Alpha 10 - It. #08: Colonization Objectives - Design Updates

I updated the design of the objectives, and found new ones too. I can't tell yet how much there will be in the game, because I need to port my notes in the main document, cleanup the data and finalize the design of them (especially on how to set them and their calculations). I can only tell that there will be somehow above 20 of them and less than 30.

Of course not all objectives will be imposed to the player in a same game, it will depend on his/her choice of faction of allegiance. Nothing new with what has already been implemented for this part.

The new addition for them is in the fact that their respective scores thresolds will be set dynamically, instead of a fixed requirement like "you must produce -x- tons of -i- product before the end of the phase", with x and i as fixed values.
These requirement will have range of effects depending of the Socio-Political Matrix of the faction of allegiance and the expedition backstory (previously the colonization mode) chosen by the player.

Thus choosing a faction of allegiance and a backstory will be even more a question of balance between pros and cons according to what the player want to play.
The second outcome is that the requirements from the objectives will vary from game to game.

The updates of the encyclopedia, as explained in a previous post, continues their courses; I try not only to complete the texts but also fully link them, when appliable. So the player will be more able to jump from topic to other topics inside a same text.

That's all for now.

Alpha 10 [0.6.15] It. #08: Near Term Plan: Code Audit + Design Cleanup/Update

Just a small post to talk about the near term plan for the dev of this iteration.

The dev part is to audit the entire code of the Colonization Phase System (CPS), including refactoring.

In same time I put what's left of the paper notes about the CPS into the game design document, these are about some additional objectives, the end of the colonization phase and some additional rules concerning the CPS.

There will also be some sort of rewards, in accordance of which objective is completed and also the score reached at the end of the phase.
These rewards will be differents regarding of which status is concerned like; vehicles for the Economical status, new colonists for the Social status and military units and/or equipment for the Space & Military status.
They will not be overpowered, but will  help a bit the young colony.

A bit later in the development of this iteration I will also create a new tab, in the unified interface, for the Colonization Support/Services.
From here, and for all the duration of the phase, the player will be able to pay services for the colony, in direct link with its faction of allegiance.
These services will also have a preparation time and a lifetime, and they will also affect the colonization scores negatively.
So using them will cost money, taken from the line of credit allowed by the faction of allegiance, and will take time, a precious thing since the colonization phase is limited. And more the colony will ask help and support from its mother faction, the more the scores will be affected badly.
It will be a question of equilibrium for the player, and a sort of challenge, because for reminder; a Colonization Viability Score too low will trigger the fact that the colony, even without taking into account dependence, will not be viable at all, and that will be a game over and a failure for the player.

So that is all for now.

Back to (my real) work :)

NB: corrected some typos and grammar errors, sorry

Alpha 10 [0.6.15] It. #08: Job Break Plan; Encyclopedia Expansion + Design Cleanup

For the duration of the development of the iteration #08 I will work at my job, during my breaks (incl. lunch), on the encyclopedia and also on game design by, finally, sort and transcript my 16-18cm height of paper notes into the game design documents.
It is time to step up the design work and cleanup my lil' mess of paper stack.
There is a certain number of old bug "reports" spread in these notes too, I will have to check them and fix them if needed.

The development of the iteration #08 will start at the end of PM today after I'm back from work.

Alpha 10 - iteration#07 Assets & Encylopedia Patch Release

Reminder:
AS according to the new plan, each major release will be followed by two sub-releases; one for new assets and some bug fixing, and another one for the expansion of the encyclopedia.
Their development will be of short cycles; 2 weeks for the first sub-release, 1 week for the second one.
You don't have to get the hassle to download and install the patch, you simply can wait for the next major release that will include them.

The assets & encyclopedia patch is now released.

This small patch is only in 7zip format, you will need to uncompress it into the FAR Colony directory, at the location where you installed it, and overwrite any file when it is needed.
You must have FARC iteration #07 installed prior to this patch.

The patch is here: https://github.com/farcodev/farcolony/releases/tag/alpha10-0.6.14.1058-it07PATCH

Working Dates
From 2017-01-01 to 2017-01-22

What's Missing?
N/A

What's Next?
The Iteration #08 will start tomorrow, with the completion of the Colonization Phase System, the system that manage the first part of this game.

It will include the addition of colonization objectives, flesh out the possible end games (including the end of the colonization phase for the future transition to the "sandbox" game).

Changes

  • Encyclopedia:
    • CSM:
      • update of the Colony Data: Cohesion
  • Graphics:
    •  addition of graphics to illustrate the following infrastructures:
      • Houses Pack (free environment).
      • Nuclear Fission Reactor (any).
      • Mining Site (any/open).
  • Interface - General:
    • change in core keys stroke @1.2; preventing browsing keys in now an option that allow to deactivate them based on which element of interface call the core procedure.
  • Interface - Help Panel:
    • the code of this panel has now its own units.
    • all the keystrokes are now compliant with the core keys stroke @1.2.
    • Encyclopedia:
      • for the CSM Events, a correction in the logic to display the levels of effect has now been applied. All the events display their levels correctly now.
  • Interface - Settlements Panel:
    • corrections of some typos.
    • clicking on the icon of the selected infrastructure, in the infrastructure configuration / CAB setup interface, zoom and unzoom picture.
    • size constraints have been put on the panel to set minimum width and height.
    • all the keystrokes are now compliant with the core keys stroke @1.2.
  • Music & Sound System:
    • no music is played by default at the game launch (a bit annoying when you making tests). F9 needs to be hit to play.

Alpha 10 - iteration#07: Unified Patch - Assets Part Done + Release Date

I decided to unify the release of the two patches; the current one for the assets and the one for the encyclopedia.
All that because I found useless to make a second sub-release only for one XML file (the encyclopedia).
So I will keep this idea in the future when I will update a new iteration / version with a subsequent patch that will contain bug fixes, assets AND updates of the encyclopedia.

The release date of this patch will be the one of the second sub-release, so on January 22 / 2017.
It stay a fixed date, what will be done will be released.

What is done so far?
  1. Pictures have been added for the mining site, the nuclear fission reactor and the house packs
  2. It is possible now to click on the icon of the selected infrastructure to size up the picture (and it size down automatically when you click a second time or exit the picture)
  3. size constraints have been put on the Settlements panel to set minimum width and height
  4. not something big nor important, but the music doesn't play at launch automatically, you need to hit F9 to play it. I did it because first it is only one and the same track, and two, when you do multiple testings by lauching and re-relaunching the game, it becomes ... annoying.
For what left of this week, I will update the encyclopedia and the code of it to expand the display of the data about the infrastructures and provide more detailed informations.
I will also work on the rest of assets I haven't done yet for; the Pressurized Tanks Array, the Houses Pack (in restricted environment), and perhaps the Humidity Trap if I have time to make a model of it.

I will also update the XML of the infrastructures with corrected and adjusted data for some of them, because I made some design errors and some strange abstractions.

That's all and in prime a lil' teasing:


Thanks to the Blendswap community for your incredible assets :)
Of course, the credits of the game have been updated too.

Stay tuned.

3D / 2D Work For Infrastructures:5 Screenshots

Here are two of the objects/scene I work on

For the Nuclear Fission Reactor (an assembled self-contained one):

For the Mining Site:


They are the easier ones.

For the Pressurized Tanks Array I must do some work , like merging some objects from different sources.

For the Humidity Trap, I must Remake entirely the object, the one provided in the FBX is completely screwed up:
But it is OK, I will follow the entire design, that will be faster, and will upload a new version on opengameart with the due credits :)

For the Multipurpose Depot, I though I found one, but it is more a full fledged warehouse than a modest assembled infrastructure.
In this way I need to modify the data of this infrastructure, and it isn't the new one to adjust with more coherent informations.

For the Houses Pack, I found something simple for houses in Free Environment (directly liveable like on Earth):


For Restricted and Space Environments (with some mods necessary):

Of course it will expand over the time, and even affine but for now it's very satisfying.

Stay tuned.

3D / 2D Work For Infrastructures: Found it All

I found all the assets I needed to illustrate the whole 6 infrastructures in the game, for now.
I scrounged so much Blendswap that I paid a yearly sub to download all I wanted (and I'm far to have finished it).

In final I got assets for a ton of items that aren't implemented yet like; for some technosciences of the Research & Development System, for products (resources, equipments, vehicles and so on), for a lot of infrastructures and for space units (stations, spacecrafts and many many 3D parts).

And there are people that are bored with their lifetime, to each their own cup of tea :)

For the next post, I will publish some screenshots of choosen scenes / objects.

Thanks for all the great people that share their incredible work!

And stay tuned.

PS: if you are interested to see the incredible work of people, shared under open source licenses like Creative Commons, here are two links:

 http://www.blendswap.com/

http://opengameart.org/

3D / 2D Work For Infrastructures

Since yesterday I scrounge Blendswap and I even paid a fee to download tons of assets.
There are so much talented people on it, it's incredible. It's a good complement to OpenGameArt.

So now I need to fire my 3D softwares and start to making 3D stuff for FARC; first for the infrastructures in the game, and if I have time left before January 15th I will look to generate other assets.

So don't expect code commits on GitHub for the next days and week.

I will keep you informed of the work.

Alpha 10 - iteration#07: Details on the Changes (incl A LOT OF Screenshots)

So here is the post about the changes.
Most of the iteration #07 was about the overhaul of the ex-Colony Data Panel (superb name...).

Now it is how it looks:
Internally it looks about the same, but the information is a bit more concentrated.
There are also now 6 buttons that open panels for their respective parts they have to display, excepted "Colony" which switch the environment section to a Colony section as you can see below:
It's not perfect yet (I will fix the display of the Level for the next release) and I need to colorize the icons but you get the feeling.
As for the rest of the panels, many icons have their own hint to display their meaning and additional informations, it is pretty basic for now but it will expand over the time.

Geological Surveys and Resource Spots are also display in full row for better readability. The screenshot below shows an example of it in a region where a survey is in progress:
Again it is not perfect, but better than before, and this release is certainly the more "graphic" of all the release I made.

Here is the panel for the Population, it needs work yet and will have some change for the release of January 15th, but out of the Construction Workforce, that I moved into the Settlements panel, it is the same infos as before:
It seems to have too much of empty space wasted in it, but keep in mind that the population will be expanded in the future by being multiracial and multi-ethnics between Humans (with Baseline, Genemod and Poshumans ethnic groups), Clones and Artificial Intelligences (with Non-Sapient AIs, Sapient AIs and AIchitects ethnic groups).

Here is the panel for the selected Settlement, the part with most of the changes occured in this release:
The panel is divided by 3 sections, from the left to the right; the list of Present Infrastructures in the settlement, the Configuration/Conversion-Assembling-Building and Construction Workforce section, and finally the list of Available Infrastructures.

The top of the panel contains from left to right; the type of settlement, its size (in the circular jauge), its name, the information about the capacity of the settlement in regard of its actual size. The drop-down interface element is used to apply a filter to the list of Available Infrastructures.

The list of Present Infrastructure is the same than before the changes; it display the infrastructures converted/assembled/built in a particular settlement.
When one is clicked, its configuration and some informations are displayed on the central section, for example one of the Colonization Shelter has been selected:
As you can see it shows some information like its status, its level, some description text from the encyclopedia and a button to disable it, if wanted.
the big "X" is a default placeholder for an illustration of the selected infrastructure. Future works will replace these.

The lower part of the central section contain anything need to configure the Construction Workforce and works like before.
Finally the right section of the panel display the list of Available Infrastructure that can be assembled and built in the selected settlement.
This list hast many thing, but first, the drop down on top of it allow 3 kind of filtering:

"None" display the full list, regardless of requirements and without warning the player. It can be useful to see what's in the game without too much interference:
"Colored Statuses" display also the full list but it highlight incompatibilities in the requirements to be allowed to be assembled and built. The incompatibilities are displayed in red with a warning icon:
There aren't much more details, the player will have to click on each entry to see the problems.
In the future I could make warning icons specific to the type of incompatibility.

Finally the "Hide Unavailable" (damn, I just discovered a typo in the game) simply hide the infrastructures the player cannot assemble and build and so it avoid to clutter the list, that will grow over the time:

The little suitcase icons with numbers inside of it are used for kits of infrastructure and the number represent the level of infrastructure a kit can assemble.

The "x n" represent the number of kits available in the colony's storage and so the number of kits that can be assembled at the maximum.

The rounded green / orange / black icons represent the environments in which an infrastructure can be assembled/built. In the same order; Free Living, Restricted and Space environments.

So when a compatible infrastructure is clicked, the central section display the configuration to assemble or build this same infrastructure.
So here is an example:

Here is an example for a kit of infrastructure that must be assembled:

And here is an example of an incompatible infrastructure displaying a text to inform the player why such infrastructure cannot be assembled/built:

Next, the Industry panel, which is about the same as before:

And finally the Colony Simulation Model (CSM) Events panel:

The display of the modifiers, especially for the colors, has been corrected versus the previous iteration.
FYI, the button of the CSM Event display the number of events triggered for the colony:

The final part, the Biosphere, is disabled because biospheres (flora and fauna) aren't implemented in the game yet.

Well, that's all. The complete process to assemble and build an infrastructure is 100% working.
Of course the interface need work; it stay a bit clunky and doesn't show all the informations yet, particularly for the details of building materials for built infrastructures.


End of screen pimping, back to work :)

Thanks again for your interest.

Alpha 10 - iteration#07 Release

Add: I Forgot a thing; with this release it is the first time the project reach its first 100,000 lines of codes (101,650 exactly)  :)

First, I wish you a good year, and hope that in 2017 you will reach and accomplish at least a part of what you seek in your life.

If you don't want to try this release, or are lurking only for the changes and progress, you only have to wait for tomorrow; I will publish a well sized post including many screenshots that will detail how works the upgraded interface.

Tomorrow is one day off for me, so I will publish it in the morning, EST time.

Details
The alpha 10 [0.6.13.1052]it#07 is 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_10it07-0.6.13.1052.exe.

Manual archive is here: FARColony-full-alpha_10it07-0.6.13.1052.7z.

There is now a music pack, which is included into the Setup version, that you can install separately if you installed FAR manually. It is here: Google Drive Link.

There is no more of cumulative patch (to much changes and deletion to make this kind of archive meaningful).


Working Dates
From 2016-04-25 to 2017-01-01

What's Missing?
Nothing considering the code.

There aren't any pictures for the infrastructures in this releases.

What's Next?
Tomorrow I will publish a big post with screenshots to show the changes.


The next version is about bug fixing and additions of assets, pictures for the ifnrastructures already in the game, and will be released on January 15/2017.
Since it's a sub-release I can safely post the release date, whatever done during these two weeks will be included.

Changes

  • 3D:
    • personalized surface maps are now too loaded according to the high resolution option.
    • the bug for the browsing of the orbital objects with the keys is fixed now. The zoom/unzoom with the mouse wheel triggered it.
    • the previous zoom/unzoom method with the middle mouse button is disabled.
  • Encyclopedia:
    • addition of a new format: Annex - Infrastructures.
    • New Entries:
      • CSM:
        • Colony Level.
      • Annex - Infrastructures:
        • Colonization Shelter.
        • Houses Pack.
        • Humidity Trap.
        • Inflatable Greenhouse
        • Inflatable Habitat
        • Mining Site
        • Multipurpose Depot
        • Nuclear Fission Reactor
        • Pressurized Tanks Array.
  • Game Saving/Loading:
    • fix: prevent a crash if there isn't any game saved available.
    • addition of 3 pictures for the resource spots; metallic ore field, rare metals ore field and uranium ore field..
  • Graphics:
    • addition of 10 icons to illustrate the colony data.
    • addition of 2048 x 1024 personalized surface maps.
    • addition of multiples icons to illustrate the lists of infrastructures (like the levels of infrastructure kits).
    • addition of 4 series of icons to illustrate the fourth environments (free, restricted, space and gaseous).
    • addition of 7 icons to illustrate the max levels of the infrastructures.
  • Infrastructures (database):
    • the isSurfaceOnly data is deprecated. The range of types of settlement is added instead.
    • Infrastructures - Addons and Modifications:
      • Multipurpose Depot: expanded to level 7 from level 5.  Levels 4 and 5 have been reworked and adjusted.
  • Infrastructures (in-game):
    • converted infrastructures keeps now their data of their custom effects into a proper array the data structure derivated from the one used for the database. It is necessary now they keep all the details about it, generated during a conversion.
    • Construction Assembling Building (CAB): 
      • the infrastructure's Construction Workforce Points (iCWP) now take into account if more than one iteration of a same infrastructure will be assembled/built. The calculations of the iCWP are modified.
    • Assembling:
      • prevent a crash when an infrastructure kit hasn't any technoscience prerequisite.
  • Interface - Events (CSM) Panel:
    • basic conversion.
    • the modifiers are coded with the correct colors according to the meaning of positive and negative values for each event.
  • Interface - General:
    • a special unit, for hints interconnect, is now created. It centralize any hint formatting for a specific element of interface and keep it updated.
    • the gradient on the glow buttons has been modified a bit to make the texts more readable.
    • the circular progress elements have been reset to their original code. My tweaked one put more crash than anything else. Their display have been optimized according to the default changes.
    • some French strings have been optimized and corrected.
    • prevent an exception when the main window is resized too often too fast.
    • forgot to add a text entry in ui.xml for the infrastatus_disabledbyee (status of infrastructure when disabled by the Energy Equilibrium rules).
  • Interface - Industry Panel:
    • basic conversion.
    • the update of the Production Matrix List is re-enabled and corrected.
  • Interface - Orbital Object Panel (formerly Colony and Surface Panels):
    • complete overhaul of the basic informations displayed in the panel. The panel itself is renamed the Orbital Object Panel.
    • Population has now its own panel.
    • Settlements has now its own panel.
    • Industry has now its own panel.
    • Events (CSM) has now its own panel.
    • colony data are now represented with their respective icon. A HTML hint is linked to each of them to provide additional informations.
    • resource spots are all now displayed in their respective area with each of their own icon.
    • in the data about the ecosphere, the type of environment is now displayed under the form of an icon.
    • fix: prevent the bug with the grid of the surface display of the Orbital Object Panel when a new game is launched or one is continued/loaded for the first time.
  • Interface - Population Panel:
    • basic conversion.   
  • Interface - Settlements Panel:
    • basic conversion.   
    • the settlement's name is now correctly displayed. The player can change it by modifying directly the displayed name.
    • the settlement's type, size and accumulated levels / levels cap are now displayed.
    • the keystrokes for each component of the panel are completed and optimized.
    • addition of a combo box that allow to filter the infrastructures of the available list. Can show no warning for infrastructures that doesn't pass the requirements, show a warning icon, or don't display them at all.
    • the Construction Workforce data and setup is now displayed beside the two lists of infrastructures. Some improvements in the interface have been made.
    • the interface to configure an infrastructure is implemented.
    • the interface to assemble of build an infrastructure is implemented.
  • Messages:
    • the behavior and keystrokes of the panel and its components are improved and fixed.
  • Misc:
    • the configuration file and the saved game files are now stored in appdata and no more in MyDocuments.
  • Missions:
    • Colonization:
      • the list of possible settlements is now real and not hardcoded. It is based on the environment and also the target's type of orbital object. The Lava Tube type is displayed regardless of the Features & Artefacts Survey, since this system isn't implemented yet.
      • the choosen type of settlement is now stored in the mission parameters.
    • Interplanetary Transit:
      • the old method of selection for the destination has been disabled for now, a better one will be dev.
  • Music & Sound System:
    • pretty crude and basic implementation of the BASS library into FARC.
    • Music Package Additions:
      • A7.mp3
  • Settlements:
    • the types of settlements are expanded to their full series, 6 in total: surface, space-based, subterranean, lava tube (new one), asteroid (new one) and space unit-based (new one).
    • expansion of the settlement's data structure by adding data for the accumulated infrastructure's levels.
    • the accumulated infrastructure's levels are now updated each time a CAB process is initialized.
    • Surface:the levels caps for each size are now implemented.
    • Space-Based Surface:
      • the levels caps for each size are now implemented.
    • Subterranean:
      • the levels caps for each size are now implemented.
    • Lava Tube:
      • the levels caps for each size are now implemented.
    • Asteroid:
      • the levels caps for each size are now implemented.
    • The region's EMO values, where a settlement is located, for the CAB and IWC are now also stored into the settlement's data structure for faster retrieving..
  • Socio-Political Matrix (SPM):
    • new memes ( total = 22 ):
      • Spirit of Entitlement.
    •  new policies ( total = 25 ):
      • Universal Cancer Cure.
  • Universe:
    • correction for the environment of Epsilon Eridani 2 into a Free Living environment, it was set Restricted one (maybe due to an old manipulation of my part). The current data have been re-checked, against the FUG, and confirmed as a Free Living.