Some words about “Phase 2”

My first posting on “Phase 2” for Projekt “W” in three months does not mean that I haven’t been working on it. Actually although my spare time is very limited (it gets worse and worse almost every month) I still try to squeeze out some spare time each day to do at least minor things related to “Phase 2”. And since event small steps sum up I got several things done towards a first release of “Phase 2” and so I decided to upload some screenshots and talk about what I’ve been doing.

But I’ll start this posting off with some words on the slow progress of  “Phase 2”. I’m pretty sure some people have wondered why it takes so long releasing “just” an update to “Phase 1” and why I don’t put out any intermediate releases. The reason is pretty easy, it’s a change of conditions in real life. When I started working on “Phase 2” (shortly after releasing “Phase 1”) I had sufficent spare time to put at least 6~8 hours of work into the game every day without being really distracted, so I decided to start implementing all of the new features at once. And that’s the reason why there is still no release of “Phase 2” in any form, cause nowadays I’m pretty happy when I’m able to put a whole hour of work into the game a day, meaning it’s taking forever to get a single new feature done. And since I’m not really into releasing a game with a lot of unfinished features there hasn’t been a single “Phase 2” release yet. So if I had known back after releasing “Phase 1” that, at some point in my life, I would have so few hours to spare for coding, I would have taken a total different release route, with adding only one single feature after another and releasing at least beta builds between. But since I can’t change that anymore I hope people will be patient enough to wait until all of the new features are in a state where I can release something that’s at least partly playable. And yes, I’m writing this cause I hope to be able to put out a beta release soon.

So after getting this out of my way let’s get back to business and talk about my progress on “Phase 2”. Actually I did a lot of work on the look of the user interface. As you might know I’m resdesigning all the game’s windows to make them look less like an office appliaction and more like from a game, and as of now only one window has to be remade (research), all other ones have been finished. Notably I’ve remade the windows for the region details (including different views for a region with and without a division attached), the window for army management and construction of military units, redid the information central window (again, as I didn’t like the first draft I posted in january) together with an additional sidekickpanel for enhanched statistics. I also (finally) got around remaking the awful UI elements for the battlefield GUI. So it now has a nice unit placement window together with a new control panel in the lower right. And I also got around creating a new loading screen. The old one was fixed and looked odd in resolution ratios different than 4:3, the new one is dynamically (and animated, the loading rings rotate differently) adjusted to the custom resolution. Nothing spectacular, but something that was on my mind for a long time. And together with the optical changes to the UI there were a lof of coding changes under the HUD, including the possibility to manually set polygon shapes for the visible, the drag and the closing area of a window. This was badly needed for the new designed windows with their custom shapes.

Finally, I removed the roadmap for “Phase 2”. You may ask “why?”, and it’s pretty obvious. That roadmap was too constrained for my taste and therefor didn’t not mirror my progress on the game. But on the other hand I uploaded my changelog for “Phase 2”. It’s a text file I’m logging what I’ve done on “Phase 2”, including miscellaneous stuff, bugfixes, balancing changes, additions and more. That file is always opened in my IDE and ever since I created it (note that it was created late after starting “Phase 2” and therefore isn’t including everything I did) I updated it whenever I change, add or fix something of importance. Note that it’s written in german (cause that’s my native language) and therefore not very interesting for most of you, but it’s a much better showcase on my progress than the old roadmap. You can see the changelog here.

Some words about “Phase 2”