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Friday, October 5, 2012


My baby passed several tests, so she no longer need oxygen tube or heart/lung monitor wires hooked up anymore! She's doing pretty well!  Things are starting to stabilize in our family, aside from my older daughter (she's 3 years old) being jealous of attention that my baby receives :)  I will post a picture of them soon :)

I've taken a break from Beyond Beyaan recently, with occasional updates and dabbling in UI work, and it has helped relieve some stress.  I also played Torchlight II, which I highly recommend!  All in all, I was able to relax and recover from the intense experience from past several months.  Now I'm feeling refreshed and invigorated!  I'm ready to tackle this project again!

While going over the game, I realized that I'm closer to the end than I thought!  My goal was to get the game playable, and there's only several items that needs to be implemented, most everything is pretty much done.  The rest is just UI work and polishing!  I will split those into four stages:

First stage:
- Finish the economy model - It's nearly done, just need to have local, system, and empire production being consumed in projects

- Add projects system (which include researching items, buildings, etc, they will all use the same framework)

- Rework the technology system to work with the new project.  Technologies will now be same as projects, the only difference is that they are empire-wide projects.  They unlock rewards, such as new technologies to research, or items to use in ships, or empire-wide racial improvements, etc.  It'll be possible for an "tech" to yield more than one reward.  I'm also adding possibility for a technology to remove rewards.  For example, if you research Laser Cannon II, it removes Laser Cannon I because II is cheaper and better.  Or to remove other technology items available for research if you want to follow Master of Orion 2 tech system.

At this point, the empire management framework is done, you can build ships, develop planets, research, etc.

Second stage:
-Add several parameters in space combat so that each particle can process the environment (nearest enemy ship, nearest ship, etc).  This will enable missiles and torpedoes.

-Finish the squadron framework - This means retreating, ending turn, "charging up" phase, basically the rest of stuff to have the combat fully workable.  Also changing how you fire weapons for less micro/clicking.

-Add victory/loss checks, as well as UI for choosing which squadrons to fight with or against (you could have 2 empires against 1 for example, or 5 empire free for all)

At this point, the game is now playable, but not quite winnable yet.

Third stage:

-Add empire victory/loss script support (so you can customize how to win or lose.  For example, if you want an economy victory, the first empire to reach 1 million BC wins in a game where there's no combat at all, only research and expansion)

-Add saving/loading of games.

At this point, the game is winnable, and will be almost ready for beta (beta meaning feature complete).

Fourth stage:

-UI work - this means reworking the remaining screens to work with the above changes.  For example, new ship design UI to work with the new technology system, planet management screen to work with the new production screen (macromanagement), etc.

-Add support for AI scripting - This won't be finished until after the game is final, I have almost no experience with AI, so this will be a learning experience.  AI will be dumb at beginning, but at least it'll give you something to play against :)

At this point, I will declare the game to be in beta stage.  But wait!  Some of you may notice that I didn't mention diplomacy.  I plan on adding it during the beta stage because it's not vital to making the game playable.  I do have some clever ideas that I think you may like.  Beta will be basically polishing and adding the extra features that makes the game enjoyable such as random events and news reports, but are not required to have it playable.


Now, another idea that I'm kicking around is starting a kickstarter project to raise funds to complete the game's assets.  I'm thinking of doing it after first stage is done.  The goal will be modest, but hopefully with kickstarter's popularity, I can finish the rest of assets (more race artwork, more icons, weapon graphics like missiles and beams, etc) and maybe even add an intro and victory/loss videos!  If you have tips and advice for kickstarter projects, let me know!

I'm ready to start work on the game again!  Hopefully I'll be back to posting an update a week again!


  1. Hi Brent,
    its great to read that your baby is on a good way!

    I am somewhat worried about the late implementation of AI, since this in my point of view can be a real gamebreaker.

    The kickstarter idea sounds great, but you should be aware that a successful kickstarter campaign involves quite some work! Its a day job if you want to believe some of those who wrote comments about how they have been successful or not successful.

    Kickstarters popularity itself does not help you much, if the people on there dont find you. Actually there should be quite some press coverage leading people towards your project.
    You can probably count on space-game related websites to cover you, but big sites need to be somewhat convinced.

    Anyway, I like the idea and would pledge as one of the first!

  2. Hi Sledge,

    Why are you worried about the late implementation of AI? Part of the reason why I haven't implemented AI yet is that the data structure in the game were constantly changing. To have AI work, I'd have to update it for every data change. I've finally settled on a final data structure as mentioned in another post. However, it's requiring an overhaul of the current data system/controls :( So it's taking me some time...

    But rest assured, after the game's functioning, my main focus will be on AI. I'm not really a multi-player fan in 4X games (but I do hope to add support for that in the future), so for the game to be complete, the game must have working AI. It won't be an afterthought.

    Yes, my experience with setting up Beyond Beyaan on Desura felt like a day job. So when I set up the kickstarter, my development will suffer even more. But I hope that it'll be successful so I can hire some help (I'm thinking of multiplayer programmer and sounds/effects programmer) to finish the game. It'll be a lot faster if the kickstarter is successful than if I didn't try it and just work on it myself.

  3. Hey Brent,

    No real reason, and if you say it wont be just the last thing to do, but something you want really bad then I will believe you and sleep a little better ;)

    And yes trying is always better then not trying. So good luck with the Kickstarter Project.
    What would be the worst case?
    You lost a couple of weeks dev time.