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.
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.
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.
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...
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