides access to your underground vault system, acting as an emergency shelter, long-term storage facility, source of basic power and life support, and light transport system.  Poorly-maintained vault infrastrucure can become home to giant roaches and nasty alien critters.


Atomic Fane
The Bomb giveth, and the Bomb taketh away.  Used to help maintain the delicate balance of power between feuding houses, and often an object of superstitious reverence.


Flesh Still
Used to extract water, protein and spices from the dessicated corpses of animals and/or the recently dead.  Often takes on a ritual significance within impoverished communities.


Sandpanner
Used to extract small amounts of ores, greens and/or spices from normally unbuildable terrain- deserts, seas and even the open atmosphere.  Needs power, but won't pollute.


Field Quarters
Emergency shelter for base personnel or operations in the field.


I have some actual working code for this project, but it's undergoing significant overhaul at the moment, so it may be another while before I can provide a working demo, and only a fraction of the above has actually been implemented to date.  So no public demo for now.  Sorry.

Like the title says, this is my effort at creating a sci-fi citybuilder, loosely based on, among many many other things, Dune, the Foundation series, and one of my personal favourite video games, Majesty, though at present it perhaps owes more to the Impressions lineage.  The setting is a vaguely post-apocalyptic space opera affair, mostly focused on politics and with a low level of non-human involvement.

So, for the present, here's a rundown on various in-game structures.  (More to follow, as and when I get around to them.)
Offline kevglass

JGO Kernel


Medals: 85
Projects: 25


Coder, Trainee Pixel Artist, Game Reviewer


« Reply #1 - Posted 2011-07-27 17:06:29 »

Really lovely art, one to watch! Smiley

Kev

Offline tberthel
« Reply #2 - Posted 2011-07-28 06:16:44 »

Nice.

Games published by our own members! Check 'em out!
Legends of Yore - The Casual Retro Roguelike
Offline Morgan Allen
« Reply #3 - Posted 2011-07-28 10:41:07 »

Thanks. Smiley  I'll keep you posted of any updates.
Offline Cero
« Reply #4 - Posted 2011-07-28 13:05:37 »

I love RTS' and especially dune.
This is relevant to my interests.

Offline Morgan Allen
« Reply #5 - Posted 2011-07-29 13:51:59 »

Yeah, Dune is a big favourite of mine.  Also taking a few hints from the Fallout series.  Just added pics/description for the Atomic Fane, Flesh Still, Sandpanner and Field Quarters.

I should caution, though, that the gameplay I have in mind here is only slightly RTS-ish.  One of the things I loved about Majesty was it's very 'hands-off' approach to executive power- you just put up bounties for the completion of particular tasks and left your 'heroes' to handle the details.
Offline vyh

Senior Newbie





« Reply #6 - Posted 2011-07-29 13:57:10 »

Very nice Art!

Which software you draw this? use Graphics tablet?
Offline Morgan Allen
« Reply #7 - Posted 2011-07-29 14:04:47 »

Very nice Art!

Which software you draw this? use Graphics tablet?
I sketch using pen&paper, then scan them in, clean them up, and colour them in photoshop elements.  (My initial sketches are often really crappy, but it's hard to 'doodle' freely using a mouse.)  I really *should* invest in a graphics tablet...
Offline Riven
« League of Dukes »

JGO Overlord


Medals: 605
Projects: 4
Exp: 16 years


Hand over your head.


« Reply #8 - Posted 2011-07-29 14:22:00 »

I know that an 'investment' is relative, but you can get a perfectly fine Wacom Bamboo tablet for 60 EUR (~$85)

Hi, appreciate more people! Σ ♥ = ¾
Learn how to award medals... and work your way up the social rankings
Offline Morgan Allen
« Reply #9 - Posted 2011-07-29 14:39:14 »

I know that an 'investment' is relative, but you can get a perfectly fine Wacom Bamboo tablet for 60 EUR (~$85)
Duly noted.
Games published by our own members! Check 'em out!
Legends of Yore - The Casual Retro Roguelike
Offline Eli Delventhal

JGO Kernel


Medals: 42
Projects: 12


Game Engineer


« Reply #10 - Posted 2011-07-29 19:38:28 »

Very cool! What's soma? At first I thought you were talking about San Francisco:

SF = San Francisco
SOMA = South Of Market Avenue (business district in SF)

Tongue

I absolutely loved Majesty, so I'm looking forward to seeing your progress.

See my work:
OTC Software
Offline Morgan Allen
« Reply #11 - Posted 2011-07-30 13:22:53 »

Very cool! What's soma?
Mild recreational narcotics- e.g, booze.  It's a reference to the term from Brave New World.  (SF means 'serious' science fiction, like the Mars Trilogy or 2001, as opposed to 'frivolous' science fiction, like Godzilla or Star Wars.  They often get mixed up, though... Tongue)
Quote
I absolutely loved Majesty, so I'm looking forward to seeing your progress.
"She asked me to tell her what it is to rule," Paul said. "And I said that one commands. And she said I had some unlearning to do."

Yeah, Majesty was a great game in a lot of respects.  I enjoyed the citybuilder series a lot, but nothing gives the characters a sense of genuine personality like seeing them strike off and do things on their own initiative every now and then- (or, conversely, refuse to strike off and do things.)  Try getting those monks to chase bounties, for example...
Offline Morgan Allen
« Reply #12 - Posted 2011-08-03 14:17:13 »

(I should clarify that Star Wars has definite virtues as a storytelling device based on character-personality and action/drama, but my point is that the actual science involved is either flimsy or thematically irrelevant.  That's not a putdown, it's just a point of classification.)

Added entries for the Detention Facility and Minder's Creche.  Not my best work, but it'll have to do for now...

The graphics I have left to do are the Former Plant, Archives, Shipyard, Studio, various semi-decorative 'aura' buildings, the 6 temples, homes for the non-human races, and various wildlife/native lairs.  Oh, and housing.  (Strictly speaking, I already have concepts done for the temples and housing, but they need to be revised and updated.  Maybe an Ansible Chamber and Enclosure Pylon too...)
Offline Mads

JGO Ninja


Medals: 24
Projects: 3


One for all!


« Reply #13 - Posted 2011-08-03 14:53:45 »

How much code do you have? Anything playable? Can we see a picture of gameplay?

Offline Morgan Allen
« Reply #14 - Posted 2011-08-03 16:31:07 »

How much code do you have? Anything playable? Can we see a picture of gameplay?
I've had something semi-playable for a while now, but only a small fraction of the total content has been implemented thus far.  There's a basic screenshot from... I guess over a year ago here.

EDIT:  More recent screens are available here.
Offline Morgan Allen
« Reply #15 - Posted 2011-08-06 01:59:54 »

Tried out the Wacom Bamboo today (yesterday?  I lose track...)  It takes a little getting used to, but early results seem promising.  Much of the details on the Former Plant came that way.  Which, as it so happens, is up now, (plus minor tweaks to the Field Projector, Detention Facility and Minder's Creche.)
Offline Riven
« League of Dukes »

JGO Overlord


Medals: 605
Projects: 4
Exp: 16 years


Hand over your head.


« Reply #16 - Posted 2011-08-06 02:14:50 »

Tried out the Wacom Bamboo today (yesterday?  I lose track...)  It takes a little getting used to, but early results seem promising.

It will grow on you. I often don't know whether I'm holding a mouse of a pen, I have to look Smiley


It's sad that those wacom bamboo tablets are delivered with such poor default configuration. Take a look at the settings panel and adjust everything to your needs.

Also disable Microsofts' tablet/pen input service (taskmanager -> services -> ...) as it screws up dragging -- it adds a 250ms delay and a useless animation around your cursor...

Hi, appreciate more people! Σ ♥ = ¾
Learn how to award medals... and work your way up the social rankings
Offline Morgan Allen
« Reply #17 - Posted 2011-08-17 22:54:21 »

Also disable Microsofts' tablet/pen input service (taskmanager -> services -> ...) as it screws up dragging -- it adds a 250ms delay and a useless animation around your cursor...
I use a Mac, so the config options seem to be pretty limited.  Thanks for the tip, though.

Arena and Archives currently in the works.  I'm gonna have to revise the minder's creche and former plant too.

I'm not sure if I should start a separate thread for this, but does anyone know of a good, relatively simple format for importing/exporting 3d models with animations?  I'm using Milkshape at the moment, but the support community there seems to be dead, and I'd like to have some kinda fallback format available.
Offline Eli Delventhal

JGO Kernel


Medals: 42
Projects: 12


Game Engineer


« Reply #18 - Posted 2011-08-18 01:10:24 »

I had a Wacom on a Mac for years and very much liked it. Unfortunately it fell on the floor and someone put their chair on top of it, and that was that.

See my work:
OTC Software
Offline TheHappyCog

Junior Newbie





« Reply #19 - Posted 2011-08-27 05:40:20 »

Apologies in advance for straying off topic just slightly, but:

Good news! And by good news, I mean bad news. Paradox has announced a turn-based spinoff of Majesty called Warlock: Master of the Arcane. And they're tasking Ino-Co with it again.

I wish you the best on this project, because it increasingly seems that Majesty would have been better off remaining a retired franchise.
Offline Morgan Allen
« Reply #20 - Posted 2011-08-28 16:44:00 »

Apologies in advance for straying off topic just slightly, but:

Good news! And by good news, I mean bad news. Paradox has announced a turn-based spinoff of Majesty called Warlock: Master of the Arcane. And they're tasking Ino-Co with it again.
I'm tempted to wax lyrical about how that tower defence game was the apex of their creative genius, but I'm actually not averse to turn-based strategy myself.  I'm just skeptical that Majesty's key gameplay features either can or will be faithfully adapted to the context.

In the meantime, here's a crude quickie screenshot showing work in progress.  (EDIT:  Also, some walls.)  Renovations to the AI have obliged me to axe substantial portions of the gameplay (namely, all the missions/flags/bounties,) until I can restore them in proper working order.  However, the core AI has been greatly streamlined, making it rather more reliable, so adding functionality should be less painful now.  I also need to polish up the UI considerably.

My next major concern would be to add models/animations for a few more ambient critters (aliens, robots, mutant primitives and what have you.)  Then I can get into the meat of combat/diplomacy.  On the subject of 3D file formats... ...I'm leaning toward using the Cal3D format and *shudder* Blender as a fallback system.  No choice, really.
Offline Eli Delventhal

JGO Kernel


Medals: 42
Projects: 12


Game Engineer


« Reply #21 - Posted 2011-08-29 19:00:43 »

Apologies in advance for straying off topic just slightly, but:

Good news! And by good news, I mean bad news. Paradox has announced a turn-based spinoff of Majesty called Warlock: Master of the Arcane. And they're tasking Ino-Co with it again.

I wish you the best on this project, because it increasingly seems that Majesty would have been better off remaining a retired franchise.
I loved Majesty, I just got Majesty 2 and tried to play it online. It's horribly broken, and I Googled why and found that the developers themselves said something like "multiplayer is horribly broken, and will never be fixed."

That's completely and totally f**ked. If you make a game like Majesty then I will love it, just don't do the same shit.

See my work:
OTC Software
Offline Morgan Allen
« Reply #22 - Posted 2011-08-29 23:48:39 »

I loved Majesty, I just got Majesty 2 and tried to play it online. It's horribly broken, and I Googled why and found that the developers themselves said something like "multiplayer is horribly broken, and will never be fixed."
This is even more impressive when one considers that most of the gameplay changes introduced (versus the original game) seem to have had exhaustive MP balancing in mind.  That's right- the game that was designed almost exclusively around multiplayer balancing doesn't have any functional multiplayer.
Quote
That's completely and totally f**ked. If you make a game like Majesty then I will love it, just don't do the same shit.
I really enjoyed Majesty MP, but it's a little outside the scope of what I have planned at the moment (particularly if you insist on more elaborate cheat-prevention measures.)  My main concern for the present is on reasonably solid single-player.
Offline Eli Delventhal

JGO Kernel


Medals: 42
Projects: 12


Game Engineer


« Reply #23 - Posted 2011-08-30 18:44:31 »

I loved Majesty, I just got Majesty 2 and tried to play it online. It's horribly broken, and I Googled why and found that the developers themselves said something like "multiplayer is horribly broken, and will never be fixed."
This is even more impressive when one considers that most of the gameplay changes introduced (versus the original game) seem to have had exhaustive MP balancing in mind.  That's right- the game that was designed almost exclusively around multiplayer balancing doesn't have any functional multiplayer.
Quote
That's completely and totally f**ked. If you make a game like Majesty then I will love it, just don't do the same shit.
I really enjoyed Majesty MP, but it's a little outside the scope of what I have planned at the moment (particularly if you insist on more elaborate cheat-prevention measures.)  My main concern for the present is on reasonably solid single-player.
Oh yes, I wouldn't expect you to have multiplayer right away - I just expect a game I buy that says "online multiplayer" can actually do it.

See my work:
OTC Software
Offline Morgan Allen
« Reply #24 - Posted 2011-09-11 14:36:54 »

Revised versions of the Former Plant:



I thought it might be best to have a few, smaller versions to sprinkle around, but I'll have to see.

Here's the standard housing continuum:



Still not entirely happy with the 'blue' tier, but this should do for beta purposes.  I also mean to do some dreg slums and fancy high-rise arcologies for the nobility at some point.

Also, WIP on the shipyard (shipwright?  Launch silo?)  The idea is that it provides a kind of scaffolding/cradle for vehicle construction.  Possibly the base for a space elevator or launchpad..?  Looks kinda drab ATM, tho.

Offline charlieg

Senior Newbie


Medals: 1



« Reply #25 - Posted 2011-09-11 22:49:11 »

Hi Morgan.  Is all your artwork just for use by yourself?  Or are you posting it in such detail because you'd like to see it get used in a game - yours or otherwise?

Also how do you make your buildings?  Do you model them in 3D first?
Offline Morgan Allen
« Reply #26 - Posted 2011-09-12 09:54:22 »

Hi Morgan.  Is all your artwork just for use by yourself?  Or are you posting it in such detail because you'd like to see it get used in a game - yours or otherwise?

Also how do you make your buildings?  Do you model them in 3D first?
I'm- slowly- developing my own game for this purpose, so yeah the art is for personal use.  I suppose that posting just helps me to collect my thoughts.

These are all done strictly in 2D (though I use some isometric guidelines.)  I either sketch-and-scan, or use a tablet, then colour in photoshop elements.  Though I'm flattered you might confuse the two. Smiley
Offline Morgan Allen
« Reply #27 - Posted 2011-09-13 13:02:43 »

I suppose- if you wanted a more detailed explanation- that I tend to go through a couple of steps when I try to come up with a finished sprite.

1.  Look for prior examples.
To take an example, the Tyrell Corporation building from Blade Runner kinda influenced the Bastion design, particularly since the pyramid structure/sloped-egyptian-walls is faintly evocative of a 'futuristic retro architecture' look.  Which is good, since Dune features a 'futuristic retro society'- feudalism in space, abandonment of most automation, etc.

2.  Think about form vs. function.  What does this structure do?
Again, to take the Bastion, I want to give the impression of a structure designed to really take a beating.  The sloped walls are intended to weather shock-fronts from a nuclear attack, shutters over the windows, multiple lines of defence, and there's a sort of 'pillbox emplacement' look to the whole thing.

3.  Aim for fractal complexity.
There should be some areas that are very plain and unadorned, and some that are detailed.  Then, within those detailed areas, there are other areas of even higher detail, and within those, and so on down 2-to-4 levels of complexity (or whatever's appropriate to the size of the structure.)  It helps to draw the eye.

4.  Pick a good colour scheme.
I find more than 4 basic, primary colours or so tends to be confusing, but I add my colour afterwards, so I wind up trying to fit the colour to the form.  Reds are sort of warm and/or belligerent, blues are cold and/or non-threatening, greys and blacks are industrial, whites and pinks are sanitised, greens and yellows look busy and/or lush.  Obvious stuff, generally, but there are always occasional exceptions.

5.  Survival of the fittest.
My initial sketches are often fairly crap.  Once I get them into photoshop, I can stick bits and pieces of other doodles on top, copy and paste, tweak contrast, etc.  I might invest an hour or two of work on some line of investigative development that I then throw away.  Often, my best work just 'comes out' in one go, but sometimes I'll file a sketch of something I don't know what to do with and adapt it to a new function weeks/months later, and sometimes I go through 3 or 4 from-scratch revisions of a given piece until I'm happy with it.


In the meantime, here's a basic sequence of crops/aura buildings for the botanical station.
Offline TheHappyCog

Junior Newbie





« Reply #28 - Posted 2011-09-14 02:52:44 »

So I've affectionately nicknamed your project "Cybersty". It's completely tacky, but I'm well past the point of being able to change it in my mind.Cool Oh, and I'm going to plug this thing everywhere I go, if you are ever able to get it in a publicly consumable state.
Offline Morgan Allen
« Reply #29 - Posted 2011-09-23 01:26:16 »

So I've affectionately nicknamed your project "Cybersty". It's completely tacky, but I'm well past the point of being able to change it in my mind.Cool
I'm afraid to ask. Tongue  Well, when and if I manage to get it in a publicly consumable state, I'll let you know.

In the meantime, I have *finally* managed to model, UV map, texture and animate the quud, vareen and micovore.



...Which means I can finally implement hunting behaviours, once I finish sprites for animal lairs, ancient ruins, and native hutments.  I've also revised the sprites for local flora and mineral formations.  Hopefully I'll have some properly populated landscapes to show for it soon enough.
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