Bombing Planets, and more

Well, the back and forth on the Fleets UI capability has resulted in some near-final mockups for me to implement. As you can see below, what’s coming up will look better than what I threw together.

Today, I also changed the bombing prompt (“Do you want to bomb planet XXX?”) to be back on the primary main map rather than bringing up a separate screen as it worked in the last alpha. This is in direct response to feedback from testers and, as some of you may have figured out by now, I definitely listen to constructive feedback.

Here is the new bombing prompt:

bombplanet

Looks cool! There will eventually be some explosion animations on this when you click “Yes” but that’s lower priority for now.

Here are the more final mockups of some of the Fleet UI screens I was working on last week. There’ll be effort over the coming week to bring what I’ve done into more visual alignment with these:

fleet-deployment-with-selection-01

fleet-screen-01

rally-point-with-selection-01

 

Mass Fleet Deployment is in

The fleet deployment functionality from the new Fleet UI is now in and working, as evidenced by the screenshot below.

You can use the query options and/or the map to select fleets and then either undeploy (for fleets that you’ve deployed this turn) and deploy to a selected system. And since you can select particular Ship Designs, the UI will automatically split up fleets as necessary. This makes it easy for you to avoid accidentally sending colony ships or scout ships to a military war zone!

This is the 3rd of 4 mass control features available on this UI. Completed are:

  • Mass ship construction change
  • Mass start/stop rally points
  • Mass deploy/undeploy fleets

The final piece will be launching transports from multiple systems simultaneously. I hope to have that working this weekend

earlyfleetui_4

 

Mass Rally Point Changes

They look like below. In this shot, 6 rich/ultra-rich planets have rally points set to a particular system. But you can see that it is easy to mass-stop or mass-start rally points with a click of a button.

You can even use the query to filter your list and then go to the map to click/unclick systems to the list before you hit the button to change rally points.

In addition, those filters are togglable. For example, the resources filter toggles from “Ultra-Rich” to “Rich or Ultra-Rich” to “Poor or Ultra-Poor” to “Ultra-Poor”, which gives you a finer type of control.

Keep in mind that the screenshot below is still a prototype and will go through additional visual enhancements at the hands of the graphic designer. This UI had a lot of experimental ideas in it so it’s been a back & forth process between us.

earlyfleetui_3

 

 

The new, improved Fleets UI

Remember that horrible Fleet listing in MOO1… the one that was good for only hitting ‘Exit’ when you accidentally clicked on it? Well, the Remnants graphic designer (Kaitlin Lindsay) has come up with a wonderful version of this screen that will provide very useful fleet management tools for large maps. As we all know, this is something that is sorely lacking in every space 4X game.

Because this is a new kind of UI, I didn’t get a mock up as opposed to iterating back and forth until a good look was found. The closest analogue Kaitlin found was a query-like interface in Gal Civ 3. We took some ideas from that for additional functionality, but it had to be redesigned so that it would be much easier and more intuitive to use.¬† Here is what we came up with:

earlyfleetui_2

Basically, this screen will allow  you to mass-select systems or fleets to perform many actions at once. For example, you can perform these actions:

  • Change the ship construction for multiple systems to a new ship design
  • Change the rally points for multiple systems simultaneously
  • Launch transports from multiple systems to a destination
  • Deploy multiple fleets simultaneously to a target, splitting off just particular types of ships if you choose

Selecting the systems or fleets can be done using the filters on the right, or simply clicking and range-selecting on the map. Or you can use a combination of features.

The point is that this kind of interface is absolutely necessary to play a 4X game on gigantic maps without bogging down in micromanagement. Remnants will support galaxies up to 10,000 stars for all you insane 4X masochists!

The screen is still in work, but should be fully functional when the next developer build is made available (after the GNN artwork is completed).

February 1st… it’s been two years

Remnants has been officially a project for two years now. What’s done, and what’s left?

Game Mechanics – all of original game mechanic are in the game and working except random events and a few diplomatic options. The game AI handles everything except managing their reserve, which is not an urgent priority. There are things that the AI handles, but not well, that still need a lot of work.

User Interface – all of the user interfaces are done except that for ship combat, which currently auto-resolves. However, behind the scenes that combat is mechanistically handled as if it interface were there. In addition, all of the user interfaces are going through a significantly improved visual revamp now that a graphic designer has joined the team.

Content – 7 of the 10 races are done, with only Humans, Mrrshan and Klackons remaining. The planet Orion and the guardian ship are not in the game. Random events are not in the game. MOO2 content like leaders, Antarans, additional races, etc are still planned.

Artwork – as some of you know, the breadth of the artwork in this game has increased dramatically since my original small-term plans. However, this is because our artist is amazing which has motivated me to spend the extra time and money to make this game as good of a remake as possible. After his GNN artwork is done, there will be ships for ship combat, the remaining 3 races, technology holograms, end-game animations and probably more that I can’t think of at the moment. In other words, a LOT.

Writing – we have a professional writer on the team and he is doing a great job at what is generally an underappreciated and under-served part of gaming. In addition, there are translation efforts actively underway to make the game more accessible to non-English speaking gamers.

Schedule – the schedule is blown because of the increase in art, but I hope that’s not too disappointing. It’s more important for me to do the game right rather than rush it out. Fortunately there are a ton of space 4X titles available for those who need their fix.

Release schedule – Because of the constant schedule slipping, I’ve decided to do away with the notion of formalized alpha and beta releases. Instead, I will simply make the latest version of the developer build avaialable, without an expiration time, as functional parts of the game are completed. There’s no need to hype this game like it’s a commercial product.

Sorry for taking so long, but that’s how it goes.