12.6.2014 - Trade, territories, graphics and performance
We proudly announce that version v0.8
is out! Changes were made to many parts of the project and the result is definitely worth to see.
Firstly, we improved the graphic. We focused mostly on features like waves around the coast, realistically looking trees (from tree sizes to grouping them into forests) and unique terrain features like rocks, sand and mud. Another big improvement is the animation support for all units. Legionaries finally attack and fall to the ground, cavalry units trot and workers build. It makes the game very real and live. Even browsing of the map can be a great experience.
A new trade
feature was incorporated in the game. Players can trade among themselves on both short- and long-term basis. Trade is always an exchange of resources and depending on the distance and relations between the trading parties (countries) the shipping costs are calculated. These factors also play a role in the risk of marauders attack. Trade makes the mutual relations stronger and motivates all parties to improve the infrastructure by building new roads and sea routes that cut down the shipping costs.
A new „territory
“ concept has been added to the game. It can be used in many different ways. Each territory can vary in production, population mood or importance for each player. The concept can be further extended and adjusted for each mod. We were aiming at maximum flexibility of the game core so that the mod developers have free hands in defining the ways to use the territories.
We have introduced two new resources
to the Ancient Rome mod – food
. Food has became one of the essential resources for all players. When there is a lack of food the cities and population start to revolt and eventually the desperate situation leeds to famine. It is quite difficult to escape from this spiral of death.
Again we improved the computer player and its possibilities. Even an experienced player will find that it is not so easy to win and this is a sign for us that we are heading in the right direction. The intelligence of computer player is adjustable, of course. What is really important, though, is that we covered the whole spectrum of players and our computer player will be a worthy opponent to anyone.
Another field of focus was the thinking time of computer player. This we managed to reduced by cca 30%.
We have also added four full hours of new music with different style and atmosphere for each mod.
Last but not least was for us a thorough analysis of performance and memory. The leap ahead in this area is significant. We managed to increase performance by 20% and decrease the memory usage down to a third comparing to the previous version. The game even with a big map of area 100x70 fields allocates only 200MB of memory which is manageable even for weaker computers.
We are also contemplating the option of entering our project to Kickstarter
platform to ask the public for its support in the development. The final step of the development is going to be the most expensive and probably also the most difficult part of the whole project. We need 3D graphic artists who will create a fully professional models with animations, we need testers to play and test all aspects of the game from both the functional and user point of view and we would like to extend our development team so that we could incorporate all the necessary changes into the game as fast as possible.
Stay with us, the release is a stone throw away!
9.7.2013 - Sounds and music
We are proud to announce that we finished version v0.7!
The most fundamental change in this version is the addition of sound effects and music. The soldiers are marching, the tanks are thundering, the fire is cracking and the birds in woods are singing. A particular sound effect can be specified for every unit movement. The sounds of terrain mix together and so create an illusion of your units moving through a real nature.
The game has now 60 min of its own music (soundtrack)! The songs can be different for each mod but the music is also changing accordingly to the player's situation so that you will feel even more brought into the game.
Apart from these changes we also polished the user interface, namely terrain and control panels. The player can now display various statistics about his country and so better control his army and economy.
New in the game is a tutorial. This, compared to other games, doesn't have to be gone through separately before the player starts playing. In our tutorial player learns the unit controls and rules while playing. You can start playing straight away, no need to read or learn something about the game in advance.
Finally, we have added another few features to the game. The most interesting ones are terrain improvements - player can change and adjust the terrain and its features through e.g. irrigation, drying-up or cultivation of the land. Another interesting feature is incorporating territories into the game. A country is not just one area anymore. It is now a set of territories, which when they are not broken, work better and bring more benefits to the owner.
In this moment we are coming back to AI and polishing its behavior. We fully appreciate that computer player is one of the essential parts of the game and we want to impress even the hardest-to-please players. Apart from this we think about adding unit animations which might considerably increase user experience.
22.4.2013 - Network layer and computer player
The project has been fully resumed and new possibilities make it a brand new experience. The last six months we have been re-doing the map creation component and we achieved much more realistic look of the terrain. The game lost its "square" look, the shape of coasts and borders now resembles reality.
With constantly improved computer player that is being improved in the process, it is fun to test the game, especially when we have finished another important part of the project - the network layer
. That means that the new version allows one player to play with other friends via local network and the project should allow Internet game
in the future as well.