Intermezzo: A Trip Down Memory Lane
As a build up to the final article in the Planet Death section of our "The Mod Explained Series", let's look back at the earlier versions of what's coming for you next.
And - being honest - it's a small apology: We decided to delay the next article until a special surprise is ready. Because, why would we show you something good when we can show you something awesome?
We're a multinational team spread all around the globe, so real time communication is not always an option. The easiest way for us to communicate and discuss gameplay features is via quick videos. And there is a bunch of videos by now, which we either could delete, or put to some use. We're not going to show all of them (not yet any ways), but some of the milestones marking the leaps in development for our new mechanics. And before we forget... here's a fitting soundtrack for you:
It's Working, It's Working!
As you all know, the game consists of three basic layers: the galactic map, space tactical and ground tactical battles. One of the biggest issues we had to face was that it is almost impossible to properly communicate from layer to layer. So synchronising non-vanilla events from the galactic map to the space tactical battle is - apart from relying on story events - almost not possible. But with the help of Small_Pox we found a way to make this happen. Based on Pox's suggestion and example code, Kad_Venku created a first version of a dynamic and scalable framework for game mode communication, which at that point was only intended to be used for the Planet Death mechanic. A little more than nine months ago it was finally working as intended. This first version ran in a simple test setup only intended for PD-related experimenting, apart from what it's able to do, none of the visuals are representative of the final product. And apologies for any typos and weird expressions in the video's annotations and the overall video quality.
Shortly after the implementation of the communication framework, the first raw version of the planetary bombardment had been finished. Keep in mind that this video is around nine months old by now, and a lot of features have been changed, dropped, new ones added, reworked, broken, fixed and re-implemented again. What we're going to show you in the next video - whilst still having the same purpose and overall idea - only shares the most basic features with today's revision of the bombardment mechanic. At that time, there were no refugees, no special consequences, just a way to bombard a planet during space battle. But that's something, isn't it?
Wow, That's Easier Than I Thought!
As with everything, the more you work with it, the easier it gets. Within a few weeks we tackled the first versions of all PD variants. We're not going to show you too much, don't want to spoil all surprises, do we? But this one was another milestone... Consequences for destroying a planet. In this case it was an early version of a poison bombardment, a try to lock down the planet for ground troops (which, looking at it now, was incredibly clumsy) and the first integration of the Refugee mechanic as well as the first working version of the ruin system.
So, What Exactly Have You Been Doing The Past Eight Months Then?
We took a long break, went on vacations obviously. Just to keep you waiting a little longer... Or we didn't. All of the above has been reiterated upon several times, some parts have been re-written from scratch to accommodate for new features originally not planned. The art and story teams have been hard at work as well which you can easily spot when you're having a look at our image archive here. Problems appeared and had to be tackled, the same old, so to speak. Because as always: We don't want to deliver something working, we want to deliver the best we can with all possibilities we have at hand.
And a quick reminder in case you've missed it, ModDB's Mod of the Year Awards are close, so if you enjoy our work, please vote for us:
But yet again: "That's all folks!"
But we'll be back soon with the next part of our series: The Mod Explained - Part 2: Project: Planet Death III. This time for real. Promised.
The Shapers - YVaW