Post news RSS The origin of the Utopia remake

Why remake a 30 year old game? Read the inspiration and making of Utopia.

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So what inspired me to recreate a 30 year old Intellivision game (so old that it came out well before I was born). I've never even played the actual game! So what was it? The story behind the decision, and subsequent making of the game itself felt like it was worth sharing. On that note;

The Inspiration

I've been watching Red vs Blue (a very popular internet based video series to anyone who somehow doesn't know) and other videos made by Rooster Teeth. For others who follow Rooster Teeth, you should remember that not too long ago they made a video where they played a 30 minute game of Utopia.

I was watching the video and I thought... hey! I could make that!
So I did.

The Creation

Over the course of a few weeks it took me about 40 hours to make a PC remake of Utopia with Game Maker 8. The first thing I did was to remake the icons and get the scale of the game down. I intended to use graphics that were the same size as the original game which turned out to be 8x8 pixel sprites. From there I got building placement and fishing boats working for player one and then duplicated the programing for player two. Next I programmed Pirate Boats and the schools of fish which also have near-identical programming.

Beware pirates! Go for fish!

Next came the rain clouds. I used procedurally generated paths which could place points in any combination of four "zones" where the rain would move. Because of the size of these zones, the paths that rain travels along should never* be the same twice. (*Yes, there is a mathematical limit, but I guarantee that the number of possible paths MUST be in the billions if not more). In addition to this, rain clouds alternate their speed per each path point. Once I had the path system down, I once again replicated the programming for Tropical Storms and Hurricanes. As anyone who has played the games will tell you, these storms damage buildings. Rather than assign them to a system of random destruction, I simply set them to damage buildings by subtracting from an invisible health each building had. As far as I know, there was no way to repair buildings in the original game because once again, as far as I know, they were never really "damaged", there was nothing more than a chance that a building would be destroyed. So I programmed Factories to repair buildings. The more Factories you have, the faster your repair rate and therefore the less chance that a building you have will be destroyed by any kind of storm.

Rain is important for crops!

The last major function of the game was the way Rebels and Forts functioned. Specifically the way Rebels were added either randomly or deliberately by opposing players. Because of the formula I used to calculate happiness, I decided that the maximum amount of Rebels that should ever appear on an Island should be 5, deducting 10 gold per round and 10 happiness, which is all you really need in a competitive game to really mess up your opponent.
After that, I made the formulas for population growth rates and added an instant-win feature for the opposite player if the population of an Island hit 0. I also decided that population growth rates should factor significantly into your island's population, thus creating the challenge of meeting the needs of an ever increasing population in order to maintain a score of 100 per turn.

The title screen

Once that was done all that remained was making the title screen and screen where you set the number of turns and turn length for a game, neither of which proved to be too difficult. Only minor fixes and the implementation of sound remained.

The Term and Length screen

After just a little bug testing and playing the game with others, I decided that the game was finished.

To go to the Mod DB download page for Utopia, click on the icon below:

Henley - - 1,973 comments

Awesome. Would have liked to see something a little more modern like internet play but awesome all the same.

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DragonPixel - - 2 comments

Sweet, will you be posting on YoYo Games?

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BluishGreenPro Author
BluishGreenPro - - 534 comments

It's already on Yoyogames:

Reply Good karma+1 vote
DragonPixel - - 2 comments

Them I'm rating it 5/5

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