ClanDestiny Update: Um…still 8 hours.

Behold!

If you’ve played Inaria, you can probably tell that that’s Inaria’s level-up screen. It’s been repurposed as the “research technology” screen for ClanDestiny. But the icons are all over the place! What gives?

Well, knowing that I’m going to be fiddling with and re-jiggering a non-square group of icons, I put an “edit” mode into the base GUI object. When this mode is on, you can drag the icons around the screen. They’ll still work, of course.

Since this was work on the framework, it doesn’t count against my time. But I thought you’d like to see what I’ve been doing.

ClanDestiny Update: 8 Hours

I gave up on the Ultima tiles, they don’t minimap well. Right now I’m generating my minimap by drawing the base sprite at a really small size; the amount of black in the Ultima tiles made that impossible.

Plus, I could not resist the pretty.

In the minimap area you can see the results of my terrain generation algorithm, which I’m liking a lot for the size and style of landmasses it creates. The number/layout of the special terrain tiles like hills, swamp and desert leave a bit to be desired but I can fix that later.

Plus we’ve got cities and units on the map. They currently do not belong to any team and are non-interactwithabble. That will change very, very soon.

I have 32 hours left. The two most complex things in the game will be the AI (the prototype WILL have one) and the tech tree. AI can’t really be done until the base systems are in, so I’ll probably start that around the 30-hour mark. So putting in the tech tree now would probably be a good idea.

I’m currently thinking about dividing the tree into three basic areas – combat, science and culture. And instead of a tree I’m thinking of a wheel, since all three can interact to provide additional options. Hopefully I can get a mockup of that soon.

ClanDestiny Update: 5 Hours

And now we’re back to this:

Now, of course, that represents lots of work under the hood, making data structures, deciding on terrain types, etc, etc, etc.

Trust me, it’ll look better soon.

I deliberately used sprites from Ultima V because a) it has all the river and road transitions I want and b) when the time comes to replace this art with real art it’ll be easy to see what needs replacing, since I’m so familiar with these sprites.

Next comes some terrain generation, which is going to be kind of specialized, since I’m not sure if I want boats in the game or not. Since this is supposed to be a much smaller-scale game, boats may not make much sense. On the other hand, they may be more fun to play.

When the Internet teases, she teases HARD.

I was looking for some basic terrain tiles I could use for the ClanDestiny prototype.

I found some.

I found this on some guy’s photobucket.

It’s got everything I need – trees, grass, mountains, tundra, desert, rivers, huts, villages, cities – and has a slightly Japanese feel to it without being too over-the-top.

For a while I couldn’t figure out where they came from, leading me to believe that I might be able to use them for ClanDestiny.

It turns out they are from Fire Emblem: Blazing Sword for the Game Boy Advance.

Sob.

I can still use them for the prototype, but at some point I’m going to have to pay for some art, and good Lord, art is expensive. This is why I couldn’t get any animated tiles for use with Inaria, and instead had to go with public domain stuff.

ClanDestiny Prototype Update 0: 0 Hours

Okay! So, like I said, I can think about the game all I want.

So here’s what I’m thinking.

There are four bits to the game:

The MAP

Your UNITS

Your CITIES

Your TECHNOLOGIES

That’s it. You have one resource – production. You use production to do everything in the game,
from improving cities to buying technologies to making units.

BUT, you cannot save up a ton of production and then unleash hell in one turn because you can only do as many things as you have cities (you don’t have to do them all to/in one city, but that’s your limit). That’s the number of Actions you can take. An action is:

Buying a technology
Building a unit
Improving a city
Building a new city

When you build units, you can choose any of your cities for them to appear in. Thus, mopping up is easier because you can build all your units “on the front” instead of having to move them from the back.

Technologies are devided into three basic types – combat, civilization improvements and religious/cultural. Since this is the stone age, combat advantages amount of “oh, you discovered that leather makes your guys take a little more damage” and such, and your cultural improvements involve discovering that certain rocks sound nice when struck. But there’s only one tree and it’s not very big – in fact, it should fit on one screen without having to scroll. The tree is going to look very similar to a WoW talent tree.

So let’s see. Several tribes all starting at the edges of the map. Lots of settlement sites in the center that are either vacant (so you can easily build a city there) or have unaligned cities on them (which you must either conquer or culturally absorb). Once everything is claimed, the tribes will start trying to take territory away from the other tribes. Culture still works, but it’s much harder on aligned settlements, so the traditional way will be to attack them with armies.

Armies. We’re going to greatly simplify how units work by allowing the player to group them into armies. Armies are basically just a stack of units. BUT, once you put a group of units into an army, you can’t remove them (though you can add more units). So stacking units is actually a good thing, where it was a
terrible thing in the original Civilization. You can have an army guard a city, or move it around the map and attack with it.

So, the game progression is as follows:

You start with three settlements (thus, you can do three things a turn).
You build up your tech.
You make units so you can start taking unclaimed settlements.
You make combat units so you can start taking claimed settlements.
Everything eventually gets claimed and the infighting starts.
You try to attack or subvert your enemy’s settlements into joining your side.
Somebody gets all the settlements. They win.

The stack of doom. I think making it so that you can’t undo armies makes it so that you’ve got a Death Star: yeah, the town its currently attacking is doomed, but all the other towns are relatively undefended because you’ve spent so much production on this one thing. It also may not be using the best technologies.

So you’re wandering around with your stack of doom. You attack a city and are repulsed by the city’s defensive bonus plus the fact that while there are fewer units, they are better-equipped than you.

Meanwhile, several small, fast strike forces are taking the undefended cities in your backfield. Can you pull your SoD back in time to take them back? Either way, you’ve been put on the back foot.

So I don’t think the SoD will be that big a problem.

I think this design works, and even better, it’s not that difficult to program.

Multiplayer is also possible.

The Return of the 40-Hour Game

So. Got two games. Which should I make? The answer, of course, is both, but the order and priority I give both games is important.

What both Star Kittens and ClanDestiny need are prototypes.

Well. I can make prototypes 🙂

So all hail the return of the 40-hour game! I’ll be writing a version of both Star Kittens and ClanDestiny and going from there based on your feedback from them. I won’t release the prototypes until they are both finished, so you can try them both out at once. And I’ll only have 40 hours to spend on each prototype.

Again, the standard rules apply:

1. Only actual coding/art/sound time counts. I can think about stuff as long as I want.

2. The forty-hour deadline is hard and fast. Once the clock runs out, pencils down and publish.

3. I can use anything I’ve already coded for free.

4. I must blog the entire process as much as possible; the constant feedback is a really good motivator.

I believe I’ll actually do ClanDestiny first, as I think I’ve got its design more fully-formed in my head than Star Kittens.