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.01 is now complete! What's next?

Discussion in 'Steve's Thoughts (The Developer Forum)' started by Texashawk, Jul 19, 2015.

  1. Texashawk

    Texashawk Developer
    Staff Member Developer Forum Admin

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    Hey everyone!

    Well, everyone takes a holiday during the summer (it seems) and I had mine last weekend. Fortunately, there was something to celebrate besides just the summer - .1 is now out the door for the alpha testers to chew over! I wanted to take the time to show what we've done, as well as the timeline and what we want for .2. So without further ado...

    .1 is the foundation release. That means that the basic stuff has to be working, like the game engine, resolutions, resources, state mode engine, etc. Also we wanted to get the galaxy generation engine more or less complete, which is now is, as well as the basic civilization generation engine. This is the first difference from the first Imperia - from the very start, other human civs will be alongside and around your empire. They will be governed by many of the same things that your empire is - they will have characters, capitals, provinces (if they are large enough), technology levels, and they will have resources that they create and need, thus creating a possible trade/leverage source.

    Beyond that, we have completed planet traits (over 240 different things that can modify a planet's base ratings) and planetary regions (think of them as countries on planets, with individual populations, habitability, resources, specials, etc). We have also more or less locked down the galaxy look for the UI and the system UI. The beginnings of creating a new game are in the program, as well as the code to save and load games (want to have a UI for this, not just a hotkey as in Imperia I). Planetary production is now running, and is based on a under-the-hood complexity that fortunately is not needed to play the game, but makes the game's ability to be a realistic 'simulation' more possible.

    Most importantly, especially at this stage, the game runs stably and fast - performance is one reason we went to Unity/C# combo, and I am using a reference to data style of programming that will reduce memory overhead, save game sizes (massively!) and makes the game run MUCH faster. For example, an average 120-system quadrant with 10 civilizations and all pops and their traits generated takes about 3 seconds to generate, as opposed to 10-15 with the original version of Imperia.

    I will post some screenshots shortly but I wanted to talk about what we're going to be doing with .2 and the timeline for that. Our first priority is to add.... well, you! The emperor generation will be first and foremost in .2, along with characters populating the world, including your primes, your province and system governors, viceroys, and special characters such as admirals, generals, spies, and diplomats. The planet UI will also be significantly upgraded, and the Edict system will be added. Finally, the event system will be added and some basic events will be scripted. These will be able to be added through XML templates - yes, anyone can write an event, and we're hoping to see some awesome ones that we can include in the game. With 240 planet traits, 200+ event 'types', and the granularity of the pop/character system, there are some amazing emergent things that can be created as the 'story' of your empire and your emperor evolves. This, among many things, is what will separate Imperia from the 4X/5X pack.

    We anticipate having .2 ready in about 30-40 days. Much of the base programming was present in the first Imperia, but since the languages and engine are completely different everything has to be rewritten from more or less scratch. That's not a terrible thing, since it gives me a crack to write things more efficiently and thus run better even on lower-level hardware. It's actually quite fun to get a consistent 60 FPS and crush down turn generation/game generation times.

    With the UI additions, your feedback will be critical. There has not been a lot of chatter on the public forum but rest assured that we have been quite active behind the scenes. That said, I want to be more transparent with what we're working on, as well as a rough timeline, so here it is. Screenshots to follow shortly!

    One last thing - while it is not common to release session numbers for a game site, especially a small one, I did want to say that we had almost 10,000 unique page hits on the forum in June. Although we don't have a lot of members actively participating, we have a LOT of lurkers. Seeing those numbers makes me more confident than ever that there is a market and a want for a game like Imperia, and I promise you that it will be done right. And if you're one of those lurkers, I truly value your input and thoughts about the direction of the game. Things are going to move fast now that the foundation is done (and the small matter of learning Unity/C#, eh) so come along if you want!

    As always, thanks for your interest!

    -Steve
     
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    Last edited: Jul 20, 2015
    nadia911 likes this.

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