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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Fleet Movement

The "End of Turn Processing" is now mostly implemented. It have its own screen now. When a player clicks "End Turn" button, it will process the next empires, and if there's another human controlled empire (hotseat), it will halt the processing to let that player play. After all human controlled empires are done, it will process any remaining AI empires, then display the galaxy without nebula to reduce confusion. You will see fleets moving around in this. Each fleet icon is their maximum size for easier visibility.

There's only one thing left to do before I release this, and that is to add exploration code. When a fleet finishes moving, and is adjacent to a star system, that star system will be explored, and added to the empire's queue of systems explored that turn. When it becomes that player's turn, it will center on each system explored, giving the player a chance to see which systems are now explored. When the queue runs out, the player's turn begins.

When that is implemented, I will release this version, but it'll be pre-pre-pre-something-alpha, not really playable. The only thing you can do will be explore and move your fleets around. Planetary development isn't implemented yet, despite the sliders.

Here's a screenshot of the "Processing End of Turn Screen"

Two things I'd like to discuss.

First: I've thought long and hard about colonization in the game, and decided on migration instead of colony ships. Your empire will extert "claim" that's based on your owned planets and fleets. The more population you have in a system, the more "claim" it exterts around it. The bigger fleet you have, the more "claim" it also exterts. When a star system is completely enclosed in your empire's "claim", people will start migrating there. The "claim" can be weaked if another empire overlaps it. So a star system with high maximum population is desirable to extert more "claim".

Second: The space combat phase will occur after all fleets have finished moving this turn. They will occur only if the opposing fleets occupies the same grid cell, or is adjacent to the same star system. I'm still debating whether or not to have more than two opposing fleets engage in combat (allies vs another group of allies, or free for all between three or more empires, etc). It'd be simpler programmically-wise to only have two empires in combat at a time, since that means the AI will be easier to work with. But it's more fun and exciting to have more than two empires involved at once. We'll see how it goes.


  1. Wow, another indie 4X. I've just found this blog and have yet to read it, but I'm glad to see development of 4X that is not canceled.

  2. Done reading blog archive and I like the whole idea. It's good you are coder, not some designer. I've seen many projects that had a prototype with fancy graphics and soon died off. But your approach has that something, I hope you'll do it to the end. Just don't fool your self that you are almost done. I'd say you'd need at least a year to complete it.

    And, I'd advise you to put your project on something like SourceFroge or Google Code. For easier release publishing, issue tracking and other services they offer.

  3. I'm not fooling myself that I'm almost done. I may have implied that, but what I mean is that the galaxy screen part of the game is almost done. There's still lots to be done:

    AI Players
    Diplomacy Screen
    Design Screen
    Research Screen
    Combat Screen

    When the above is done, then the game will be basically done gameplay wise. There will be polishing/UI changes after the above is done. I've been working on this for over a year now, and intend to finish it.

    Yes, I plan on setting up some kind of issue tracking after I've released the next version, so people can help me in squashing bugs. Thanks for your interest, it's encouraging to know that people are interested in this game!