Alpha 1 Update + Alpha 2 Dev Status

Sorry if you try to download the game at the moment, I just uploaded a new version of the release with the fix for Spanish language. Sorry for convenience.
I also uploading a .7z version of this release, if you do not want of an executable installer.

Concerning the dev of the Alpha 2 it already began since yesterday night.
I implementing a new production mode, Water Recovery, that will be updated for an upcoming infrastructure, Humidity Trap.
After that I begin to apply the audit on all the code, with refactorings, code completion and optimizations, and finally a cleanup of the code format too.

FARC Alpha 1 [0.5.2] is Released.

(PS: I just applied many typo/grammatical corrections, sorry for the bad writing)

The so-called "first playable alpha", or version 0.5.2, is finally released, after about 4 month of development.

Like it, Hate it or "WTF" it, it's available to download and here to stay until the next major release.

You can find the file (Windows only, or usable under Linux by Wine) here .

The Download page of this blog is also finally updated with the links and the long changes list, if you want to see what are the additions since the 0.4.1.
Talking of version I changed it a bit: until FARC goes in beta, one day, the releases will be counted as Alpha 1, 2... and so on, including the real version between [] (ex Alpha 1 [0.5.2] ). I do that because there will be more often releases from now as long as I work to consolidate this Alpha 1, and only the build will change, not the version. It could be confusing a bit.

There's not much to do, apart to assign people for construction and build some infrastructures, but anyway an another core system is done.

If you want only see what work has been done in 1 year and 4 month you can see the changes in the Download page.

Here's a little FAQ (based on comments/ forum posts over the time and a bit of self masochism :P ):
Your game is boring, looks like a screensaver, and feels incomplete, are you aware of it ?
Since it's an alpha and since I focusing mostly to the implementation of the game systems, a lot of things lack in this version like all the rest of the playable factions, final planetary systems (there's only one for now and it's only for dev testing, it will be replaced by a fully generated one), and many infrastructures. The game lack also of many information reports for the player, but some will be implemented in the subsequent patches after this Alpha 1.
For the boring part I can't do much for now, come back in 2 or 3 years when FARC will be feature complete. Just keep in mind that it's free, not made by a studio in full time, and there's a ton of alternative out there that will fulfill right now all your needs; as Endless Space for example.

Is it a Master of Orion Clone or inspired from it ?
By the background and design of the game, FARC is far from MOO 1/2 and even the 3.
The only video game reference I use is Outpost (the first one, released in 1994). See this wikipedia page .

So what's next ? 
Well, first I'll consolidate this 0.5.2, so that means no new feature but a mass of bug fixes, code completion, and interface refinement and frequent updates available as patch and complete downloads.
When I'll decide it will be OK I'll begin to dev the next major version.

When do you plan to begin to dev the next major version and what it will be about ?
I don't know exactly, in fact it's not entirely true. I lie a bit because I planned about 2 months of code consolidation for the 0.5.2, but in the Open Source world, development schedule always stay an uncertain feat.
The next major version (0.5.5) will include a hybrid realtime system and a turn based system. Yes it will have the two; because in the manner I coded FARC time flow I can join a turn based system to the whole time flow system. If all goes well the player will can switch in realtime and turn-based on the fly. I'll do that because even if I like real-time based, I know that many of you prefer turn-based strategy games.

Talking about schedule why it's so slow ? Do you plan to complete FARC when windows 12 will be released ?

I'm a one man army and do that during my free time so I can't do miracles BUT... since I don't plan to take any new courses for my job until 2013, I will use most of my breaks at work to push further the development. It's maybe only additional 45/60 min by day but that will allow me to process all non trivial tasks in the development, to update the XML files and also the docs. That will be the first time, since the start of this 3rd iteration in 2009 that I'll have so much additional time dedicated to the game.

Third iteration ?
Yes, the two previous ones are in fact failed-and-never-completed ones, and that for many reasons.
The first one was started in 2002 and halted in 2006, and the second one was started in 2007 and halted in 2008.
I uploaded some screenshots of these old iterations in the Gallery section if you're interested. Just take a look to the bottom of the page.

Will FARC stay free ?
Yes, and indefinately as far as its GPL license protect it. If someone wants to pay someone else for downloading it on a website, simply don't. Google Code is the only official repository of the FARC packages for now.

Do you consider other platforms ?
No. Some time ago, maybe more than one year, I talked about a "possible" native Linux port, but I have already too much job to do with this version only, and no more spare time.

Thanks for reading this post and thanks to anyone to have kept your interest in this project since so much time for most of you. The best gift I have is by sharing my dream with you :)

Alpha 1 (not yet the release post) Status

The Alpha 1 is done a bit ahead of schedule (for the very first time), but since there's 2 days left, I go to implement some additional things like an infrastructure for the oxygen production. On May 31st I'll do the release and will upload it.
There's not a lot in this alpha 1, but it's the first officially "playable".
It include the Colony Simulation Model, the Socio-Political Matrix, the Production System including conversion/assembling/building of infrastructures, energy management, reserves consumption and extraction/refining/manufacturing of products.
The colonization phase system is also done from start to the end, even in a crude form.

It lack of return of information for the player, another colonization objectives, planetary survey (and especially the resources survey), complete settlements management (surface/subterranean and so on...), complete infrastructure configuration + the possibility to assemble/build groups of infrastructures and finally to complete the mission cancelling for the space units.

All that will be included in future updates and are a requirement before I continue the development further. A full code audit/optimization will be applied too in the next months.

Assets, assets and... tons of assets missing (did I said assets ?)

Alpha 1 [0.5.2] Dev Status - Last One Before Release

It's the last post before the next one that will announce the release of the Alpha 1.
The segment 3 of the production phase is nearly finished. Oxygen and Water consumption works, including the management of their events. I need to complete the Food consumption and its events management and this part will be fully done.
The end of the colonization phase is the next and last step.

Alpha 1 [0.5.2] Dev Status

I finally finished the implementation of the CSM events: Oxygen Production Overload, Oxygen Shortage, Water Production Overload, Water Shortage, Food Production Overload, Food Shortage.

These events can be triggered, in case of the Production Overload, when the colony's production cannot sustain the entire population and, in the case of Shortage, when the colony's production cannot sustain the entire population and there's no more available reserve to compensate it.

These events put their influence on the tension, the health and the economic/industrial output of the colony and, depending on which events are triggered, the people can begin to die of asphyxia and starvation. It's a good and certain way to loose your colony :)

It taken time because of the design time required for these events, to make something coherent.

I also began finally to code the segment 3 of the production phase.

After that I'll need to complete the Colonization Phase System and, that with some additional details, will set the end of this alpha 1.

May, Development Statistics

Each month I'll provide some stats about the project with of course differences month after month.

Project duration since the starting date (August 16 2009): 2 years and 9 months

Game Design Documents:
  • 11 documents with a size of 588Kb in total. (+5Kb since April 9th)
  • Main document: 159 pages. (+6 pages since April 9th)
  • Units: 68 (+2 since April)
  • Size (w/o XML files): 48,171 lines (+1,159 lines since April 9th)

That's all for the rant, back to work :)

0.5.2 Release Date

FARC 0.5.2 will be released on May 31 /2012.
I don’t know if the 0.5.2 will be fully completed for this date but at least I working for finish the main parts of it.
For now I am working again on the reserves management. I loosed time to clean the CSM events data structure, but now it’s completed, and I just finished adding a new event, Oxygen Production Overload. 

Since Food and Water Production Overload events are based on the same process, there will be implemented faster tomorrow. I need after that to add the events Oxygen/Food/Water Shortage events and finally I’ll complete the segment 3 of the production phase concerning the reserves consumption.

All of that for just adding some difficulties for the players :)

Stay tuned.