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  Presidium- An SF Citybuilder  (Read 30123 times)
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Offline Vermeer

JGO Coder


Medals: 16



« Reply #60 - Posted 2013-04-28 16:43:33 »

I could not resist having a quick look at what shadows may look like. Please forgive me for defacing your exellent artwork. It really is superb.
I still like the clean fresh look you have made. But here is the results of my shading in! Used 2 overlay layers in paint.net.
One for shadow colour, one for illumination colour. I was just curious as to how it would look.





Offline Morgan Allen
« Reply #61 - Posted 2013-04-29 10:07:08 »

I still like the clean fresh look you have made. But here is the results of my shading in! Used 2 overlay layers in paint.net.
One for shadow colour, one for illumination colour. I was just curious as to how it would look.
Well, shoot.  ...I'm sold.

Those look gorgeous.  (I'd eventually like to implement a day/night cycle, so it'd also be great to vary the intensity of shading and make interior lights stand out.)  I might PM you about this later.

In other news, some final tweaks to terrain generation, and basic versions of the mag line and shield wall are up on github.  (If you're looking to run it, TestGame has been renamed to WorldDebug, so watch that.)
Offline Morgan Allen
« Reply #62 - Posted 2013-05-06 13:55:15 »



Offworld immigration and supplies should now be working, along with extra work on maglines and shield walls.  I've disabled mining facilities for the moment while I work out the mechanics in more detail.
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Offline sproingie

JGO Kernel


Medals: 202



« Reply #63 - Posted 2013-05-07 17:37:10 »

I love the art style, but one thing I've noticed is that on lower-contrast (read: average) monitors, the color looks very washed out and a lot of the fine details are lost.  Looks fabulous on my expensive work monitor though.  Maybe a gamma calibration screen would be in order (one of those "adjust the slider until you can see X" things).
Offline Morgan Allen
« Reply #64 - Posted 2013-05-07 19:48:34 »

Hmm.  I actually reduced the colour saturation by about 30% compared with earlier drafts because the colours were too intense on my laptop screen.  I'll look into it.  Shading might help too, now I think about it.
Offline ags1

JGO Wizard


Medals: 72
Projects: 3
Exp: 5 years


Make code not war!


« Reply #65 - Posted 2013-05-07 20:36:21 »

I love the way the game is presented as the artwork and story/background, rather than as the technical nuts and bolts. It looks a load of fun. And REAL science fiction too.

Offline Eli Delventhal

JGO Kernel


Medals: 42
Projects: 11
Exp: 10 years


Game Engineer


« Reply #66 - Posted 2013-05-08 00:28:14 »

To come back to what we were talking about macro vs micro:

If the macro has a different timescale than the micro, then you should simply slow time while you're zoomed in, and speed it up while zoomed out. Then say 10 years pass, you could zoom in again and a lot would have changed. If the AI is sensible with building or even better if the player is able to set broad trends it should follow (I want emphasis on industry, I want emphasis on research) then it would continue down those trends in the player's absence. Also, if you're building in California or Japan you don't need to see all 25 million or whatever residents. Just show the important stuff. Military / science buildings, food facilities, etc. And maybe you could also say it's just representative of the larger whole.

For example, in Master of Orion 2 you would only do anything based on groups of a million people. They might look like 1 person, but fictionally they were 1 million. That works fine.

See my work:
OTC Software
Offline Morgan Allen
« Reply #67 - Posted 2013-05-09 20:56:50 »

@ags1

Glad you enjoyed it.  I actually find the art & background easier/more fun to work on, which might be the main reason I presented it.  Which isn't to say the technical aspects were trivial, but in the final analysis they're sort of invisible to the player.

Don't hold me on the 'real science fiction' thing, though.  I might be adding psychic powers yet...


@ Eli Deventhal

It all sounds very nice in theory, but if I wind up maxing out the processor with just one settlement at normal speed (which might happen yet,) I don't think simulating multiple settlements at greatly sped-up rates is going to be viable, leave alone the question of exactly how I write governor AI in the first place.  I could approximate what happens based on broad trends, but then I need to be able to translate from that approximation down into the fine details, and again, I don't really know how to do that.  Is it possible?  Maybe.  But it's not my priority for the moment.  Likewise, I could pretend that all my walkers are representative of bunches of people, but then I can't simultaneously assign them individual personalities or relationships.

Now, I do have some ideas for having a limited degree of interface between your local settlement and the 'big picture' view of the larger setting, but the player's ability to affect interstellar politics is probably going to be pretty restricted.

That said, I do appreciate the suggestions, and will try to get around to incorporating as much of them as I can.
Offline Morgan Allen
« Reply #68 - Posted 2013-05-10 20:20:15 »

I think I'll have to take a break from working on this for the next week or two, since other commitments have come up.
Offline Morgan Allen
« Reply #69 - Posted 2013-05-13 14:49:15 »

Actually in the meantime, I might explain myself a little further.  One of the things I'd like to do with indistinguishable-from-magic psyonic mojo would be to take a leaf from, say, the Prince of Persia reboot, and make functions like saving/loading the game a kind of rationed resource.

One of the major concepts behind the Dune and Foundation series (which are two of my biggest templates for the setting,) is the idea of using hypercognitive forecasting of the future to enhance decision-making.*  The application here would be that saving/loading the game is actually the player-character exploring alternate futures, and selecting the course of action which produces the results they desire.  The drawback is that such forecasting eats up mental stamina, so that every time you quit-and-reload, you lose a chunk of mana based on how far back you retrace your steps.

Actually saving (and/or quitting) the game, on the other hand, gives you back a chunk of mana (or whatever) as the player-character pauses to meditate.  Mana also regenerates slowly over time, and can be spent on a bunch of other FX, like time dilation (game speed settings/bullet-time), issuing psychic suggestions (unit micro) and other more traditional forms of direct intervention- healing, damage, recon, transport, et cetera.

I'd like to have this kind of mechanism because (A) I notice I'm personally terribly prone to abusing stuff like game speed settings and save/load features, and (B) because the game will probably have a pretty slow tempo otherwise.  But the idea is to complement automated behaviours rather than overshadow them, and the mana economy should ration the amount of micro the player can really afford.

I'm not sure how much, if any of that I'll get around to implementing, and it's likely that some of the Schools would provide special abilities of their own.  But, while I'm fantasising idly and borrowing liberally from genre precedent...
Quote

Perception  (Powers that forecast the future or see the past)
  Walk the Path  (saves the current game)
  Deny the Vision  (reverts to last save- contested in MP)
  Blind Sight  (peels back all fog of war)
  Ancestral Memory  (bonus to skills based on homeworld)

Projection  (Powers that affect time, gravity and hyperspace)
  Remote Viewing  (reveals a distant area of the map)
  Time Dilation  (slows down all action in an area)
  Telekinesis  (throws or transports chosen target)
  Singularity  (teleports nearby targets elsewhere)

Suggestion  (Powers that manipulate behaviour)
  Concentration  (intensifies focus on current task)
  Voice of Command  (gives the target a single short order)
  Mass Figment  (distracts all enemies nearby)
  Possession  (complete, indefinite control of target)

Metabolism  (Powers that affect the physical body)
  Suspension  (puts the subject in stasis)
  Vitality  (eliminates aging and disease)
  Potence  (heightens strength and resilience)
  Regeneration  (rapid healing- can raise recently dead)

Synesthesia  (Powers that affect sensory/motor coordination)
  Kinesthesia  (enhances all reflex-based skills)
  Imprinting  (enhances first impressions and socialising)
  Truthsense  (immunity to suggestion or deceit)
  Acceleration  (increase move and action rate)

Transduction  (Powers that invoke energy and affect matter)
  Forcefield  (boosts target shields)
  Shockwave  (repels and damages nearby enemies)
  Integration  (assists in construction/repair)
  Disintegration  (deals severe damage to one target)

*  In the literature, there's something of a question mark as to whether this involves jedi-style magical clairvoyance or simply logical extrapolation from past trends like a chess player seeing ahead 12 moves.  ...Don't ask me about shooting lightning from your fingers.
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Offline sproingie

JGO Kernel


Medals: 202



« Reply #70 - Posted 2013-05-13 15:18:17 »

One of the things I'd like to do with indistinguishable-from-magic psyonic mojo would be to take a leaf from, say, the Prince of Persia reboot, and make functions like saving/loading the game a kind of rationed resource.

I'd be really careful about this if I were you.  Checkpoints in an action game are one thing, but messing with peoples ability to save in a single-player strategy game is not usually something people are going to accept.  If you want permanent consequences to actions, simply making the game world persistent with no explicit save mechanic whatsoever might be preferable to erecting gimmicky barriers around save/load mechanisms.
Offline Morgan Allen
« Reply #71 - Posted 2013-05-13 15:37:27 »

I appreciate the warning, though I've generally found background auto-saving to be too punishing and arbitrary save/load options too forgiving, so I thought this might be interesting as a middle ground.  Are you aware of other citybuilder/strategy titles I could look at that attempted this?  Not trying to second-guess, or anything, just curious.

EDIT:  Okay, how's about this for a tweaked alternative:  by default, the game uses the automatic-save-on-quit-persistent-world approach.  However, the player can spend psi points/mana/spice capsules/whatever to create an explicit 'save point', and then gets a minute or two of subsequent play before their 'precognitive vision' fails, and they have to either save their progress (walk the path) or revert to the last save (deny the vision.)

It would work in basically the same way, except that the player controls when the system kicks in.  Does that sound any better?
Offline sproingie

JGO Kernel


Medals: 202



« Reply #72 - Posted 2013-05-14 01:46:33 »

That actually sounds like a pretty cool idea.  I've had an idea for a "sim-roguelike" with multiple factions where one of the factions has time control powers (outright magic in this case).  Mind if I use the idea too?  I'm sure your game will be out years before mine Smiley
Offline Morgan Allen
« Reply #73 - Posted 2013-05-15 11:29:51 »

Sure, by all means.  I'm probably getting a little ahead of myself in any case- I'll want to have the more mundane economic, combat and diplomacy systems up and running first before I work on anything fancier, and that's a ways off.
Offline Vermeer

JGO Coder


Medals: 16



« Reply #74 - Posted 2013-05-15 14:19:15 »

That sounds like a very cool idea. I think having controll over saving is good, and limmiting that even better as It createss tension and balance if done properly. Just being able to hit save at any oppertnity is very safe. Having limited save functionality makes you consider your actions more. The idea of exploring multiple futures is very interesting.

The only issues with save on quit is if the game crashes at anypoint, and also this can be exploited by just quiting and reloading whenever you want - you would not be able to acount for that.

I like your idea of giving the player psi points to spend. Then you are invoving them in that process of saving, and they have to use it as best they can rather than something to exploit.
Offline Morgan Allen
« Reply #75 - Posted 2013-05-15 23:23:11 »

That sounds like a very cool idea. I think having control over saving is good, and limiting that even better as It creates tension and balance if done properly.  Just being able to hit save at any opportunity is very safe. Having limited save functionality makes you consider your actions more. The idea of exploring multiple futures is very interesting.

The only issues with save on quit is if the game crashes at anypoint, and also this can be exploited by just quiting and reloading whenever you want - you would not be able to acount for that.
Yeah- this is the sort of thing that I was very prone to doing in Diablo 2 (not so much in Dwarf Fortress, but people do resort to it.)  I wanted the ability to experiment with various approaches to be built into the game, without permitting victory-through-repetition.  I'm glad you like the idea in any case.

(The other question would be how you'd make this work in MP- particularly deathmatch multiplayer.  I'm a long way from actually implementing that, of course...)


Oh, in other news- I know I said I was taking some time off, but I've re-implementing mining and added terrain generation systems for rock outcrops and mineral deposits.  You can see some preliminary results here and here.  (And, of course, up on github.)
Offline Eli Delventhal

JGO Kernel


Medals: 42
Projects: 11
Exp: 10 years


Game Engineer


« Reply #76 - Posted 2013-05-23 18:58:11 »

I don't think you should outright simulate every single micro settlement. You would need a way of approximating that is very simple, for example there are X banks so it generates X gold per turn. And run the more complex sim each time you are about to zoom in on a settlement in order to update it. It doesn't need to exist until a user views it.

See my work:
OTC Software
Offline Exception_e

Senior Newbie





« Reply #77 - Posted 2013-05-24 08:06:27 »

Holy crap. This has been said a lot in this thread but - I am loving that art, that's amazing.

The planets kind of remind me of the planets system from Endless Space, you played that?

Keep up this incredible work, man. Well done.
Offline Morgan Allen
« Reply #78 - Posted 2013-05-25 21:00:58 »

The planets kind of remind me of the planets system from Endless Space, you played that?

Keep up this incredible work, man. Well done.
Thanks.  I've heard of Endless Space, but haven't actually played, though I do find the content generation rather interesting.  Yet another item on my todo list is trying to work out some kind of planetary-terraforming system along those lines...

I don't think you should outright simulate every single micro settlement. You would need a way of approximating that is very simple, for example there are X banks so it generates X gold per turn. And run the more complex sim each time you are about to zoom in on a settlement in order to update it. It doesn't need to exist until a user views it.
I kind of feel like I'm belabouring a point here, but to go back to my previous example, if I go away from Pavonis Sector for a couple of years, which had, say, 5000 citizens to begin with, then come back, I have to find a way to pretty quickly account for hundreds or thousands of individual citizens being born, dying, migrating in or out, finding accomodation and jobs, and/or gaining skills, equipment and relationships, plus the effects of construction, demolition and/or terraforming under the interim management.  Otherwise, the settlement won't look like it's undergone a convincing evolution in the meantime.

I'm not 100% sure that I know how to make AI do a passable job at these problems at all, let alone how to do it so efficiently that it all fits into the time taken for a loading screen.  (I mean, part of the reason why I'm letting the player control things like building placement or recruitment strategy is because these decisions are not trivial to automate.)



In other news:  I've spent several days on a largely-futile effort to unify the path-caching system with the automatic-paving due to what I thought were significant structural similarities, which actually wound up substantially complicating both systems.  It appears premature refactoring is the root of all evil.  Well, at least the obligatory separate rewrite of each seems to have cleared up a few code warts, so it's not a total loss.

Visual diagnostics are fun!
Offline Morgan Allen
« Reply #79 - Posted 2013-05-26 13:32:31 »

I'm not 100% sure that I know how to make AI do a passable job at these problems at all, let alone how to do it so efficiently that it all fits into the time taken for a loading screen.  (I mean, part of the reason why I'm letting the player control things like building placement or recruitment strategy is because these decisions are not trivial to automate.)
Though, now that I think of it, if it is possible to automate this sort of thing at all, the algorithm would have to be pretty damn processor-hungry to eat up more than a few seconds' worth of time on modern machines.  I keep forgetting we have 2-GHz CPUs these days.  Hmm.  That still leaves the problem of writing these algorithms in the first place, but I'll at least bear it in mind as a long-term option to look into.

One other option that's occurred to me as possible method for influencing the large-scale would be to appoint specific citizens as holders of estates outside the main map, within the traditional feudal-hierarchy system.  That way, the influence you have within the game map with respect to the rest of the planet (or setting) would be a little like the relation of Geneva to the rest of the EU (or world.)  You'd appoint governors for other sectors and be responsible for entertaining and/or finagling them when they come to visit.  In that way, maybe the player wouldn't need to actually go visit other sectors in order to influence their development.
Offline Vermeer

JGO Coder


Medals: 16



« Reply #80 - Posted 2013-05-26 18:05:42 »

I think having a political system that you must integrate with in some way will  make the area you control feel part of a whole. Being able to choose leaders of other sectors would have a substantial impact on the game. But there are times when uprising in a specific area may cause some destabilisation in the world as a whole and you would have to respond to this, perhaps by allying with other sectors. This need not be about war or dictatorship, but more a more moral crisis such as disasters or famine.

Like you say having to keep the other sectors happy would be a juggling act, and even more so if the other sectors are in conflict?

It all sounds very detailed and interesting. Could you simulate polls, and election of other sector officials? These type of calculations, would not execute all the time, or perhaps on a low priority thread?

Offline BurntPizza

« JGO Bitwise Duke »


Medals: 271
Exp: 5 years



« Reply #81 - Posted 2013-05-27 02:49:24 »

Wow, nice art!  Pointing

Quick comment, I thought that if you had a day/night cycle in the game, you could use the different shading amounts at different times of day, as the 'Strong' shading struck me as looking a lot like it would at sunset, and the subtle midday. Just an idea.  Smiley

Really nice though, gonna show this to my friend, he loves his Dune and such.
Offline Morgan Allen
« Reply #82 - Posted 2013-05-27 19:16:17 »

Wow, nice art!  Pointing

Quick comment, I thought that if you had a day/night cycle in the game, you could use the different shading amounts at different times of day, as the 'Strong' shading struck me as looking a lot like it would at sunset, and the subtle midday. Just an idea.  Smiley
That's a pretty good idea.  Speaking of which, I tried applying vermeer's shading advice to a couple of other structures, along with separate layers for internal lighting.  (I actually had a day/night cycle earlier in development, which I'll probably restore later on.)
EDIT:  Mockup of appearance by night.



But there are times when uprising in a specific area may cause some destabilisation in the world as a whole and you would have to respond to this, perhaps by allying with other sectors.  This need not be about war or dictatorship, but more a more moral crisis such as disasters or famine....  It all sounds very detailed and interesting. Could you simulate polls, and election of other sector officials? These type of calculations, would not execute all the time, or perhaps on a low priority thread?
EDIT:  Sorry, I missed this yesterday.  I would just say this sort of thing is on my long-term wish-list, and I don't think the computational load would be significant (since you can just use broad approximations for stuff that happens outside the settlement.)

Offline Morgan Allen
« Reply #83 - Posted 2013-05-31 20:57:59 »

One or two new commits on github- mostly big fixes or preliminary groundwork, but I did implement new art for mineral outcrops and more comprehensive backgrounds for citizens.  More to come.
Offline Morgan Allen
« Reply #84 - Posted 2013-06-08 22:17:05 »

Have added rudimentary versions of inter-citizen dialogue and ecosystem generation.  Lots of loose, unfinished, patchy code, but I think it's a good outline for stuff to come.  (Also, some revised art.  Which, on reflection, kinda looks like a benetton commercial.  Meh.)
Offline NegativeZero

JGO Knight


Medals: 34
Projects: 2
Exp: 3 years


Zero but not.


« Reply #85 - Posted 2013-06-09 00:36:42 »

Your ability to make art is so much better than mine ;_;
Offline Vermeer

JGO Coder


Medals: 16



« Reply #86 - Posted 2013-06-10 20:05:39 »

Facial art work is looking very good. Lots of combinations! Love the shading one the geodesic dome. Gives a real sensation of illumination.

Did you see this face builder tool?
http://www.0x10cblog.org/0x10c-news/0x10c-facebuilder-tool-demo-released-video/

The way the face art selection is integrated into the game environment.
Offline Quirq

Senior Newbie




Java Indie Developer!


« Reply #87 - Posted 2013-06-12 04:50:19 »

Amazing artwork! I absolutely love the style, and It has a 'sci-fi' quality to it, which makes them so much nicer to people like me.

It's hard to express how awesome they are Smiley

"The view from the clouds can inspire the most solemn men" - Quirq
Offline Morgan Allen
« Reply #88 - Posted 2013-06-28 16:37:01 »

Thanks for the feedback.  I've done a little more work on the ecosystem, along with some animal portraits.

Click to Play


Facial art work is looking very good. Lots of combinations! Love the shading one the geodesic dome. Gives a real sensation of illumination.

Did you see this face builder tool?
http://www.0x10cblog.org/0x10c-news/0x10c-facebuilder-tool-demo-released-video/
Thanks for the link.  I'll look into it.
Offline Morgan Allen
« Reply #89 - Posted 2013-07-02 17:49:46 »

EDIT:  Here's a screenshot of the current action for the curious.

I had some problems with the ecosystem simulation which I think I've fixed now.  I don't usually delve into the technical side of things, but I thought some of the details of the fix were moderately interesting:

*  Animals now gauge their rate of reproduction based on density assessments, rather than distance from nearby peers.  If they are too crowded, or lack energy reserves, they don't breed.
*  Species that are comparatively rare get a boost to their reproductive rate.
*  Animals will tend to migrate to areas with higher abundance of food and less crowding.
*  Predators now pick off the weakest, most common, and most defenceless prey first.
*  If predators themselves get overcrowded- relative to prey abundance- they will fight eachother, sometimes to the death.  They also have lower default rates of reproduction.

The current system appears to maintain stable numbers for several hundred game days, including births, deaths, and aging.  I'm reasonably happy with that, but if I have time, I'll add in nesting and lairs, more elaborate mating behaviour/pregnancy, and possibly territorial markers and/or looking after offspring.

This is actually a quite interesting subject to work on, since animal behaviours present a simplified version of a lot of the things that intelligent citizens might eventually have to concern themselves with (like marriage, housekeeping, construction, military engagements, weapons/armour upgrades and so on.)  No promises, but it is food for thought.
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