Monday, 23 January 2012

Frequently Asked Questions


Q: What is this game?
A: Galaxial is a 2D space strategy game. It features a sandbox mode allowing the player to explore, colonize and conquer planets in a vast randomly generated galaxy.

Q: How many people are working on this game?
A: Just myself.

Q: What features will the game have?
A: The features include:
  • Thousands of ships and many hundreds of colonizable planets in a single game.
  • Colonize new planets with each type of world having unique strategic bonuses.
  • Explore the galaxy to discover valuable planets and asteroid resources.
  • Mine resources from asteroids to build planetary facilities and new spaceships.
  • Protect your empire from enemy factions and raiding pirates.
  • Diplomacy system to form alliances or declare war with other factions.
  • 13 unique classes of spaceship including: (Fighter, Frigate, Destroyer, Light Cruiser, Command Cruiser, Heavy Cruiser, Light Carrier, Transport, Battlecruiser, Battleship, Colonizer, Carrier, Dreadnaught)
  • Take direct control of any ship you own.
  • Assign ships to squadrons and wings so that they fly in formation working together to deal with threats.
  • Hundreds of individual ship modules including various weapon types, electronic warfare, shield/armor repair and propulsion upgrades to specialize each ship and enhance their abilities.
  • Research new technology to enable new ship designs, modules and empire bonuses.
  • Customizable ship, engine trail and turret colors to make your ships look unique.
  • Full modding support for user made ships, weapons, items, factions, colonies and research.
Q: What game modes will there be?
A. There wont be any campaign or story mode, just a huge sandbox galaxy with no set goals to build an empire in. I have plans to add further game modes once the game is released.

Q: What resources are there in the game?
A: The main resource for building are metals which is mined from asteroids. The asteroid ore must be processed at a refinery before they become useful to build with. Wreckage from destroyed ships can be salvaged using specialized ships for extra metal resources.

Credits are needed for most things in the game and are generated from high population colonies. Colonies require enough food to grow.



Research data is needed to build the most advanced ships and modules.
Ships will also require a crew and in some cases troops.

Q: Which games inspired you to make this?
A: EVE Online, X3, Sins of a Solar Empire, Total Annihilation

Q: Will it be moddable?
A:
Yes. Most things in the game can be added or modified very easily using XML files apart from certain parts that are hard coded such as the AI and user interface.

Q: Will there be multiplayer?
A: Multiplayer is not planned at this stage and would be very difficult, but it is something I would like to add in the future when I have more time and resources to try and implement it.

Q. What will the recommended system requirements be?
A. As the game is still heavily in development, I am not able to list exact system specifications just yet.

I have been developing the game on a fairly old (5 year) system: AMD Phenom X4 9950 (4 core), Geforce GTX 260, 2GB RAM so if you have anything close to or better than this, then it should run perfectly.

Q: How do you develop this game?
A:
Everything is programmed in C++ using my own OpenGL based engine. Third party libraries I use include:
  • Parallel Patterns Library (Concurrency)
  • FreeType (Fonts)
  • LibPNG (Images)
  • Expat (XML parser)
  • OpenAL (Audio)
  • LibOGG/Vorbis (Audio files)
For creating all the graphics I use Adobe Illustrator.

Q: What platforms are you going to release for?
A: Windows. I would also like to port the game to Linux and Mac shortly after the initial release.

Q. Are you still developing this game?
A. Yes, Galaxial will be released. You can also follow me on Twitter (https://twitter.com/stuart_morgan) where I post more regular updates about the games development.

Q: When will it be released?
A: It's hard to estimate as this is my first proper game and there is a lot of work to do. I hope to have a beta (pre-order) version ready shortly before the full release, but I don't have an estimate for when this will be yet.

Q: Will the game be free?
A: No

Q. How much will the game cost?
A: I dont know yet.

106 comments:

  1. Just a possible idea for an additional gametype is a "adventure" mode. Something kind of like the Dwarf Fortress version, except you're a mercenary ship/fleet. Rather than it being a set of prehashed missions though, you could try to generate missions. Make it perma death like the advanture mode in DF and you'd have a winner right there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, thats pretty much what I had in mind for the more RPG style mode.

      The big empires would all be computer controlled the same as in the main strategy part of the game and the player can work with or against them as they fight each other or just go and explore, pirate, survive, train/hire/levelup crew...

      Would love to add a full working economy for trading purposes also.

      This would certainly have to come after the initial release though as it will be a huge amount of extra work alongside the main RTS part of the game.

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  2. What other libraries are you using?

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    1. Parallel Patterns Library - concurrency
      OpenGL - rendering
      Freetype - reading fonts
      LibPNG - reading images
      Expat - xml parser
      OpenAL - base for the audio engine
      LibOgg/Vorbis - audio files

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    2. And how do you handle events, like clicks?

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    3. Events sent to the window (such as clicks) are handled using the message loop.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Message_loop_in_Microsoft_Windows

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  3. What program are you using for creating the images?

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    1. All the graphics are made in Adobe Illustrator

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  4. Did you also a framework or just the engine?

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  5. will ther be alpha or beta relas to test this game im allredy in love with it great work keep up the good work :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There will most likely be a paid for beta at some point.

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  6. Can tell us at what prize will you sell tis game for current dey ??

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    1. I havnt decided how much the game will cost yet.

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  7. Will the resources for each asteroid be unlimited? I notice that you were inspired by games that never ran out of resources (I absolutely love games like this rather than having to aggressively mine in fear or running out). Are you going to have supply or anything to / from your ship or planets? Diplomacy perhaps? Or is it too early to say?

    Damn I'm excited for this game and it's book-marked as one of my home pages now. I hope to get the game in the near future...

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    1. Each asteroid will have a set amount of ore you can mine from it then will disapear and take a while before it respawns. This is to prevent you having all your mining ships in the same place. Also the ore refineries have a maximum amount of ore they can refine per second, so you will need to spread out to other planets.

      I had originally planned to have supply and a working economy (much like X3) but decided it would be too complex to make, especially on my first proper game. (maybe in an update/expansion)

      I havnt started developing it yet but there will definitely need to be some kind of diplomacy for declaring war, peace and alliances but not sure how in-depth I would like it to be yet.

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  8. will ther be limit of the resources you can haw at the moment and will be able to increas that amount thru reserch or bulding magazines or will ther be set maximum limit of resources for evryone.

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    1. Currently the maximum resources limit is very high and unlikely to ever be reached.

      I am thinking of lowering the limit and adding a new storage structure that can be built on a colony to increase the maximum resources.

      Still not sure if its worth adding though as it will probably have little effect on actual gameplay...

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    2. well in my opinion resorces max limit shuld be like in suprem commander 2 no limits xD its nice to not wory about reaching resources capacity :)

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  9. Would not it be better to use SDL library instead of WinAPI?
    As a result, your game will become multiplatform..

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    1. I dont really see the need and would prefer not to use SDL. If I do eventually port the game to mac/linux any platform dependant code like window and input handling would be swapped with alternatives such as X11 (X Window System)

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  10. Are you using Static or Dynamic libraries?

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    1. I always use static linking, much better performance.

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  11. What coding style are you using(eg.: Allman, K&R,..)?

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    1. Allman, I find its cleaner/easier to read.

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  12. How are you naming your functions, classes (eg. CamelCase, some function, ..)?

    ReplyDelete
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    1. For functions and classes I capitalise the first letter of each word eg.

      int someVariable;
      int m_someClassMember;

      static int ms_someStaticClassMember;

      const int SOME_CONSTANT_VARIABLE = 123;

      void SomeFunction(int parameter);

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    2. and for Classes are you using the C prefix?

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  13. Stuart, I've been following this since you created your thread on the TIG forum. I wanted to ask, which compiler are you using; MinGW or Visual Studio?

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    1. the Express edition?

      Funny I found MinGW easier to utilze for Win32 API stuff. It was kind of cumbersome doing that from the get go with VS2010... hmm perhaps I should look at it again.

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    2. Yes its the Express Editon.

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  14. will there be space stations, or automated turret batteries?

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    1. There wont be any space stations but I would like to add static defences that can be deployed in space such as turret batteries.

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  15. Will ther be race's with difrient ships or will every one be using the same race and ships ??

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    1. Each race or faction will have their own unique ships and modules.

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  16. Hi Stuart. I am assuming your using shaders also? It's probably not all all fixed function. If so could you say for which elements in the game your using shaders and why?

    I was also wondering, time permitting, if you could explain in a high level way, how you did the smooth zooming.

    Sorry for asking such nerdy tech questions, I just find it refreshing to see that a developer uses Win32 combined with OpenGL, over libs such as SDL etc.

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    Replies
    1. Hi. I am not using any shaders, its all fixed function.

      I have experimented with entirely shader based rendering in the game but it just wasnt as fast and quite problematic. Its almost impossible to sort/batch objects to minimise the shader program and state changes as everything is rendered using the painters algorithm (drawing from back to front)

      Smooth zooming was done by gradually increasing/decreasing the zoom value by the distance between the target and current zoom value. Renderable objects are dynamically scaled each frame based on the zoom value, the camera doesnt move anywhere.

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    2. Oke all fixed function, I did not expect that.

      Thanks for explanation the smooth zooming, I was wondering how that could be done. So if I understand correctly you just scale the objects within the viewport depending on the feedback from the scrollwheel so to speak. I though this was always done by also actually zooming in/out with the camera.

      Sorry for thinking out loud like this.

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    3. Actually I was wrong about the camera not moving, it does move but only for culling and visibility purposes. All objects (ships/asteroids etc.) which are basically just textured quads rendered at the same depth are scaled based on the current zoom level.

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  17. Hi Stuart. Can you please explain why you prefer to use the Win API and not any other library for example SDL?

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    Replies
    1. I dont see any need to use SDL when I have invested a lot of time into my own engine and codebase that does exactly what I need. I generally avoid middleware and like to code from scratch with complete control.

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  18. Really like what i am seeing, keep up the good jobb!
    Do you have any plans on converting it to the android platform in the future?
    Would be awesome to play this on a tablet someday!

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    Replies
    1. Sorry theres no plans. I think it would be a huge challenge getting the game to run on android and most features including controls would require simplfying to the point that it just wouldnt be the same game.

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  19. Would you implement making your own designs for ships?

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    1. You can very easily make your own ships or modify existing ones by modding but this has to be done from outside the game.

      Having an in-game editor would be challenging and I think the quality of the ship graphics would suffer.

      I'll probably write a blog post about the modding possibilities at some point closer to release.

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  20. have you considered Kickstarter? I like what I saw and I'd like to chip in!!!!!!

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    Replies
    1. Kickstarter is only an option if you are based in the US, which I'm not. Also I'm still rather sceptical about it and would much prefer a paid for alpha/beta access if/when I need to raise funds.

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  21. Are you going to use real images for the space background for example NASA has loads of fantastic images that are free to download http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/spaceimages/wallpaper.php?id=PIA10181, http://www.nasa.gov/audience/formedia/features/MP_Photo_Guidelines.html .

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    1. No I wont be using any background images. Earlier in the development of the game I tried using various textured backgrounds but it just didnt look right with the minimal abstract art style of the rest of the game.

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  22. Have you more details on the release date of Galaxia?

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    1. I dont know when its going to be ready for release, lots of things I still need to add.

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  23. Will you give acces to lite deamo of your great game im shure ther are many fans of your great work dying to sink thier teth in your game even a lite bit:)
    I'm one of them :)

    and did you consider making this game free during beta and alpha test like minecraft good wey to reklam your game and show people its a great game also very fast wey to find 90% of errors or bugs in the game bevor relising it I wont to know your opinion if posible :)

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    Replies
    1. P.S sorry for my bad english :(

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    2. Not sure if there will be a demo/lite version although I would like to release a rolling tech demo showing some big battles mainly for checking hardware compatability.

      I do plan on having a beta version which will be shortly before the release although I expect the game to be very close to final and polished for this, so it wont be made free.

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    3. you miss understood me im not asking to make it free im asking to give acses to alpha and beta for free and sell it when it will be redy like orginaly planed and by demo i ment to reles what you haw now so we can see how great work and progres you made.

      and im sory if i ofended you in any posible wey

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    4. No sorry there wont be a free early alpha/beta version.

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  24. Hi there!

    Just stumbled across this game thru spacesector.com...
    And darn, I was impressed, even more when I heard this is done by just one person. Stuart, keep up the good work. From the trailer I saw, this is going to be an awesome game ! I'll keep a close eye on this one !!
    cheers,
    Andy

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  25. Just saw the alpha video on Youtube. This looks awesome. Sort of a mix of Sins of a Solar Empire and Eufloria if that makes sense. Is this close to release, less than 1 month?

    Definitely going to keep an eye on this one.

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  26. This game looks so good it's painful. I loved Homeworld and this is in the same vein. You should think about doing a Kickstart campain or something similar. Alpha funding on Desura. All in order for you to have more meat on your bones so it perhaps does not take as long being released. When you do you'll have my money as surly as in the bank! Keep at it! :D

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  27. What kind of threads do you use (if any)? Is there an audio thread? One thread per ship, or just one thread for all ships? I/O thread?

    Will networking (multi-player) be an option in the future?

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    Replies
    1. I use the Visual Studio Parallel Patterns Library for updating ships and other intensive tasks. The number of threads scales to the amount of processor cores the game is being run on.

      There is an audio thread which is handled by the OpenAL Library.

      The only significant I/O work required is loading large textures when starting a new game, so theres no background loading or resources during the game.

      I would like to add multiplayer in the future but it will be huge challenge due to the large amounts of objects and complexity of the game.

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  28. Did you find it difficult to hook the freetype and libpng libraries into OpenGL?

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  29. Is there a Galaxial Twitter?

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    Replies
    1. No theres not. I have a personal account @stuart_morgan but I've hardly ever used it.

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  30. So how's is going?

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    1. Development is going well. Experimenting with some fairly large changes at the moment, which I will explain in the next update post soon.

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  31. I have a question about the ship class up till now you showed 4 classes of ships :
    1.fighters
    2.frigate
    3.destroyer
    4.cruiser
    then are next classes :
    5.battleships
    6.colonization
    7.transporter
    8.resource/collector
    and what are other 4 classes and are you going to add new classes im dieing to know :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Currently in the game there are: Fighter, Frigate, Destroyer, Cruiser, Siege Cruiser, Support Cruiser, Miner, Battlecruiser, Battleship, Coloniser, Carrier, Dreadnaught

      There also needs to be a Scavenger (for collecting wreckage) but I may give that role to Miners also.

      Nothing is final yet and could change.

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    2. Scavengers you can make as an upgrade to miners :)

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  32. Which OpenGL version you are using?

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  33. Any chance that you'll open this game up to preordering the beta soon? I'd be very interested in helping beta test this game...

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    Replies
    1. Sorry it wont be really soon. I hope to have a preorder beta period when the game is feature complete about 1 to 2 months before the final release. Cant say when that will be yet...

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  34. Or you need to Kickstart this. You can do it in England now!!!!!

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    Replies
    1. I would feel a bit uncomfortable using Kickstarter for this considering I am so far into development with the funding already needed to get it finished. (which isnt much as I'm doing all the work myself)

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    2. Okay, but Kickstarter is also quite the marketing tool, as well. You can use it to tighten everything up, contract a professional QA team before launch, and generate a little bit of buzz. Don't set it any higher than you'd need for extra polishing and a QA pass and give everyone willing to buy-in a copy of the game, including early beta access. You have something here that people would be interested in...

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  35. Doomstars would be awesome, too! I bet everyone here loves either Star Wars or Master of Orion 2 or both!

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    1. well in my opinion insted of domm star i think a super Dystroyer wuld be coll but it shuld be acesable thru ancients blue prints witch are very hard to find but wuld give acces to extremly large and power full ships with many wepons :)

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  36. Is there going to be a public beta? It looks so awesome!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! There will be a pre-order beta period shortly before the release. I dont have an estimated date for it yet.

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  37. I suggest adding pitch variations to the sound effects in order to help with their repetitive nature.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, I was planning on doing that. Have just finished overhauling the sound engine today and added the pitch variation support!

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  38. hey are we need to buy it?? and did it out yet

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The game is not available yet. But you will be able to buy it once released. :)

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  39. Are you still developing this game?

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    Replies
    1. Yes.

      Sorry about the lack of news on the blog recently, I should have something new to share soon.

      You can also follow on twitter (https://twitter.com/stuart_morgan) where I post more regular updates about the progress of the game.

      Delete
  40. Loving Sins of solar empire, but sad it kills it self when running 25ish planets with max amount of AI's on a core 7 at 5ghz.from a revo drive and 40gb of memory...So I wonder..

    Will your game support more high end PC hardware, like 64bit, amd eyefinity (love my 4 screen setup in eve/sins/stardrive etc.) and multithreading? Having 8 cores being, not standard yet, but.. old news and pretty cheap,(heck even the new consoles have it now) it would be nice to finally put them to use on some giant insane map with 20 AI's and what ever amount of stars fit into 16-32gb of memory :)

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  41. I implemented a 64 bit version of Galaxial recently but the performance improvements were very minimal. The increased code and data size from 64 bit slow it down as the game doesn't use that much memory.

    750 planets with 40K ships and 1 million simulated objects (asteroids, wreckage etc.) uses about 800MB RAM. At this point it starts to become unplayable on my 5 year old system. (Phenom X4 9950, Geforce GTX 260)

    Multi-monitor support is something I will investigate shortly, not sure how it would work yet. Will at least make sure the HUD/UI displays on the central screen.

    The multithreading used in Galaxial is something I'm quite proud of and the scale of the game wouldn't be possible without it. There's no fixed amount of cores the game will use. It will use all cores that are available to it by automatically load balancing. Having more than 4 cores will be very beneficial for huge maps.


    Will consider not adding any limits to the size of map you can create, but could be problematic... Mainly the time it would take to finish a game. :D

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  42. I don't really know you, but I feel I should kiss you, or some sort of make love to you..:D Thanks for the answers, that is great. knowing it will make use of as many cores as you can feed into it, is excellent news. I look forward to see how many AI's 8 core can pull with 500 planets haha :)

    I'm glad to hear you got it 64bit. So we don't run into trouble 2-3 years down the line and you discover something cool that could use some extra mem..


    for multi monitor support, if you could make any interface dragable/moveable after a button is pressed or thru setup that would be super. One detail with multi monitor and strategy games is.. you have to scroll the mouse a lot to get from the what ever menu in far left side of the screen and then to the far right to click accept or build or what ever. it's very ... bleh :P but its always an amazing experience besides the scrolling bit. I highly recommend getting/borrowing two extra monitors so you have three.


    Now, the only reasonably question left, speaking on behalf of the entire planet of earth..as well as a few visiting green men.. when are you going to stop tormenting us and throw out a small demo with 15 planets & 3 ai's or something :) please take our money!

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  43. Will you get this on Steam?

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  44. Cool, i'll be the first to support it, if it hit greenlight :)

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  45. will there be a demo

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  46. Hi, I have a question.
    What drove you to create your own "engine" and not work with Unity3D let`s say, since it has very strong ground and support.
    Btw, you are a big inspiration for me in game development, since I am developing my own, though RPG space sandbox, not RTS and it`s also one man project.

    Really interested what the upcoming updates may hold.

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  47. Hi Lukas,

    I have always loved making engines and already had a large code-base to work with. So it made sense to use my own for Galaxial.

    Having an intimate knowledge and complete control over the engine allows me to add features quickly that may not have been possible (or as efficient) with other general purpose engines such as Unity.

    I avoid using any 3rd party code wherever possible. You learn more doing it yourself. :)

    Really happy I can be inspirational to other developers!
    Best of luck with your project.

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  48. May I ask for how long have you been working on this game?


    Because the scale of the game is really huge, and the AI, ship formations and effects are just outstanding.

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  49. Roughly just over 3 years. Have been working on it in my free time for most of that.

    Been a huge learning experience (and a lot of work!) as it's my first serious project in game-dev. :)

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  50. Hi Stuart!

    If I may ask, how long it takes to generate entire galaxy with all the planets, asteroids, AI etc.?
    Or are you generating it one by one when player enters there?(Since there is fog of war)

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  51. The entire galaxy is generated in full detail whenever a new game is started. It is very quick.
    For a 100 planet galaxy it takes less than 1 second.

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  52. Hey, I think this game will be AWESOME when it comes out and i am happy to support you with buying the game when it comes out :D

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  53. Hi there,


    About the physics you use, did you create your own ship physics from scratch? Or did you used some library.
    If you did one yourself (The ship movement), how hard it was?

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  54. Hi there,

    About the physics you use, did you create your own ship physics from scratch? Or did you used some library.
    If you did one yourself (The ship movement), how hard it was?

    ReplyDelete
  55. I did it all myself, no third party code used.
    The physics in Galaxial is fairly basic so wasn't that difficult to make.

    ReplyDelete