Alpha 10 - iteration #08: Colonization Modes Begone, Last Future Iterations Update, Weather System

"I will not make any post until this mess become a finally finished unicorn and is running. It will take again some time but I will keep you in touch for sure!"
As usual I cannot keep my words... anyway to keep you updated with small posts is fine, instead to say nothing for one month.

The old and deprecated Colonization Modes are now really gone, I implemented the expeditions and backstories yesterday night.
Since, I working in the non-player factions XML database by adding the data of the unique type of Expedition, for the Magellan Unity, and its two types of backstories. The file is growing fast due to the fact that there are more data than before, a normal thing considering that the old objectives were entirely hardcoded.

For now it is impossible to setup a new game, and that as long as I haven't updated the related user's interface with theses new changes. The code stay a bit of a mess but is being cleared time after time.

Also I have an announce for the two last iterations left, I will merge the development of the iteration #9 and #10. The rationale is that the #10 is the full completion of any current part of the game, and the #9 is about the completion of the tech trees, so the goal is about the same.
And since there will be more than one online sub-release (the updater will be available for the release of the current iteration), I can update the whole with no precise order. Anything must be completed, at least at a basic stage.
So to make things simpler, the next iteration will be directly the alpha 10, and will be finally the last for this alpha 10, but not the least since it will be the biggest of the ten iterations...

I will also implement the basics of the weather & geophysics system in this iteration 10, instead to make it for a future version, the why is that is a core system, and should be implemented for the alpha 10. Most of this system is already designed on paper, and needs to be put in the main design document before implementation. Yes, the planets and asteroids will also move on their orbits... incredible isn't it? Eight years to reach such millestone.... OK hahaha

That's all for now, stay tuned.

Alpha 10 - It. #08:Side Experiment - Better and Final Encyclopedia

As a side experiment I tested a quick and dirty implementation of the web pages of the knowledge base directly in the game, and it worked pretty well.
So for the release of this iteration, the current encyclopedia interface will be replaced by the entire interface of the Knowledge Base website (you can take a look at it here), since its presentation, linking and web interface will always be better than what I will never do in the game, including research in the base, keywords and so on.
Of course it is out of question that FARC requires an internet connection to playing it fully, so the knowledge base / encylopedia will be an offline version of the online one, and the two will be updated in same time by a strict procedure, so there will be no discrepancy between the two.
All the data and texts already present in the in-game encyclopedia will be ported to the knowledge base before the release, so nothing will be lost. The data will not be dynamically displayed but updated manually like the rest of the texts, it is a small trade-off and again requires a certain discipline during the update of the data.

Also the linking between the interface and the encyclopedia will continue to work, the code will change a bit but it is just a question of page redirection in this case.

It changes nothing for the hints and their texts since it is completely separated already.

That's all. I know it is late in regard of my past due release schedule (end of June) but it will be released one day.
Stay tuned.

Site Update: New Page; Development Roadmap

I created a new page, called Development, and you can reach it via the page menu above.

I decided to centralize the information about what is done in the current version and/or iteration, what is in developement and what is planned and pending. It isn't a far future roadmap since I prefer to inform you about real development instead of some fantasy that perhaps will never been done on time.


Of course I will update it over the time.

That's all, stay tuned under the Sun! And thank you for your interest :)

Alpha 10 - It. #08: Updates on the Ongoing CPS Overhaul

I continuing to update the CPS, including a complete overhaul of the data structure of the non-player factions, the implementation of the expeditions and backstories, and the overhaul of the CPS itself including the objectives.

It is useless to say that all parts (and there are many) of the code concerned by these updates are a real mess, at least for now.
But the transition is ongoing, I already cleaned up the previous and deprecated colonization modes and the hardcoded CPS objectives.

I implemented the new data structures for the CPS objectives database and the in-game objectives.
Part of the CPS objectives is now contained into a new XML file and processed like any other asset of the game, like the infrastructures. It contains 3 basic data for any objective and the complete list SPM weight that can influence each objective.

As a reminder, each policy and meme of the SPM can affect a CPS objective on how it will be set and chosen during the dynamic setting of the player's objectives.
I put these data in a XML file, because it will be more convenient to update the amount of data through it than directly in the code.
This database is always loaded by default into FARC, regardless if the player set a new game or load an existing one.

The part of each objective that will be coded will be all the calulations and tests that will occur when the score of an objective will be updated. It's too complicated and not efficient to put that into a XML file.


So that's it. Since the CPS, like for many system in the game, affect other parts of the game, the whole need to be updated each time that I remove an old data or add a new one, it is a painful but necessary process in this case. You can see that as bad design but, it is often difficult to keep a long view of parts of the code, and how you will use it, on a time span of many years.

At least these ideas that I implementing are final (really! :) )

I will not make any post until this mess become a finally finished unicorn and is running. It will take again some time but I will keep you in touch for sure!
As usual I underestimated the amount of work that will be necessary, especially in the dependencies of the CPS code.

Enough ranting, have a great day and thanks for your interest!


CPS: Colonization Phase System    SPM: Socio-Political Matrix

Alpha 10 - It. #08: Implementation Done; Multiracial / Multiethnic Framework

FARC is now supporting officially a multiracial population, at least in its data structures. That will pave the way for the alpha 11. I finished the last lines of code during my lunch break (I always stating it, in case a co-worker read this post...).
So tonight I will start to implement the unique type of expedition for the Magellan Unity (see a previous post here), and two of its backstories. That include of course the many update necessary in the user's interface to setup a new game and also the updates of the non-player factions' data structures and how they are initialized.

Once it is done, I will be finally able to complete the implementation of the CPS objectives and all the changes necessary in this system.

The last part of the development of this iteration will be about the end of the colonization phase that needs a big stack of work and fleshing-up.

That's all, stay tuned.


CPS: Colonization Phase System

Alpha 10 - It. #08: Multiracial / Multiethnic Framework Implementation

I overhauling and updating many parts of the code to implement these expeditions and backstories, because it has changed a lot since the old Colonization Modes and the resulting code will be final, out of future expansion.

In this optic, I reworking completely the data structure of the non-player factions and how the data of expeditions and backstories will be managed, and that include the setting up of the populations.
Since the populations in FARC will be multiracial and multiethnic in the future (until now only the humans are present), I decided to implement already the data structure of this future expansion.
So in clear, the population's data structure will support already multiples races and ethnicities but will be only fully managed when I will code and release the alpha 11.
So by this way this avoids to have to redo, one time again, part of the code in these data when the time will come.

That's all for now, thanks for your interest!

Alpha 10 - It. #08: Three Backstories Confirmed for the Magellan Unity

On the design side I continue to working on the expeditions' backstories, and I finally found three for the Magellan Unity faction. Two of them implementable right away, the third one requires the update on the population to integrate the multiracial and multi-ethnics inhabitants (with the Artificial Intelligences and Clones races), and is planned for the alpha 11 once the iteration 10 of the alpha 10 will be done.

Here is the complete list of expeditions and backstories for the 8 power blocs:

  • North American Coalition (NORAC)
    • Expedition - Private Venture
      • Backstory - Group of Families
      • Backstory - Private Pioneers
      • Backstory - Core of Rogue Artificial Intelligences
      • Backstory - Excentric Wealthy Individual
      • Backstory - Commercially Sponsored Colonists
    • Expedition - State Funded Colony 
      • Backstory - Scientific Outpost
      • Backstory - Military Outpost
      • Backstory - Helium-3 Conglomerate
      • Backstory - Space Energetic Complex
  • Earthling Space United Nations (ESUN)
    • Expedition - Open Colony
      • Backstory -  Children of Gaya
      • Backstory - Eve Haven
      • Backstory - Freedom Dissidents / Refugee Group
    • Expedition - INSIC Colony (INSIC = Inner Sphere Industrial Consortium)
      • Backstory - Craddle Endowement Project (CREP)
      • Backstory - Mother Earth... (MOVERA, title in WIP)
  • People's Republic of China (PRC)
    • Expedition - Industrial Complex
      • no backstory designed yet
    • Expedition - Pioneer Settlement
      • no backstory designed yet
  • Russia Federation (RUFE)
    • Expedition - Consortium Colony
      • no backtory designed yet
  • European Union (EU)
    • Expedition - Scientific Base
      • no backstory designed yet
    • Expedition - Private / Civilian Base
      • no backstory designed yet
  • Berngham's Community (BC)
    • Expedition - New World Community
      • no backstory designed yet
  • Neo-Believers Federation (NEBEF)
    • Expedition - Pilgrim Community / Holy Settlement
      • no backstory designed yet
  • Magellan Unity (MUN)
    • Expedition - Autonomous Remote Colony
      • Backstory - Quantum Spark of the Void
      • Backstory - The Knowledge Hoppers
      • Backstory - Seeds of the Unity

Please note, that outside of those of the MUN that will be implemented in this present iteration, none is finalized by design yet, and as you can see a good number of expeditions haven't ideas of backstories yet too.
But it can give you an idea of the whole. Many of them, out of those that requires expansion of the game as the multiracial population, will be implemented during the build of the interation 10 of this current alpha. 

That's all, stay tuned.