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  Constellation Control  (Read 3594 times)
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Offline Grunnt

JGO Wizard


Medals: 66
Projects: 8
Exp: 5 years


Complex != complicated


« Posted 2012-10-25 15:08:41 »

Screenshot:


Hey everyone,

I guess its time to show you my current work-in-progress: an A4X space strategy game: Action-4X (single-player only). For now I only have screenshots to show, as I will only release a playable alpha-version once I've got a version that has a real game element and is somewhat fun to play. The idea is based loosely on my Galactic Conquest Java4K contest entry. The "Constellation" part of "Constellation Control" points to an idea I hope to implement in which the players can fight for control of constellations of stars, which provide powerful (potentially game-changing) bonuses to the side who controls all stars of the constellation. That could provide some additional strategic depth to the game map.

Planned features:
  • Action, easy control and depth of play: a new unique blend in the 4X genre
  • Different races to play: the iconic humans, nomads with mobile colonies on giant motherships, insectoid rapid breeders that have swarms of tiny ships, and so on…
  • Different every time you play: galaxies are randomly generated, opponents behave differently, even the background graphics are generated procedurally and guaranteed never to be the same twice
  • A campaign for each of the races spanning several maps and telling the race’s central story that may involve a search for a new home, treachery and friendship, battling space plagues and even giant colony-devouring space monsters!
  • Research along different trees and unlock new ships, weapons, or new abilities , or spend your research points on activating special abilities that may change the course of the game
  • And much more…

Current state:
The game is currently in a pre-alpha state, which means it is not playable yet. However, the development is progressing quite nicely, and I hope to have a most basic playable version ready in a couple of months (no guarantees though).

You can find out more at the Constellation Control webpage.

More screenshots:



Offline Pickleninja

JGO Coder


Medals: 10
Projects: 1


I'm tired of working for someone else.


« Reply #1 - Posted 2012-10-25 16:14:19 »

Great work! I can't wait to see more Smiley


-Pickle

Offline Grunnt

JGO Wizard


Medals: 66
Projects: 8
Exp: 5 years


Complex != complicated


« Reply #2 - Posted 2012-10-29 22:42:10 »

Thanks Grin

I've also got a new update on the development of Constellation Control. Combat is not done yet, since I’ve been working on getting some other things right. For example, I’ve improved the interface, as you can see in the screenshot at the top of the topic. There are three main resources in the game now: resource (for building ships and colonies, generated by mining planets), support (provided through population, limits the number of ships and certain colonies you can build), and brainpower (for doing research and activating special abilities). The first two are functional (so there's some eXploitation going on already), but brainpower is not used yet (research etc. is a low priority for now).

Additionally, I implemented exploration so that the player (or the AI’s) do not know what planets are around each star at the beginning of the game. The AI also does some basic actions, mainly in producing ships and sending a blob of ships around to explore the map. It also keeps a bunch of ships at home to defend the home world. In between I added five ship sizes for the human race by the way: from zippy fighters to slow but tough battlecruisers.

Next on the menu is colonization (eXpansion) and combat (eXtermination). Getting combat right will be quite a challenge I think (in this real-time setting game balance is harder to manage), but it will also be fun and I’m looking forward to it!

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Offline Grunnt

JGO Wizard


Medals: 66
Projects: 8
Exp: 5 years


Complex != complicated


« Reply #3 - Posted 2012-11-02 10:10:47 »

Another small update: combat now (partially) works, with cool explosions, lasers, blasters and cannons! The only thing missing is that ships do not yet actively pursue other ships but just fire at each other in passing. Also many other improvements such as a ship selection interface,  bugfixes and structural improvements to the code.

More info on the Constellation Control page.

Here's a screenshot showing a small battle; note the lasers, bullets and explosions :-)

Offline RobinB

JGO Ninja


Medals: 44
Projects: 1
Exp: 3 years


Spacegame in progress


« Reply #4 - Posted 2012-11-02 10:34:00 »

Looks nice, i would love to play it when its done.
How are you going to do the galaxy?
Pregenerated with all planets and such or make it infinite and random?
It going to be really hard to have like 100 diffrent planets, or are you only rendering the stars?
Offline Grunnt

JGO Wizard


Medals: 66
Projects: 8
Exp: 5 years


Complex != complicated


« Reply #5 - Posted 2012-11-02 11:05:38 »

Looks nice, i would love to play it when its done.
How are you going to do the galaxy?
Pregenerated with all planets and such or make it infinite and random?
It going to be really hard to have like 100 diffrent planets, or are you only rendering the stars?

The galaxy will consist of a limited number of stars, each with one to four planets in orbit around them. It will be randomly generated (according to some strategically interesting structures such as random distribution, spiral galaxies, clusters, etc.). I'm not sure yet how many stars or planets will be feasible, since that depends on the performance, and more importantly, how many is still fun to play. I guess there will be a couple of different sizes, from small (like 10 stars, for a quick game) to huge (100 stars, for a lengthy game).

For now there are six different types of planets: lava, rock, sand, terran, water, ice, basically going from "hot" types to "cold" types. The "hot" types will be more likely to appear close to a sun, while the cold types typically appear further away from a sun. Possibly I'll let the star temperature play a role in this, but I'm not sure yet.

Hopefully I'll have a playable and auto-updating version ready before too long (give me a couple of weeks).

Offline RobinB

JGO Ninja


Medals: 44
Projects: 1
Exp: 3 years


Spacegame in progress


« Reply #6 - Posted 2012-11-02 14:29:58 »

That was my first setup to, but what about planets like gas giants, and why is rock diffrent from ice, it depends on the material.
When does an planet gets an astroid ring, etc.
Sand is an sillicum based material, just like rocks, so depending on the atmosphere and planetary weather they coexist mostly.
And with terrain, i guess you mean like earth?
What kind of planet will this be when its like 50 degrees (Celsius) colder or warmer then normal? (does not fit within your types)
Als last, with 6 types of planets, planets of the same type really are going to look like eachother.

Got really annoyed myself by all these options haha Smiley.
I hope you find some solution, im still trying to figure these out.
Offline Grunnt

JGO Wizard


Medals: 66
Projects: 8
Exp: 5 years


Complex != complicated


« Reply #7 - Posted 2012-11-02 14:49:42 »

It's quite easy to make things very, very complicated yes Cheesy However, I'm not going for realism. Maybe I'll add things like a gas giant or an asteroid belt later for variety.

The problem with making things realistic is that it makes everything much more complex. I want players to see on the star map what a planet is like by its visual appearance: is it inhabitable by your race? How valuable is it? (as indicated by its size: larger planets generate more resources and can contain a higher population). This way the player can spend more time on making interesting decisions - what to colonize, how to get a fleet in position to claim the planet before the enemy does, and not clicking through loads of menus and statistical overviews.

However, making things too simplistic makes them boring. I try to get depth without making things complicated. It's a difficult balance, really.. I wonder how it will work out.

Offline Grunnt

JGO Wizard


Medals: 66
Projects: 8
Exp: 5 years


Complex != complicated


« Reply #8 - Posted 2012-11-09 10:46:25 »

Small update: got combat working (ships intercept enemy ships that enter the same star system, and can be ordered to attack specific vessels), fixed many bugs, added some more screenshots.

Offline Twzoom

Innocent Bystander





« Reply #9 - Posted 2012-11-21 06:43:57 »

Looks pretty good.  If you don't mind me asking, what are you using to generate your UI?
Games published by our own members! Check 'em out!
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Offline Grunnt

JGO Wizard


Medals: 66
Projects: 8
Exp: 5 years


Complex != complicated


« Reply #10 - Posted 2012-11-21 08:13:25 »

Actually, it's a small GUI library I made myself. Originally I started working with Nifty, but that quickly turned out to be too complex - or complicated - for my tastes.

Offline ReBirth
« Reply #11 - Posted 2012-11-21 08:34:33 »

Clean interface, very nice!

Offline Grunnt

JGO Wizard


Medals: 66
Projects: 8
Exp: 5 years


Complex != complicated


« Reply #12 - Posted 2012-11-21 09:15:26 »

Clean interface, very nice!

Thanks Grin It turned out pretty well.

Offline Agro
« Reply #13 - Posted 2012-11-22 01:20:25 »

Oh, this is awesome. It looks like it was based off of Sins of a Solar Empire?

Offline Grunnt

JGO Wizard


Medals: 66
Projects: 8
Exp: 5 years


Complex != complicated


« Reply #14 - Posted 2012-11-22 09:02:06 »

Oh, this is awesome. It looks like it was based off of Sins of a Solar Empire?

Not really, since I've never actually played it. I just took a closer look, and immediately bought it Grin But I guess there's plenty of similarities, with CC being 2D and somewhat simpler I guess. And free of course, haha.

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