Shadow Empire Design Snippet #32

There has been a lot of work on other game projects like Ardennes Offensive (and its sequel) and strangely enough Advanced Tactics too, but also on sketching out some grand new plans for a revolutionary new future title. Amidst all that the nanny got sick for weeks on end and I got to spend a lot of time with my little girl. Anyways I also managed to continue patching Shadow Empire and work on the upcoming Oceans feature.

The key mechanic for the Oceans feature are going to be the MTHs or Maritime Trade Houses. It is these MTHs that control the seas, not you! You can sign contracts with them for shipping and even obtain some shares to better influence them.

There can be different MTHs present on the same Planet, and yes… these can battle with each other for supremacy of the seas. Having an antagonistic MTH defeating your friendly buddy MTH and taking over crucial Sea Zones means you’ll have have to sign new transport contracts at probably exorbitant prices.

Still have a lot of mop up dev work to do, but the core work is done and I hope to get this to open beta as soon as possible. Fingers crossed!

Best wishes,

Vic

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Shadow Empire Design Snippet #31

Shadow Empire has been officially upgraded to v1.10.04 a week or two ago on all platforms. I am now focusing more and more attention to developing the next big feature. I think I can reveal the topic by now: Its “Oceans”.

A word of warning: I am not adding player controlled navies & units to the game (yet). It is already a big addition to have oceans, islands and watery Planets in the game. Surprise arrival on the scene will be the new Maritime Trade Houses (MTHs) you’ll be able to contact and sign shipping contracts with.

It will allow for some really different kind of gameplay. And I really like developing these systems, however honesty obliges me to say that development time and AI considerations are also a reason why I am not going (immediately) for player controlled naval units. I prefer to deliver the Oceans Update rather sooner than later and after that get me some much postponed AI development time on Shadow Empire. I’d especially like to improve the quality of the AI Major Regime moves and thus increase the challenge level.

best wishes,

Vic

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Shadow Empire Design Snippet #30

Just a quick word on Shadow Empire. The plan is to release the current open beta v1.10.0X in early January as the new release version. Best to not release it while my publisher is on holidays, hence the small delay. If impatient please opt in to the open beta. In the meantime I have started work for adding a major new feature to the game. I’ll need a few months to finish it as it involves a lot of work. I’ll tell you what the new feature is in the next design snippet, but I am sure you can guess :)

Best wishes,
Vic

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Decisive Campaigns : Ardennes Offensive is released!

Fullname is Decisive Campaigns : Ardennes Offensive. A game taking the series in a new direction. Developed together with Davide Gambina. It covers the Ardennes Offensive 1944-1945 and other battles on the western front in the same time period.

Buy the game!
DC:Ardennes Offensive has been released on the 18th of november 2021 over on Matrix Games. For more information and for purchasing the game please visit our publishers product page over at Matrix Games.

Manual
You can read the manual before purchasing the game. Click over here for the PDF.

Scenario design
For information on how to design scenarios with DC:Ardennes Offensive please hop on over to the DC4 scenario design wiki page: https://www.vrdesigns.net/dc/doku.php.

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Ardennes Offensive release in 2 weeks!

The Decisive Campaigns series is about to head in a new fresh direction with the fourth installment in the series moving to battalion-level scale. For this game I teamed up with Davide Gambina and the result is one hell of a detailed and fun (at the same time) game.

The engine has gone where it has never gone (LOS, intercept fire, height levels) before and the user-interface and overall looks have been revamped (to also fit the new scale).

There is a good AI in this title that makes solo play a pleasure, furthermore DC : Ardennes Offensive comes with good and useable editors.

Release is scheduled for the 18th over on Matrix Games. Below some in game-footage:

For my Shadow Empire fans I have good news too. I have been rather absent while finishing up DC : Ardennes Offensive. Its the curse of being a one man army fighting on multiple fronts. I forsee freeing up time for some serious support work on SE soon after release of DC : Ardennes Offensive.

Best wishes,

Vic

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Shadow Empire Poll #1 Results

The poll has been running for a few weeks now and I have just closed it. What should have priority for continued work on SE? That was my main question behind this poll.

Thank you for participating (if you did)! And here is a link to study the results: https://survs.com/report/r4wshuqikc

I decided to share almost all feedback. Especially the results for the very important question 18 was very close. Personally I have a slight preference for adding exciting new features.

Considering new features the ‘bigger oceans and navy systems’ was the most popular request. But just as popular as ‘better AI + increased AI speed’ taken together.

The latter of those two is something (especially speed) that is causing part of the players (about 15%-20% to be (slightly) annoyed). So it is something I should get on top of.

It needs to be said that some of the other (other than navy) possible new features got a lot of support as well (like more varied minor/major cultures, weather/terraforming, deeper trade systems, more regime profiles and deeper politics and harder difficulty going into mid game).

I think I am quite sure after reading this that the AI speed and quality should be a major point to work on for the future. Not sure I can work a miracle, but it would be nice if I could cut the time by half. With some serious effort that should be possible. Also the model designer might well have to be given its own dedicated non-paper based popup window. AI + Model design count for me as improving existing systems.

The question I remain with is related to adding new features… The navy systems in particular… I have the time after the summer to do either those ships & navy zones or do multiple other systems that together might add more to the game. I start to feel like avoiding the navy systems would allow me to actually free up a lot of time and push for a lot more fun content. Anyway the jury is still out on that question. I’ll by enjoying my summer months first and then come late summer/ early fall i’ll make a decision.

Thanks for participating! It helps a lot to have an idea of whats on the SE players minds.

Best wishes, Vic

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