0.5.2 Snapshot available for download

I uploaded a snapshot yesterday night, it contains all the 0.5/0.5.1 updates and also the last additions in the development of the 0.5.2 (Spanish language and many user's interface refinement).
Take a note that's not an "official" release, and so has not an installer, just unpack in a directory of your choice (you must to create one). There's many things to dev to reach a playable 0.5.2 but at least you can take a look.
Also panels locations aren't very optimized for all resolutions, it should be ok for res >=1024*768.
And also since it's a manual installation you'll need to install the fonts too, in your OS' font directory, the package is included in the archive.
I'll make the part 2 of the video tonight and, if finished, i'll upload it on Youtube before SOPA and ACTA shut all of us down (sarcasm included). Since my beloved country seems to want to apply the bill C-11 (a SOPA like shit) all is possible.

That's all :)

NB: i forgot to put the download link: http://code.google.com/p/farcolony/downloads/detail?name=FARColony-0.5.2.830-Jan29-2012.7z&can=2&q=#makechanges

0.5.2: Spanish Language Added + Dev Status

FARC received its first external contribution under the form of the translation of the user's interface texts in Spanish, thanks to nenexulo22 who is now added in the credits of the game.
For my part, the update I made since the start of the 0.5.2 are purely interface based, some fix here, some code completion here and so on.
The encyclopaedia text formatting for the Socio-Political Matrix items is nearly finished too.
The next updates will concern interface updates again, all that concern the colonization phase (the main goal of the 0.5.2) is in design phase yet. I need to complete the design of the colonization objectives before to implement them.
I go to upload a snapshot of the 0.5.2, it's of  course not an "official" release, but will help nenexulo22 to refine the Spanish translation. I need also to adapt some hardcoding in the text for the Spanish language.
And don't worry I’ll upload the part 2 of the 0.5/0.5.1 video.
That's all for now.

0.5/0.5.1 Video - part 1

And here's the first part of the video :)
detail from the Youtube page
"This serie of two videos is to show part of game system developed in the 0.5 and 0.5.1.
The first part also show a bit of the basic interface which have already been developped prior to the 0.5 version.
0.5 part concern many changes in the Colony Data Panel, the addition of the infrastructures including their assembling/building process, the colony's storage and production matrix and finally the production process itself.
0.5.2, which will be the first "official" soooo playable alpha, will be released in april/may 2012.

Please, excuse me about the annotations, some of them show briefly, i suck a bit at making video, so don't hesitate to pause the video. It will not concern the annotations about the colony data panel, they're fine.
The second part will be uploaded this weekend (jan 28/29 - 2012)"




Final Roadmap to 1.0

Yeah another post, incredible activity isn't it ?

This one is just to expose you the final draft of the roadmap until 1.0 beta. The list only include major versions. I put clarifications under each of these to explain what it means.

*(0.5.2): Playable Apha - first phase of the game complete w/ the full CPS
Yes the first playable alpha will not be 0.6 but 0.5.2, why ? Just because that the CPS is already implemented for most part of it since the 0.2 but not completed. This version will include most of the colonization objectives, a complete score management, and a complete end of colonization phase.

---Post First Alpha Features
*(0.5.5)-hybrid rt system
Since FARC is in realtime but need more reflexion from the player for post 0.5.2 features, like the research & development, i need to not rush the player. Pausing the game during the player set his/her R&D settings or set up a new space unit design isn't a good solution because it kills the mean that the game is in real time, like someone said on a game design website, if you need to arbitrary pausing the game for some part, better be to dev the game turn based... So the most logical method is to slow down the time flow, not too much, but enough. It will be not an easy task but will be worthwhile.

*(0.6.0)-RDS incl. dynamic tech trees + incl in parts (items, equipment modules, infrastructures)

This version will be a key one, because the technology will affect what you can assemble, build and manufacture. It will include one big technology tree like for Civilization, splitted in 8 research sectors. I will try to include a static system and a dynamic one, i have already the basis of a tree management on paper, we will see if it's a failure. At worst there will be only a static tree. The tree itself is mostly completed in the game design and will include more than 150 sciences and technologies.

*(0.6.5)-FUG complete + scene cleanup + scene reload + load game + new game during in game

The FUG is the FARC Universe Generator, a design tool (not for the player) that i'll use to generate all the planetary systems in FARC. It's already implemented for part of it and requires to be completed. The rest will concern mostly of 3d scene management, for switching the 3d view from a planetary system to an another, and also will add the capability to load any saved game file ingame.

*(0.7.0)-SPUD + all design elements + space unit construction

The SPUD is the Space Units Designer, a design and ingame tool to allow to modify and create designs of spacecrafts and space based infrastructures. It will also expand the production phase to allow to build space units.

*(0.7.5)-faction's AI

Obviously this version will include the AI of the other major and minor factions. A big nightmare but well no choice eh ?

*(0.8.0)-trading system + semi automated missions


The trading system will allow products / technology exchange between faction, including the player's faction. The Semi-Automated missions will include automated mission like this: 1/load stuff from colony A, 2/travel to colony B, 3/unload the stuff to colony B and 4/return to colony A. And this w/o a constant monitoring for the player.

*(0.8.5)-unified combat system

Yes the bloodthirsty ones among you will be happy with this version. Why unified ? Because it will process aerospace and ground-based combat in the same impulse, useful thing when you attack a colony and support in the same time your troop on ground with space units in orbit.

*(0.9.0)-game events + scripted historical events

game events are semi-random events that can happen to a colony, space unit or globally in a planetary system. Semi-random because some of them will be linked to existing things like a Nuclear Meltdown event will never happen if a colony haven't any nuclear reactor. There will be also sort of missions and contract the player's faction will can take to add some additional objectives. Scripted historical events is an another beast, it will include events related to the geopolitical background of FARC, like some crysis between factions, and over happy events. Even if FARC is more positive than our real world related to the human space exploration and expansion, it's not Disneyworld and so problems exists...

*(0.9.5)-GLOCS

The GLOCS is the Global Communication System. A key part to induce some fog of war in the game and remember you and the AI that space is huge and that you aren't omniscient. This system is mostly completed on paper.

*(1.0)-diplomacy + memetic war (and even engineering if not implemented previously) / major features complete - Beta

The last features but not least concerns all possible interactions between factions with diplomacy and memetic war.

And i hope to complete all of that in... 2 to 2.5 years. Am I crazy ? Maybe, but sometimes we need some madness to reveal ourself and our creation (my philosophical 2 cents for 2012).
I know that the PC gaming will be dead until that... Ok let's go away the sarcasm and get back to work.

0.5 Report Part I - Infrastructures

Ok here's it's time to talk about what have been added in 0.5.

Infrastructures:
An infrastructure represent any building and structure (like a landing pad) in the game. Since FARC isn't different from any other strategy, infrastructures represent the backbone material of a colony. they allow the player to house people, extract resources, build differents products and apply research & development.
Each of them has one basic function among 5 possibles:
  • Energy: regroup any infrastructure that produce energy
  • Housing: like the name indicating, this function focus on housing a colony's population
  • Production: this one focus on resource extraction and products refining and manufacturing, depending which production modes are set in an infrastructure
  • Intelligence: regroup any infrastructure that allow to process research & development, meme engineering and even meme warfare.
  • Miscellaneous: the last but not least, regroup all infrastructures that cannot be classified in any of the others functions. They're defined by the custom effects set in them.
These basic function provide additional data, like the power output for the Energy function.
Additionally with these functions there're the custom effects and production modes.

Custom Effects allow to add special effect to an infrastructure, not initially provided by its function. One basic example is the HQ (headquarter) effect which add the capability to an infrastructure to represent the location of the head of the local state.

Production Modes are sort of custom effects,excepted that they can only be affected to Production infrastructures. In clear, a production mode is related to on particular industrial process used to generate any product in the game.
As example Resource Mining is already implemented, and it's the first one. Here's a part of the game design document describing it:

======================================================================

7.3.2.2.8.Resource Mining

Concern the exploitation of any ore type.

Infrastructure's Data:

xxx [ XXX ] xxx




Input / Output Table Products Part Calculations (in m3 / hr)
IN Resource Spot: Icy Ore Field
OR
Ore Field
Resource Mining Production(RMP)=
average(  power(infrastructure surface , 0.333)
   , power(infrastructure volume , 0.111) ) 
   * Mean Quality coefficient * (occupancy/100)
OUT For Icy Ore Field: Icy Ore
OR
---------------------------------
For Ore Field:
Carbonaceous Ore
Metallic Ore
Rare Metals Ore
Uranium Ore
Full RMP is used


----------------------------


RMP * % of Carbonaceous Ore in the resource spot
RMP * % of Metallic Ore in the resource spot
RMP * % of Rare Metals Ore in the resource spot
RMP * % of Uranium Ore in the resource spot


Calculations:

The output is calculated conforming to the part calculations in the table above, considering the products, 1unit= 1m3 for all products generated so there's no conversion to do.
Energy consumption is calculated when the production matrix is updated w/ this production mode and calculated as follow:

energy consumption = [ ( SQRT(colonist)*5 ) + ( SQRT(technician)*30 ) ] * ( 1 - (( 1-orbital object gravity )*0.5) )

Required Technosciences (only for design purpose, integrated into infrastructure's technologies requirement list):

- Basic Mining & Refining
======================================================================

There's also other ones, in the doc only at this moment, like Farming, Carbonaceous Ore Refining or Antiprotons Production.

When a Production infrastructure is enabled, all its production data are calculated and the results are transfered to the corresponding colony's production matrix.

Beside these production modes there's also the Energy Modes that are used for Energy infrastructures and working in the same way as the production modes. Obviously they are used to produce energy.
The ones already implemented are Nuclear Fission and Photon Energy.

Here we go for this first part, the second one will concern the production phase

0.5.1 is Near to be Completed


Well, the 0.5.1 will be completed before this weekend. I lost some time because of a float precision bug, but it’s fixed now since I have extended the float declarations with more precision.
The colony’s storage and production matrix are now displayed, yet in a crude but usable form. The storage capacities are also displayed and all that is updated in real time if required.
Here’s a screenshot of the modified data panel, including the storage/production data display:
PS: don't mind the typos, especially for the storage capacities, it's harcoded non-localized (yet) text for fitting purpose (between english/french).

So what’s next? Well the first thing I have to do is to refine some user’s interface elements of the colony data panel (especially with the shortcut keys) and it will be complete for this 0.5.1...
Next I’ll do a video and “perhaps” will upload a snapshot, even if frankly I don’t like that before the 0.6.
Talking about the 0.6, I’ll begin the dev of the final step of this soplayableMaybeboringAlpha after the uploads of the 0.5.1.
With some luck I’ll be on time to release the 0.6 before May... many people believe in miracles so why not.
For the final word, I appreciate the support of some of you on this blog, it worth it more than anything else, thumbs up!

0.5.1 Status


There has been not much SVN updates since the holydays but it’s not that no work was provided.
I decided to take a small break in the code for push the completion of the technology trees, and many of the 8 ones are near to be completed. You could say “what’s the point with the 0.5.1 or 0.6 ?”, well there isn’t any, but since that the research and development system is the next big addition after the 0.6, it’s better to complete these tech trees, at least in the design docs, and it’s not a lie when I can say that’s a lot of work. This completion is the conclusion of about 6/7 years of work of design (not full time of course but I work on it since the second failed iteration of FARC).
Anyway since I have two days off on Tuesday and Wednesday I’ll start again the development of the interface to complete the 0.5.1.
I hope to start the dev of the 0.6 after January 15th.

NB: I would like sometime to explain in detail some parts of the game system but don't find the time to do it, it's not always easy, especially when English isn't my mother tongue.