A semi-roguelike game inspired by the literature of Jorge Borges, Umberto Eco & Neal Stephenson, and the games Europa Universalis and Dark Souls.URR aims to explore several philosophical and sociological issues that both arose during the sixteenth and seventeenth century (when the game is approximately set), and in the present day, whilst almost being a deep, complex and highly challenging roguelike. It explores questions of philosophical idealism, cryptography, linguistics and the writing and formation of the historical record, and will challenge players to hopefully think in ways and about themes that are rarely touched upon by games.

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Blog RSS Feed Report abuse Latest News: Ultima Ratio Regum full-time development begins!

0 comments by UltimaRatioRegum on Dec 20th, 2014

Well, it took longer than expected and ran into a million delays (as these things also do), but I am very pleased to announce that from (roughly) now onwards, I will be working full-time on URR for approximately a year. This means my doctorate is no longer my #1 priority (it is effectively finished, and due to be bound and submitted on Jan 31st) and URR my #2, but they have been reversed – my academic work obviously remains important, but development on the game will take precedence for the coming year.

So, what does this mean in practical terms? Well, it should mean four releases this year. My plan is to release 0.7 (building interiors and major code optimization) in March, followed by 0.8 (NPCs!!) in July, 0.9 (strategy, coinage, travel) in September, and 0.10 (combat!) hopefully in December 2015, or just after the start of 2016 if not. It will mean the weekly blog updates will continue with the usual mix of URR updates (90%?) and general game design/history/criticism posts (10%?), and I’ll simply be able to spend significantly more time on coding the game and get through what I want to get through far, far faster than I have over the last three years.

However, there are some contingencies. There are currently several potential academic positions in the works for me, and if/when one of my applications is successful, and when that research project starts, will obviously influence the full length of this full-time development period. As much as I’d like to “guarantee” a full year, the academic jobs market – especially when one is trying to very suddenly change field! – is not to be trifled with, and I cannot with any degree of sanity consider extending to a full year and sacrificing a promising position I would otherwise had taken, if one comes up. As ever I’ll keep you all posted. The other contingency, of course, is that I cannot devote 100% of my time to URR – a significant portion of my time (roughly what I’ve spent on URR in the past few years) will obviously remain on my academic work, for there are a wealth of papers I intend to publish this year and close to a dozen conferences I hope to present at (including hopefully GDC Europe, if all goes well). Regardless, this is a major increase in the time I can commit, and the speed of development should reflect this!

So there we go. Coding development on 0.7 will begin in the next few days once I’ve finished planning out the technical improvements/optimizations, and March is the target for major coding optimization and the generation and storage of every single interior within the current game world (or at least the overwhelming majority, if some turn out to need other releases in place first before they can be designed). I have a few other end-of-year updates lined up for this blog, then regular updates will resume in a couple of weeks.

Last but not least, I just wanted to put up a brief summary of the last week’s 0.6 release. The download rate has been pleasingly rapid, and thus far I’ve had two very, very rare bugs identified, each only by a single person. Given that we hit 1000 downloads within just a little over the first two days (thank you all!) and they haven’t been reported more than once, I feel confident saying these are highly unusual rare bugs. One is in world generation and appears to take place when the game attempts to give a feudal civilization a hunter-gatherer religion (which should be impossible); and the second was a crash at a particular point of worldgen, but with no more information, so that one is sadly just too vague to pursue unless I can get an error log for it. If the person who reported the crash after the “C” and “F” of the worldgen screen is reading this, I need more information! There are a million different functions going on there and an error log is pretty much essential to hunt that crash down. As such, I’ve decided it’s not worth the effort to release a 0.6.1 (unless some major game-breaking bug appears or many more people report these same issues) and to simply push onto 0.7.0 and fix these bugs in the process.

Next week I’ll be posting an end-of-2014 summary of URR’s development (and a couple of other things), and then the entry afterwards I’ll be posting about where we go from here and the plans for 0.7! See you all then. In the mean time, you can keep up to date on my devlog, Facebook page, or Twitter!

Post comment Comments  (80 - 90 of 124)
AFellowStalker
AFellowStalker Jul 9 2012, 7:52pm says:

Alpha is good so far, I take it most of the skills are currently useless?

+2 votes     reply to comment
AFellowStalker
AFellowStalker Jul 9 2012, 7:56pm replied:

Just crashed after trying to press enter on an oasis, could not get the crash log.

+2 votes     reply to comment
UltimaRatioRegum Creator
UltimaRatioRegum Jul 9 2012, 8:34pm replied:

Yes to your first question (they are going to be *seriously* reworked in the not-too-distant future), and huh - that's a new one. Give me a shout if it happens again!

+2 votes   reply to comment
knight133
knight133 Jul 8 2012, 8:26pm says:

Will we be able to build ships

+2 votes     reply to comment
UltimaRatioRegum Creator
UltimaRatioRegum Jul 9 2012, 5:01am replied:

In the long term, yes, absolutely, and they will take up multiple squares (like large creatures do).

+3 votes   reply to comment
syntaxibles
syntaxibles Jun 14 2012, 8:48am says:

Looking very fine! i have been eagerly awaiting this game since the start of the yeah or a bit further back, looks like it's coming along great! can't wait to play the alpha, but I will be away for its release date and won't be able to play it :(. Will this compiled for linux operating system(so i can play on virtual desktop while im away) or will this be able to run on dos(avaible for my phone). cant wait to play! kepp up the good work!

+2 votes     reply to comment
UltimaRatioRegum Creator
UltimaRatioRegum Jun 15 2012, 11:17am replied:

Thanks! Yeah, I've seen you following, and thanks for all the feedback/ideas and stuff to date :). I do intend to make it playable on Linux (and Macs) as well as Windows from 0.0.1 onwards... though stay tuned for any problems in getting the thing to compile! That's a challenge for a fortnight hence...

+3 votes   reply to comment
syntaxibles
syntaxibles Jun 17 2012, 5:53am replied:

awesome, what will the control scheme be(amount of buttons etc.) and will the edge of the world loop?(e.g go far enough west and come out on the east side of the map) that would be cool. sounds like I'll have something to do on long plane trips then maybe. can't wait to see this game released!

+3 votes     reply to comment
UltimaRatioRegum Creator
UltimaRatioRegum Jul 8 2012, 7:55pm replied:

I'm not sure how it would work on phone... can you get a virtual keyboard up for games? I know exactly 0 about releasing for a phone, as Windows/Linux/Mac is proving tricky enough! The edge of the map doesn't currently loop, but I have toyed with making it do so at some later point. Well, tomorrow's the day!

+2 votes   reply to comment
samtam99
samtam99 May 21 2012, 8:36am says:

Just wanted to let you know that I've been following this project for quite a while and I like what I've seen. I like it a lot, especially the focus on making the world as dynamic as possible. I'm rather puzzled by the total lack of built-in quests, though: wouldn't it be better, maybe in the future, to use this advanced AI and world simulation system to implement quests which actually take advantage from those features, maybe with multiple paths, choices and consequences? I've always felt that, in most RPGs (even those more focused on giving players multiple ways to proceed through the game, such as Arcanum and the two Fallouts) most actions made by the player have little to no impact on the gameworld and, most importantly, the PC is the only active entity (actually, NPC parties acting against the player *have* been implemented before in Wizardry VII, but sadly that's the only instance I know of a similar feature making its way into a finished game). So it would be quite an achievement to finally have a RPG with an advanced world simulation system which, at the same time, features complex, branching quests and multiple ways to advance through the game.

Anyway, keep up the good work, because this is really looking amazing.

+3 votes     reply to comment
UltimaRatioRegum Creator
UltimaRatioRegum May 22 2012, 8:10am replied:

Firstly, thanks a lot :). As for your specifics - I think it depends on what we mean by quests. There will be 'quests' in the sense of objectives (say, Empire X would like King Y assassinated) but they won't give you a QUEST for it; instead, the information is out there, and completing it will give you a reward, but by the same token, any NPC who does it will get the reward instead. You won't have a quest journal, but rather a kind of 'web' of alliances/allegiances you know about, and therefore allow you to consider how you might influence them. As you say, often the player character is the only entity who really does something, and I want to change that; ideally, I'd like to have the world in a condition where it can actually 'play' itself without the player doing anything. If you choose to spend the whole game, say, living in the woods and never going near a city, empires will still rise/fall etc around you as NPCs do the 'quests' instead. Cheers! First release of basic alpha is definitely looking on-track for end of June...

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Ultima Ratio Regum
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