July 2012

“Phase 2” – Satus update July 2012

Well, another month passed by quickly, but I don’t want to let a month pass without a single post, so here is another states update on progress for “Phase 2”, and again with screenshots first (this time in 1920×1200 resolution with 4xAA) :

The first shot shows the overhauled intro for “Phase 2”. Redoing the intro has been on my todo-list from the very beginning, as the “intro” for “Phase 1” wasn’t pretty anyway. And since this is pretty much the first thing new players get to look at, it’s kinda important to have something that looks at decent. So for “Phase 2” you now get (once, upon first start of the game only) a nice new backdrop with the texts and logos fading in and a “loud” final with a nuclear explosion. Much better than the intro of “Phase 1”, though music and sounds are still missing, and Id’ like to tweak some smaller things too.

But most of the work since my last posting went nto the espionage part of the game. It’s kinda like a neverending story, and I can’t recall how many hours I’ve already put into this area of the game. It’s mostly because this is so complex that it could become a whole game on it’s own, and because there is a lot of code running behind all that visual stuff, with skill deltas between two agents, dozens of actions, random calculations for success rolls and much much more. But it’s slowly crawling towards finalization, and as the espionage and sabotage in hostlie regions is pretty much finished (except for some visual stuff, it’s hard to put so much information into a single window) I’ve put a lot of work into the counter intelligence part of the game (Screenshots two and three).
This is a new feature for “Phase 2”, and allows you to attach an agent to your own region. He can then fake building or division data, so that an enemy agent that tries to receive this data may get the faked data instead of the original data (depending on skill delta and success rolls). So you can for example fake a huge and strong division in your region to make your enemy think that it’s a heavil guarded region, although you don’t have a single unit deployed there. Same with buildings, where you can fake a pretty advanced and fully populated region, making your enemy think it’s worth attacking.
Another feature of counter intelligence is the possibility to detect and capture enemy agents (once again depending on skill deltas and success rolls). Once detected, you can try to capture the enemy agents, making them lost for the enemy nation.
So for the past few weeks I’ve been working hard on this part on the game and it’s mostly finished. You can even save presests for faked regions and divisions, so you can easily load them into other regions or switch between different presets on-the-fly. So you could e.g. create a preset for a completly empty region and make your enemy think that a fully developed region is actually empty and not worthy attacking, or the other way round.

Other than that I’ve been working on other parts of the game too, fixing bugs, cleaning up sources (splitting up some of the largest units) and once again doing some work on the user interface. For example the dropdown you can see on the two last screenshots was never really finished and didn’t work as intended. So I fixed it and added some small but usefull functionality. You can now have a nice preview on the image of the selected item and set a hint text for mouseover for every single item of the dropdown, which is e.g. used in the game’s main menu for the dropdown with the different game modes.

So it’s getting closer and closer to a release. I even made the complete redistributable package (mainly to check if all of the game’s new code works with the virtual file system), and the game was able to run perfectly out of my IDE, which is a good sign. And yes, there is also some new music and soundeffects. These are the small things that need to be done before a release, but even selecting new music tracks or soundfiles can take ages if you’re a perfectionist.

And another quick look at the project’s statistics : 116,331 lines of code, split into 51 different units. So the project’s linecount grew by over 20.000 since May.