Community Scenario Fastov 1943 released!

Davide Gambina (Nikdav) completed a great and super detailed end of 1943 scenario where you take command of part of the Southern Front in a desperate attempt to retake the initiative from the Soviet hordes. This scenario has a very good OOB as well as personalized Divisions, each with their own Commander.

I would like to use this opportunity to give a big thanks to Mister Gambina. It is a pleasure to see the DC:Community Project being used in this fashion.

I encourage any fans of the DC series to try Fastov 1943 out, as well as some of the other DC:Community Project scenarios. It is all Community created and free of charge (well… if you have a DC title installed).

Click here to go to the Fastov 1943 entry in the scenariobank.

Some clickable screenshots:

Posted in DCX : Community Project | 2 Comments

Shadow Empire Update

No snippet this time. I have just started on the Graphics & Interface development phase and everything is now in transition. So it is hard for me to post a screenie on what I am working on. This Graphics & Interface phase is quite a big phase, but things are progressing well and I already know this will be a huge facelift.

I am not only tackling the graphics itself, but also the way they are build. I can already disclose I am going for a modular approach for Leaders and Equipment. I figured that even if I would do a 100 or 200 unique portraits for Leaders they would quickly turn stale. So I am now trying out a 2d layered approach which seems to be working very well. This should result in thousands of clearly different faces (and well… yeah… tens of thousands of slightly different ones as well).

Tests so far show I’ll be able to implement the same method for the Model Types. Remember that every time you play the game you’ll research and then design new models, like Tanks for example. Everytime you play you’ll have different equipment. It just felt wrong if in one game you designed a ‘Puncher Light Tank’ and in another an ‘Arctus Light Tank’ that they looked exactly the same. Or if you’d upgrade the ‘Arctus’ to ‘Arctus II’ that it would visually be completely identical. The method I am working on should assure multiple dozens of quite different looks for each Model Type (and well… yeah… a hundred or more slightly different ones). Over 20 different Model Types are planned for the final game, so the total amount of looks for your military equipment should be quite impressive.

Anyways just wanted to tell I am still working hard. My apologies for not visually showing anything this post. My next snippet will probably show a first screenshot of some of the final graphics.

Best wishes,

Posted in Shadow Empire | 6 Comments

Mod Global Domination ’38 III is released

A new Advanced Tactics Gold scenario has been released! And not just anyone…

Claus E. Fussel (Ernieschwitz) and company have, after years of design, released the 1.00 version of the completely revamped GD’38 mod.

It is the ultimate Play-by-Email global ww2 scenario. A planet spanning and wrapping map of 400 hexes wide, hundreds and hundreds of different troop types, officers, research, diplomatic options and special historical cards.

You can find GD on the scenario bank over here.

And you can find the 50+ page scenario manual PDF over here.

Make sure to visit the Matrix forums to find opponents and team-mates over here.

More screenshots and info over here.

Click to enlarge
Click map to enlarge

Posted in ATG: Advanced Tactics Gold | 1 Comment

Shadow Empire Design Snippet #26

Snippet #26: Moving to the Interface Phase after holidays

Click image to enlarge

The screeny shows a small empire that just started expansion. For a change we find an empire that is on a planet that actually supports open farming and has some rainfall! That’s good because it makes growing crops a lot easier. No need to build domes or do ice mining for supplying your plants with water.

The small empire shown above is starting to deal with some Marauders at its borders but has not yet ran into any real opposition. Only issue it seems to have right now is a Crime Syndicate which is causing some loss of private Credits and increasing the Danger level a little bit.

The Crime Syndicate is an example of a Story Module that is the first of a template approach for later on. It will be relatively easy to add more Modules like that to further flesh out the game universe. I am using a modular approach with further story content and the aim is threefold: allow the player to switch on/off a Module before starting a game, allow VR Designs to add DLC-like content after release and allow modders a way to create extra content for the game.

But for now it has been enough work on content. There is now a quite rich tapestry of immersive details in place. Lots of events to occur and decisions to make, including diplomatic ones, almost 200 Stratagems, detailed Leader stats, dozens of Hex Perks and Unit Feats, politics, elections, internal factions, archeology, rebellions and what not more. There is enough there right now to make the world feel sort of like a real place. It needs some more work for mid and late game in the final content design phase, but I consider the basic content design phase finished.

It’s time to move to the Interface & Graphics Phase start of August and after that do some AI work. Then it will be on to the Final Content Phase. And then we’ll be getting awfully close to full beta.

Thanks for following my progress. It is always a motivating for me to have feedback.

Best wishes,

Posted in Shadow Empire | 11 Comments

Shadow Empire Design Snippet #25

Snippet #25: Diplomatics

Shadow Empire diplomatics are relatively simple, but I think they’ll be engaging. Basically either you or an AI regime can take the initiative. You can do so by playing diplomatic Stratagems. For example requesting to make contact, opening an embassy or proposing a scientific exchange. The AI can do the same, but on top of that the AI controlled Major Regimes will be involved in stories that are driven partly by their political and ideological attitudes and partly by their strategic analysis of their position versus that of the player.

In this particular snippet we see the Kaiser of Freikopf Reich being willing to move his attitude from COLD to FRIENDS. Well if you make the right choice and don’t roll particularly bad dice that is.

Note that your 1st Strategic HQ commander has a rather unpleasant attitude to diplomacy :)

p.s: Also note a scripting error in the message. The compliment is of course not for running his ‘reich’ but for running your empire.

Best wishes,

Posted in Shadow Empire | 12 Comments

Shadow Empire Design Snippet #24

Snippet #24: Regime Feats

I am adding Regime Feats to Shadow Empire. Their purpose is to give a bit more punch to the Profile system and to give your Empire a bit more character.

At start of game your ‘little’ Empire will start with just a few Regime Feats. You can gain more of them if you get a Profile (21 available) to a very high score. You can also lose a Regime Feat if its corresponding Profile drops to low. The Regime Feat gives you bonuses every turn like Skill roll modifiers, extra items, Leaders or for example happiness. But more importantly they allow your Military Units to gain Unit Feats. These are small specialized teams. For example Firing Squads, Technomages or Bunker Buster Teams.

You can get a Profile up by making Decisions that increase the Profile. But the quickest way is to accept a Demand of one of your Factions that is linked to the Profile in question. However these Demands might not always be easy to execute. Demands always come with a deadline and can ask you to build X number of Assets, raise your Tech level, but also to go to War with a specific neighbour or conquer a specific City.

Up to a point you can steer these Demands. This is because you can influence the Elections. It is the winning Factions (majority) of elections that decides which Demands will be made. By gerrymandering, governor appointments and changes to your electoral system (Parliament, Senate, Politburo) you can influence things. If you feel like it. Personally I prefer to run with the givens.

Hope this small snippet of info shows a bit how I am adding chrome and content to the world. The goal is it feels like you are in charge of an Empire… well or if your more democratic minded… a Republic. ;)

Best wishes,

Posted in Shadow Empire | 1 Comment