October 2009

Status update on “Phase 2”

After taking a longer break from coding (it’s been almost four months since my last update on “Phase 2”) I returned to coding last week. Followers of my work might already know that I sometimes take longer pauses from development, mostly when either my motivation or my inspiration is gone, and as for this longer break it was connected to both. After implementing the nuke shown on my last update I actually wanted to start full work on the global projects, but without inspiration for what projects to do and how to implement them into the sourcecode I decided to take a break. And so last week when I fired up Delphi for the first time in months again, the ideas started to flow and now at least the functionality for global projects is almost fully implemented, I got a document full of ideas for global projects and I even got some other stuff done.

So as for the global project section of the game, my first action was to create a new window for the presentation of the global projects (see screenshot to your left). In a lot of my recent updates I talked about updating the different windows in the game to make them look more like a game, instead of boring windows that look like something from a table calculation. But for the global projects I had a hard time trying to think about how to present them, and while doing something totally unrelated (I usually get the best ideas when not being in front of my PC) I got the idea of presenting them on something like a blueprint together with a clipboard for selecting them. And that’s exactly what I did! The window on the screenshot is not final, but it already hints at what it’ll look in the final release.
And then I went on to implement functionality for the global projects into the game. That’s something I can’t really show on a screenshot but it’s even more important than a new fancy looking window, and also a lot more of work to do. Especially since I’m adding it to a game that was already “finished”, and adding features to a finished game is always a lot of work, and even more if it’s a complex feature as it’s the case with the global projects. Once they’re fully implemented, they’re going to be one of the most important gameplay features, so it’s very important to carefully design and implement this feature into the game. I’m not fully done with it, but a lot of the ground work has been done, which is a huge step forward for “Phase 2”.
As you can see on the second screenshot it’s now also possible to have global projects that are passiv, and the one shown in the screenshot has an espionage satellite floating around your globe, letting you access important data you’d otherwise would have trouble getting your hands on. So there won’t only be aggressive projects like nukes and stuff, but also passive ones that may not have a direct impact upon usage, but may be even more usefull than a nuke to “just” obliterate your enemie’s regions.

The third and last shot for this update shows my first mockup of the the new information center. As with the other windows I updated, it took me some time to get an idea on what to actually do, and today I thought it would be a nice idea to have your information center look like a pinboard with the informations pinned to it. It’s just a first idea, so it may not make it into the final game.

And also “Phase 1” got a rather favorable review from CompletleyFreeSoftware, a freeware-page and especially the summary made me happy : “Projekt “W” Phase 1 is one of the best sims we have seen of this type and we are looking forward to Phase 2 being released some time in the near future.”. You can read the review here. Positive reviews as this one always give me a nice motivation boost!