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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Design Changes

I've been discussing with people about adding multi-racial population, and I realized that the main reason why I didn't want it in the first place was the fact that I'm lazy :)

I wanted to keep things simple, so I can actually finish the game, but I realized that adding multi-racial population isn't as difficult as I've feared, after looking at my code. So yes, there will be multi-racial population, and as a result, there will be a basic ground combat that's similar to MoO 1 where you send your population to duke it out with a planet's population.

But since migration will prove to be a bit complex with multi-racial population, I will remove it, and in its place, add "Transport" option to send your people off to another world. There's still no colony ships, but you can settle new planets by transporting your existing population to a new world. However, transporting isn't free, there will be a fee associated for each unit of population that you transport. This is to keep things simple code-wise yet balanced. When transporting, you can select which races to include, and how many of each race individually to send. So if you want to invade a planet with a superior fighting race, you don't want to send your wimpy nerds, you want to send the jocks in, and you can do so.

Also, I feel that using a "SitRep" screen to list events feels impersonal, so I will have a screen for each event. So for example, if you colonize a planet with transported population, it will show a "colonized screen" along with the ability to rename the planet. If you steal a technology, it will show a portrait from your race in spy gear. If you researched a new technology, it will show a scientist. The SitRep will still be there, as a way to review changes that occured this turn.

I've asked my artist about adding the "ground unit" art for ground combat for each race, as well as the three portraits (spy, military, and scientist) for research screens (stole, captured, or researched tech), and he said the price will be higher. So $70 won't cut it anymore, it'd be $100 per race now. Again, this isn't required, if you just want to support the game, and want to donate, you can donate whatever amount you want.

There's also one more thing, each race may have a technology data file that adds race-specific technologies for that race. They will also have the generic technology data. However, the default game mode won't have any race specific technologies, but I will include a mod that shows how.

The game's design elements are now final. There won't be any more major design changes. To sum it all up: Colonizing and moving population are as described above. Technologies are described two posts ago. Diplomacy will be updated to reflect those changes - ability to trade, gift, or demand technologies or planets. Ship design will be updated to use the new technology data. Space combat will be turn-based and allow for more than two empires to be involved at once. Ground combat will be handled automatically and only involve two empires, but may involve more than two races. Planets may have more than one race on them. AI will compile and execute either C# or Visual Basic languages. To create a mod for the game, you create a folder in the "Game Mode" folder, and put in race data, technology data, artwork, sounds, and AI scripts in there, then when the game launches, there will be a drop-down that allows you to select which folder to use (Default, or your mod). Your save games will be stored in the mod folder to reduce data corruption.

The first thing I will work on will be overhauling the technology structure in the game. I hope I haven't bitten off more than I can chew!

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