May 20, 2016

Alpha 10 - iteration #07: Side Design - Settlements

At my work, during my breaks, I switched into the work of the settlements.
The design documentation exists but has never been completed and cleaned up, and since they affect what I do for this phase 2, I'm working on it.

As a reminder; settlements are locations that regroup infrastructures, so they can illustrate a city a base or anything like it. They are represented by an icon on the surface map of the Orbital Object Panel and it can be only one settlement by region and by faction.

There are 5 types of settlements in the game + a special one that I will not cover here since it is linked with the space units and is post alpha 10; surface settlement, space-based surface settlement, subterranean settlement, lava tube settlement and asteroid settlement.
Each of them has different levels of development, specific requirements and particularities.
Each type of settlement indicate in some sort the shape of it in the orbital object's landscape. Certain types are specific for certain environment and one is specifically targeted for the asteroids.

So during the setup of a Colonization Mission, it will be possible, after this iteration, to choose which type of settlement will be used.

So that's it, work work and work :)

May 18, 2016

Alpha 10 - iteration #07: [warning: screenshots post ] - Orbital Object Panel (WIP) Phase 1 DONE

So finally the Phase 1 is done.

So, behold the new Orbital Object Panel!



This first screenshot is what the player will see by default.
On the left, the ecosphere data is what is displayed by default, the button "Colony" allow to switch to the colony data, if a colony is indeed set on the orbital object (OO), like below;



The 5 other buttons on the top will popup the panels of the different sections; Population for the... population one, including the detail on the categories and so on, Settlements for the settlements and infrastructures installed on the OO, Industry is the one that will display the storage and the production matrix of the colony, Events contains the Colony Simulation Model (CSM) events and all their details (the rounded number on the button indicate the number of active CSM events the colony have, I will include a fast list of them in the button's hint) and finally Biosphere will display the details of the OO's biosphere, according to the discovery the future Biological Survey will do. This last one will stay disabled until the planets' biospheres are finally implemented post Alpha 10.

On the center is the well known display of the OO's surface, nothing is really new here.

On the right is grouped the data about the hovered / selected region. The new part is that now the data about the other seasons is also displayed on the bottom of the group. With this, the player will have an idea how livable... or hellish... a region is throughout an orbital year.
 

And finally, below the OO's surface is were the changes are thje most visible; information about the geological survey is displayed and the discovery status of each type of resource spot is now displayed.
Linked hints to these icons will display more detailed data.


The two spaces below the ecosphere/colony and region groups aren's errors; I will implement here, post Alpha 10, some additional interface elements about the colony and region control.

Of course it is now possible to resize the panel, and anything follows:


It will be possible for the player to save the position of this panel and also to keep the opened state save for any subpanel, like Settlements.

The behavior of the whole is also 100% OK, outside for the colonization mission user's interface that I will fix and update for this phase 2.

Phase 2 that will include the complete rework of the interface for the infrastructures.

That's all. So let's dev this phase 2 now.

NB: Oh yeah! This new panel is fully compatible with a 1024*768 screen now, it wasn't the case with its previous shape.

NB bis: I forgot to show the panel for a gaseous planet;



Obviously only the information about the ecosphere is relevant here.
It isn't the prettiest way to show the difference but it is the easier one... mea culpa :)

May 17, 2016

Alpha 10 - iteration #07: Orbital Object Panel (WIP) Phase 1 Nearly Completed

I nearly completed the phase 1 of the overhaul of the Orbital Object Panel (formely the Colony and Surface Panels).

I'm working on the display of the resources spots, and will include tomorrow new additional 2d assets to represent metal, rare metal and uranium ores.

There will be also data displayed about them.

Once all done, the phase 1 will be completed and the next blog post will contain a serie of screenshots of the work.

The phase 2 will be about re-implementing the modules of this panel; Population, Settlements (including infrastructures), Industry (formerly Colony Storage and Production Matrix) and Events.
Most of the work will be to display them in their own panels, none will be overhauled out of the Settlements one after this phase 2.

You will see on the screenshots that I will post that the new panel is relatively different from what you knew before the overhaul.

Stay tuned.

May 5, 2016

Note About Side Design for Future Iteration

At my job and during my breaks, I'm working on the design of the custom effects for the policies and memes.
For now these SPM items only provides modifiers for the basic data of the colonies, but of course it is just the edge of the iceberg.
The real interest in them is in the custom effects they provides; with simple ones like special modifiers for research & development, limitations of any sort and so on but also with not so simple ones like affecting any part of the game and gameplay changes to enforce a policy, according to which political system is enforced.

And for now my focus is made toward this last point; the political and economical systems.
The first one will modify the gameplay on how a player but also the future AI will be able to enforce a policy and will also adjust any modifier and collateral effect on the success and failure of an enforcement.
The second one will define how the economy of each colony is treated and what possible actions will be available for the player and the AIs. For ex. a Free Market economy will create a private sector, a bit like in Distant Worlds.

These two things are themselves the biggest parts of the custom effects, so it's why I work on them first.

This way I will be more or less ready when I will arrive to a future iteration to expand the SPM.
It will not be for the next one, the #08 since it is already reserved for completion and expansion of the Colonization Phase System.

About the current iteration, I'm working to complete the phase 1 of the overhaul; since yesterday I'm working on the part that will display the information on the geological surveys and the resources.
There will be another modifications since I will also include some info about the weather of each season for each region. These data are already generated (and the code to generate them is already implemented since a while) since the completion of the Universe Generator but needs to be displayed for the player now.

When this phase one will be done, I will make a special screenshots post and I will work on the subparts of the overhaul; the population, the industry (the previous colony storage and production matrix) and the events.

I will finish this overhaul by working on the interface about the infrastructures, since it's the main topic of this iteration, and will provide some graphic stuff and things to keep informed the player on how to assemble or build infrastructures and what it requires.

That's all for now. It looks like as a redo the wheel but it involve a lot of job so... stay tuned :))