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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsGalactic Conquest - RTS/Grand Strategy Hybrid
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DanTheMan112
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« on: June 01, 2018, 11:02:22 PM »





First of all, what is it?

Galactic Conquest is a Grand Strategy/RTS hybrid in the likes of Total War, Civilization, and Total Annilation, with a bit of Homeworld thrown in for good measure. You start out as a fledgling civilization, spawned in a randomly generated procedurally generated galaxy, from the galactic level, to each individual solar system, down to the planetary level, and even the infantry level. You can control every aspect of a colony, from which military bases are placed on each colony, to which infantry are deployed to which planet, to which ships engage other alien fleets in which solar system, all generated on the fly. Every playthrough is random, and every time you start a new game, the stakes are different - you will never have the same game again. You can control if a colony's civilians have access to weapons, if free speech is legalized on that planet, manage the development of cities on a frozen world without air, or even discover wreckage on an alien planet that might give you access to technology you wouldn't have before. You can invade primitive alien civilizations and fight them weilding nothing but suits of armor, or fight elderitch empires that have been around for billions of years. Battles can be autoresolved or fought out on the battlefield, with troops or fleets recruited in one corner of the galaxy duking it out with your opponents on another corner of the galaxy.  Or other galaxies. Generation for multiple galaxies is allowed, allowing you to forge your multigalactic empire through war or diplomacy. You can manage your government, turn your interstellar republic into the galactic imperium that you've always wanted it to be, or turn it into the space communist bug paradise you so choose. It's up to you.



How did this get started?


Way back in 2009 I started a hobbyist Command and Conquer clone that had gameplay elements that resembled Total Annilation because of the lack of development of a sequel for Command and Conquer: Generals and I wanted to capture the desire for the same spirit of the old school RTS games that captured my imagination as a youth. After attempting to publicise it in 2014, it fell under the water and even though I got almost got a small team of people to help me work on it, I ended up having to scrap it due to lack of interest, funding, and publicity. It wasn't really something that people wanted to play. I used it to get a job working on a MMORPG called Legends of Aria, which was a spirtual successor to Ultima Online. After spending a couple years working there, the financial effects of living on a shoestring budget started to catch up and I ended up first going back to school to get my bachelors, then spending a couple months working at the Department of Homeland Security as a computer programmer. Along the way, I had picked up the Paradox game Stellaris and got engrossed with the gameplay that the Swedish studio had gone to achieve. After playing for several months, I applied for a job there, and was about to do a programming test to work for them, when I realized "What am I doing? They aren't going to create the game I've always wanted to play - I'm going to be creating their game." - and so, I set about converting the RTS game into a sub-game of a new 4X strategy game - Galactic Conquest was born. It's the game I've always wanted to play.



That's great. Does it work?

Of course it does. There's a number of features that of this posting still need to be implemented, such as colony building, governments, unit recruitment, diplomacy, etc. But the core systems are done. I've been working on it on and off myself for the past 10 years like an outsider art version of Dwarf Fortress. Take a look and see:



The engine is written in Java in some 40,000+ lines of code, using LibGDX and a small networking library called KryoNet. All the art is done by me, all the code, all the written work, and the plan WAS to finish it in secret and then release it on an unsuspecting public to great suprise. Right now it runs on about 600mb of memory on my Intel i3 laptop, so it's guarneteed to run on your computer - especially considering there's going to be a Linux and Mac version. As for Android, perhaps it will have a tablet port but it's going to need some code changes and it's probablly not going to run on your smartphone. Sorry. Ships move in 3 dimensions, troops navigate terrain, maps are randomly generated from an ancient algorithm, habitable planets are randomly generated along with solar systems and galaxies of various shapes and sizes. Tanks and infantry are fully controllable by the AI, along with interstellar empires, primitive civlizations, pirate enclaves, etc.



So why are you showing it off now?

Because it's nearing the point where I'm willing to show it off, and because I'm reaching the point where if I'm going to continue working on this, I'm going to need to know that it's going to be viable financially and it's going to be marketable. I'm also looking for feedback on it, and while the universally postive feedback the local Wyoming Game Developers discord and the circle of people I know in person is great, it's not enough as it stands right now. At some point, I'm planning on doing a Kickstarter and releasing it on Steam for a small price, and I need to know if this is something people want to play. If it isn't, great - I'll go find something else to do more worth my time. If it is - I'll keep working on it. Also I'm going to need an artist at some point to make this the game that it needs to be, to crush the competition and allow people to go where nobody has gone before - in their computers at least.



So how can I help?

If you're interested, you can go down and donate to my Patreon, and show me that what I'm doing isn't entirely a waste of time and that I can and should be spending my time working on this instead of working down at the garden center watering flowers and pushing carts, as someone in my family has suggested. Everyone that donates $15 is getting a copy of this on launch. Guarenteed. And it's going to be finished as long as I feel it's A) something that interests people and B) going to pay bills at some point in the future. You give me something substantial, and hell you might even get to decide which gameplay features are implemented. I'm a reasonable guy.

By the way, the link to my Patreon is https://www.patreon.com/dantheman112



So when is it going to be done?

When I can sit down, and play a game from start to finish, and feel as though there are no issues, and that I can give this to someone and they aren't going to run into any problems. I still have a lot to do, including implement a number of features, get a website, publicize it, get it Steam Greenlit, polish it, fix bugs, polish it, fix bugs, polish it, fix bugs, etc.



Is there going to be multiplayer?

That depends on a few things. Multiplayer is already implemented and working with a few bugs in the RTS portion of the game, but the other portion of the game, the Grand Strategy portion, is going to need to have multiplayer implemented. Which is doable, but the question is, is it going to be be worth my time to do such a thing? Sky's the limit realistically.




So why are you posting here on TigSource?


Becuase I feel that the best place to start is with fellow game developers before releasing to the general public. That's the truth, because the capacity for critical feedback is better here and there's a better chance for people to be professional about the feedback that they give rather than "LOL YOUR ART SUCKS" than if I simply went on Steam Greenlight and posted it there or went on another forum. I get it. The art can be improved, that's why I'm looking for constructive feedback on this rather than just donations. I've also tried posting this back when I was first developing it on another forum and frankly the trolling I got was intense. I was recommended to this forum by someone else so I'm assuming that the moderation here is better. It's also part of the reason I've been working on it in secret for so long - the world was not ready.



Can I play it?

Not yet. When it's ready.



Is it going to be open source?

Not a chance. Maybe long after release but not until long after it's done. I spent too much time on this.



How much are you going to sell it for?

Nothing more than $30 USD, but I'm not going to commit to a price yet.



I have a great idea! Can you do XYZ?

If you donate, I might be willing to consider it.



Can I help you on this project?

I normally would be willing to consider this, but I have to consider the answer being no at the present, for a very strong reason being that I don't have the money as it stands to pay you. If there's one thing I learned about game development and software development in general, it's that people who work for free don't get the job done unless they're personally invested in it. Look at GNU. +20 years on and it isn't done yet. The team I had before fell off and flaked and didn't accomplish anything because frankly I didn't have anything to pay them. What little they did do, I had to scrap because I didn't have the capacity to give them proper compensation for it. I'm looking to monetize this and perhaps when I have a significant following and a successful Kickstarter I'll be able to hire people full time (correction - I'll NEED to hire someone full time to do artwork) but as it stands right now I can't. Sorry.

Do you have a website?

Not yet. At some point in the future I will but right now this is the primary source of updates. Eventually I'll have a newsletter and such but that's all pie in the sky right now.

Do you have a portfolio? I'd like to have you do some contract work!

Sure, send me an email at [email protected]. I'm not currently employed and I'm currently going back to get my degree so I have a lot of free time right now.

As it stands right now, here's where I'm going to post updates for now regarding new content.

If you have any questions, comments, feel free to ask them in the thread below. Thanks again!

Contact Information:
Email: [email protected]
Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/dantheman112
I don't currently have a Facebook or Twitter due to privacy concerns with the way Facebook and Twitter manage user data, nor do I have up to date videos on my Youtube Page but I will work on one this week and try to post a video next week. I will also periodically post updates here in this thread regarding progress with the game.
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Zireael
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« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2018, 02:12:10 AM »

This is LibGDX? Awesome!
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Bison Kings
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« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2018, 07:01:01 PM »

WOW. This is so intense. I LOVE IT  Shocked
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DanTheMan112
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« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2018, 08:48:48 AM »

A bit of a small update: Added Steam-Era civilizations and fixed primitive civilizations having armies, fixed the arrow mechanics for primitive armies so now when primitive armies shoot arrows they behave like arrows. Border drawing was also fixed on a few levels and there's been some minor engine boilerplate work being done, such as with the random map generation for ground based levels having consistent shorelines when armies meet on tiles and not spawning in the middle of water. Also added were limits for the camera, increased the speed of the camera in the solar system view and added boundaries to each camera. Powered armor infantry was added also, and now infantry can scale up in size depending on the sprite used. A few other things I haven't mentioned but as I said mostly boilerplate polish code.



At some point I'm going to upload a video of the game as it stands but there's some graphical issues that need to be resolved first.

After that the next major system to be implemented is probably going to be moving armies from planet to planet, diplomacy and government systems, followed by research systems and colony management.

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Jesse Ko
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« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2018, 07:13:14 AM »

This looks like a very ambitious project, but what you have so far looks incredibly promising. I was actually kind of blown away by how much of it you already have made. Makes sense that you've been working on a it for a long period of time already.
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DanTheMan112
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« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2018, 12:21:56 PM »

This looks like a very ambitious project, but what you have so far looks incredibly promising. I was actually kind of blown away by how much of it you already have made. Makes sense that you've been working on a it for a long period of time already.
Thanks, yeah I have been working on it for a long time. Almost ten years now was when I started working on the sprites. It's probably getting to the point where I need to update LibGDX at this point, I can't recall the last time the library's been updated, maybe 2014?

In a small update, last night I added a top down view for the galactic map as shown here:



Same view in standard view:



Finally, I added the ability to see and jump to other planets by right-clicking on them in the planetary view.



There was also a strategic view for planets that I haven't shown that you can switch to by pressing tab.



Cheers.
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DanTheMan112
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« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2018, 12:29:19 PM »

Work continues!

Currently the two major systems being implemented are the Government and Leader systems. As it stands right now, each general can has traits similar to Medieval II Total War that add up to a given leaders abilities and traits that will affect bonuses to troops in battle or in autoresolve. As it stands right now, autoresolve is simply the strongest of the two, and two AI's will always autoresolve against each other, but generals and admirals can change the tide by giving bonuses to a given fight. In addition, they can increase fire rates of your troops on the battlefield or increase their morale making them willing to sustain damage longer before they retreat/stop attacking.

Government systems are still being worked out, but essentially each faction has a faction leader, a legislative body from which leaders are elected randomly or appointed (depending on your government type) and your leader pool, from which your trusted leaders can be moved around and given command. Legislative bodies can take the form of imperial families if your government is a monarchy, and thus all your leaders are related, or a military command chain if you have a military junta, or a galactic senate if you have a representative democracy. Or an empire. It all depends. The legislative body is filled with so called "secondary" leaders, from which you can recruit primary leaders to command armies or run planets or government agencies. Primary leaders are trusted members of your inner circle, and report directly to your faction leader. At any given point personality traits in leaders can cause leaders to revolt, change allegiance or political beliefs, resign, among other things.

Some traits of leaders are shown below.



As it stands the game will of course be fully moddable, meaning someone can add factions or change the way galaxies are generated, change the composition of units or the health/weaponry, or even add new traits as shown here. Everything is data driven.

Other minor changes include the addition of Empire Insignia to the galactic map, Molten, Desert, and Ocean planets, and improved drawing for planets, but I'll show those off later.
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PetSkull
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« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2018, 01:45:09 AM »

Yuor game looks very good, right down my alley - Looking forward to following you, and see where it ends Smiley
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« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2018, 01:39:35 PM »

Looks great! Always excited for a space sim. Keeping an eye on this!
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LORD OF CHEESEBURGER, check it out here dudes http://tinyurl.com/qj989a9
DanTheMan112
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« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2018, 10:29:39 PM »

Alright, traits are now a fully implelmented feature, and leaders spawn with every fleet.



Technically, leaders will spawn with every new fleet you create, and I'll have to think about how I'm going to manage when you merge fleets later. Currently leaders have no effects on anything but that's going to change at some point. Leaders, species, and civilizations all have their own respective traits, and can be anything from unrepentant space nazis to having a highly educated background.



Species have a variety of backgrounds, from evolutionary origins as solitary hunters to origins as hervibores, and eventually there will be implementation for hive minds.

But that will come later. Next will be diplomacy and government forms.

BTW there's already 25 different alien portraits available as of right now. Eventually I would like to have separate infantry sprites for each portrait on the battle map but that's definitely a stretch goal.

Finally I ended up increasing the resolution but I'm still taking screenshots in 800x600 for now.
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DanTheMan112
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« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2018, 07:54:05 PM »

Yuor game looks very good, right down my alley - Looking forward to following you, and see where it ends Smiley
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Looks great! Always excited for a space sim. Keeping an eye on this!
Thanks guys, I do appreciate the interest, I've just been very busy as of late.

It's going to take some time, and as I'm not working on this full time, it's going to take longer than if I had 8 hours a day or more to work on it, but it should be done in the near future.

I've been working on polish for the features I have in already, changing backgrounds and such, here's a few more screenshots in the meantime:






As you can see, it's under active development but there is some bugs and issues. I think I'm going to take a look at ground combat tomorrow and see if I can improve it somewhat, including fix some of the drawing issues in the strategic map and ground combat.
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DanTheMan112
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« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2018, 09:32:09 PM »

Another update:

Spent some time working on the RTS portion of the game, ended up making tanks shoot similar to artillery and added new noise generation for ground maps to make them more interesting. Destructible terrain is still there of course.








Next is improving the way units move on the map, make them act more like vehicles than ants. On another note, I'm currently working on having alien civilizations invade planets with armies, then it's onto government forms.
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« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2018, 04:55:36 AM »

This is nuts - super excited to watch it develop.
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DanTheMan112
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« Reply #13 on: July 06, 2018, 11:25:05 PM »

An update!

Added a major feature - the ability for armies to move from planet to planet, and engage with armies on other planets, and even fleets in space.



How it works is relatively simple, you just select a fleet on the planet, and they automatically move to the nearest spaceport.



If they land on a planet, they automatically create a small landing camp building which allows them to leave if they go to the same tile. But beware, other civilizations can use it and primitive civs can use it as well. So you could invade a primitive civilization and they could capture your ships and land them on your planet and reek havok.



Also, interstellar fleets can intercept them in transit to another planet and they are seriously underpowered against battle fleets, so protecting them is typically a must when invading another system. They show up as weak transport ships armed with weak weaponry, and are typically going to be destroyed fast. Right now they're armed with only a weak machine gun but later you'll be able to swap unit weapons at some point. Whenever an army embarkes on a spaceport they're automatically loaded on these transport ships and whenever they land on a planet they automatically disembark to their previous state. Eventually I might want to add a feature to allow transport ships to board enemy ships and be able to capture them, but that will have to come at a later date.



Once they're on a planet, they act like regular armies again and will engage in combat as such. Only ground armies can capture planets so it's essential to have them.



Regarding how I tested this for AI's, I ended up spawning a bunch of them in an inhabited system by the AI and setting them loose, and watching the AI chase them around the system frantically, to much humor.







Raiding barbarians indeed. They do have a raiding AI and pirate/trading enclaves are already planned.

Also I added another unit set that you can see in one of the pictures last week.

Next, I'll be tackling diplomacy and building construction so that it becomes more of a proper space sim rather than just total-war in space.

Cheers.
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DanTheMan112
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« Reply #14 on: August 12, 2018, 09:12:06 AM »

Another Update! Boy it's been a while.

Government System's base has been implemented w/ diplomacy, along with different laws that can give bonuses to a given empire's system. Some might increase recruitment speed, troop morale on the ground, others might increase migration rate, or population growth speed. In order to pass these laws they will have to go through the player's parliament. Some policies might dictate the relative control of your leader compared to the rest of your empire. A policy of having a figurehead, for example, puts you in the passenger seat so to speak and lets the parlament declare war, diplomacy, and others while you command the army. If this is attempted on a absolute dictator you can be sure it might lead to civil war. I have no pictures of this yet because it's not done and there's no UI at the moment.




Black holes and neutron stars are a new addition (along with accretion disks and planetary rings), at first when one starts the game they will appear to be completely alone. When moving fleets across the galaxy, they will encounter radio sources that might be one of three things: A black hole, which speeds up the aging of any leaders near them and decreases movement speed, neutron stars that are simply false radio sources, and intelligent life which could be a primitive civilization or a giant alien empire. Upon reaching a system you establish contact and an alien empire's borders are visible. Sometimes you might find a long dead civilization instead. It all depends.



Next a number of portraits have been cut due to quality concerns so I spent time creating a few new alien portraits that more fit the respective feel of the game so to speak. Portraits are also animated now so they do end up looking a bit more alive then before.



Another addition is that of dwarf galaxies that will contain a few stars but unlikely a civilization potentially. These spawn in groups of 2-3 to the edge and above and below your galactic plane but otherwise are relatively the same.



You can now travel between galaxies, in order to do so all you do is move a fleet to another star system in another galaxy and it will travel across the current galaxy group in order to reach it. Initially this might be disabled until you research a technology but I haven't decided that yet. I haven't implemented the research system yet so as soon as that is completed then I will go ahead and decide.



Finally I added a new unit set (not visible in this gif) and a lot of other stuff, but that's all for today, I'll post another update soon. If you can't tell, I need a new computer. That's probably happening in the next month or so and when it does it will lead to probablly the requirements of the game increasing.
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