Alpha 5 [0.5.5] Release

The Alpha 5 is done and officially released.
As usual there's one feature that is postponed toward the next releases.
Here are the changes:

  • the 3d has now minor updates and adjustments, especially for the space units.
  • the range tables for the security data in the Colony Simulation Model were been refined and the ratio recalculated.
  • a complete overhaul of the about panel has been made, and the information about the licenses are clarified and updated. Alejandro Ramos (nenexulo22) has been added in the credits.
  • the assets have been expanded (the first time since 2 years) with icons for the resources spots and the resources survey.
  • complete overhaul of the action popup menu. It is replaced with a more stable customized interface and prevents a crash that could occur sometimes.
  • a basic mission cancellation for the interplanetary transit mission is now implemented and working.
  • the framework of the planetary survey system is implemented.
  • the core of the resource survey subsystem is implemented.
  • addition of new product's functions: Survey - Air, Survey - Antigrav, Survey - Ground, Survey - Space and Survey - Swarm Antigrav. Obviously they concern the planetary survey system.
  • addition of equipments: Airships, Antigrav Scout Platform, Rover Survey Vehicles, Scout Autonomous Rovers, UAVs Survey Vehicles and Utility Fog Scout.
  • the memes management is rewritten, re-enabled and bug fixed (the last show stopper bug included in the old code has been killed).
  • some additions are shown on the surface panel, the main one concern the display of the resources spots and all the resources survey related texts.
  • the data structure of the universe is expanded with the region's EMO modifier; there are now 7 modifiers: Planetary Survey Ground, Planetary Survey Air, Planetary Survey Antigrav, Planetary Survey Swarm Antigrav, CAB, Infrastructure Wearing Coefficient and Ground Combat.
Lines of code added (w/o XML): 4,470
For the full changes list, please refer to the Download page.

The postponed features are the turn-based subsystem, which I will try to put it in the next releases, and the survey automations, that will be added in the Alpha 6.
I don't like to not fulfill my objectives but anyway, what is done is done.

The full package is available here: Google Code Download Page
If you have a previous Alpha installed you must download the full package too, since there are assets additions. There's no separate core package for this release.

So to recapitulate the oncoming dev, here the near future dev schedule:

Alpha 6 [0.6.0]:
expected: before the end of August 2013 (at best)
what it will include:

  • the full completion of the FARC Universe Generator (FUG). For now only the star system and stars generation is implemented. The big step concerns the orbital objects themselves (the planets and asteroids).
  • the implementation of the first complete and definitive star and planetary system: the Alpha Centauri system (the one actually in game is only a placeholder for testing purposes). That also includes all the customized surface maps, which will be required, generated with a 3rd application: Fractal Terrains.
  • the ability to load a saved game including a 3D scene cleanup w/o put any interference in the game flow. That will include certainly some audit of the code concerning the 3d "engine" (if I can call my basic stuff like that).
  • the implementation of the automation for the planetary survey.
  • [optional] the turn-based subsystem.
That's all, stay tuned.

Alpha 5 [0.5.5] Dev Status: Pre-Release Post

Finally the planetary survey comes to an end tonight.
I just need to update the interface to show updates about survey progress, when it's needed, and that's all.

FARC Alpha 5 will be released during the weekend of March 30/31 and a new video, explaining how works the resource survey, will be uploaded this same weekend.

It has been a hell of a work as usual but it's nothing compared to what's coming in the next releases.

Stay tuned for this release, and, I don't say it enough, but thanks to all of you that follow silently and less silently the progress of this project.

Alpha 5 [0.5.5] Dev Status: Feature postponed and Planetary Survey

Alpha 5 [0.5.5]:
expected: before the end of March 2013
Main To-Do-List:

  • !DONE! - the action popup menu will be replaced with a custom interface more stable, the current menu can freeze the interface if used in some ways.
  • !DONE! - the Interplanetary Transit mission will be re-enabled.
  • !DONE! - the mission cancellation will be finally completely implemented.
  • !DONE! - the SPM memes management will be fixed (the bug that freeze FARC at March 1st). Don't worry, for now the memes management is simply disabled in the alpha 4.
  • !DONE! - the transition for conversion/assembling/building will be fixed (some errors have been reported).
  • !IN DEVELOPMENT! - the framework of the planetary survey system will implemented, including the resource survey.
  • !POSTPONED! - the turn-based subsystem will be implemented and will be switchable with the realtime subsystem.
First I must say that I'm sorry but I can't fulfill the to-do-list for this Alpha 5.
I must postpone the turn-based subsystem toward the next alphas, maybe for the 6 maybe after that.
That suck but hey I'm only a guy who work on it part time most of the year.
This subsystem isn't a critical feature for the game system, even if I know that some (many?) of you prefer a turn-based strategy game than a realtime game. But anyway one day it will be implemented. The trick is that perhaps I'll have time during the alpha 6, why? Because the main feature of this future alpha is the FARC Universe Generator, or more precisely its completion since a part is already implemented, and that I have already the complete code from 4 previous and old iterations. So to transpose it in this one will be faster than to code from scratch, I need a heavy refactoring and code audit but it's OK.

To go back to the planetary survey itself, this thing become heavy too, many calculations, and many data, at the image of this strange/complex game. But don't worry, on the player side things are less complicated. After the release, in 13 days max now (no pressure!), I'll make a video to explain how it works.

As I said in a comment into the previous post, this Alpha is the biggest addition, in lines of code, since the Alpha 1, and perhaps at the time of release even bigger than what the Alpha 1 has added in lines of code. The Alpha 5 will be also the first release which expands the game's assets since July 2010! Well before the Alpha 1 itself.

Stay tuned.

Alpha 5 [0.5.5] Dev Status: I Am Alive

Sorry for the lack of post, I had a "brain holyday" for one week (too much modded Civilization IV), with slower code updates.

I will complete the interface for expedition setup this weekend (it's nearly finished) and I'll put the planetary survey too. I'll work full time Saturday and Sunday for it.
From Monday I will begin to implement the last feature of the Alpha 5, the turn-based subsystem.