I'm making a game

Formerly: Game name that I havent decided yet.
non trek themed game in development.

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Crook
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I'm making a game

Post by Crook » Sat May 05, 2007 2:34 pm

Probably :) If I can ever finish it. It's a big job I'm taking on, but a simple game graphically (well, simple ish). It's the most written and ported game of all time -
ASCII star trek.

I'm updating it a little bit however. It's going to be online multiplayer with a persistant universe. I think I can get away with this as it's not a lot of data exchange between client and server. The server can reside on any IP, so I can just host it here at home. The plan is to have the server IP in a file on a domain that won't chage http://www.gamenamethatIhaventdecidedyet.co.uk and it can look up my dynamic ip from there. I can even release the server app maybe, so others can host their own universes and have them as they see fit.

This is assuming anyone ever plays it, which I doubt :) But I'm doing it for the fun of coding not the end product.

I'm currently coding the client app and sorting out the graphics engine. Made a breakthrough today so I thought it'd be a good first post - I figured out how to overlay images by alpha, meaning I can layer the hell out of the interface to make it look cosmetic. I've already got the data transmission part working in principle - sending data via UDP to different IP's. Seems very easy with .net. The client will tell the server what move to make, and the server will do all the work and report back to the client. All data will be held on the server actually, from ship stats to universe. As the client only sees the local system, it's not much data to transfer when there is a warp to another system.

The game itself will have quite a large universe. I'm going to have to chop the universe into more than quadrants and sectors though. It's not enough, so I think it'll be quadrant>sectors>systems. So there can be hundreds of systems per sector, and each sector is one of a block of thousands in the quadrant.

I'm thinking you can play as FED, KLI or ROM. Each will have a starting place in the universe, and a scattering of starbases. There will be missions based from starbases and planets to complete, and a profile for each player with customisable ships - upgrades based around missions basically. This might mean a faster warp drive should you upgrade after conquoring a planet playing as KLI.

There will be in game chat between players and players can join up to co-operatively complete missions (I stole that idea from WoW). There will be AI ships flying aroud as well to keep the universe populated.

Your ship will have a crew - the better a ship does in missions the more reputation you'll get. If you lose crew and you have good rep, you can recruit at a starbase. Without good rep you'll have to do low simple missions to build it up. So you can't go blindly blowing things up and losing half your crew. A fractional crew will run your ship slower, and you can't board other ships.

I'm uncertain as to how to handle deaths. You can board a ship and take it over - what to do for the other player? I think a restart at starbase 001 is a good idea, with a new comission. Your rep as a captain halved - but probably better than zero where a newbie might start. But this might not lend itself to people returning to play with the same ship and build it up. Maybe after a death the captain is saved and the hulk is towed for refitting at starbase 001- so it's not so much of a restart from scratch. The ship retains it's mission history. Yeah, I like that better.

You'll logon and start from a starbase (the nearest one where you logged off at) and from there, move on and colonise. I'm undecided about building new starbases - that might change the universe to a point where I'll have to add in balancing (if the universe becomes 80% klingon, the feds will need balancing up to give them a chance).

Here's a screenshot:

The images are all placeholders except the middle one - thats the testing area where you can see I've got images overlayed nicely with some rendered text. This CAN go at quite a pace - proper game FPS - but it won't be needed in the final app as the interface won't change more than every 1/2 second or so.



Oh, and I know that the owners of ST aren't too keen on fan made games, even non-profit ones, so all ST references aren't in the game hardcoded. This is already one 'theme' that can be loaded in simply, both graphical and string based, so in the end you can choose (or make) a theme of your own. So if you don't want it to be TOS trek you can make TNG, or DS9 or even Star Wars, B5, whatever.

The final release will be a 'neutral' version with things like 'the republic' instead of federation, and 'NSS 1709 York' instead of NCC 1701 etc. Then I can leak out the ST theme I guess :)

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Crook
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Post by Crook » Sun May 06, 2007 6:42 pm

I'm shooting ahead with the graphics system. The difference in screenshots here is that the top left image is generated from within the game. I've got transparent sprites rendering at different layers. I haven't got the data to render a system yet - still thinking what's the smallest data to do that in.

The example here is far too noisy - in a regular sector there will be 1-2 stars, 2-3 planets maybe and then the ships, nebulae and starbases that populate the universe. Some systems might simply be a star on it's own. The graphics are up-scalable, so I can render a star quite massive on the grid, covering about 1/2 of it. That will give some variety and hazards - close to a star and your sensors don't work and you get irradiated etc. Planets will be likewise scalable and can have things like rings / moons to explore. There is scope for other space phenomena that I haven't thought of yet.

I think a top down image of starships might be better than a side on view.
Attachments
ST_SCN_WIP_4.jpg
<a href="http://www.andrewcrook.co.uk/empire/Empire_home.shtml" target="_blank">Empire - an online multiverse game</a>


<a href="http://www.c-digital-art.co.uk" target="_blank">www.c-digital-art.co.uk</a>
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Pierce 2: The Sequel
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Post by Pierce 2: The Sequel » Mon May 07, 2007 2:39 am

Looks good, and I'd agree with top down vs. side down.

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Post by CurseUppl » Mon May 07, 2007 3:17 pm

Crook.... Sorry mate, but have you been asleep? There are EvR fans out there (including me) who would kill just to get you to port it to Star Wars.

I mean seriously! I'm not a great Star Trek fan... (in fact, I dislike it, sorry), and it looks good so far, but a Star Wars port would be frickin' sweet!

Hell, you could even create your own universe, that might work even better.

Anyway, keep up the good work :)

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Crook
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Post by Crook » Mon May 07, 2007 6:25 pm

Well, a port to SW is no bother - basically if someone wants that they can mod it in the end - it's just graphical and text changes.
<a href="http://www.andrewcrook.co.uk/empire/Empire_home.shtml" target="_blank">Empire - an online multiverse game</a>


<a href="http://www.c-digital-art.co.uk" target="_blank">www.c-digital-art.co.uk</a>
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Post by maxdamage » Mon May 07, 2007 10:25 pm

Lol this game reminds me of EGA Trek v1.0 and v3.0.I always hoped it would be made into a 3D version of it....

:Max:
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Crook
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Post by Crook » Mon May 07, 2007 11:25 pm

That's exactly the game I'm making, only a bit bigger in scope. :)
<a href="http://www.andrewcrook.co.uk/empire/Empire_home.shtml" target="_blank">Empire - an online multiverse game</a>


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maxdamage
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Post by maxdamage » Mon May 07, 2007 11:30 pm

Crook wrote:That's exactly the game I'm making, only a bit bigger in scope. :)
:banana: :banana: :banana: :D.I have loved the v1.0 of egatrek since I got it in 1994 for my birthday.....


:Max:

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Post by CurseUppl » Wed May 09, 2007 1:36 am

How long will the development be? =D

Will there be cool music included?

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Post by Crook » Wed May 09, 2007 9:44 pm

Development probably forever at this rate. I'm just seeing how far I can get with it at the moment, rather than thinking it'll be a finished game. There's just so much I'd like to put into it it's becoming large in my head.

I'm currently sorting out the data structures for things. I've got the basic system layout down, so I can now design more structured star systems and render them with layers. An example is included.

The nebula background is rendered first, then the star. Then the planets, shadows and finally rings. All can be rotated independantly, so for the 12 planets I currently have, and 4 types of shadow for each I have 48 possible combinations. With the 2 rings that puts it at 96 different planets. With 4 degrees of rotation thats 4*96 combinations really. I was thinking of more planets and rings than that, so it'll be up in the thousands of possibles once I'm done - more is just making another texture too. And given that each can be rendered at a different size, this gives (technically) millions /billions of possible combinations.

Bear in mind this is only the graphical end I'm coding in, with a lot of temp code for the system itself, and just false data structures. This is an example of the system I'm showing here:

Code: Select all

 ' Basic system description:
        ' "system name, author, stardate dicovered, number of cells filled in system"
        ' individual cells: delimited by ^ or another possibility ?
        ' "layer to render at, x, y, type of cell, texture number, size to render, rotation, sensor info"
        ' types of cell:
        ' 0= empty (might need)
        ' 1= carbon copy
        ' 2= associate with reference cell but can move there as a ship
        ' 3= RESERVED
        ' 4= RESERVED
        ' 5= Star
        ' 6= planet
        ' 7= moon
        ' 8= planet ring
        ' 9= nebula
        ' 9= comet/ asteroid
        ' 
        '
        '
        ' if the cell type is <5 then it's not to be rendered
        ' as such, it has a different structure:
        '
        ' "x, y, type of cell, x reference back to parent cell, y reference back to parent cell,damage if in this cell per cycle,type of damage"
        '
        ' types of damage:
        '
        ' 0 = no damage
        ' 1 = alpha radiation
        ' 2 = beta radiation
        ' 3 = gamma radiation
        ' 4 = chronometric radiation
        ' 5 = other technobalbble
        '
        '

        cell_system = "Terra,Andy Crook,1458.4,1^2,1,1,5,8,300,0^5,6,5,5,6,800,0^3,6,4,5,20,50,0^3,6,4,5,34,50,0^4,6,4,5,17,100,90^3,6,7,5,29,110,0^4,6,7,5,34,110,0^3,8,5,5,25,80,0^3,8,5,5,35,80,0^4,6,7,5,18,210,180"
All this is configurable so if you needed a star system that is shrouded in a nebula (for fighting ala wrath of khan) then that's just a change of layer priority for the nebula. (2nd pic as an example). This makes forp ossibly interesting movement play as you can collide this way.

Obviously this is early days for this game - it's not playable as such and won't be for a long time until I solve certain problems, like what data the server has and what data the client has and how they talk to each other.

When that time comes I'll need some stubborn alpha/beta testers to play with it from somewhere, and it'll probably be a miserable experience :) At least there can't be any BSOD's.....

As to music, I certainly can't compose anything but if I can find a wav player function that DOESN'T stop VB from working as it plays, then I'll have a bank of wavs within the theme to play - a looping sound and fx etc. I haven't looked at all for that yet.

I'm just enjoying making solar systems at the moment :) I'll have to make a map editor as part of the package to do specifics like SOL and VULCAN etc, and an automatic system generator function too if the game is to be B I G.
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ST_SCN_WIP_6.jpg
ST_SCN_WIP_5.jpg

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