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The Change to Imperia Unity (reprint)

Discussion in 'Steve's Thoughts (The Developer Forum)' started by Texashawk, Apr 7, 2015.

  1. Texashawk

    Texashawk Developer
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    NOTE: This is a reprint of the post that I made last month before the server crash. However, I will be posting much more. :)

    So you probably have noticed that I've been gone for a while from the forum. There is a very good reason for that: After much thought, I have decided to take on the large-scale challenge that Imperia has thrown in front of me. I'll explain.

    I have been working on Imperia for almost a year now (10 months) and it started out as a single project that I was using to learn how to program. I reached a point in my development where I realized that I actually had (or could learn) the skills needed to create the 5X game I've always wanted to play, which became Imperia. As I continued to work on it, I wanted feedback, so I posted the game to a few forums. Interest grew, and as the game went through version .2, then .3, and .4, more and more people jumped on, to the point where there are thousands of hits a week when I post new info.

    With the addition of Pavlos and the creation of the awesome community, I had to at least consider what, if anything, I wanted to do with Imperia. Does it stay a hobby, or do I try to make it fly, follow my dream, and create the game I've always wanted - but with more resources?

    After much thought, prayer, conversation, and trepidation, I've decided to jump into the icy pool: I will rebuild Imperia from the ground up and sell it.

    What does this mean to you? First, I will release .414 shortly. It has a lot of bug fixes and is very playable at this point, if obviously incomplete. Future VB version releases of Imperia will always be free. I will continue to 'noodle' on the VB version of Imperia for ideas and to quickly test out certain parameters as I work though getting up to speed with my new development system.

    Which is what, Steve? Well... glad you asked. I'm going all the way with Unity 5 and C# scripting. This change will allow many benefits:

    • Universal compatibility - there will be builds for Windows, Mac, and Linux
    • Resolution issues will be markedly reduced
    • The engine is more stable and much more supported at this point
    • Install dependencies are now much more integrated - one click install, with the flexibility of a full install program
    • Better memory management
    • Fonts won't suck :-D
    • Vastly more potential to upgrade the UI - we are designing a 'holistic' UI where you never leave the galaxy map - you will 'zoom' into provinces (formerly sectors), systems, and planets - all on the same screen, but with different information. I've already mocked a prototype and it's way more beautiful and flexible!
    Those are the high points, and I am very excited about having the chance to correct and improve some things about the original Imperia, especially with the interface and some of the complexity of the planet economic system.

    So for now, there is no MSRP, no Kickstarter, and no immediate early access plan. As I have said before, I have a lucrative full-time job and do not need to do this for the money. If we do move to some sort of crowdfunding, it will be small and used to pay for assets (music, Pavlos' art, animation, etc). There is also the possibility of publishing though another company, though there is very little I can say about that at this time. Let's just say for now there will be no call for your wallet. :)

    If you are interested in being an actual alpha tester for KatHawk games (the DBA of my company), please let me know. A playable build is frankly 2-3 months off while I wrangle with the Unity system. I wish I had started with it from the beginning, but c'est la vie. There are some of you who have been with us since the beginning and I will personally reach out to you.

    If you have any other questions, thoughts, etc. I would love your input. One thing we will be doing soon will be to update and unify the blog, the wiki, and the forum, and create a one-stop page with the usual things: news feed, media corner, development updates, etc.

    I am very nervous about this decision, and I did not come to it lightly. I have no idea if Imperia will be as good as I want it to be at the end of the development cycle but I will say this. I've worked on this thing for almost a year, and I'll work on it until it's the best space strategy game I can possibly make, and if you want to join the ride, there's plenty of room on the wagon - the journey's just starting (again): hop aboard!

    -Steve
     
    #1
  2. Witty

    Witty Alpha Tester
    Testing The Galaxy, One Star At A Time

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    Interesting development! I'd love to do some pre-release testing, but good ol' real life tends to get in the way of the fun stuff, doesn't it?

    I wish you the best of luck, and I look forward to the journey ahead.
     
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  3. Texashawk

    Texashawk Developer
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    Hey Witty! Trust me, real life tends to get in the way of development as well! I expect to have a playable, but very basic build sometime in May. If you're up for it, I'll send you the build. Welcome to the community!

    -Steve
     
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  4. moonrogue

    moonrogue Alpha Tester
    Testing The Galaxy, One Star At A Time

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    Just a quick note to let you know the fans are still here and are wishing you well in the rewrite! Also give us something to play with! WE WANT IT NOW NOW NOW :D
     
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  5. Texashawk

    Texashawk Developer
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    Hey Moonrogue! Well, I don't have a playable alpha yet, in the sense that you can actually 'play' anything, but to prove that we're not all just sitting on our arses over here I'm posting, just for you (and anyone else who finds this thread) a few VERY VERY VERY early shots. These are more 'getting Unity to work' than anything, but it will at least show you the direction we are going as far as the UI 'holistic' vision. Note some of the stars are not lit very well; we're still working on optimizing lighting a galaxy :) :

    [​IMG]
    The Galaxy screen. There is very smooth pan and zoom (thanks to Unity). When you click on a star, you zoom into...

    [​IMG]
    ... this! You will be able to see planets moving around their mother star, and you will have several data views that work real-time off whatever you are looking at - there is a galaxy view, a province (not sector!) view, a system view and soon a planet view, and your view and filters will change depending on what level you are at. The idea is to have very few 'panels' and more 'floating data' that makes sense for what you are looking at at the moment. Does that make sense?

    Anyway, enjoy proof we are alive!

    -Steve
     
    #5
    dirkgently likes this.
  6. Zireael

    Zireael Alpha Tester
    Testing The Galaxy, One Star At A Time

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    Hey Steve, can we still sign up to test the new Unity version? I think my offer to test got lost in the server crash...
     
    #6
  7. Texashawk

    Texashawk Developer
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    Well, we were going to close it, but for one of our very first followers.... Welcome aboard, ma'am!
    :)

    -Steve
     
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