October 2007

Different UI themes

In “Phase 1” all nations shared the same theme for the user interface, something I initially didn’t want to do but I postponed that features to “Phase 2” and just started working on this. So in the next version of Projekt “W” every nation will have it’s own distinctive theme for the user-interface, an additional way to distinguish between the different nations. So with “Phase 2” you’ll have a different 3d-background, a different sky and a different user-interface for the nation you choose, and in addition to that I also plan on having different skins for military units depending on their owning nation.
Although all those visual differences don’t directly add to the gameplay itself, they still pay out, as they add to immersion and tie the player more to the nation that he has selected. Note that these are just optical changes, there will be no difference in functionality of the user-interface between the nations.
Note : The two user-interfaces below are still work-in-progress and are subject to changes!

PjW new UI theme PjW new UI theme

Projekt “W” battles and some newton tidbits

Projekt W new battlesRecently I’ve started working on the new turn-based battles that’ll come with “Phase 2” of Projekt “W”. If you have played the game, you already saw the automatic battles with no possibility for the player to intervene. This will be changed, and you’ll have full control over attacking and defending regions. If a battle starts, the game will switch into the turn-based battle-mode where you firt place your units and then move them turn-by-turn (player after player) until one of the parties has been terminated. If you have played some of the more known turn-based military sims like “Panzer General” you’ll know how this new battle-mode will work.
The shot on the left shows an early implementation, so mostly the graphics will change in the future and I also need to add an interface to show the most important information. If you don’t like to fight the battles by your own, the game will still offer you the possibility to automatically calculate the battle (though this may come at a higher risk than fighting yourself). There will also be differend maps with different graphics sets, depending on where the region is located, and I also plan to have different skins for the units depending on their owning nation, so that they’re easier to distinguish in this battle-mode.

Besides this I also recently had the chance to try out a new beta version of the Newton Game Dynamics Engine (2.00), that now finally supports multiple cores. This brings much more performance, and getting my NewtonPlayGround to work with this new version was only a matter of minutes as there aren’t much API-changes for the new version of the SDK. Right now the new version is still in development, so it’s only available for SDK-developers, others will still have to wait for a final release.
But I uploaded two videos to show off how much faster this new version is on a system with multiple cores (in my case it’s ans AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200) so you can see for yourself :
Video showing 36 trebuchets going off simultaneous (wmv)
Note that these are real trebuchets working like the ones in real-life by using a very heavy weight at one end. They are constructed using convex hulls and are connected with different joints.
Video showing 500 convex hulls rolling down a hill (wmv)
This one shows 500 rocks (represented by convex hulls) rolling down a hill at a decent framerate. And though this is from an early version of the SDK it’s already running much faster than with the old version of Newton.


As Projekt “W” (Phase 1) has been out for some weeks now, it’s time for a small recap. With the latest version (1.2) most of the bugs and problems of the first versions have gone, and after watching the feedback (mostly on forums) it seems that people like it. Some even compared it to commercial games and prefer Projekt “W”, and that’s great to know. There also has been plenty of useful feedback, mostly on balancing, that I’ll try to incorporate into Phase 2.

I haven’t started works on “Phase 2” yet, as I’m still collecting feedback and doing some more-or-less serious brainstorming for the new features to be included in “Phase 2”. I’m also playing through some games that I missed during developement of the game, right now that’s S.T.A.L.K.E.R., one of the best games I’ve ever played mostly due to it’s awesome atmosphere that gives you the creeps.

And if you have some feedback or ideas, just put it into the comments so I can put it into “Phase 2”. Also note that I intend to release another patch for “Phase 1” soon that’ll bring small balancing changes as well as fixes for the last remaining bugs.