Outer Colony details?

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CzarQwerty
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Re: Outer Colony details?

Postby CzarQwerty » Fri Nov 18, 2016 3:04 pm

Excellent response as usual mr. administrator. I appreciate the compliments, and a willing student makes the teacher's job so much easier. It was a pleasure working with you at that company.
(And no, I was not the engineer mentioned earlier that was trying to shoehorn every random thing into the code. I was joining the fight against that).
Anachronic, feel free to ask follow up questions. But Concurrency is a good thing to understand in theory. But is tough to find solid real world examples where it makes sense. This game engine is one of them.
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Re: Outer Colony details?

Postby Administrator » Fri Nov 18, 2016 9:48 pm

Anachronic wrote:That's some awesome information folks, thanks a ton!

Any time, man, and I'm really glad you made this thread and launched such a good discussion.

One of the very, very few drawbacks of my current work setting for building Outer Colony is that I don't really have any software developer coworkers to talk shop with. I consider you guys, the forum users, and the Twitter crew to be my coworkers at this point, and I'm really, really glad that I can have these conversations.

(And no, I was not the engineer mentioned earlier that was trying to shoehorn every random thing into the code. I was joining the fight against that).

Yeah, the Czar was a solid captain. One of the most important roles of a chief engineer is in determining the organization's tech stack, and the importance of these decisions can't be overstated. You always want to use the right tools, but to be judicious in your application of new technologies. You don't want to spend huge amounts of time and money re-inventing the wheel, and the old adage that "it's cheaper to buy than to build" is almost always true. This is always balanced with the value of lean architectures and minimalist tech stacks, which help keep everything simple and have a value all their own.

Deciding which technologies to employ when is always a judgment call, and I think that experience is the only reliable guide in knowing how to get this right.

Speaking of tech stacks, I've actually got a question for you Anachronic! What made you choose Unity for your projects? Have you ever dug into Unreal Engine or any other game engines on the market?
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Re: Outer Colony details?

Postby Anachronic » Sat Nov 19, 2016 11:40 pm

Administrator wrote:Speaking of tech stacks, I've actually got a question for you Anachronic! What made you choose Unity for your projects? Have you ever dug into Unreal Engine or any other game engines on the market?


If I remember correctly, when I started using Unity in 2012 Unreal Engine still had expensive proprietary licensing fees so that was a barrier to me learning it. Although I did pony-up for the Pro version of Unity 4 with the Android export module, I was able to learn on the free version first before making the investment. I don't think there was a free version of Unreal available... so I couldn't spend the time with it to be comfortable for paying the fees. I would really like to use UE4 now that it's more accessible financially. I have it installed and have played a bit with it, but it's tough to make the transition from Unity where I feel like I've got a pretty good grasp of the platform to learning something completely new. It's always just easier for me to start a new project in Unity than trying a different engine...

I was interested in Gamemaker but I think when I started using Unity, Gamemaker did not yet have the ability to export to Android/iOS. I wanted to make mobile games so chose Unity instead because it could do that. Now Gamemaker has that ability and I am interested more in checking it out and do have a license, but it's the same problem with UE4 where it's just quicker in the short-term to make new 2D games in Unity instead where I already know how to do it.

Another engine that I would like to look into but who knows if I ever will, is Superpowers http://superpowers-html5.com/index.en.html. I'd really like to make some HTML5 games, but the last time I tried with Unity (version 5.?) export to HTML5 was still pretty buggy.
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Re: Outer Colony details?

Postby Administrator » Sun Nov 20, 2016 8:30 pm

Anachronic wrote:If I remember correctly, when I started using Unity in 2012 Unreal Engine still had expensive proprietary licensing fees so that was a barrier to me learning it.

I was exactly the same! The two things that really drew me to Unity were its friendly licensing model and its ease of use. There's a huge wealth of information about building games in Unity and an absolutely awesome community. If you've got a question about Unity, you can google it and probably find some reasonable approximation of an answer. For most other game engines out there, this isn't really the case, and for me, that makes these alternatives inaccessible. It's time consuming enough to learn the nuances of a friendly engine like Unity, with great documentation and support. I don't want to think about the challenges involved in learning one of the more fringe-y engines.

I was interested in Gamemaker but I think when I started using Unity, Gamemaker did not yet have the ability to export to Android/iOS. I wanted to make mobile games so chose Unity instead because it could do that. Now Gamemaker has that ability and I am interested more in checking it out and do have a license, but it's the same problem with UE4 where it's just quicker in the short-term to make new 2D games in Unity instead where I already know how to do it.

There's nothing wrong at all with going what you know! If Unity does what you need to do, the cost of learning a new system might not be worth the effort.

Another engine that I would like to look into but who knows if I ever will, is Superpowers http://superpowers-html5.com/index.en.html. I'd really like to make some HTML5 games, but the last time I tried with Unity (version 5.?) export to HTML5 was still pretty buggy.

I had never heard of this one before, but it looks quite cool! How popular are browser games in this day and age? I've never really played any myself, but I know there was a hay day for Flash games about 10 or 15 years ago. As that technology fell out of vogue, though, I haven't heard a lot about browser gaming since. I know HTML 5 was supposed to revolutionize everything, and I hope it can help. Web / browser based applications have supplanted thick client systems in so many domains, but gaming is one place where they have not.

There are many aspects of browser-based systems that make them highly desirable, and it'll be interesting to see what the future holds for gaming. Do you have any specific ideas for games you'd like to build using the Superpowers Engine?
Anachronic
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Re: Outer Colony details?

Postby Anachronic » Tue Dec 06, 2016 4:30 am

Administrator wrote: Do you have any specific ideas for games you'd like to build using the Superpowers Engine?


Nothing specific; was just thinking it might be a way to speed up the pipeline for web games. Last time I tried an HTML5 web build with Unity it was pretty buggy. Might be better in recent versions though... I'll have to try again soon.
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Re: Outer Colony details?

Postby Administrator » Wed Dec 07, 2016 9:42 pm

Anachronic wrote:Nothing specific; was just thinking it might be a way to speed up the pipeline for web games.

The thin-client / web-centric architectures really are wonderful for so many applications, and I'd embrace a new renaissance of web games. There were some really funny old games in Flash, and a part of me misses that phase of the Internet's existence.

One limiting factor I've thought of regarding web games, though, is all the assets that many games employ. If you look at serious 3D titles, they're all measured in gigabytes of data at this point. The textures, the models, the audio files, it's just a ton of data. Even Outer Colony is ~150 MB to download. Browsers are amazing, wonderful things, but even with a proper set of 3D capabilities, it just wouldn't be possible to transfer all the assets for each play session. Maybe that's a part of what's held gaming back on the web. I've never really thought too hard about the subject, but that inability to properly persist game assets on the hard disk may be insurmountable.

Last time I tried an HTML5 web build with Unity it was pretty buggy. Might be better in recent versions though... I'll have to try again soon.

A lot of technologies like this are pretty gnarly in their earliest versions. For an outfit as capable as Unity, I'd wager that things will probably move to a stable state in short order. I seem to remember reading somewhere that the Unity web player was being phased out and / or that it no longer worked on Chrome. I've been out of the Unity loop for a few years now, but has the web player been deprecated?
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Re: Outer Colony details?

Postby Anachronic » Fri Dec 09, 2016 4:42 am

Administrator wrote:
Anachronic wrote:Nothing specific; was just thinking it might be a way to speed up the pipeline for web games.

The thin-client / web-centric architectures really are wonderful for so many applications, and I'd embrace a new renaissance of web games. There were some really funny old games in Flash, and a part of me misses that phase of the Internet's existence.

One limiting factor I've thought of regarding web games, though, is all the assets that many games employ. If you look at serious 3D titles, they're all measured in gigabytes of data at this point. The textures, the models, the audio files, it's just a ton of data. Even Outer Colony is ~150 MB to download. Browsers are amazing, wonderful things, but even with a proper set of 3D capabilities, it just wouldn't be possible to transfer all the assets for each play session. Maybe that's a part of what's held gaming back on the web. I've never really thought too hard about the subject, but that inability to properly persist game assets on the hard disk may be insurmountable.

Last time I tried an HTML5 web build with Unity it was pretty buggy. Might be better in recent versions though... I'll have to try again soon.

A lot of technologies like this are pretty gnarly in their earliest versions. For an outfit as capable as Unity, I'd wager that things will probably move to a stable state in short order. I seem to remember reading somewhere that the Unity web player was being phased out and / or that it no longer worked on Chrome. I've been out of the Unity loop for a few years now, but has the web player been deprecated?


Yeah the storage issue on web is a bit of a doozy for more complex projects. Really limits what you can do, but at the same time I enjoy trying to work with some limitations and it helps refine the scope of projects to keep them manageable, especially for a solo dev trying to put out new products rapidly.

The web player in Unity has been deprecated but they replaced it with a new HTML5 build option. I actually really like the old web player but it was frustrating when Chrome dropped support for it making it a lot less appealing. HTML5 should work better and it's probably less buggy now that they're a few more versions in but I haven't had a chance to try it since attempting to port Flippy Uncle several months ago and running into some bug that broke all my mechanics and which I was not able to figure out at the time...
RafaelPsype
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Outer Colony details

Postby RafaelPsype » Thu Mar 30, 2017 3:42 am

I think it will be very useful.
If I have conquered country and it becames my colony, why i cant annex it?
If people of colony discontented, they can become a guerrillas
It is my colony and i can to do what i want.

It is very complicated to add "annex" button?
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Re: Outer Colony details

Postby Torvus » Thu Mar 30, 2017 11:04 am

RafaelPsype wrote:I think it will be very useful.
If I have conquered country and it becames my colony, why i cant annex it?
If people of colony discontented, they can become a guerrillas
It is my colony and i can to do what i want.

It is very complicated to add "annex" button?


It is possible to take prisoners of war and put them in reeducation camps until they are satisfied with your rule
I am Torvus. My titles at voyager games are thus: Lore Weaver, Creature Consultant, Chief Science Officer, Company Chaplain, and Star Magus among others.
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Re: Outer Colony details

Postby Administrator » Thu Mar 30, 2017 8:06 pm

Thanks for the question, Rafael! Torvus' answer is spot on.

We don't have a formal mechanism to fully annex another colony, because a colony doesn't exist in a material sense within the game, just like how states don't have a material existence in the real world. An enemy colony is comprised of people, structures, equipment, stockpiles, and other assets. These things can all be taken by force, to varying degrees, and through this mechanism, annexation is practically accomplished.

If an army that's fighting a war eliminates the enemy forces in a town, they can then move troops into the town to occupy it. They can (try to) take prisoners, they can plunder materiel, they can occupy buildings, they can burn whatever they want - and all of these same things are possible in Outer Colony. But the concept of formal annexation isn't present, largely because the notion wouldn't apply to any mechanics in the world.

Colonies don't formally have territory. A colony's territory is wherever it can enforce its laws and secure its people. There's really no such thing as de jure territory in Outer Colony. Ultimate authority is derived solely from strength, so all rule is de facto. There really is nothing to formally annex, other than what you can burn, kill, enslave, occupy, or carry away.

I hope that answer makes sense!

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