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19.8.2016 - New units and new game features

It got so busy that there was no time left to inform you about all the news we introduced into he game. The development continues - even faster than before. Since the last update, many changes have been implemented in all parts of the game and the version v0.97 is almost complete!
Starting with the most visible part of the game, we changed the look of all windows and supplied them with beautiful illustrations.

Tens of new, fully animated unit types have been added. Some are designated only for particular players (states) which gives the game a new strategic focus.
The old cursors and military standards have been replaced by new ones. We put a lot of thinking in the tutorial and the new modification is much more intuitive and less distractive.
Last but not least, new "top view" has been implemented. The player can look at the map from a bird view i.e. 2D style without losing any game information. It is not only a perspective of the map but fully functional view in which the game can be played. We got inspired from many suggestions and ideas gathered during user testing at several game conferences.
What has changed "inside"? Where to begin...
Starting with relatively small change, we added a new functionality - battle experience. Military units harden as they experience life on the front and constant battle. They receive extra strength and defense points when they manage to win and survive.
In comparison, slavery and happiness represent much bigger change. Trade with slaves is very lucrative but at the same time it influences happiness of the people. When the general mood sinks below a certain limit, public disturbances, armed revolts and even civil war become a real danger.
Another new and strategically very important element in the game is esprit de corps. Military successes or defeats influence the morale of the armies, their will to fight. The general mood among soldiers played a essential role in ancient times and therefore it could be the tipping point between victory and defeat. This modification brings a major change into the game and that is why we decided to add it as one of the last innovations before the game release.

We also managed to accelerate and improve the AI. It can be a friend, sly political opponent and cunning enemy. Every testing is an exciting experience even for us.

Hopefully soon you will see for yourself. We invest maximum of our energy into the completion of the game, but quality is very important for us and so we ask for just a bit more patience, it will be worth it.

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 and wood. 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.
Stay tuned!
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