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1073215 Posts in 43968 Topics- by 35999 Members - Latest Member: bpineda033

December 18, 2014, 12:15:02 PM
TIGSource ForumsFeedbackDevLogsUltima Ratio Regum - roguelike/Borges/Eco, v0.6 released!
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Author Topic: Ultima Ratio Regum - roguelike/Borges/Eco, v0.6 released!  (Read 49627 times)
Ultima Ratio Regum
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« on: October 10, 2011, 03:07:50 PM »

“Ultima Ratio Regum is one of a few ambitious, long-term projects which I think represent the most exciting things about indie game development, about PC games, and about what technology can do for the games of tomorrow.”
- Graham Smith, Rock Paper Shotgun

A roguelike game inspired by the literature of Jorge Borges, Umberto Eco & Neal Stephenson, and the games Europa Universalis and Dark Souls.

Ultima Ratio Regum (“the last argument of kings”) is a ten-year project, of which 3.5 years have been finished via coding part time whilst completing my doctoral work. It’s a game which aims to integrate thematic content on historiography, philosophical idealism and the rise of modernist grand narratives, with the deep, complex and challenging gameplay one expects from a “classic” roguelike (and, of course, an ANSI display and permadeath). Set approximately around the Scientific Revolution, the objective of 2015 is to finish all remaining worldbuilding (~2.5 months), and begin to integrate early gameplay focused around strategic choices, NPC interaction, and hopefully combat too. Screenshots:

This is the title screen, featuring a procedurally-generated landscape on the left which is unique every time the game is loaded:



This shows the player selecting their save, which comes with a summary of what they have explored/discovered/earned in that world:



At the start of the game the player selects their civilization, and civilizations differ strongly in terms of their policies, religions, ethical and moral beliefs, militarism (or lack thereof), and a number of other ways:



This was exploration of a city – on the left you can see the right-most part of a religious building (in this case it was a Pagoda, belonging to the religion of the Goddess of the Whispering Moonlight), and on the right you can see a jail, with a number of ordinary houses in-between.



Here the player explores a graveyard, within which every single grave is procedurally generated and linked to the world’s history:



… and here looks at a grave in another graveyard in detail, showing the coat of arms of the noble family that the grave belongs to. This level of detail is present in all of the game, and concepts on the “macro” scale – civilizations, histories, wars, religions – all impact upon the “micro” scale of the world the player walks within.



In this screenshot the player explores another city, Smithvale, and finds some bridges going through a lower-class housing district:



This is a town at the far northern reaches of the world, called Foolrock Precipice, where a religious building is seen on the left (a Chantry of Uxa, the Cow-Headed God) and a range of other buildings, including a town hall and a shop just off-screen:



This is a generated fortress in the desert, known as Whitesnake Bastion – fortresses are the only parts of nomadic civilizations that stay in one place, and they serve as both defensive structures and hubs for traders and caravans:



This is a very, very zoomed-out picture of an entire city, although this city lacks any slums or graveyards which often spawn outside. This shows the level and density of procedural generation in the game – this city can hold roughly 300,000 NPCs (coming mid-2015) and each district has its own algorithms for generation, and these algorithms and heavily influenced by the political standpoints and religions of each nation:

« Last Edit: December 16, 2014, 08:21:03 AM by Ultima Ratio Regum » Logged

Ultima Ratio Regum
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« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2011, 12:27:23 PM »

I've added this week's blog entry about the huge variety of weapons available in the game (roughly 200,000+), and the way they are balanced. I'd love any feedback on whether they seem appropriately balanced or not: Smiley
http://www.ultimaratioregum.co.uk/game/2011/10/17/weapons-lots-of-weapons/
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« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2011, 01:22:43 PM »

Interesting idea Ultima.

Do you need game music? I am a music composer. I can portray any mood to immerse the player in your game and I can do a wide range of genres
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Ultima Ratio Regum
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« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2011, 06:59:04 AM »

Thanks for the offer! I'm still uncertain whether I'm going to have any music in the game at all, but I may be in touch if I decide to put some in Smiley
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Ultima Ratio Regum
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« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2011, 01:01:31 PM »

This week's devblog entry talks about how the character creation system works! I've tried to do something unusual with it by letting you start with items, not just stats, skills, and the like. Would love any feedback - http://www.ultimaratioregum.co.uk/game/2011/10/24/character-creation/
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Ultima Ratio Regum
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« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2011, 06:11:05 AM »

Massive improvement in the map genearation!

Previously, the map was 1,000,000 squares, and took up about a Gb of RAM. I know, horrifically inefficient, but I couldn't find a better storage method. It was far too small for my purposes, but I couldn't find a way to deal with it.

Now, the map is 1,600,000,000 squares - a 40,000 by 40,000 grid - and takes up only a few hundred MB at the outside. Now the world is vast, and has more than enough room for all the civilizations, dungeons and castles you could want...
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« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2011, 06:28:59 AM »

This sounds really cool, complex, and highly ambitious.  Good luck with finishing.  I can't wait to see how this turns out! :D

Also, the Commodore PET is awesome.  Best computer of all time.
(for archival purposes note that I am referring to your avatar).
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Ultima Ratio Regum
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« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2011, 07:05:35 AM »

This sounds really cool, complex, and highly ambitious.  Good luck with finishing.  I can't wait to see how this turns out! :D

Also, the Commodore PET is awesome.  Best computer of all time.
(for archival purposes note that I am referring to your avatar).

Thanks! Made a lot of progress on world generation today, too, and will probably end up showing it in my devblog at some point in the near future.
I never had a PET (this image is one I simply like a lot), but I did have a Commodore 64, and I still have it and a couple hundred games for it! Some are pretty obscure, but I'm not someone to sell off (or keep) intact the older, more obscure things; why have them if you're not going to play them? Some truly outstanding games on that machine...
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Ultima Ratio Regum
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« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2011, 02:42:59 PM »

Here's a spoiler of the World Map:



It's... pretty big. A lot more information can be found http://www.ultimaratioregum.co.uk/game/2011/11/01/world-map-and-battlefields/ in my latest devblog entry. Contains stuff about world generation, battlefields, and how the player actually moves around the map!
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Paul Jeffries
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« Reply #9 on: November 04, 2011, 04:19:14 PM »

This looks pretty cool.  How is the strategy side of things going to work?  Will you have direct control over individuals or will it work in a more indirect dwarf-fortressy kind of way?
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« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2011, 04:03:09 AM »

This has potential to be very interesting given the right execution.
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« Reply #11 on: November 05, 2011, 05:48:12 AM »

A game that aims to target an unused niched within a sub-niche of a niche game?

 Crazy Niche-ception
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Ultima Ratio Regum
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« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2011, 04:56:15 AM »

This looks pretty cool.  How is the strategy side of things going to work?  Will you have direct control over individuals or will it work in a more indirect dwarf-fortressy kind of way?

Thanks! You can give orders to those below you, and they will carry them out to the best of their ability. If you control two battalions, and each one contains squads, you can give orders to the battalions, and those in charge will then issue appropriate orders down through the squads. You cannot literally tell Unit X to move to Square Y, both for the reasons above, and because they have a sense of self-preservation and will not just blindly follow your orders Smiley

This has potential to be very interesting given the right execution.

Cheers Smiley - hopefully it'll work out how I envisage it.

A game that aims to target an unused niched within a sub-niche of a niche game?

 Crazy Niche-ception

Yep! But then, I think roguelikes (and similar games) have way more appeal these days than they did in the past, strangely enough.
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Ultima Ratio Regum
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« Reply #13 on: November 07, 2011, 03:06:38 PM »

New devblog entry - the role of bosses in Ultima Ratio Regum! Which is to say... well, you'll have to read and find out. All manner of weird and probably-not-wonderful creatures await...

http://www.ultimaratioregum.co.uk/game/2011/11/07/on-bosses/
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« Reply #14 on: November 07, 2011, 03:53:49 PM »

Sounds good! Smiley
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« Reply #15 on: November 07, 2011, 08:43:51 PM »

i think we both have similar ideas about certain elements of combat
ill be watching this
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Ultima Ratio Regum
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« Reply #16 on: November 08, 2011, 10:22:27 AM »

Thanks both! Let me know if you have any feedback on the thoughts so far; I'm very keen to get other perspectives Smiley
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Ultima Ratio Regum
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« Reply #17 on: November 14, 2011, 04:05:40 PM »

So, I've spent the past little while working on world generation! I've finally got it to a point where I'm pretty happy with the world map.



Check out the latest devblog (with a full size version) @ http://www.ultimaratioregum.co.uk/game/2011/11/15/cartography-in-the-land-of-ultima-ratio-regum/. Let me know what you all think Smiley! Now I just need to get cities, territories, and random things like caves, dungeons etc spawning. That shouldn't take anywhere near as long, though...
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Ultima Ratio Regum
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« Reply #18 on: November 21, 2011, 03:29:14 PM »

New devblog entry @ http://www.ultimaratioregum.co.uk/game/2011/11/21/to-quest-or-not-to-quest/! Some talk about 'quests', individuals, factions, and why there's no such thing as an Ultima Ratio Regum quest journal. Let me know what you all think! Smiley
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« Reply #19 on: November 25, 2011, 08:07:36 AM »

There's this thing about questing in adventure games now, where you're always going off to get stuff for other lazyasses, in return for some modest thing you could easily just buy with the cash you got for looting the place to begin with. But this beckons the question to me:

Why are you digging this stuff for other people, rather than simply going out to get something for yourself?
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