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Thread: Life among the stars - unfinished 2nd PGD challenge entry

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    Life among the stars - unfinished 2nd PGD challenge entry

    Hi!
    Since the 2nd PGD challenge is almost finished and I'm still quite away from finishing my entry I decided to create a thread about it in Your Projects section instead. This is because this time I do intend to finish this project (that'll be the first) in difference of my First PGD mini challenge entry which I abandoned not long since the end of competition.

    Now about the idea for this project:
    I intend to make a game somewhat similar to Star Control 2. But I do intend to add some more features to it and hopefully make it even more interesting that Star Control 2 was.

    Features that I plan to add into game are:
    1. Procedurally generated universe with dozens of star systems and hundreds of planets (maximum number of these would be finally up to computer capabilities).
    2. Each planet would have procedurally generated surface texture (hence my researching in Perlin noise which took me more time than predicted).
    3. Each planet would also have its own micro economy which will determine which products are available for trade, which products are demanded and of course products prices which will be calculated on supply and demand economic model.
    4. Each planet will also have its own planetary and orbitarry structures which will affect the planets economy (products are actually produced in these structures).
    5. There will be some kind of macro economy throughout the space (have to figure out how I will do this one).
    6. The game will have complex production tree which will determine which resources or products are required for production of certain product.
    7. There will be Star Control 2 like battle system I might extend it with directional turrets - controlled by mouse pointer, or even multiship battles. Will see how it will go.
    8. There will be AI for controlling enemy ships in battle system.
    9. There will be another AI for managing planetary development (autobuilding of planetary structures)
    10. Another AI for controlling trading ships which will be conducting products trading among different planets and star systems (this one will be tough one to do, if anyone is willing to help on this let me know).
    11. Another AI which will control where pirate ships are doing their raids (so there won't be just some random raids).
    12. Maybe add some other AI-s for some other factions and such.
    13. Ability to modify ship by changing ships components.

    Do note that I didn't intend to add all of these features for my 2nd PGD challenge. Procedurally generated textures were thrown out of my plan after I spent too much time on developing necessary algorithm. From AI only battle AI was planned.

    Things done till now.
    1. Completed necessary classes for star systems.
    2. Completed algorithm for star system generation - some changes are planned to it.
    3. Completed classes for planets.
    4. Completed classes for planetary structures.
    5. Completed methods for simulating product production.
    6. Almost completed classes for planetary economic model - lacking of supply and demand model integration.
    7. Completed classes for production chain - some changes planned. I do intend to add ship components to product line. Will add some class descendants from base product class for these.
    8. Completed ships class - total rewrite pending to add customization ability. Ships class will now be descended class from TProduct class (adds ability for ship production to planetary structures).
    9. Basic battle AI - some changes planned to it especially if I add targetable turrets to ships.
    10. Basic GUI made with VCL - total redesign planed with Aspyre 2 graphic engine.

    I also plan to make some kind of a Product tree editor which will allow me making games product tree. I might release source code for it, or even write an article about how the whole product line is being done, someday in the future.

    Anywhay lots of coding to bee done. At least I can code at my own pace now.

  2. #2
    Co-Founder / PGD Elder WILL's Avatar
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    I was a big fan of the Star Control series. I've played 2 and 3, but 3 always takes a lot of heat though I found it more entertaining than the 2nd one. Continuity and bugs were somewhat of an issue, but it was still very neat in concept.

    This project looks very interesting, but I think it's a bit too ambitious for a 4 week mini competition. Maybe next challenge aim a little smaller and more focused towards the actual theme it's self?

    Also if you have something that is playable, it would be nice that you at least upload something. I only have whats on the FTP server to showcase so when the 2n PGD Challenge page comes up and there was only X number of submitted games out of Y actual attempts, it makes the event look like only X actually cared, when there was actually Y many people who did.
    Jason McMillen
    Pascal Game Development
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by WILL View Post
    This project looks very interesting, but I think it's a bit too ambitious for a 4 week mini competition. Maybe next challenge aim a little smaller and more focused towards the actual theme it's self?
    As I sad before I didn't intend to include all of the mentioned fetures and not in alll of the extend that I have writen in my post. So if I hadn't spent so much time on planet generation algorithm I would probably have a playable game right now.

    Quote Originally Posted by WILL View Post
    Also if you have something that is playable, it would be nice that you at least upload something. I only have whats on the FTP server to showcase so when the 2n PGD Challenge page comes up and there was only X number of submitted games out of Y actual attempts, it makes the event look like only X actually cared, when there was actually Y many people who did.
    I'm sorry but unfortunatly I don't have anything playable. Even GUI is just several unlinked forms wich alowed me to test certain parts of my game. Mostly they are just textual representation of certain ingame values.
    I started working on the game's core before I was even thinking of doing any GUI. The main reason for this is that it took me quite some time to decide wich graphic engine I intend to use. Unfortunatly I would need atleast couple of days to make some proper GUI and make everything playable.

    But if you are wiling to wait a few days I might turn what I have into playable form, even thou the gameplay would probably suck.

  4. #4
    Co-Founder / PGD Elder WILL's Avatar
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    Hmm... well I do have celebrity Apprentice to watch tonight... (I watch it with my wife, that's my excuse. ) then I might miraculously get disoriented and forget where I left my entire community web site... hmm... naw I wouldn't even be able to go that far without someone calling me on it. lol

    What would you all say to an extra couple of days extension?

    If I were one of my grade school teachers, I'd just take off something like -5 points per day late, but since I have no way of tracking that, I say extension.

    Extension everybody? 2 days?
    Jason McMillen
    Pascal Game Development
    Co-Founder





  5. #5
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    Thanks for that I'll try to use it as much as I can.

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    Unfortunatly I'm not making any progress.
    I just spent several hour today making graphics for games GUI. And then I spent several hour more figuring out why my GUOI isn't rendered as it should be (no transparency). And what I finally figured out? All my gpraphics are f****** up. The reason for this is the fact that Corel Pint Shop Pro X3 doesn't save any transparency information in my graphics files but instead replaces them with white color (in both JPG and TGA formats). Here went whole day for nothing.

    So now I'll have to fix all my graphics with old Jasc Paint Shop Pro 7. This wil take me atleast hour of work. And to be honest after spending all theese hours for nothing I lost all interest in doing this.
    Hopefuly I'll have more motivation tomorw.

  7. #7
    You should use PNG format for transparency. JPG is format that only has RGB channels, TGA maybe has alpha too, but its more flexible format.

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    Thanks for the info I completly forgot that Apshyre has support for PNG graphics. But still it will take me quite some time fixing them. Also any auto,ated fixings is oiut of question becouse parts of my graphics do have white color si it will completly ruin them.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by User137 View Post
    You should use PNG format for transparency. JPG is format that only has RGB channels, TGA maybe has alpha too, but its more flexible format.
    Yes, TGA has alpha too. TGA is best for educational purposes, when it is an advantage to avoid dependencies and still keep the amount of code low; it is simple and requites little code to handle. However, PNG is better for your final products, since it has better compression.

  10. #10
    Co-Founder / PGD Elder WILL's Avatar
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    I thought that PNG was the "unofficial standard" for sprite graphics these days? There are other formats out there for different platforms, but for your everyday Win/Mac machines, minus encoding for protection I already figured that PNG was the go-to format.
    Jason McMillen
    Pascal Game Development
    Co-Founder





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