Time for a new Snippet. Shadow Empire will have a Tech Tree. But it is not completely your regular kind of tree…
The essence of Shadow Empire research is that it is a two-step process. First you have to discover a Tech and then you can chose to research that Tech.
Discovery is easier than researching, thus often you’ll have to make a choice which of your discoveries you’ll actually want to focus your research on.
Due to the random discoveries you’ll never have exactly the same Techs between which to chose to focus your Research on.
However having said that… the system is only partly random. This is because Techs always belong to a Tech Group. Once you have researched 3 Techs in a Group all the Techs in the connected Groups will become open to Discovery. So for example in the above screeny the Player will only be able to make discoveries in the Basic Tech Group. Once the Player has researched 3 Techs of this Group he’ll be able to also discover Techs in the Chemistry and Engineering Tech Groups.
In case anybody wonders what the small letter codes “Mi”,”Ec” and “Ap” signify… They signify the Council you’ll need to Discover and Research them: The Military Research Council, The Economy Council or The Applied Sciences Council.
Yes there is an opportunity to help me test and evaluate Shadow Empire!
Full Beta will still be several months off, but we are starting with early beta testing.
We just sent out a “welcome back” email to the initial group of SE testers from over 1.5 year ago. But considering the holiday season and the huge amount of idle time experienced by this group we’ll need some fresh players as well.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!