Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Population Graphics and Fog of War

A few of the latest features I have been working on since the last development log.

Planet Population Graphics

Finished creating some additional colony graphics to show roughly how large the planet populations are. The graphics change based on the current colony population in relation to the maximum it can support.

It starts off with just the colony infrastructure visible where the facilities are built in the center. Then at 20%, 40%, 60% and 80% of the maximum population it will grow outwards an extra zone.


The textures are very large (uses a lot of GPU memory) so I dont think it will be possible to make seperate versions for each faction with the same color customization system that is used for ships.

You can see a giant screenshot version here which shows how smooth everything looks in-game. (4096x4096 size image, 10MB)
 
Population Growth

There are many factors that affect the colony population growth rate including:
  • Colony happiness
  • Tax rate
  • Food surplus/shortage
  • Luxury resources
  • Researched technologies
I'm not sure yet whether you will be able to use passenger ships to move migrants between colonies, but am aiming to have the colonies take quite some time (in-game) to reach their maximum size through normal growth.

Fog of War

Did some experimenting with fog of war by making each ship have a limited view distance. (similar to most RTS games) I didnt think it looked quite right for Galaxial and was rather annoying not being able to see the whole battles taking place.

So I have decided to use a system where you only need a single ship in a sector to reveal the entire area, rather than revealing smaller areas around each individual ship.

(Previously explored sector now hidden by shroud)

Once you no longer have any ships or a colony in the sector, then it will become hidden again and covered by shroud. Asteroids, jumpgates, wreckage and the colony will remain partly visible based on what was there the last time it was visited. If you return after some time you may find it has changed or some things have disappeared.

I will most likely add a new specialized ship type that can be used for scouting and exploration. They will get a cloaking module bonus to help them remain hidden. Destroyer class ships will get bonuses to detecting the cloaked ships. 

At the start of a game all sectors will be hidden on the galaxy map until they are explored.

(Explored sectors visible on galaxy map)

For the moment I have left all the background stars and glowing areas visible on the galaxy map from the start. It looks nice but think it will make it a lot easier to predict where everything is in relation to your starting position. So may have to hide more of the background stuff until the nearby sectors get explored...

Ship Modifiers

Made a few changes to some of the ship modifiers for balancing reasons and added some extra ones.
  • Energy Leech (Drains energy from target ship and adds to its own)
  • Energy Leech Resistance (Reduces effectiveness of energy leech modules)
  • Decelerator Resistance (Reduces effectiveness of decelerator modules which slow the ship)
There is now just one generic damage type rather than being seperated into explosive, electromagnetic, chemical types etc.. This is to make it simpler when designing ships and reduce the need to equip so many modules that add protection from individual damage types.

Added a stacking penalty for when you equip modules that affect the same attribute. This is to make it impossible to get really overpowered ship stats or becoming immune to damage.

22 comments:

  1. Oh finaly :D new entry! And a very good entry, Stuart your game is in HD xD maybe you can rest resolution on the planet structures to save GPU memory... anyway the image have not small details (small city images) or anything, they are only an "strange" geometric form and this doesnt need high resolution.

    About the fog of war I think you make the best choice and in addition to the "stealth ships" thing you can introduce "Detection Stations" with a good area of detection for invisible ships and different types of scanners to fit "from normal scanner to very very good scanner"

    Adding stationary structures gives more deep and strategy to the game, targets to neutralize before a large invasion or hit & run operations.

    Srry again if my english is worst writed than the school work of a 7yeard old child.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The textures need to be very high resolution to keep the black outlines nice and smooth as the game doesnt use vector graphics for rendering most things.

      The memory usage shouldnt be an issue now as I can use texture compression for certain things which wont sacrifice any quality.

      Stationary structures are definitely something I would like to add, but is unlikely they will be in the game on release. Something I could save for updates/expansion perhaps.

      Delete
  2. Ah, I almost forgot, what happened with your page? It was in "Under construction" for some days or weeks :S

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not sure what page you are referring to. Nothing has happened with this blog as far as I'm aware. It hasnt been down or with any under construction notices.

      Delete
    2. O.o maybe was a problem with blogger.com and my country or anything but few days ago when I typed www.galaxial.com the only what I have seen in Under construction :S

      Stuart any aproximated date for alpha testing or any?
      This Autum or Christmas...2014...when the oil runs out...in the next glacial era? Shit our future is fucked up >.<
      (Comment deletions for great grammar mistakes)

      Delete
    3. Thats weird, I havnt changed anything with the blog recently so not sure what the cause was.

      Sorry still dont have any estimated date for when it will be ready although I'm aiming for sometime late this year (could take longer)

      Not planning on having a really long alpha period. The beta would be very shortly before the final release.

      (removed your deleted comments so its more tidy) ;)

      Delete
    4. That's "galaxial.com" instead of "www.galaxial.com" :)

      Delete
    5. Ah I see now, thanks. Fixed it so both will redirect to the blog.

      Delete
  3. Hi Stuart. I am the guy which wrote that long comment about frighters and resources transportation. You know, the one from so many questions in much earlier posts... I just wanted to say that generaly I am strongly against simplifications... But I am very glad to see that You decided to make damage system simplificated. In this one it is much better to keep it somple. As a negative (in my personal opinion) example I will give Earth 2160 where we had three types of damage and three types of armor. Winner in battle was always that guy, which happend to choose luckily right type of armor for his units (in that game You could use only one type of armor at a time). So I must say that I am very happy about this paticular simplification.

    As for Fog of War, I will say that You also have choosen in my opinion best possible opnion. Propably second best option would be no fog of war at all... Because having to use many units in space game just to see all battle would be bit troublesome.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great, nice to know you agree with the changes.

      Also I may possibly add an option before starting a game to choose the type of fog of war system to use. With the options being something like:

      - Sectors hidden until explored, fog of war enabled (default)
      - Sectors hidden until explored, fog of war disabled
      - All sectors revealed at start, fog of war disabled

      Delete
    2. And that would be propably best option - something for everybody. Just pick option which You like the most.

      Delete
  4. Hi Stuart,
    I am really looking forward this game, seems pretty awesome , keep working buddy, you are going to make a damn good game :D.

    Take care,

    Byeeee

    ReplyDelete
  5. Looking good! I saw in the FAQ you were inspired by Sins of a Solar Empire and similar, have you ever tried Aurora4x? It's a bit neckbeard-y ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No I havnt heard of Aurora before. Looks very interesting and complex, will definitely give it a go when I have some free time! :D}

      Delete
  6. I have 2 Questions.
    What is your programming experience? and what language is this programmed in (as well as the graphics engine)?

    I am wondering because I am wanting to get into making some games, and I have started a couple games; and I want to know how long it might take to make a game as good as yours is looking.

    Galaxial is looking really good! and I am loving how you are going about it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have been programming for about 12 years (never for a job, just as a hobby)
      The game and engine is written from scratch using C++ and OpenGL.

      Before starting on the game I was making engines for a long time which I learnt a huge amount from and really enjoy doing. Galaxial is the first proper game I have started to develop.

      I am probably not the best example on how to start developing as the usual advice is to make small games first, not engines.

      It's impossible to say how long it would take until you can create a finished game. My advice would be to learn programming. Try out free and commercial game engines. Dont be in a hurry, learn gradually. Be determined. :)

      Delete
  7. Are you still working on this?

    Going to be finished soon?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, absolutely. Have been working on lots of smaller tasks, polishing and bug fixing so havn't had much to blog about recently. Will hopefully have some more news soon.

      I dont know how soon it will be finished. It's starting to feel more like a complete game but there is still much to add.

      Delete
    2. *construes this comment as imminent release*

      :D

      Delete
  8. There hasn't been any updates/videos for like ever. Please do something about it cause it looks like the project is abandoned, which if true would be a shame cause it looks like it could be a very nice game.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Should have a new development update post this weekend.

      Delete