Ultima Ratio Regum is a middle-ground between roguelikes, RPGs and strategy games. It has no fantasy elements and seeks instead to be closer to a realistic history simulator, and a strategy/4x game which just happens to be in ASCII. Combat is rare and deadly - whilst these mechanics are modeled in detail, exploration, trade and diplomacy factors will have just as much effort put into them. URR aims to eventually be a fusion of roguelike and strategy two genres - rather than a strategy game where you command with omniscience (even in ancient eras), you instead command as an individual character also in the game. Orders must be issued in person; you can lose contact with distant armies; but the same mechanics affect the AI players who also lack omniscience and depend upon the knowledge of situations they themselves can garner. Worlds can be generated over a vast array of sizes, climates and types, but all ultimately with no fixed objective but a world full of civilizations and factions to be allied with or battled against. It aims for depth in character development and world events, but with much in the 'middle' - constructing buildings, city growth, resource management - abstracted out (as other games exist which handle those well). Political and social dynamics will be modeled via a complex system that aims to generate both a history for the world, and the current state of political affairs when your game begins.

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3 comments by UltimaRatioRegum on Apr 18th, 2014

As I’m away from tomorrow until the next weekend, this week’s update is a little shorter, and a little bit early for once. First off, thank you all for the awesome response to 0.5 – copies have been flying off the virtual shelves and I’ve got a lot of really supportive feedback, and some important bits of constructive criticism too. Since I don’t know the meaning of “resting on your laurels”, I have already started work on 0.6 and made big strides in generating many of the game’s settlements. I decided to start off with farms, and have created a system for generating farms of various sizes, with various crops and various interior dimensions. Farms are obviously far from finished – I still need to get buildings generating, as well as making the trees in the orchards (currently just generic trees) – but it’s a solid start. I’m leaving the generating of buildings part until I have all the different types of settlement ready for building generation so that I can code it all in one fell-swoop; I expect taking account of all the required factors will end up being quite complex, so I’d like to do it all within a couple of coding days back-to-back.

TerrainTest

I’ve also begun to implement some of the basic parts of town generation. It starts off by creating a network of roads appropriate to the type of road going through the town (if any – special cases for isolated towns have not yet been handled) and then spreading buildings along them. There will be a variety of rare and crucial buildings in towns – more on this in some later entry – and then a large amount of general housing and the like. For now, just for the sake of testing the system, the buildings are generating… as lava… but I’m sure you get the idea in the bottom image for how towns will end up looking. The town code as it stands now only took a little over a day and I’m amazed at how interesting these layouts are already looking. Once I start to add buildings to towns I’ll put up another update on that. I’ve started to work on generating architectural styles as well, and varying the materials that civilizations like to construct buildings from, but the next step for towns is basically the creation of a massive building database.

Towns

From this point onwards (once I’ve done the few additions to farms I need to do) I’ll be working on the non-building parts of other settlements. I’ve got some very interesting ideas for how hunter-gatherer settlements will generate, but I think I may work on graveyards next, or possibly nomadic fortresses. We’ll see. Either way, I have a train so catch to that’s everything for this week. Let me know what you think of these very early stages, and see you all in eight days. Until then you can keep up to date on my devblog, Facebook page, or Twitter feed. The devblog is updated weekly on Saturdays (or sometimes Sundays), Facebook a few times a week, and the Twitter roughly daily. Any thoughts, please leave them in the comments! Stay tuned...

Post comment Comments  (10 - 20 of 98)
Sphyrna
Sphyrna Mar 10 2013, 6:10pm says:

Seeing the screenshots, I am immediately reminded of Dwarf Fortress.
I am thoroughly interested how Ultima Ratio Regum will turn out to be.

+3 votes     reply to comment
UltimaRatioRegum
UltimaRatioRegum Mar 12 2013, 3:45pm replied:

Glad you like the look of it :).

+2 votes     reply to comment
Arethrid
Arethrid Mar 6 2013, 3:28am says:

I am kinda hoping to see a playable demo or at least a video of gameplay sometime soon (If actually there's one that I might have missed, please do tell me).
I love the idea of proceduraly generated graphic elements. Procedural game environments are something most gamers are familiar with but I belive procedural graphics that is as stylistic as pre-designed assets is something yet to be explored.
Being a programmer myself, I am always interested to see what other programmers can come up with procedural generation algorithms. I like watching the development of this project not only from a gamer's perspective but also from a programmer's technical perspective.

+3 votes     reply to comment
UltimaRatioRegum
UltimaRatioRegum Mar 7 2013, 9:30pm replied:

There's a playable version on the site with my development blog atm, though it's mostly in early alpha - you can walk around and look at the world, but little else. 0.3 which I'm working on now will have the first 'gameplay'. Glad you like the idea - I totally agree that it's a relatively new/unexplored one, which is a big reason why I'm so keen to do it. The talk I'm going to give at the conference is actually about this kind of generation, both in terms of art/graphics and coding, so I'll be sure to post up a link or something about it when the video's up. Though there will probably be updates before then on the same topic...

+2 votes     reply to comment
Arethrid
Arethrid Mar 8 2013, 7:25am replied:

I found the demo in your blog after posting the comment above.
Looking forward to that conference video.

+2 votes     reply to comment
romenigcandido
romenigcandido Jan 2 2013, 1:46pm says:

I must say that I created an account just to be able to follow the development of this game, and if you ever decide to charge for the game I'll be more than happy to pay. The game seems to be extremely complex, which is something that I love, not to mention that you make ASCII graphics into something beautiful to behold. My sincere congratulations!

+5 votes     reply to comment
UltimaRatioRegum
UltimaRatioRegum Jan 4 2013, 9:44am replied:

My sincere thanks! Very glad you like the concept and the graphics. As I speak, I'm finishing off the religious symbol generation (which there will be a blog entry on next week), which is itself another graphical route I'm exploring (along with flags). Let me know if you have any thoughts/ideas for the game in general, anyway :)

+2 votes     reply to comment
romenigcandido
romenigcandido Jan 4 2013, 11:50am replied:

I have some questions and ideas about Religions, but I'll wait for the next update to comment on the matter.

+2 votes     reply to comment
UltimaRatioRegum
UltimaRatioRegum Jan 4 2013, 8:08pm replied:

Cool; I await them come Monday :).

+2 votes     reply to comment
UltimaRatioRegum
UltimaRatioRegum Jan 4 2013, 8:57am replied:

Thanks :) - though I couldn't possibly say when that will be...

+2 votes     reply to comment
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Ultima Ratio Regum
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