Shadow Empire Playtest Snippet #1

I am a bit fed up with explaining mechanics in a rather dry fashion. So in this first Playtest Snippet I am sharing some screenies of one of my personal playtests. Of which I am trying to do a lot right now.

Looking for greener pastures

I started on a planet that actually supports Terran agriculture. However I started my game in Liberty… a city in the bloody desert. So I expanded to the west. Towards the closest greener pastures. Picked a hex with 124mm rainfall a turn and started constructing my new farm.

Triggered the ‘green coloured’ foe south of me.

I might have made a mistake focussing on precipitation levels for choosing the location of my farm. For some reason the Klingstein Hansa (that declared war on me really early) suddenly got aggressive and moved in. I moved most of my Militia to the same area to counter them.

272 Food Produced at my new Farm!

In the subsequent turns the Klingstein Hansa got chased of by some rogue AI leftovers from the Dissolution War. Which subsequently started battering my Militia sadly. But I did finish my Farm which is now happily churning out Food. Also note with discovering the Tellina Sea I fixed all my water shortage issues completely.

Well. That’s it for this Snippet! Will do some more soon.

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Shadow Empire Design Snippet #29

Snippet #29: Finished up the graphics and UI phase

Finally I wrapped up work on all the icons, sprites, windows and even a few explosions for Shadow Empire. The next months i’ll embark on the last phase before starting a beta test. This phase will touch on two major aspects of the game. The first aspect is the AI. The game needs to become more challenging and a more aggressive AI that is putting more demands on you and is harder to beat on the battlefield will help a lot here.

The second aspect I am scheduling is an improvement of the current Decisions and Events system. Development goals here are to make the systems less complex and have more decisions that are really important.

Choosing option B and denying president Hubeiber will result in a relation loss with Zandstein. It might be more prudent to forget about your support for democracy in order to avoid a war… no?

The above example is actually a Decision that is quite good. But there need to be more of these, with even higher stakes.

Also I am going to simplify the Profile model I did. At the moment it has 22 fields, including the “democracy” and “special interest” ones mentioned in the screeny. I am going to cut them down to 9 spread over 3 groups. The political group: democracy-meritocracy-autocracy group will preserved, but the others will be melted into 2 groups, one society group and one psychology group.

The main goals for this last phase before beta is to improve the comprehensibility and challenge factors of the game.

I’ll present the new Profile model in a next post. Thanks for following the development!

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Shadow Empire Design Snippet #28

Snippet #28: Combat

I am trying to make the Combat Windows in SE a bit more exciting than the ones we have in ATG/DC. And at the same time I would like these windows to become a bit more insightful (in an easy way) for players who want to know the nitty-gritty of the rather complex combat resolution calculations.

Here is a quick screeny of a small scale battle:

Not completely happy yet here. The lavendel colors are not helping either to be honest :) but this part of the UI is still work-in-progress.

What I am trying to do is use the screen real estate better. If there are not that many troops involved then I can show big pictures of all the subformations involved. If the battles get more massive the perspective will zoom-out and/or propose pagination.

I am also adding the option to let the players chose if they want to use ‘auto-combat’ or manually give the order for each next combat round.

Combat is based on a very many variables. Even more than in my previous games.

Factors that play a major role in combat outcome is the Equipment concerned, the quality of the Troops, the Skills of the Commanders leading the troops (Operational HQ and Strategic HQ) and the Posture they have ordered for their Troops. And of course the Landscape and environmental factors.

Other factors include the type of armour versus the type of weaponry used. Low caliber guns will for example perform dismally against really heavily armoured targets.

There are also more exotic weapons to be obtained like Lasers and Atomics. Armour research can provide you with Polymer Armour and furthermore it will be possible to research and construct Shield Generators.

There are many more factors which influence things like Unit Feats, Field Testing and upgrading of your Models as well as your Regime Profile.

I am happy that everything is already in the game and that I am now finalizing the interface and doing a lot of tuning and testing. It is a big game and I need time to polish the rough corners. Hopefully in summer we can move forward to an early beta.

In any case Shadow Empire is shaping up as high complexity sandbox turn-based 4X wargame with plenty of immersion.

Thanks for reading up on this latest snippet and i’ll keep you posted as I progress.

Best wishes,
Vic

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Shadow Empire Design Snippet #27

Snippet #27: Graphical make-over
Sorry for the long time of absence. I had a rather rough second part of 2018, don’t ask! But I am back in business and trying to catch up on lost development time. At the moment I am working on making the interface graphics in Shadow Empire more consistent and more unique (compared to my other games).

Progress is good, but it has been rather slow going with the modular graphics approach for the Troop Types. Basically each kind of troops, like Light Tanks can have a few hundred different ways it can be rendered. I have also been improving the tech tree.

Anyways I almost finished with the interface artwork phase and will then be moving to map artwork phase.

Let me share a little bit. Here are a few quick screenies from the current progress:

Just some Militia Units exploring the wastelands

The troops inside one of our Militia Units

Info on our starting Zone and its Governor

Hope to show some more snippets soon and thank you for your time!

Best wishes,
Vic

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Community Scenario November 1942 released!


A great and huge new scenario for the DC:Community Project

4 German Army Groups, 11 Armies, 4 Allied Armies 50+ Corps, 200+ Divisions are facing 13 Soviet Fronts, 500+ Divisions and Brigades. The great Soviet winter offensives are about to test the mettle of the Wehrmacht once again! All is in the balance.

This scenario by Davide Gambina (nikdav) models operation Uranus, operation Mars and the subsequent operations Little Saturn, Ostrogohsk-Rossosh and Voronezh-Kastornoe. All this on one huge maps that gives the player full operational control.

Amazing detail and very well researched order of battle. Including detailed military hardware, full biographies and officers for both sides, special units like Ski Troops and Arko.

This scenario is a MUST HAVE for any Eastern Front aficionado!

Big thanks for Davide Gambina for completing this titanic work of excellence.

Click here to go to the November 1942 entry in the scenariobank.

Front overview (click for larger version):

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Community Scenario Serbian Campaign 1915 released!


Pataplouf completed a new DC:Community Project scenario. Not WW2 this time, but the Great War.

The scenario places you either in the shoes of the Austrian-Hungarian-Germany invasion forces or in those of the stalwart Serbian defenders. A good OOB and plenty of character in this scenario, that includes ww1 Commanders and troop graphics. Expect many nationalities to make an entrance!

A big merci to Pataplouf. It is a pleasure to see the DC:Community Project being used to do World War I.

Give Serbian Campaign a spin! and be sure to check out some of other DC:Community Project scenarios as well.

Click here to go to the Serbian Campaign 1915 entry in the scenariobank.

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