September 22, 2014

Alpha 10: Snapshot 1

As promised, here is the file: on Dropbox.

Change of Direction: Completion of the Basic Part

I have some good things to announce.
I decided, after the completion of the alpha 10, to stop the dev of any additional feature until the basic part of FARC, concerning the setup of the first player's colony, is 100% completed as designed.

That means that I will..

  • Complete all the game systems (which are currently full of holes...) as: the CSM, SPM, Production System, CPS and Planetary Survey.
  • Complete the colonies and settlement data, because it lacks of many parts.
  • Add more game assets (products and infrastructures).
  • Add the seven other factions the player can pledge allegiance to.
  • Complete, expand, refine and debug the user's interface (because it lacks of everything, as all the informations for the assembling/building of infrastructures).
  • Overhaul and complete the encyclopedia.
  • Add other star systems.
  • Make a complete end game system (at least for the colonization phase)
After all that, and only after, I will continue to add the features I want to add to finally trying to make a full blown space strategy game.
But at this stage it is silly to add incomplete parts over a more than incomplete overall game system.

That also mean that I will make more frequent releases during this period.

Also as an act of goodwill, I will upload tonight (EST time) a development snapshot of the current alpha 10.
You will not see yet the research & development system, because for now it is mostly data-driven and under the hood, but you can always to lurk into the new saved game file and also look in the technosciencesdb.xml. But you will have acess to the last bug fixes, the overhauled popup menu that include the shortcuts to any orbital object of the currently selected planetary system, and the interface to loading a new game. Just be aware that the planetary survey and the production bugs, that freeze the game, aren't fixed yet, but I go to do it.

So that's it. I estimate that after 6 years since I began this iteration it is time that you, the little FARC community,  are in right to have finally something playable and above all complete enough to call it a game and not a tech demo anymore!

A BIG thanks for your patience and interest over this long time, and stay tuned :)

August 25, 2014

Alpha 10: Common Core and PDF

I continuing to implement the common core; now it initialize the data of each entity's data structure (including the player's one) at the start of a new game, setup the ones of tech level 1 as mastered, and for the non-player factions add the designed common core setup, if one of them has some.

Yes it's a slow process I know and August is nearly finished... Anyway after the common core for the NP factions I will do the same for the player's faction (it's a bit of different set of rules) and will finally begin to implement a skeleton of interface for the research & development system.

By the way, as I did by the past, I uploaded a new version of the summary of the main design document.

The pdf is here: On Dropbox

Why only a summary? Not because my game design is ultra unique or top secret but it's a work-in-progress (you will see into the summary that many sections are light with only one page, others more complete have from 40 to 100 pages...) so subject to change nearly all the days and not particularly well written.

Anyway I wanted to show you the size of this doc, you can see it's with small margins because I feel it more practical for many tables, with standard margins the doc take about 365 pages actually.

Oh and I nearly forgot; someone assisted me to correct some part of English version of the encyclopedia, and I appreciate it much because most of the time my English grammar is so-so since it's not my first language. I could see this fact by inspecting his pull requests.

That's all for now.


August 11, 2014

Alpha 10: Population Planner and Research Crews

Beside the implementation of the common core, I am working on the design of the Population Planner, which will be also implemented for this alpha 10.
What it is and what is the link with the research & development system (RDS)?
If you don't know yet, the population in FARC has three possible races (humans, clones and artificial intelligences) and each of these can have one or more than one ethnic group and each of these have at least one category, like Engineers for the baseline ethnic group of the human race. The assignment of the population to the different tasks, as staff for infrastructures and crews for space units, and the training to allow part of population of a category to switch to one other is entirely automated and use sets of rules related to the General Population Rules set into the Population Planner.
The Population Planner is a set of rules that affect the population of each faction, and its interface for the player will be located into a tab of the Unified Management Interface. Out of this rules setting, the management of the population is entirely automated and doesn't require any more action from the player and AI. These rules are at the faction level and so affect any colony of a same faction but in the interface, and the AI code, it will be possible to override these rules for a particular colony and thus taking in account the particularity of each colony if needed.

The RDS also use this Population Planner by adding a subsection to set a rule for the research crews and to tell the game how the pool of research crews must be managed, how it must be used to assign crew to an intelligence infrastructure and also of course to determine the training rules.

So that's it, another thing to implement for this alpha 10, it is not surprising that the changes list for this alpha 10 growing over the time, even if slowly.

Stay tuned.