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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsAztec Empire - City Sim Inspired by Impressions games
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Frece
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« on: February 06, 2018, 02:49:21 PM »

Working Title: Aztec Empire

Genre:
Strategy, Simulation
System: PC
Status: Early Prototype
Setting: Ancient Aztec land
Synopsis: Will you be the ruler oft the Aztec empire?
Inspirations: Pharaoh, Caesar 3, Zeus (Impressions Games), Anno

First let me show you some screenshots.









Features:
•   Build a complex city and fullfill all the needs of your citizens.
•   Build giant Tempels and Monuments to represent your power and to praise the demanding gods.
•   Nostalgic isometric graphic like you love it in the old impressions games.

What has been done so far?
•   We figured out the style for the Game
•   Basic Mechanics like housebuilding and people looking for work
•   Some different views to see the needs and effects in your city
•   First Production Lines
•   Rough UI

What comes next?
•   In Game-Money + Balancing
•   More Resources, More Gods, More Services
•   Fire, Desease, Criminality and more beautiful things

What will be in the final release?
•   Complex economy systems with different classes of citizens. Requesting for different valuable goods and services.
•   Building monuments with several construction phases.
•   Hazards like earthquakes, vulcane and deseases which will constantly threaten your upcoming city

About this devlog
You love the impressions games as well? Or you just love building games with interesting economy simulation? Then be part of the development of our game from the very beginning. We will work out this next title as good as we can.

Write us all your thougts and oppinions. If you had something that you loved or something that disturbed you in the old classics then tell us. We would love to hear from you!

Join our Discord https://discord.gg/CDHU8nD and follow us on Twitter https://twitter.com/EmpireAztec

Oh and make sure to check our latest posts =J
« Last Edit: January 24, 2019, 03:48:37 AM by Frece » Logged
whistlerat
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« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2018, 01:31:31 AM »

Hoooooly crap YESSSS.  Hand Money Right Hand Money Right Hand Money Right Hand Money Right Hand Money Right

(Also, hey Frece, good to see what you're working on! Looks stunning!)

I'm gonna be a regular on this thread, I just know it. I have LOTS of love for the original Impressions games - particularly Caesar - but also a LOT of opinions. Those games have a wonderful core but so so many flaws that a modern interpretation should iron out. Have you heard of/played Lethis - Path of Progession? It's been on my wishlist ever since I discovered it, but reading reviews which says that it stays a little *too* true to the originals has me concerned. If I want good janky city-building fun I'll stick with the classics. But maybe I'll pick it up and play it just for the potential feedback I could offer you. Have you noticed how into this I am yet.

I'm gonna have to have a good think about my time with the games (not played seriously for a couple of years... maybe it's time to  pick them back up again. I put Pharaoh down because of a bug and haven't wanted to touch it again because it makes me angry every time I think about it :|) and come up with what my personal wishlist would be for a perfect classic Impressions city builder. Not that you have to cater to me, obviously, but hopefully it'll be helpful to you!

Just quickly, off the top of my head (and to my shame I haven't played Zeus so if any of this is addressed in the games later than Pharaoh I apologise and will rescind my Impressions fangirl hat):

- I hate the walker pathfinding. I like optimisation and making efficient cities, so in Caesar I used gatehouses and in Pharaoh I used blockades, and in both cases I went strongly towards a 'main road' type city which forced all service walkers to move past the houses as much as possible. This turned every city kinda samey for me... if, instead, the walkers could have some basic intelligence ("oh, that area is within my range and needs more healthcare, I can visit them") or, better yet, be dictatable ("oi you bathworker, this is the path I want you to take") that could solve a lot of those problems. Having districts of different affluence is generally beneficial, but you have to be a bit cheesy in consistently achieving it - like with the blockades, or by just plain severing the districts by road, so that they don't feel part of the same city at all. What if I could designate zones, whereby I say 'I want houses in this zone to get these kinds of service, if possible' and then walkers will try their best to accomodate that? Nothing more frustrating than the yo-yo of houses as they randomly are passed by a walker which provides the last service they needed to level up, and then of course that service is not consistent in that area so then they go without and it drops back down, and you just roll your eyes because they weren't supposed to be allowed furniture anyway damnit. Just sleep on the floor you peasants.
- Please please allow for more control over the movement of goods. The originals let you say 'this warehouse can only have up to half of its capacity as wheat', and 'this warehouse should try to constantly get more fish', but you couldn't say 'I want goods to move from this warehouse to this warehouse to this warehouse' so that you could have a nice flow of controllable short-stops and goods distribution, rather than cart-pushers who would walk half of the map and then everything grinds to a half because each building has one cart-pusher and now they're trying to deliver to that warehouse in the middle of my city and I hated them and their dumb "ugh I have to walk sooo far my life sucks".

Um. Got a bit carried away. So yeah, this looks good, I really really hope you pull it off. Hand Money Right
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HSI
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« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2018, 01:49:28 AM »

Looks very cool!

I'm not sure I've ever played an Impressions game, but your screenshots are very reminiscent of Age of Empires. I love city building games so I think I'd really enjoy this when it comes out.
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Nelvin
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« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2018, 02:05:27 AM »

Hi there, I'm the one who has to make these little guys find their ways and it's great to see there's someone interest in this extremely early stage already - so welcome to our devblog.

With regards to the suggestions the problems with the, let's call em, originals, is very well known but the more you start implementing these systems the more you notice that there's quite some good reasons for the decisions in those games. And I also spent days just reading through all the articles and postings on heavengames.com - it's stunning to see how dedicated those fans were and even still are, how they analyzed the games in a spectacular and time consuming way. I'd be happy if we even just reached 1% of what they did, back then.

Anyway, with regards f.i. to the walkers we probably will have the typical random walkers which, IMO is pretty good for casual players who just want to enjoy building their cities without trying to turn it into a perfect balanced machinery. I also think it's quite good for the dynamic of the game if there's some randomness you don't control as this makes the game less predictable. But I also see needs for some other modes/optional ways to have more control

- One would be to just mark a rectangle and the walker wanders randomly within that range - there's still some randomness there.
- Try to find a perfect route automatically (travelling salesman/np-problem, not a good idea if we may have hundreds or even thousands of these guys wandering around).
- Full control by setting the path through a set of waypoints, might result in a pretty static city but then different users enjoy different ways to play a game

The problem I see when users have to micro manage these walkers is, whenever you build/remove buildings/roads etc. you're waypoints may become invalid and the whole system collapses. On the other side, if you have both options, you could rely on the random walkers first, and with a settled city (or for experienced players if they have a special city layout in mind already) you can set the waypoints for a perfect distribution.

In any way, this will be a an ongoing topic during the development and we'll see what works best.

Movement of goods is another hot topic but I've just started with a first implementation so I need a few more days until I have a better idea about the ways to handle these (I'm away from my PC for the next 2 weeks so might have a better idea not before the end of the month).

Haven't played Lethis but it's obviously pretty high on my todo list.
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whistlerat
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« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2018, 02:26:46 AM »

It doesn't surprise me in the slightest that the problems involved with AI and pathfinding are far from trivial Smiley I'm taking off my gamedev hat and putting on my player one for this, just to offer my perspective as one kind of end-user. I've toyed with the idea of creating my own Impressions-inspired city builder before, because the kinds of problems and solutions involved absolutely fascinate me, but I don't know if I'll ever get around to it. Providing feedback on this will have to suffice for me for now Hand Thumbs Up Right

Keeping the randomness as the fundamental walker behaviour is a good idea, because as you say it's more friendly to casual/laidback players. I wouldn't say that trying to achieve any kind of perfect or optimal path is at all necessary, since that should be the responsibility of the player, not the AI. But that doesn't mean the AI should be *quite* as dumb as rocks as the originals. Just offering little tools and tricks for people like me who want to optimise the wazoo out of everything would be super nice of you. Wink

For movement of goods, you could look at how Dwarf Fortress manages it. (From memory, I haven't played in a year or two) you can designate stockpiles and then dictate what you want to move from where. Unlike DF, you'll have the dedicated warehouse workers who can just focus on the flow of goods. Being able to empower the player to build any kind of 'distribution centre/s' would be aces - trying to get that kind of behaviour in vanilla was like an ongoing fight with the game. The original post mentioned Anno as an inspiration, and the way the player could create and control the trade routes in that was probably my favourite part of those games. Combining that feature with the warehouses/goods/cartpushers in place of ports/goods/ships could feel very nice.
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Frece
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« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2018, 12:25:35 AM »

For movement of goods, you could look at how Dwarf Fortress manages it. (From memory, I haven't played in a year or two) you can designate stockpiles and then dictate what you want to move from where. Unlike DF, you'll have the dedicated warehouse workers who can just focus on the flow of goods. Being able to empower the player to build any kind of 'distribution centre/s' would be aces - trying to get that kind of behaviour in vanilla was like an ongoing fight with the game. The original post mentioned Anno as an inspiration, and the way the player could create and control the trade routes in that was probably my favourite part of those games. Combining that feature with the warehouses/goods/cartpushers in place of ports/goods/ships could feel very nice.

I had this idea as well. The ancient Aztec empire had a complex system of transfering goods from A to B. There have been trading-guilds in each big city. This made me think about implementing a building like one of those "guilds" in our game. Thinking it further you could have something like a distributor-building which you build next to your storehouses. From this building you could manage the transport of certain goods to other storehouses + you could set a count of "cartpushers" to set the level that you need for your purposes.
We will deffinately discuss and think about how to make it as good as possible. We (and a lot of players) had the same problems with the old classics as you had.

In any case I am very glad that you are interested in our title. Cool I am really curious how your project will develop as well.
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« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2018, 02:06:46 PM »

Looks pretty good! Can't wait for more news  Beg
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« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2018, 09:08:30 AM »

Holy shit. This looks very promising.
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Frece
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« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2018, 10:52:53 AM »

Time has passed since out first post but fortunately we are constantly pushing the development =)
Follow me on Twitter to get updates more recently. https://twitter.com/Indofrece

Let me give you a list of just SOME new features of the game.
1. Citizens have needs like water and food
2. If you deliver them the required services the houses will level up. (Level 5 is max so far  and there are many more levels to come Wink )

3.
Markets share the goods under the houses



4. Ressoureces will be stored in Storage Yards and Granarys



5. There is Agriculture  Cool



6. You can build shrines and gardens for cultural needs Gentleman



7. ..... Many more features ready and even more to come =)

So what is our aim for the near future?
We are planning to create a Tech-demo that you can try out yourself in the next months. We will deliver a release date for this soon.
More features, buildings and management possibilities will be created in the next time.
One of our biggest Milestones in the next time is the UI (User Interface). We already got a lot of concepts to find the best way and there will be several Interfaces for different buildings, and the general overview.



Some personal words at the end. We love to work on this game. It is our serious goal to finish it and to deliver you (and us) an addictive piece of entertainment.
We really hope that you join us on our jurney of development because we need your feedback as well to make this game fun.
Have a nice day. Beer!

« Last Edit: July 12, 2018, 11:14:45 AM by Frece » Logged
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« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2018, 06:00:46 PM »

Love the concept and love the artstyle. I wish you all the best with this, and i'll check back every once in a while.

Also, a tought crossed my mind: I am currently in Art History university, and my current subject is Aztec/Maya/Olmec art. I don't know too much about the games you cite as inspiration for your own, but if you wanted to pursue realism i could send you some material about Aztec architecture and society :D. All of this i suppose you could find on the internet, but if you plan on including art forms (like in Dwarf Fortress maybe?) i could also give you some more in-depth help with that.

Good luck with the game, i'll stay tuned Grin
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Frece
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« Reply #10 on: July 16, 2018, 01:02:36 PM »

Thank you for your wishes. We are really focussing on this project.

Also we are very interested in your suggestions. You are welcome to our discord-server https://discord.gg/hFamrks
Can't wait for this in-depth info Cool
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Frece
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« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2019, 03:43:08 AM »

Hey Guys,

it's been a while since our last update but we finished a lot of our tasks. Still we are just at the beginning.

Lets check out what just changed.

1. We got an own Twitter now. Come and follow us  Evil https://twitter.com/EmpireAztec
Also you should join our Discord. Gentleman We are open for questions and suggestions. If you want to join our community make sure to press on this link -> https://discord.gg/CDHU8nD



2. In our last update we wrote that we are working on a Tech-Demo and that is true. Soon you will have the chance to try the game your self. Stay tuned.

3. More Buildings like:
   -Houses up to level 9
   -Different Farms
   -Architect
   -Firefighter
   -Temple
   -Statue Builder
   -Woodcutter
   -Goldmine
   -Various Statues
   -More Garden Varietys
   -More natural rescources
   -and even more

Well, hello there! Well, hello there! Well, hello there! Check out these screenshots  Well, hello there! Well, hello there! Well, hello there!


4. We finaly worked out the first version of a user interface. You can now select buildings that you want to build with pleasing buttons as well as investigate and manage houses and work-buildings in seperate windows.


Next big task on the list is implementing a currency and balancing it right so the Game will finally be a real Economy Simulation.

I want to keep it short this time and write you again soon. We got a lot of stuff in the process.
See ya Cool
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Frece
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« Reply #12 on: January 30, 2019, 01:08:32 PM »


Check out the new Police Station! Fresh out of the Photoshop Owen =))



In Aztec-Empire you'll need to fight different desasters such as:
- Desease
- Disintegration
- Criminality
- Fire

and even more.
To avoid chaos you'll need to build service-buildings like this police station wisely.

Take care  Wink
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Frece
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« Reply #13 on: February 05, 2019, 04:47:04 AM »

Apothecary is done! Cool



Hope you like it =)
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« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2019, 12:18:39 PM »

Great graphics!
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« Reply #15 on: February 06, 2019, 03:54:49 AM »

Can't wait to see those living cities in motion.
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Frece
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« Reply #16 on: March 02, 2019, 12:05:20 AM »



And last but not least, service nr. 4 - the Firefighter. Always ready to risk his life for the good inhabitants of your city. Smiley
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« Reply #17 on: March 07, 2019, 06:06:34 PM »

Wow I love everything about this. I grew up playing the Impressions Games like Cleopatra, Zeus, and Poseidon so I would love to see something like this make a come back. The closest thing that has released recently is Banished and that doesn't have the over-arching exploration of history that was present in the Impressions Games' releases.

Do you plan on having multiple scenarios like those games or will it be more sandbox-like the way Banished worked?
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« Reply #18 on: March 07, 2019, 07:35:40 PM »

Wow I love everything about this. I grew up playing the Impressions Games like Cleopatra, Zeus, and Poseidon so I would love to see something like this make a come back. The closest thing that has released recently is Banished and that doesn't have the over-arching exploration of history that was present in the Impressions Games' releases.

Do you plan on having multiple scenarios like those games or will it be more sandbox-like the way Banished worked?

Glad to hear you like our project.

Our focus for the game is a story/campaign mode with various scenarious and within each a set of goals/missions, so it should be a pretty good fit for anyone who loved playing the Impressions classics.
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Frece
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« Reply #19 on: April 09, 2019, 03:50:29 AM »

Hey Guys  Gentleman,

just wanted to show you a video I took from my last game-test.  Here you can see Aztec-Empire in motion.
There is still a lot of stuff to do so keep that in mind. Blink
Still I wanted to give you a small impression of the current dev-state.





On or todo-list:
- Better Soundtrack  Cool
- Better User Interface
- Upkeep for buildings
- Tasks for the player
- Loading + Saving

All this still requires a lot of work but I want to keep you updated =)
cheers
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