Alpha 10 -iteration #05: Energy Equilibrium Rules fixed

OK, I do an additional post before the pre-release one.

The Energy Equilibrium Rules (EER) are now completely fixed, and all works flawlessly.
I tested it by building a mining site, without assembling any nuclear reactors.



The energy consumption jumped to 123% use and incidentally the stored reserves began to be depleted.



Arrived at zero percent of energy reserves and during the production cycle, the EER quicked in and disabled the Mining Site to recover the overload. the process is entirely automated.



A special icon in yellow indicates that the infrastructure is disabled by the EER, due to some particularities compared to a standard disabled infrastructure.
As long as there's isn't enough generated power to support the Mining Site, the infrastructure will stay in this state.

So two Nuclear Reactors have been put in assembling:



Once done, the EER put back online the Mining Site and it resumes its ore mining.



You can always say; "why not put a condition about power requirements to lock or unlock the access to the player to build such infrastructure?"

There will be such test implemented in the near future, but BUT, incidents during the game can happen like; let's take the colony in this final state and just imagine if one or the two nuclear reactor are disabled or destroyed for any reason (event, attack/combat, riot and so on), the EER will be useful in this case.

So that's it, the bugs previously announced are fixed.

So now I resume the update of the interface. In fact, some time ago, I started to try to fix the selector and region selection of the surface panel, but not completed the fix yet.
I will also update the Colony Panel for the production, I have 6 days left but 4 to 5 days to work full time on it.

Stay tuned.

Alpha 10 -iteration #05: Dev Status + Pre-Release Post Info

I will do a last post just one day before the release day, to inform you of the changes and maybe post some screenshots, if I can finally work the interface in 15 days.

Most of the bugs are fixed, and the mining site finally produce something!  Proof!




Nope, it isn't a mock-up, but the real and alive stuff! :))

Yes the Production Matrix list is empty, I must update the code to support the last changes in the data structure of the production matrix.

The only thing I need to audit is the Energy Equilibrium rules, that trigger a show stopper bug and it will be complete.

I will update the interface after that. It will be tight, but with this so "interesting" end of year period I have some days off, so more time for dev.

Stay tuned.

Alpha 10 -iteration #05: Code Audit Completion and Bug Bugs Bugs

The code audit for the production system is entirely completed.

But now I have a good stack of bugs to kill, with some like; the CSM event Colony Established that don't fade correctly and gives a negative Tension making it a data bug coupled with a crash bug, The built Mining Site that mine... nothing even with surveyed resource spots, bug into the Colony Panel for the owned infrastructures and finally a bug with the rules subsytem Energy Equilibrium rules that occurs when I build the Mining Site and the colony hasn't enough energy to sustain it.

Yeah all that... and November is nearly done... :)

Alpha 10 -iteration #05: Full Week Report (in addition of the Nov. 17 post)

The calculations are completed for the two Energy Generation Modes; Nuclear Fission and Photon Energy. They were previously partially implemented in game, especially for Nuclear Fission.
Additionally they fully support technological improvement by taking into account the mastering and the development level from their related and required technosciences.

Beside that, the products and infrastructures now, also fully support their required tech too, included those for their custom effects, if there is any.
It is not yet supported by the production system itself, but it will be after I completed the audit / expansion phase and updated the interface, interface that will also take into account the requirements for building the infrastructures.

To put comptability with the calculations for energy output, I also integrated technosciences and development levels into the data structure of the space units. Their design integrate more than one technoscience due to the modularity of it, in the contrary of the monolithic single technoscience requirement for products and infrastructures.
Of course, no space unit design exists in the game yet (I use hardcoded data for now) since it is a 0.7.0 future feature, after the completion of the ten iterations if the current 0.6.x version, but spacecrafts are in game already and the built side of data structure must support the technosciences. So it is now, a thing to not do anymore for the 0.7.0 :).

So what's next? The last phase of the audit of the production system; the resource spots.  After that I finally work the interface, better late than never isn't it?

Stay tuned

Alpha 10 -iteration #05: First Day Off (full time dev day) Report

I finally passed between 6 and 7 hours of dev today.

The production mode Resources Mining is entirely done; all its calculations have been re-enabled and expanded to the new input/ouput structure.
Most of it was disabled since a while because I never updated it on time with the new structure of the resource spots.
I also fixed some calculation bugs here and here.

The production mode Water Recovery is renamed Rain Recovery, because it is able to support not only planets with liquid water hydrospheres, but will be usable with liquid water/ammonia and liquid methane ones.
The code audit and expansion of this part isn't done yet, but will be tomorrow and the only infrastructure, already in the game, that support this production mode has been modified to take into account the changes.
So yes it will be possible to collect ammonia and methane droplets too. The switch to the related and specific calculations is entirely automatic depending where an infrastructure that use this production mode is built.

The type of storage for the Methane product is now liquid, and its density by unit has been adjusted in regard of that.

The requirements on how to display available infrastructures, in the Colony Panel, has been expanded related to the changes with the hydrosphere requirements. I also applied some bug fixes that I found.

So, tomorrow I will complete the Rain Recovery and after this step, what's left is to audit the unit about the energy modes (specific production modes to generate energy) and the resource spots.

I think I will complete the entire audit / expansion phase before Saturday. There are many steps left before I can declare this iteration #05 done, but these days off of full time dev will help greatly.

Stay tuned.

Alpha 10 -iteration #05: (side update) Completion of the SPM Data Overhaul

I just finished, during my lunch break, the audit of the entire influence matrix of the SPM.
It is something I should have done with the previous iteration, but better being late than never...

So the influence data, for each SPM meme and policy, is now final in alpha/beta/final terms and audited.

Also, I stated in the October 7/2015 post, in its third point, that I was also working to finally complete the overhaul of the basic modifiers of the Socio-Political Matrix memes and policies.
Well, I forgot to specify it since but it is 100% done too.

So now, the thing that is left to do for this part of the iteration #05 is to add the three new memes and the one new policy.

I will push this lunch work on GitHub tonight (EST), beside the updates I will do tonight with the overhaul of the Production Phase.

Bit by bit something is set in place, I just hope that FARC will support the three next generations of MS Windows :))

Stay tuned.

Plan for This Week and the Next One

I'll continue tomorrow to working on FARC, some hours each days + minimum 7 hours Saturday and Sunday. Next week I will have 4 days off (from Tuesday to Friday), I plan to put at least 8 hours each day onto the development. I will time them to be sure that I put the correct amount of work.

I plan to release the iteration #5 at max on December 31 /2015 (yes, computing is my life).

Since it's about 1.5 months, I will also include the full completion plus the audit of the resource survey, which is part of the planetary exploration system. It needs to be bugfixed, its interface optimized, and the automation done.

Also and finally, I haven't said it yet but at my job during my breaks I working to add some additional messages for the player.
One is already completed and is about the eventual ongoing resource surveys and it will be generated each time that a group of exploration vehicles arrives on site.
I also expanding a bit the data structure of the messages by adding stop flow flag, which indicate the level of importance of a message.
 It is a pretty simple concept; a message can be either Routine or Critical.
By default Routine message will not stop the flow of the time, in real-time mode, or the processing of a turn, in turn-based mode. Critical ones will do it.
This work isn't uploaded on GitHub yet, I will upload it in one time when I will complete this small part.

The control on how messages stop the flow will be configurable in the option panel (yes I also finally plan to implement an option panel in this game, before the release date).

NB: I just forgot to say that I also update and complete missing French texts  in the encyclopedia (not on GitHub too yet).

That's all, stay tuned.

Alpha 10 -iteration #05: Production Phase Overhaul - Completion at 50%

I completed the entire overhaul about the initialization of production matrix items, in a colony, and its linked infrastructures and production modes.

Of course the work not only occurred in this part of the code but forced the update of many others.

Now I am beginning the overhaul of the process of the production phase.
Once done, the entire unit about this segment will be done.

The audit itself isn't done yet, but I really hope to complete and release this iteration before January.
Outside of my slowness, this part was longer because of the overhaul of the production matrix, overhaul required to allow the production system to support multiple inputs and output for one mode of production.
The system didn't support it before and it was important to implement this change because many of the production modes not implemented yet, uses many inputs and/or outputs.

As a simple example, the production mode Concrete Production has in inputs:
  • Carbonaceous Ore
  • Metallic Ore
  • Rock
  • Water  
And in output it has the Concrete product.

Multiple outputs could include wastes for example too, or some other by-products.
That's all for now, stay tuned.

Alpha 10 -iteration #05: Some Details about the Changes

There are some changes into the data concerning the infrastructures and the production matrix of each colony.

I simplified the process on how the production modes (PM) are managed.

As a reminder; each production infrastructure, like a factory, can have one or more than one production mode. These modes act like a sort of template to define the production of products, based on arrays of specific data. A PM can have in output one or more than one products, according to the specificities of the mode itself.
The colonies have a production matrix (called CPM or Colony Production Matrix) that, for the sake of simplicity, regroup the production flow of all the PMs that are enabled for a colony.

Until now, these PM could have been disabled/enabled individually, and the input requirements were based unto what was available in the CPM.
That generated three problems:
  1. since it was planned that the player could enable/disable PMs himself/herself that wasn't, in the context of a game, something realistically bearable. Just imagine if the player had to browse a group of 500 factories for one colony, to disable one PM...
  2. the input requirements couldn't technically take into account the special case when a PM had more than one input product spread through multiples others linked PMs. Imagine the nightmare to code the requirement test to see if the PM has enough material to run one 1 hour (in game time) production run. 
  3. the products stored into a colony's reserves weren't simply taken into account... don't ask me why I even coded the system this way. It is one the weird mystery when you are back working on an old part of the code you haven't seen for more than one year...
So now, I overhaul how these PMs are managed to put their output requirement related to the colony's reserves and not the CPM.
PMs since yesterday cannot be enabled / disabled individually anymore, it is now at the level of the infrastructure itself, so in clear; if a production infrastructure is enabled, its PMs are considered enabled.
And even if one PM haven't enough resources in input for one production run, but have some,  a prorata will be calculated related to the lowest input value. Of course these tests will be done globally at the level of the CPM and not for each infrastructures.

I don't know if this post is clear but yep, in short simplify the processes :)
I also do that because it would be impossible to inform the player clearly of why he/she doesn't have a full production for such and such product.
By this new way, it is now possible and with even by a detailed form with ratios in %.

Anyway a small update, there is a lot of work under the hood yet before to finally update the interface...

Stay tuned.

Alpha 10 -iteration #05: Short Term Dev Plan

Here is my plan for the near future, and I will stick on it:
  1. full code audit of the units of the system of production:
    there isn't much to add, excepted the level system for the products, but I will add it later. So it will (or is, since I began yesterday night) only code audit / optimizations and a cleanup in its locations.
  2. afterward I will work on the interface itself; in first I will improve the lists of infrastructures and the interface to setup assembling/building of new infrastructures. There is absolutely no return of information to the player for this part for now, so it is time far past due.
  3. beside that, at my work and during my breaks I working to finally complete the overhaul of the modifiers of the Socio-Political Matrix memes and policies; a part I haven't finished for the previous iteration, better late than sorry :)
That's it for now.  I prefer to reduce my posts to small announces now, instead to declare a lot of stuff that I will not fulfill in time at the release date.

Stay tuned.

Alpha 10 - iteration#04 Release

(NB: now the release post is made in 4 sections: Details, What's Missing?, What's Next? and Changes. It will be also the case for the next release posts)
Details
The alpha 10 [0.6.9.1016]it#04 is finally released.

FARC is bundled in two flavors: manually, with 7z archives and semi-automated with setup files.

These two ways doesn't requires that FARC is previously installed.

If it is installed and you use the setup file, please bear in mind that it will update correctly only from the alpha 10-iteration 01, not from the alpha 10 or any other alpha before.
If it isn't the case, just remove any previous version of FARC before to install this one.

If you take the manual way, please delete any previous version of FARC before.

Setup is here: FARColony-full-alpha_10it04-0.6.9.1016.exe.

Manual archive is here: FARColony-full-alpha_10it04-0.6.9.1016.7z.

Cumulative patch for the Manual archive of FARC alpha 10 (released before this first iteration update) is here: FARColony-cumulativepatch-alpha_10it04-0.6.9.1016.7z.
To apply the patch unpack into your install dir and overwrite anything.


What's Missing?
As usual I wasn't able to put anything I wanted in this iteration.
What's missing is mainly a goodstack of custom effects for the memes and policies.
OK it isn't very relevant for this first part of the game where the player has only a very limited range of action with his/her faction.
Also only one new policy is added instead of the 2 policies and 3 memes I should have put in it. They will be in the next releases.
Part of the code audit concerning the SPM haven't been processed too.


What's Next?
The iteration #05 will be about updating and code auditing the production system.
In this iteration you will see more visible changes because a big part of this one is about updating and expanding the user's interface, which lack of any informations about the infrastructures, the assembling/building setup, and also why an infrastructure is unvailable to build; for now the list simply hide the not available entries, which is pretty limited.

So unsurprisingly I don't follow entirely my initial plan here, since I taken too much time. I prefer to focus to flesh up the existing systems, and pass the assets iterations for now.

But I keep the 10 iterations plan setup, it is just the order of the next ones that will change a bit.

Changes

  • 3D:
    • HUD click is reinstated and normally stable now. Clicking on one element, pop up the encyclopedia and display the definition of the clicked element. Only a few element are clickable for now.
    • the fonts sizing for any HUD object is now 100% compliant with the dynamic and static font sizing system.
  • Encyclopedia:
    • new topics:
      • The Universe. Will contains informations on how the stellar systems, the stars and their eventual orbital objects are generated.
      • new entries:
        • The Universe:
          • Albedo.  
          • Orbit Distance.
          • Orbit Eccentricity.
          • Star Temperature.
        • Glossary:
          • Astronomical Unit.
  • Entities:
    • addition of an array of data concerning which star systems an entity controls.
  • Infrastructures:
    • the custom effect, concerning the Power & Organization Center, was badly set for the basic ones. So, in this case, the first player's colony was equipped with a Primary POC through his/her colonization shelters. Which is wrong, since this type of infrastructure must provide a basic POC, not a primary one.
  • Interface - Colony Panel: 
    • The type of Power & Organization Center, the colony is equipped of, is now displayed into the left part of the panel, under the Location.
  • Interface - General:
    • the SPM is now fully compliant with the centralized core data display.
    • the code that display data into the frame of the main 3D view is changed to update HUD elements in the 3D view. 
    • the control state, of the current star is now displayed into the 3D view. It indicate if the star, and its possible orbital objects, is not controlled, controlled or contested, and by which factions.
    • a bug has been fixed which prevented correct update of the texts in the main interface. I haven't paid attention to that and I'm sorry.
  • Interface - Unified Management Interface:
    • Faction Tab:
      • the faction level is now correctly updated.
    • Policies Enforcement Tab:
      • in the case when the player's faction status isn't at the correct minimal level to enforce a policy, the explanation text now is displayed correctly for any SOC policy. It wasn't the case before.
  • Misc:
    • full code audit (refactoring, code cleanup, optimizations, bug fixing like the one which concern the decimal setting) of the following units:
      • farc_spm_data
      • [partial] farc_csm_core.
      • [partial] farc_csm_events.
  • Player:
    • the player's faction name is now stored into a specific data.
  • Socio-Political Matrix (SPM):
    • [partial] massive code audit, refactoring and relocation. (partial)
    • the faction levels are fully implemented, including the completion of the rules to determine of which level a faction is.
    • rules about the control of a star systems has been fully designed and implemented. 
    • [partial] during the core phase processing, in case when a requirements test pass and the policy has UC cost/upkeep and the entity has not enough UC to pays it, the entity lose the policy. 
    • [partial] during the core phase processing, SPMi requirements tests for the player's faction depends now of the faction's status. If it is of the responsibility of the player's allegiance faction, it this this last that will test the requirements.
    • complete overhaul of the entire matrix of influence between any SPM item (memes and policies).
    • complete overhaul of the basic modifiers of the policies/memes.
    • Colonization Phase System (CPS):
      • the rules, for each faction's status and each of their levels, were been cleaned, expanded and completed. At least for this stage of the game.
    • new policies ( total = 24 ):
      • Emotions Erasing.
    • Universe:
      • addition of data to store the star systems control state and faction. These data are save and loaded into saved game files.

Alpha 10 -iteration #04: Confirmation of SPM Influence Matrix Completion + Release Date

It is FINALLY... done :)
I have 1 hour left at the time of this post, so I go to apply some final adjustments and start the update of the XML file.

I will release this iteration before the end of this month, whatever happens.

Anyway, here is a quick reminder of what is done since now:
  • part of the SPM code is corrected and upgraded.
  • the influence matrix overhaul is done.
  • the interface updated/implemented for the SPM.
  • the interface is implemented for the control state of the current system.
  • the interface of the colony panel is updated with the display of the type of Power & Organization Center setup in a colony.
  • the faction levels are fully implemented.
  • the rules about the control of a star system and its interface is implemented.
  • the rules of the Colonization Phase System, for each faction's status and each of their levels, were been cleaned, expanded and completed.
  • many bug fixes into the game systems and the interface are cleared.
  • 5 new entries in the encyclopedia.
  • HUD clicking, in the 3D view, is fixed. And the fonts are now 100% compliant with the dynamic and static font sizing system.
Stay tuned.

Alpha 10 -iteration #04: SPM (real) Completion this Weekend and Precisions/Corrections

On July 13, I said that the influence matrix between the memes and policies was completed and on July 31 I said that I struggled into the redesign of this matrix.
Well that requires some precisions; between these two dates I wasn't pretty happy to what I did in these modifiers; that was again to "synthetic" with not enough variations and too much of extreme values.
And with the mass of numbers I started to struggling to enter the values myself and certainly made many mistakes.
In short, my last 1 month of work sucked, literally. So I redesigned it with two goals in mind; full automation into the calculation of the modifiers, clear and complete list of elements that I can use to define these modifiers, in the most objective way.
And on July 31st I finally completed a new system of calculation.
Let's be clear, it doesn't change something of the game system regarding the SPM itself (and that could be the frustrating part), just it allows me to design better modifiers for the influence matrix. I really wanted thing done right for it, especially since I must add 5 more policies and memes before the release.
So the transfer of the 2~3 thousands of modifiers is nearly completed, and will be totally done by the end of this weekend.
I will do a mass update of the XML file belonging to the SPM items, will update the git and finally resume the dev.
I know I'm late, regarding of my goals set in January but things are like that.

So that's it for the news, FARC is always slowly into the progress.

Thanks for your interest.
Peace.

Back on Track Post :)

Hi, I'm alive, and the project is still alive :)

I was only sort of in dev holydays for two weeks, and back on dev.  Summer and things and stuff you know...

I struggled into the redesign of the influence matrix, without even counting I put modifiers manually. But I finally setup semi automated calculations and adjusted the modifiers to something a bit better.

So I'm working on it to its completion and will make a Git upload only once all finished.

Have a nice summer, and stay tuned.

Alpha 10 - iteration#04: SPM - Completion of the Influence Matrix Overhaul

I completed today , during my lunch break, the overhaul of the influence matrix between the memes and policies.
I continue now to update the XML database with all of these changes and do many last adjustments and revisions of the influence modifiers in the same time.

There are 2209 modifiers in total (including those of the 5 new memes/policies), but these are determined according to 4 origin modifiers. so in fact I overhauled and I adjusting 8836 modifiers.

I can't say that's an exhilarating work, but development is made of many PITA moments, especially when you decide to modify the whole AFTER to have implemented the entire system. But so is Mr JF :)

Stay tuned.

Alpha 10 - iteration#04: (big screenshot) A View of the SPM design document

Just to show you what is the SPM Matrix, I did a screenshot.

The file is a bit big, even in JPEG, sorry in advance (and sorry because Blogger has resized the picture in full screen...):



As you can see, the influence matrix of the Socio-Political Matrix is a big name for something simple.
It is in fact an array of modifiers, that are taken in account regarding specific memes and policies are accepted by the population or enforced.

All in green are the definitive modifiers.

The process is a bit complicated because I must stay objective, whatever my own ideologies as a human being. But I think it is worth it.

On the right part are some details of some memes and policies.

In the process I will also add 5 new SPM items; 5 memes and 2 policies. The short list is the following:
For the memes:
  •  Nuclear Fear.
  • Planetary Chauvinism.
  • Spirit of Entitlement.
For the policies:
  • Emotion Erasing
  • Universal Cancer Cure.
In total, at the time of the release there will be 22 memes and 25 policies. Not a lot, but it takes shape.
I will add some more in the future.

My sources of inspiration are found in tabletop RPGs, and especially for the SPM the one called Transhuman Space. There is a ton of ideas and information about memes.
I also read many scenarii and sourcebooks from other tabletop RPGs, especially; Traveller, Megatraveller, 2300AD, MEGA, Spacemaster, Empire Galactique (Galactic Empire), and some others.

I try to bust my old bottom to finally complete that.

That's all, stay tuned and thanks for your interest!

Alpha 10 - iteration#04: Delays, Delays + Overhaul of the Influence Matrix

As usual I am late...

The overhaul of the matrix of influence between all the policies and memes takes time, but the progression is made; I finally began to update the XML file of these items (not uploaded on GitHub yet).

Once done, I will continue my work on the code about the policies enforcement and memes progression, so, with additional code audit and completion of these parts of the system.

I don't want to release this iteration with the SPM not completed, because it is the goal of this iteration itself!

After this one, in the next iteration I will work on the production system. I planned previously an iteration for new assets, but I take too much time in additional code and design.

I prefer to complete the basic game systems first and I will take time to, finally, working on the assets of the game (new factions, planetary systems, infrastructures, events, messages and so on...)

This damned time balance and my lazyness :)

Stay tuned.

Alpha 10 - iteration#04: Completion Star Control Rules + Related Interface [incl. Screenshot]

The rules for control of a star are 100% done.

The changes into the interface to display the state of control of the star currently selected into the 3D view, are completed.

I even made some change in how the informations, about the current stellar system and current star, are displayed...


Yes, a bit more clear and better, isn't it? I tweaked a saved game file to force the control of this star and have it contested with the only, for now, non-player faction of the game.

The top left is the name of the star, on its right with more squared and smaller font is the name of the stellar system. It is the same in the case of Epsilon Eridani, but can be different for stellar systems with 2 or 3 stars.
The font of the star name is of the same modulated color than the light color of the star itself, and change acccording to the type of the star.

I also moved the CPS panel to another position.

Beside all that I updated many small changes like; new encyclopedia topic (The Universe) and entries, put all the OpenGL HUD objects compliant with the dynamic font system, reinstated the mouse clicking of certain HUD elements in the 3D view with hotlinking to the encyclopedia and finally fixed a bug that prevented the correct display of many texts in the game.

Now let's move on into the code audit, refactoring and expansion of the rest of the SPM.

Stay tuned.

Correction

Sometime writing your own stuff show how silly it was.
I'm sorry, I go to change Star System with simply Star, as I did in the start of the development.

Even simpler like that.

Sorry again :)

Alpha 10 - iteration#04: State of Rules of Star Systems Control

The implementation of these rules are done at about 50%.

I will expand a bit the interface by indicate how is controlled the selected star system in the 3D View, and if controlled, by which faction(s).

These rules are tested after specific "events" occurs, like the settlement of a new colony.

FYI, I use terms that can be confusing because they don't stick at 100% of their scientific counterparts.

In the game I use the term Stellar System to talk about an overall system composed of one to three stars.

I use Star System to talk about a star and its eventual orbital objects. Eventual because latter in the development I will add stars that haven't any orbital objects too.

In the real nomenclature, Stellar System and Star System means about the same thing.
I could have designed Star System in the game only as Star, but I considerate that if a star has orbital objects, it is a sort of system by itself.
I just hope that I'm clear :)

By completing these rules of control, I also expand a bit the rules that determine the faction levels.

After all that is done, and the interface is updated, I will continue the audit, refactoring and expansion of the rest of the SPM code.

Beside that I also updating again the SPM matrix. The SPM domains Administration is done, and the Economy one is nearly done too.

The rest need to be overhauled are Medical Care, Society, Space Politics and Spirituality domains.
In the end I will update the SPM's XML file with the entire changes.

Alpha 10 - iteration#04: Some Words about the SPM

Since I worked on it during my lunch break, I thought it was relevent to explain what the SPM is and how it works on a broad level.

I called this system the Socio-Political Matrix because it manages the policies and memes, also called SPM items,  applied to a faction.
The matrix is taken from the fact that there is a sort of matrix of influence which modelize acceptance and rejection of of SPM items and also generate reactions from the faction's population.
The very basic idea has been taken from the civics in Civilization IV, and I developped a system from it, which is now well different from the one used in this game.

For the policies, the matrix will define acceptance in enforcement of a policy from the player or an AI.
For the memes, the matrix modelize the evolution over the time of how a population take and reject ideas and other ideologies.

The most difficult part is into build up the matrix itself and design matrix modifiers in the most objective way, outside my own education, experience and vision of this human world. It is an interesting, and a difficult, experience because I learnt about many subjects that doesn't interesting me much from the start.
Finding objective sources of information is also all a challenge, but if you put your social and local brainwashing and look with an open mind you can retrieve valuable information and modelize something coherent.

In the end, the global objective of the SPM is to provide societies that aren't, if possible, much entangled into science-fiction clich├ęs.

I continue to expand and applying correction into the SPM and beside of it the rework of the SPM matrix modifiers continue too.

It is a bit slow, but I hope to release this iteration in June.

Thank you.

Alpha 10 - iteration#04: Colony Levels + Faction Levels + Star System Control Rules

I paused a bit the audit of the SPM to finalize two part of the SPM I never completely worked: the Faction's Levels and the rules that manage the control of a star system.
These two points can be optional for the scope of the first phase of the game, but they are core parts of the SPM, so since the iteration 4 is about this system, better to complete it.
I also finally completed the design and conditions rules for the colony levels and go to implement them too.

Each colony is ranked in size and political importance by the using of levels, which goes from 1 to ten. Here's the short description of them:

  1. Outpost:  minimum population = 1+
  2. Base:  minimum population = 11+
  3. Community:  minimum population = 101+
  4. Settlement:  minimum population = 1,001+
  5. Major Colony:  minimum population = 10,001+
  6. Local State:  minimum population = 100,001+
  7. Regional State:  minimum population = 1,000,001+
  8. Federated States:  minimum population = 10,000,001+
  9. Continental State:  minimum population = 100,000,001+
  10. Unified World:  minimum population = 1,000,000,001+ 
Out of population requirements there are another ones, like the control of the orbital object's regions, that aren't displayed there.

These levels aren't used only to rank a colony but are (or will) be used for mega projects of infrastructures and others parts of the game.

The ranking is entirely automated, there's no need of a particular action of the player to "level up".

Like for colonies, factions have levels too.
It determine the rank and capability of a faction in space, and it is used mostly in foreign relations, the SPM policies and also future space megascale projects.

Here's the short description of the levels:
  1. Isolated Colony: the faction own only one colony
  2. Space Nation: the faction own more than one colony, all two located in the same star system, and doesn't control this same star system.
  3. Micro-Federation: the faction have more than two colonies located in the same and/or another star systems. Also the faction can also have two colonies located in two different star systems.
    Additionally the faction doesn't control any star system.
  4. Minor Space Power: the faction control one star system
  5. Space Power: the faction control 2 star systems
  6. Major Space Power: the faction control 3 to 4 star systems
  7. Federation: the faction control 5 to 10 star systems
  8. Macro-Federation: the faction control 11 to 20 star systems 
  9. Empire: the faction control more than 20 star systems
The level's description aren't very original, isn't it? :)

As you can see, the requirement of most of the faction levels are linked to the control of star systems.

This control indicate which faction has a predominance, on a space level, onto a star system.

There are 3 states:
  • Uncontrolled: the star system isn't controlled by any faction
  • Under Control of x: the star system is under control of the faction x
  • Contested Control by a, b,...: more than one faction have the control of the system
To determine if a faction has control or not, a set of rules must be applied, if they all pass, the faction gain the control.

Beside that I working, also on the design level, of the overhaul of the matrix of influence between all memes and policies of the game, with revised and better allocated modifiers.
 The new ones will provide more variations in the results.

I will implement the changes into the XML file when I will complete the overhaul.

That's all for now, stay tuned and thanks for your interest.

Alpha 10 - iteration#03 Release

The alpha 10 [0.6.8.1011]it#03 is finally released.

FARC is bundled in two flavors: manually, with 7z archives and semi-automated with setup files.

These two ways doesn't requires that FARC is previously installed.

If it is installed and you use the setup file, please bear in mind that it will update correctly only from the alpha 10-iteration 01, not from the alpha 10 or any other alpha before.
If it isn't the case, just remove any previous version of FARC before to install this one.

If you take the manual way, please delete any previous version of FARC before.

Setup is here: FARColony-full-alpha_10it03-0.6.8.1011.exe.

Manual archive is here: FARColony-full-alpha_10it03-0.6.8.1011.7z.

Cumulative patch for the Manual archive of FARC alpha 10 (released before this first iteration update) is here: FARColony-cumulativepatch-alpha_10it03-0.6.8.1011.7z.
To apply the patch unpack into your install dir and overwrite anything.

Release Notes:

  • Colony Panel / CSM Events List: 
    • the tree list is now expanded by default.
    • the current event level is displayed with additional information, related to the particularities of each event.
    • the linking, to encyclopedia definitions, is restored and re-enabled.
  • Colony Panel / Population List: 
    • population counts are now formatted to take into account big units. For 1 - 999,999= full unit, for 1,000,000 - 999,999,999= in K (kilo/thousand) unit and for 1,000,000,000 - 999,999,999,999= in M (million) unit.
  • Colony Simulation Model (CSM):
    • the events are now correctly cancelled when needed.
    • the health indexes ranges have been modified.
    • calculations to apply modifiers to the health data has been fully fixed.
    • in Health-Instruction Relation event, the modifiers have been completely modified.
  • Encyclopedia:
    • new Format (special text formatting, with sometimes inclusion of databases' data into the description:
      • CSM Events.
    • new Topic:
      • Annex - CPS Viability Objectives.
    • new Entries:
      • Production System:
        • Conversion-Asssembling-Building SubSystem.
      • Annex - CSM Events:
        • Colony Established.
        • Dissident Colony.
        • Food Production Overload.
        • Food Shortage.
        • Governmental Destabilization.
        • Health-instruction Relation.
        • Oxygen Production Overload.
        • Oxygen Shortage.
        • Social Disorder.
        • Unrest.
        • Uprising.
        • Water Production Overload.
        • Water Shortage.
  • Faction Decision Engine (FaDE):
    • very basic implementation of the Entity Unit.
    • implementation of the data of faction-level Global Directives.
  • Graphics:
    • banner for the Welcome message, from Krislachowski @ OGA.org, with pubdlcnt.php.jpg.
    • banner for the Welcome message, from Ratimir Rakuljic, with 01 - Far Colonybanner.jpg.
    • banner for the Colonization (with settlement) message, from Rawdanitsu @OGA.org, with 01 - SpaceBackground-3.jpg.
  • Help Panel:
    • the area where the entry text is displayed is now scrollable and is completely wheelmouse friendly.
    • the panel can now be resized and affect directly the entry text area.
  • Interface - Overall:
    • badly called token into the ui.xml throw now an exception. Some old calls, that affected the text display into the interface, have been fixed.
    • using the mouse wheel on an user's interface component will not affect zoom of the 3d view in the same time anymore. The cursor must be on the 3d view itself now to zoom/unzoom the view (without need of any clicking).
    • fixed the third party component THTMLTreeview with html link; the cursor changed outside the link and the click was effective outside too. It act normally now.
    • basic implementation and initialization of the HTML hint system.
  • Messages:
    • complete overhaul of the messaging system; messages in plain text aren't stored into the game save files, saving some space. It is also possible now to switch from one language to another and have the messages automatically et correctly translated.
    • each type of message can now have a banner to illustrate it when it is displayed in the expanded view. There can be multiple pictures for a same type of banner, FARC chose one among what is available. If no picture is created for a type of message, the banner is simply not displayed.

That's all, stay tuned.

Alpha 10 - itertion #03: Dev Status + Screenshots

  • [WIP] to update the interface for the CSM events.
  • =[DONE]= to complete the CSM events cancellation.
  • =[DONE]= to change the display of the population of a colony.
  • =[DONE]= to overhaul the messaging system (including addition of new messages).
  • to include new messages for events and other parts of the game.
  • =[NOTHING TO DO]= to update the main keyboard shortcuts.
  • [WIP] to add a hint subsystem accessible to any part of the interface.
  • =[DONE]= to update the encyclopedia.

Here are the screenies:





I can't post a screenshot of the basic HTML hint implementation since I can't take the screen without the hint disapear.

Alpha 10 - iteration #03: Uninvited Guest: FaDE

If you seen the last GitHub entries, especially with the build 0.6.8.1009, you've seen something concerning the Faction Decision Engine, or FaDE.
Well, it is what will be the AI engine of the game... at least something I can call AI, I prefer to stay modest since I never did that for a strategy game in my thirty years or so of programming.

For now only some empty units are added, and before the release this weekend I will begin to create some very basic data structures.
You should ask "why know?" and I should answer that it is just a very small brick in the grand convoluted design of things. And I prefer to implement it part by part, until I come to officially working on it in the far future with the 0.7.5.
Part of the AI is already designed, even if not fully put in the main doc yet.

So that's it. The release dates stay the same and I will make post, before it, with screenshots as promised.

Stay tuned.

Alpha 10 - iteration #03: Dev Status [ CSM Events + Encyclopedia + Hint Subsystem ]

I finally finished the automated formatting of the CSM events in the encyclopedia since yesterday.
Now I adding the full description of each implemented event with all their details.
I will post screenshots of it in the last post before the release.

The encyclopedia is also fully mouse wheel compliant without the need for the player to click each element of the interface. This behavior should apply to other parts of the UI as well, outside the help panel. I applied many fixes for that.
Also zooming/unzooming on one of these elements will not affect the zoom/unzoom of the 3d view, that needed to be fixed.

Tonight I will also implement the HTML hint subsystem and will begin to add some of them for certain elements of the interface. Don't  hope to have hints for the full interface of FARC, but at least my custom framework, based on an external component, will be enabled.

I haven't completed yet the upgrade in the display of CSM events into the colony panel, but it will be for the release.

Outside of that, the completion of the description of the keyboard shortcuts into the help panel will not take a long time to do.
And adding new messages would be OK too, I need to add several of them to warn the player of the course of the CSM events of his/her colonies.

That's all, I would like to do more than that but it is better than nothing, the completed todolist items are many :)

Stay tuned.

Alpha 10 - iteration #03: Dev Status

  • [WIP] to update the interface for the CSM events.
  • =[DONE]= to complete the CSM events cancellation.
  • =[DONE]= to change the display of the population of a colony.
  • =[DONE]= to overhaul the messaging system (including addition of new messages).
  • to include new messages for events and other parts of the game.
  • to update the main keyboard shortcuts.
  • to add a hint subsystem accessible to any part of the interface.
  • [WIP] to update the encyclopedia.
Two work-in-progress in one.

Stay tuned

Alpha 10 - iteration #03: Messages Banners and Hints/Popup

Now the messages can have a banner that illustrate the type of the currently selected message. I already made and added some of them for this iteration... and applied the credits where it is due :)
I don't post screenshots yet, since I'm at work, and I prefer to complete other parts of the interface before.

During this lunch break I worked the CSM event s cancellation, it will be completed tonight by the end of this day.

I go to add another feature for the release of this iteration, something very advanced technologically speaking, that even AAA games will wish to have; the hints and other information popup.
Kidding and joking aside, this is a feature that will not be an option for something like FARC, and like for other parts of the interface in the game, I can format them on a HTML way, so with many variations possibles, including pictures and so on.
It was something that was already done in the previous failed iteration of FARC, so I will go to recover this old code, clean it up and implement it for the next release.

New messages are also always planned.

That's all for now... and oh, since I contacted one of the person that made 2D assets that  I use, here is a small teaser of the welcome message with its banner: https://www.dropbox.com/s/lxs0pn2w6k0sxd0/Screenshot-2015-04-14_21.08.39.jpg?dl=0

Stay tuned.

Alpha 10 - iteration #03: Dev Status

Status
  • to update the interface for the CSM events.
  • =[DONE]= to change the display of the population of a colony.
  • =[DONE]= to overhaul the messaging system (including addition of new messages).
  • to update the main keyboard shortcuts.
  • to update the encyclopedia.
The complete overhaul of the messaging system is done. Now I have to apply the code audit and addition of a stack of new messages.

The load has been greatly reduced on the game save file due to the presence of directly plain messages in the previous versions of FARC, and even if it isn't critical at the stage of this game, it will be when a truckload of messages will be generated. Now a game file only store the configuration data of each message.

After I finished with the in-game messages, I will update the CSM interface and will complete the code for events cancellation.

Stay tuned.

Alpha 10 - iteration #03: Dev Status

Annoyed by more posts this year?  Yeah, I woke up from my lazy cave, deal with it. I'm kidding you a bit, but yeah I'm a bit more active.

Status
  • to update the interface for the CSM events.
  • =[DONE]= to change the display of the population of a colony.
  • [in development] to overhaul the messaging system (including addition of new messages).
  • to update the main keyboard shortcuts.
  • to update the encyclopedia.
Nothing much, but now FARC can deal with big population numbers. It isn't relevant at the start of a game, but the player doesn't mean to stay with only some hundred of people in his/her colony...
It was something fast to dev but useful.

Since yesterday and even during my lunch break at my job, I'm working on the complete overhaul of the messaging system. I'm not far to complete it too beside the code audit and addition of a stack of new messages.

FARC will be a bit more... talkative, so to speak and will be able to translate the messages if the player change the language.

Stay tuned, I will post screenshots when I will have completed more than one small updates.

NB: also I forgot to complete the code about events cancellation for the Colony Simulation Model in the iteration #02, I will complete it for the #03 sorry.

[URLs CORRECTION OF] Alpha 10 - iteration#02 Release

I modified the tags of the files AFTER to have put rhe release's post. So the links... don't work... he-he as would say the Tarn brothers :)

OK here are the correct URLs, sorry:

Setup is here: FARColony-full-alpha_10it02-0.6.7.1001.exe.

Manual archive is here: FARColony-full-alpha_10it02-0.6.7.1001.7z.

Cumulative patch for the Manual archive of FARC alpha 10 (released before this first iteration update) is here: FARColony-cumulativepatch-alpha_10it02-0.6.7.1001.7z.

Alpha 10 - iteration#02 Release

Late as usual, here is the iteration number 02 of the alpha 10.

This iteration concern only stuff under the hood since I haven't updated the user's interface. So as a player (or tester considered the state of this project) you will not see much changes.

FARC is bundled in two flavors: manually, with 7z archives and semi-automated with setup files.

These two ways doesn't requires that FARC is previously installed.

If it is installed and you use the setup file, please bear in mind that it will update correctly only from the alpha 10-iteration 01, not from the alpha 10 or any other alpha before.
If it isn't the case, just remove any previous version of FARC before to install this one.

If you take the manual way, please delete any previous version of FARC before.

Setup is here: FARColony-full-alpha_10it02-0.6.7.1001.exe.

Manual archive is here: FARColony-full-alpha_10it02-0.6.7.1001.7z.

Cumulative patch for the Manual archive of FARC alpha 10 (released before this first iteration update) is here: FARColony-cumulativepatch-alpha_10it02-0.6.7.1001.7z.
To apply the patch unpack into your install dir and overwrite anything.

Release Notes:

  • Colony Simulation Model (CSM):
    • all the events already implemented have their own unit. Additionally their code is audited and corrected.
    • event: Health-Instruction Relation: the modifiers are changed for a global ratios that  modify instruction as a whole.
    • the entire code that process the events is reworked and optimized.
    • completion of the event cancellation code which lacked of many data transfer.
    • a now useless cancellation method is removed.
    • the events have now custom statuses, those indicate more clearly than a cryptic integer value in which mode the event is.
    • Colony Management:
      • the code of the population transfer, in and out of a colony, is now taken outside the centralized messy procedure that manage the colony's data.
      • added rules to remove population. It takes in account assigned population and adjust automatically any loss into the construction workforce and the infrastructures' staff of a colony. These rules are core ones for many other cases as induced by the future combat system for example.
    • Uprising:
      • the rebels' equipment factor is determined when the event is triggered, and stored into the event's data structure.
      •  the last casualties for rebels and soldiers are now stored into the event's data structure.
      • some adjustments into the resolution of the fights between the rebels and security forces.
  • Encyclopedia:
    • new entries:
      • csm: cohesion data.
      • faction: faction template.
      • faction: Magellan Unity.
      • time flow system: real time and turn-based time flow (main description).
  • Infrastructures:
    • addition of new status for in-game infrastructure: assembling/building halted. It can happen in the case of a colony loss people working in its construction workforce. For now, it isn't possible to resume such infrastructure. In the future, an action will be possible.
    • Construction Workforce Points(CWP):
      • the CWP data are moved into their respective sub-data structure, directly linked to the colony's one.
      • the details of colonists assignment associated with their respective CWP are now stored into an array. It is used to rollback the global CWP value to ancient values in the case of a colony which lose colonist due to external events and standard death. Any equipment is definitely lost. The ability to recover assigned colonists to the construction workforce of a colony wasn't possible before.
    • infrastructures owned by the player and AIs now keep the amount of staff they take up when enabled and operational.
  • Misc:
    • complete adjustement for all the randomely generated numbers through the whole code, due to a misinterpretation from my part.
  • Population Growth System:
    • the calculations of the mean age after a population transfer were been revised and updated.
  • Socio-Political Matrix:
    • the funky calculations of the SPM items modifiers is now fixed.
 I begin the iteration 03 right now after this post. As defined here this one will be about the addition of assets and is pretty free in the choice. So my main goals for it, are:
  • to update the interface for the CSM events.
  • to change the display of the population of a colony.
  • to overhaul the messaging system (including addition of new messages).
  • to update the main keyboard shortcuts.
  • to update the encyclopedia.
 The whole without taking another two months for some days of work in total...

 That's all, stay tuned.

Alpha 10-iter#02: Last Post Before Release

The iteration #2 will be released at max on April 5th.

I pushing the accelerator to complete the rework of the events but, as usual when you work with a certain number of systems that depends on each other, there are many changes here and here outside the CSM that must be made too...

Anyway all the events are updated with adjusted modifiers, the fighting rules for the Uprising and Dissident Colony events have been reworked for some parts, and the mean age calculations, after a population transfer into a colony, has been entirely revised.

The only problem is that I haven't updated anything in the interface to displaying the new event's informations, I will try to do it before this weekend but I promise nothing. This iteration will be released.

Anyway the iteration #03 will be about the additions of new assets and general interface updates, so I will do it.
Since I will also overhaul the messaging system, I will implement new messages to inform the player on the major events that occurs in his/her colonies.

That's all, my next post will be done at the release date this weekend.

Thanks for your diamonoid patience, no games and videos for me during this week :)

Alpha 10-iter#02: Dev Update

As usual it takes time and I'm slow as a turtle.

For now I applying under the hood code again and it's a complete mess work between many units, it is not even possible to compile the code for now, but step after step the reorganization + code audit go to an end.

I also changing most of the modifiers the CSM core system and its events have, after to have adjusted them by design. I think that the results will be better. Also in the previous versions, the system wasn't able to clear old events pretty well, that will be history at the release.

The release itself is always planned for this month, I wanted to add new events but that will be for another release.

Stay tuned and thanks for your interest.

Alpha 10-iter#02: Dev Update [ the current todolist ]

I only display what is already done (x) and what I actually working on (o):

Colony Simulation Model (CSM):
   (o) all existing CSM events (Colony Established, Dissident Colony, Governmental Destabilization, Health-Education Relation, Social Disorder, Unrest and Uprising) were been revised and completed.
   (o) all the events already implemented have their own unit. Additionally their code is audited and corrected.
   (x) event: Health-Instruction Relation: the modifiers are changed for a global ratios that  modify instruction as a whole.
   (o) the entire code that process the events is reworked and optimized.
   (o) completion of the event cancellation code which lacked of many data transfer.
   (o) a now useless cancellation method is removed.
   (o) the events have now custom statuses, those indicate more clearly than a cryptic integer value in which mode the event is.

Encyclopedia:
   (x) new entries:
         (x) csm: cohesion data.
         (x) faction: faction template.
         (x) faction: Magellan Unity.
         (x) time flow system: real time and turn-based time flow (main description).

Misc:
   (o) full code audit (refactoring, code cleanup, optimizations, bug fixing like the one which concern the decimal setting) of the following units:
         (o) farc_csm_core.
         (o) farc_csm_events.
     
Socio-Political Matrix:
   (x) funky calculations of the SPM items modifiers is now fixed.

Work, work, work.

Just notice that I also work on the design document to cleanup some mess I made by building the CSM.

Stay tuned.

Alpha 10-iter#02: Dev Update

I continue to applying code audits and refactoring for the CSM code.

Some bugs have been fixed, like the one which scrambled calculations for the colony's basic data. I also create new units by event for a better management for me.

After this audit I will fill the holes in the current form of the implementation, will add additional colony events and will, finally, update the colony panel.

That's all, only under the hood work for now.

Alpha 10 - teration #01: Release Info Update

The 7z packages (full version and cumulative patch) are uploaded also on GitHub, I don't know why I haven't thought of that previously...

the FARC GitHub release page: https://github.com/farcodev/farcolony/releases

Alpha 10-iteration #02- Colony Simulation Model

The second iteration is about the completion of the colony Simulation Model, which is of course already implemented but have some holes in the code and requires full testing and adjustments. It's not only an under the hood update but include also its interface and its encyclopedia entries.


The under the hood part will be about to fill the holes in the code, particularly for testing the data over the time, to adjust the modifiers, and adding new colony events.

The interface updates will touch the Colony Panel which require a serious cleaning. The part that will be worked are those concerning the population and the settlements.

Finally the encyclopedia part will be about adding a maximum of entries cocnerning the explanation of this game system, the data it touches and the detail of each colony event.

It's easy to  put ideas, more less to put them into fruition. When I see the awesome brothers which doing that with DF since more than 15 years, I'm nothing beside them.

That's all, stay tuned and thanks again for your interest in this project after all this time.

Alpha 10 - iteration#01 Release

Finally the release is here.

Now FARC will be bundled in two flavors: manually, with 7z archives and semi-automated with setup files.


If you take the setup way, please delete any previous version of FARC before.

If you take the manual way, you can update if you only have the alpha 10 installed in first.

The setup of the upcoming iterations will update automatically this one, even deleting correctly files if it is required.

Setup is here: FARColony-full-alpha_10it01-0.6.6.995.exe.

Manual archive is here: FARColony-full-alpha_10it01-0.6.6.995.7z.

Cumulative patch for the Manual archive of FARC alpha 10 (released before this first iteration update) is here: FARColony-cumulativepatch-alpha_10it01-0.6.6.995.7z.
To apply the patch unpack into your install dir and overwrite anything.

Release Notes:

  • 3D: 
    • some fixes for the browsing of the objects.
  •  User's Interface - General:
    • overhaul of the fonts with replacement of existing ones and the implementation of a dynamic assignment.
    • overhaul of the encyclopedia.
    • overhaul of the keyboard shortcuts.

Stay tuned.

Small delay due to patch problem

I'm sorry for the delay. The iteration 1 is done but I have some problem to make a patch, since some files are removed with this update. I'm looking for a solution and  I think I found something OK but it needs some testing.

In either case I will upload the files today during the day (EST time).
In the worst case I will upload the patch into a 7z archive.

Stay tuned.

NB: yeah I know, I should make an installer version of FARC, and I think I will upload one today too.

Blog Update: about Section

A tiny post to indicate that I updated and corrected a bit, the About/FAQ page with a better description of the setting of the game and what it is all about. To this time that wasn't pretty clear and badly written :)

That's all, yup.

Alpha 10-it#01: Fonts Overhaul (inc. screenshots)

The fonts overhaul is ongoing and I just finalized the fonts that are used in FARC.
I do that because some I used weren't at 100% open source compliant, and one in particular not very readable too. Now the fonts used in the game are open source friendly and, I think, are more readable.
The two first screenshots shows the basic interface during a play, so here's the one before:

And here's the one now:

These two others show some modifications into the description text of the selection faction of allegiance with the one before:

And here's the one now:

I need now to finalize this step by assigning dynamically any interface component in the game and it will be done.

The next step will concern the help panel with the completion of the display of the keyboard shortcuts, and the overhaul of the encyclopedia with the inclusion of the entire texts and a hierarchical display including some navigation options.
Beside that I will also complete the work on the keyboard shortcuts themselves for browsing the orbital objects and so on.

Let's burn this baby :)

Stay tuned.