Clone started

all the talk around the remake

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BrodieBrodie
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Clone started

Postby BrodieBrodie » Sat Oct 13, 2007 7:39 pm

i have started coding an open source game. ad-infinitum
[using c, windows, direct x.]
this game has many features directly inspired from the Dune space concept,
these concepts are : a future of feudal, religious, and guilds.
as a clone of efs these ideas come pretty close. see notes futher on changes from efs.

the game and code can be found and downloaded at:

https://sourceforge.net/projects/ad-infinitum

please help if you are interested.
eg. graphics assistance would be much appreciated.
Last edited by BrodieBrodie on Mon Oct 29, 2007 1:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby cy387_lk » Thu Oct 18, 2007 3:20 pm

pretty nice

some questions ive got:

Is the tile engine fully 3d, or it uses 2d tiles? Because Ive got a nice 2d tileset and i can generate even more if needed. There's a screenshot of something similar i did before:
Image

If its 3d, how r u planning position units? U cant do it using surface normals on stacks with anything but plain terrain. And a tank unit flying over forests, on a mountain's peak or cutting through a volcano surely would look bad.

Image Image

Ive worked in a turn-based strategy game project once and we passed through all these problems im talking about.

Let me know if i could be of any help ;)
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2d or not 2d

Postby BrodieBrodie » Fri Oct 19, 2007 3:11 am

i use 2d hexes, shrunk to give a horizon effect and offset (lines move slightly in new rows) to add to the 3d illusion.

note: my latest file (ai-08) has a zoom on the planets using the mouse wheel.
as this is a bit raw, you can see the overlapping of the hexes and get a better picture how they are connected.

see the blank hex.bmp in the ai-08/bin/... file for true dimensions.

can you help? some of your graphics looks pretty good.
Last edited by BrodieBrodie on Tue Oct 23, 2007 11:18 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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Postby BrodieBrodie » Sat Oct 20, 2007 11:46 am

i noted all the various talk about a clone and read various ideas. ad-infinitum will differ in two important ways: 1) the game will be real time; 2) there will be no tech tree (but there will be techs).
i'll explain these two changes:

1) one of the problems with turn based games is that the larger your empire the more pedantic the game becomes. this is a problem with civ but reaches ridiculous dimensions in EFS. in real time the pleasure of playing tends to increase as your empire grows. Now one of the problem with real time is the mindless anti strategical click and kill. i have an idea to combine the advantages of both in the following way: combat between units will take time. i.e. two equally armed and armored units meet in the open and start firring at each other, it would take on average 10 real time minutes for them to finally find a victor. During these ten minutes players can attempt to tip the balance: reinforcements, bombardment, terrain maneuver, outflanking, entrenchment...etc. this tipping the balance has the effect of decreasing/increasing this time scale.
my felling is that this process is closer to reality and will be more enjoyable.

2) given the size of the universe in efs it is in the interest for players to sit about until they have all the techs before attacking. this kind of defeats the purpose of the game, as i see it, to encourage conflict, in the entire first part of the game. Not only that, but tech trees tend to lock players into habits of continuously doing the same thing. Sure players will differ from others in their strategy, but once they have their tried technique they tend to stick to it. i thought of a solution that is touched upon in all civ type games but not exploited: ruins/village tech discovery. my idea is this: players finds an ancient ruin, explores, and finds a tech, however in ad-infinitum he finds a lab that produces this tech, he MUST KEEP this lab to use the tech. once he losses the lab he loses the tech. He cannot move the lab. He may even "rent" the tech to other players but all benefits are lost once the lab is lost to the player who gains the lab.
some techs will have to be quite common (eg each player will have a space flight tech on his home world) and others will have only one lab in the whole universe.
If the church disapproves of a tech they will attempt to occupy the offending lab. Labs are never lost; A destroyed lab can be rebuilt to rekindle its advantages.

otherwise the game will be similar with a few adjustments:

spies will be unites that the other player thinks is his. eg player Alpha trains one of his populace into a captain, however this unit is in reality owned by player Beta, player Beta lets player Alpha use this unit as if it his own. From this player Beta gains info on troop movement. When Player Alpha places what he thinks is his captain next to one of his nobles, player Beta blows the spies cover and attempts to assassinate the noble. note: re the labs, if player Alpha uses and trains the spy unit as a scientist in a lab, player beta will secretly gain the tech researched.

The gem resource is both very rare and very valuable. to build a mine you'll need one gem; to build a hyperspace drive you'll need many gems; and to couple matters, each time a ship enters hyperspace it uses a gem (fusitron) as fuel. The guild will be attempting to monopolize gems throughout the universe, using its starting advantage to further this effect.
The radioactive resource in similar to the fuel resource, only a power plant will be needed to use its energy.

The player starting stats will be reflected in the religious sect one joins. eg
orthodox sect gives the advantages of +food production, +loyalty. if a player is excommunicated he losses these advantages.

many purists will not agree with these or other changes. But please note: ad-infinitum is not EFS. As a clone it is not attempting to copy the game but improve (advance) the concept. Please bear in mind that the code will be freely available, so that those of you who want to change various concepts will be able to do so legally and with minimal programing skills.
Last edited by BrodieBrodie on Mon Oct 29, 2007 1:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
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post scriptum

Postby BrodieBrodie » Sat Oct 20, 2007 6:19 pm

re changes:

other change....

there will be a "city" hex. other constructed hexes such as factories, power plants, chemical plants...etc, palaces, barracks, hospitals, universities, warehouses, starports, construction yards, churches, shields, ports...ect will be suburbs (adjacent) to the City hex.

city hexes are very difficult/expensive to build. however, a cheaper option is to build a city hex besides another, this represents the growth of a city.

city hexes offer peasant/manual labor for the suburb type structures, this number is limited to about (not yet sure) 6 working unites. military unites will further have to be recruited from these working unites. occasionally cities produce exceptionally talented peasants. these unites can be trained into special unites (captains, scientists, spies...).

city hexes is the where players place there spies. these spies pose as exceptionally talented peasants in the hope of being trained and thereby infiltrating.

city hexes eat food and, to encourage talented unit production, can consume "goods". goods are a default factory production that has a further tax advantage. note, food and goods will be "sold" to peasants, this is how the tax system works. overly high taxes (charging to much for food) will not only create discontent subjects but will starve the populace.

other constructed hexes need not be by cities: fort, farm (borderline), mine, well, offshore platform, landing field...etc
Last edited by BrodieBrodie on Tue Oct 23, 2007 9:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
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other ajustment

Postby BrodieBrodie » Sun Oct 21, 2007 12:17 am

re changes.....

the church can call a holy crusade against the " unholy vile" alien invasion. what this means:-

the guild will mobilize two cargo transports to each of the players home worls. players must fill the transports with troops. if they do not, troops will volunteer.

the imperial army must also give troops.the imperial navy must serve as escort. whoever controls the ministries (whether or not they have appointed themselves as emperor) must appoint a leader player of this crusade, this can not be himself, but must be another house.

the church will decide on the crusades destination, an infected world. the church will bless the mission (extra moral).

the leader will control all the missions unites, and this without knowing who's units is who's. the leader must send a noble or captain to lead the crusade.

in the event of victory (destruction of all alien units on target world), surviving units will gain a max experience (otherwise unreachable) of "holy paladin" status. this status not only adds bonus stats to the unit, but further installs respect (fear) into their opponents. basically super super elite. these unites will return to their respective home worlds and go back to their respective player's control. the unit who led the expedition will gain an extra voting right (knighthood), if he is a noble; or, if the unit is a captain, the captain will be ennobled.
Last edited by BrodieBrodie on Tue Oct 23, 2007 8:10 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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stack size

Postby BrodieBrodie » Sun Oct 21, 2007 12:28 pm

re changes...

subject: stack size.
there will be no stack limit....players will be free to place their entire army in one hex if they so chose. however, and here i refer to the real time/time scale system of combat, it will not be in the players interest to do this, but rather to spread their forces out, i'll explain:

in the efs combat, attack was turn based, was one unit vs one unit, and the larger the force the greater the fire power. hence it was in the players interest to have large stacks.

in ad-infinitum combat is simultaneous, bonuses can be gained from attempting to flank units, attack from two or more sides. further bombardment (orbital, artillery) attacks all units in the hex simultaneously. hence a large stack size will be an attractive target.

note- the fort structure is an exception to this rule- players will be happy to stack within forts as this structure offers protection against orbital bombardment, artillery fire, mortars and other indirect fire. However a fort will slowly deteriorate under intense bombardment.
Last edited by BrodieBrodie on Tue Oct 23, 2007 8:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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space ships

Postby BrodieBrodie » Tue Oct 23, 2007 10:13 am

re changes...

space ships will require a crew. this crew must be talented trained units. the crew positions are: captain (one per ship), gunners, engineers, pilot/navigators. the amount of crew in each field can be changed for different strategies. eg, a crew of 1 captain, 1 pilot, 3 gunners, 1 engineer - will have a bonus attack. however the same ships crew can be changed to 1 captain, 3 pilots, 1 gunner, 1 engineer - for a bonus defense (maneuverability); or 1 captain, 1 pilot, 1 gunner, 3 engineers - bonus ship reparation; or or 1 captain, 1 pilot, 2 gunner, 2 engineers......

the size of a crew depends on the type of ship.

spies in the crew can: 1) steal the ship (ship captain); 2) sabotage/destroy the ship (engineer); 3) sabotage the ships attack/defense rating (gunner/pilot)
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Great ideas!

Postby Grimly » Sat Oct 27, 2007 3:33 am

good stuff!
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experience

Postby BrodieBrodie » Sun Oct 28, 2007 2:37 pm

re changes...

the experience of units is:

recruit*
novice
experienced
veteran
elite
legendary***

further distinction of merit:

paladin**

* recruits can be trained to novice in barracks.
** paladin is restricted to units who have survived a crusade. paladin is a special bonus that adds to the general level, e.g. veteran paladin status.
*** legendary comes after elite but can only be acceded by those with paladin status.

when units gain experience they gain bonuses , these bonuses are the usual +10 etc to defense, attack, moral etc. The bonuses of paladin status is special, it installs fear [moral lose in all adjacent enemy units; legendary units install fear in all enemy units on the same world that they are on].

troops, unlike vehicle unites (tanks etc), gain skills further to the above bonuses. These secondary skills (gained in further training at a barracks), are at one skill per level. The player may chose the skill. these skills are:

battery (can use heavy artilery, anti tank guns and AA batteries)
engineer (can build bridges, bunkers, and repair vehicles)
sniper (good for elimination enemy nobles/captains/specialist units)
mortar (artilery fire)
bazooka (anti tank)
rocket launcher (anti air)
frog-man (movement underwater)
medical (can heal self and other troop units)
stealth (the advanced art or camouflage)
scout (improved spotting and movement)
communications (see below)
commando [limited to veteran+] (a sort of berserk unit that tries to resolve a battle, charging in, in the shortest possible time, by lowering its defense but substantially increasing attack rating)
drop troop [limited to veteran+] (parachute from orbit; sub-note: all units may drop from orbit on moon worlds)
special-ops [limited to elite, legendary] (unit that is capable of entering the same space (hex) as enemy units and attacking from within (that hex), opening a new powerful front; can also be used to traverse enemy lines)

note: skills may increase in power with good combinations (eg stealth and special-ops is an obvious example for the ultimate behind the lines surprises attack; medical, battery, medic would make an excellent support unit; sniper and stealth might make a lethal noble killer; commando with bazooka would be a tanks worst fear; drop troop frog-men could arrive in the most unpredictable places)

units, in order to receive orders, must be near (4 hexes) a captain or (7 hexes) a noble unit. the exception to this rule is units trained in communications. Captains take orders from a noble or general located anywhere on the same planet. A unit who leaves this supply line will follow its last order and then hold its position. a unit told to scout will hold its position once it meets an enemy (but will be able to report this encounter), only returning fire if attacked (after all, how do they know the soldiers in front are currently their enemies). the exception to this is units trained in scouting (and communications), who may take one order before holding. all units who are cut from the supply line suffer a moral drop (always excepting units trained in communications). If something unfortunate happens to the governing general/noble, all captains will use their unites to form defensive positions until contact is reestablished.

experienced captains/generals will gain special talents related to command, not yet sure what these will be but the obvious includes: charisma (bonus moral to all units), tactics (bonus defense), strategy (bonus attack), command (bonus to range of command), trainer (units under his command gain more experience points), promotion to general status, and governor (planetary administration). These skills will have to be learn t at a university structure, but only at one skill per level. Some Nobles have special individual skills (e.g. stealth, spy, combat skill, psi, etc) that are assigned to them at the start and cannot be gained.
Last edited by BrodieBrodie on Sat Feb 16, 2008 5:13 am, edited 11 times in total.
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Postby Sukayo » Mon Oct 29, 2007 9:05 am

downloaded, started, and now i need to read some documentation. So far it shows a dark screen with red and white/gray dots, the red ones symboliting possible ships, because they are moving. Clicking on a gray dot brings up a planet, clicking on the planet a map.

That all is working here.

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all that's working

Postby BrodieBrodie » Mon Oct 29, 2007 3:16 pm

yes, game still in alpha stages. I'm so far alone on the project. need time to implement all the features. the posts, that i am placing hereto, are intended to show how the game ad-infinitum will differ from EFS, so that there is no misunderstanding as to my definition of a clone: not an exact replica but rather a game inspired from EFS.

project is fairly advanced in the generation of universe and the creation of towns. Try scrolling (click and drag) about worlds to see the various structures. Try using the mouse wheel to zoom in and out of worlds.

Units is a second phase. i have the code to move units, but implementing this into the game is still a big leap. i will need to create various routines to instruct how the unites are moved, who can move them or who they belong to, how they can be found, where they start, where they can go, how they are built, icons to select the units options, what happens if two units meet, etc. I'll have to implement all this at the same time. so a huge amount of codding.
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Re: RE: Changes

Postby Phenoca » Wed Oct 31, 2007 11:50 pm

Here is my feedback:

Tell me if this was constructive, or disheartening.

Labs sound like an excellent idea!
However, while the player-base is still small, I recommend refraining from
releasing any high-tech technologies until you have 20-50 active players.
Perhaps the locations of rare high-tech labs could be reset on a monthly basis, so that
players cannot permanently give one planet impregnable defences, while not allowing other
people to capture that lab?
Changing locations would make the game more dynamic for experienced players.
Watching your enemy permanently sit behind a heap of fortifications is no fun :(
Thus, rare high-tech labs could be moved.


Ooh, I like the spying feature :)
Can spies be caught if you have enough counter-spies?
Also, how many units do you imagine a non-advanced planet being able to produce each week?
Will there be any advantages to placing multiple units in one hex (such as defending a city)?


Erm, who is in charge of the religions?
It seems awkward to have religious bonuses instead of racial bonuses.
How many sects do you plan to have, and will they be player-run or led automatically?



What are the advantages of the Shield hex?
Does it give planetary protection, or localized protection?

How many different resources do you plan to have in addition to the raw
resources gathered on planets?
Will there be manufacturing structures?
I personally think that manufacturing is a bit complex, but it helps to plan
if you are going to be making an item-tree.


Ahm, when crusading, who decides the leader of a mission?
I think that is religions are player-led, then forming crusades would be
biased towards players who are friends with church-leaders.
If the crusades are actually automated, then they should not be mandatory, because
players may be in the middle of warring with another player.
If religions are automated, then should crusades be optional?

Also, who directs the "overall" actions of alien races?
Is there more than one type of behaviour for aliens?



How easily can crew members be trained?
This will be very important for new players.


Is there a unit that is the equivalent of a paladin, which
maintains the morale of adjacent friendly units, instead of decreasing
the morale of enemy units?

-frog-man
Hmm?

What happens to units if the their commander is killed while
the units are in-transit at sea, or in orbit?
Or more importantly, if un-commanded units are being gradually
picked-off by artillery?

Commander skills look complicated.
They will take a lot of programming, so I recommend leaving
this as a low priority, and focusing on making a simple
combat-system so that these skills will be easy to add afterwards.

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Postby BrodieBrodie » Sun Nov 04, 2007 7:40 pm

a bit disheartening, i'm one of those who type with one finger and your questions are legion. sill, i am happy to clear the points up.

your view on the number of players indicates that you think the game will be massively online. this is not the games intention. Although i do find the idea attractive, i must not be to distracted or the game will never be completed. Firstly, in the beta phase, the game will be one player, then, when things are running smoothly, i'll tackle multi player at 2 to 8 players. each of these players will be head of one of the great houses, although i see no reason if the player wants added difficulty that he can play a minor house. Later when the game is done, i might see about other players.

No, i see no reason to let spies be caught before they have blown their cover. Players will of course be suspicious of all their units, probably only trusting their oldest units. They may suspect a unit as spy, but not be sure. The only unit that can not be a spy is the noble, hence this will encourage more use of this unit (as a sub note- a very rare tech, shape change, allows your spy units to [if they succeed in an assassination] take the place of a unit, so they may become a noble without the target player knowing, the target will think his noble avoided an assassination and the assassin was killed). Also note, a unit you train as a spy may already be a spy! these units are referred to as double (triple...) agents and their true allegiance will be to first faction that trained them.

as to the productions, not yet sure. I'll play about and make the values adjustable in the input file until the value seems correct. Then allow beta testers to find the true values.

church will be run by the sect that has the most followers. this of course will change throughout the game depending on who controls the most churches. there will be about 6 sects. Each sect will have a different style eg: one will be obsessed with killing the alien menace, another with banning technologies, another in maintaining peace, etc. The church will be controlled by the computer and will have a powerful inquisition force. I do not intend to have the EFS holy writ. the churches role is that only they can crown the emperor. The head of the church will only crown a player of his sect. note...players can change sects, but this has consequences on their units moral and loyalty (their units are of their original sect).

shield hex stops orbital bombardment in a range of 2 hexes.

resources, manufacture will be very similar to efs.

hmmm....you have a point in religious appointment of the crusade. accordingly, the leader of a crusade will be given to the faction who is of the same sect as the leader of the church at the time. i think it will be more fun to have crusades regardless of the conflict between players.

Aliens will be computer controlled, a single massive invasion by a powerful nightmare force.

starting players are not likely to be able to fill in all the crew positions, but a ship need only a captain to move.

bonus to moral of adjacent units...yes- charismatic leaders, the priest unit and certain holy relics.

frog man is a unit trained in diving and may move across coastal sea hexes (2 hexes from land).

units in transit (naval transport, space ship etc) are cargo. nothing will happen if they lose or have no leader. un-commanded units will dig themselves in under artilery fire, and eventually (when moral hits rock bottom) they will desert.

as a sub note to captains, it will not be easy to kill these units. as a unit they do not take part in combat so are considered to be continuously under cover. further they are one man, where as a normal unit represents 1000 men, so a captain unit will be technically invisible to the enemy if it is placed with troops. the exception to these sub notes is units trained as snipers. Snipers will have a bonus to kill a captain if one is in the hex they are attacking. A useful skill which i'm sure will be underestimated by new players in favor of more obvious skills.

yes captain will be a challenge programing, but i think it will be worth it. i have thought of a way that it may even facilitate the programming:- lets say a captain is assigned 5 units under his command, these units will move with him, so the only unit that needs be moved is the captain; units will move to same hex as the captain and with him; the maximum movement of the group will be that of the slowest; they will effectively form a stack, but will deploy (take positions in neighboring hexes) when attacked or so instructed; the captain will be with one of these deployed units and stay with this unit, so not much work for the program to work out his position.
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Postby Deathifier » Wed Nov 07, 2007 12:00 pm

This looks very interesting BrodieBrodie.

I just have a couple of general suggestions:
1. Get the various parts of the engine fairly well developed before going and adding EFS-specific features.

2. Generalise where you can - e.g. with the "ships having crew and captains" idea, allow the engine to let any vehicle have a crew.

3. Try to export most, if not all, of the settings and configuration data into text files. This will not only make it easier for you to tweak and change things as you, it will also make it easier for others to fiddle with it.

Of course balance the above so you don't get bogged down in boring parts of development - I know full well that it is not usually a whole lot of fun writing file I/O routines, when you could be writing parts of a combat engine to blow stuff up ;)

Bye,
Deathifier


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