I know I haven’t been posting a tremendous amount lately, so I feel like you deserve a nice big update with a lot of recent pictures.
I’d also like to give a big shout-out to my buddy John “Evilchampion” Black for writing a couple thousand lines of code over the last month or so and doing a great deal of the heavy lifting for the topics I’m about to explore.
Also a little shout-out to my old friend Ben “Benmachine” Millwood for recently starting to get involved. Here is hoping that Benmachine and the other developers continue to find a love for working it Plutocracy.
No shout out to Asema though, who has somewhat mysteriously disappeared. Oh wait, whoops.
Anyway, enough of that blah blah. I know you people come here for the images.
So, when you start up a game, and join a team, you can sail over to some land and buy yourself a shipyard. Normally, you would have to have enough resources on your ship to do this operation.
And here is the shipyard.
Then from the shipyard, you can select a ship to build. In the example, I’m going to select the super sloop, which is our fast testing ship.
And the super sloop lives:
Note, then, that if you select one ship and right click on another, you get a context sensitive ring menu. Because these are both my ships, the option available is “Follow.” This works.
However, if an enemy ship (green nation in this case) shows up, you can attack it!
My ship will then sail over to it…
And a little battle symbol appears to show that a battle is ongoing. The symbol is red in this case in order to show that I (red) am attacking.
But because the opponent had more crew and gets a benefit for being the player attacked, I lose my ship D:
Cool stuff eh? Not only that, but a lot of this gameplay has been translated into Python code, and that’s my next topic.
After Risujin stopped working on Plutocracy, I decided to take things in a slightly different direction. The plan was this: we make Plutocracy into a Python module, and write the logically complex parts of Putocracy in Python. This way, the C code can do the heavy lifting, but writing mods and core gameplay is relatively easier. The hope is that this will make the game more accessible to new developers, and faster to program once the framework has been created.
This is where Evilchampion has made his tremendous contributions. He has single-handedly spearheaded this operation and has done a very good job. The current HEAD in the master branch has his changes, and it is pretty much entirely stable and bug free.
Another interesting benefit to using Python is that we now have access to Python libraries. For example, we’ve recently been giving some serious thought to using Twisted for the networking code. Twisted is a rather amazing Python library, supported by organizations like LucasFilms, Google, and Canonical. This library makes networking so easy that just about anyone can do it. I wrote a TCP server + client in about 10 minutes without knowing anything of Twisted to begin with and just using the online documentation. Great work, Twisted developers!
Our current greatest weakness is the networking code. It tends to lag, and have problems. This morning, Evilchampion discovered a potential bug that may fix a great deal of the problems. However, Twisted may still be a good idea as it makes life very easy and provides easy threading, easy support for a lot of protocols (like, say, what if we want to use IRC for chat someday?), and of course asynchronous data transfers.
Oh, right, and I’ve finished the first version of the website, with content. Check it out — plutocracy.ca. Could probably use some more screenshots, but all the blah blah is there.
Small but important update: I’ve obsoleted the SVN repository in favour of the new git repository. I recommend that anyone who has a copy of the source from SVN to delete what they have and get the git version instead. To do so, you have two options:
Also, I’ve set up gitweb so you can look at what’s going on in the plutocracy repository without having to check out the source code. The location for that is:
Easy enough. If you’re wondering, The Mercenaries Guild is an online game and project oriented group that I’ve been involved with for several years now. They were kind enough to provide repository and http hosting for the project.
In other minor news, a nice guy called Asema came by looking to get involved with the project as a programmer. I now have a full time job (as of a month ago or so), but still continue working on Plutocracy as much as I can. The website is probably going to be finished sometime this week, and the 0.1 release and call for developers would happen just after that. Immediately after, I intend to start working on re-designing the specifications for the game and will be open to suggestions from the community.
There have been a lot of changes with the game. The game itself has progressed considerably. The website is almost done. And Risujin’s gone to Stanford. So lets get started.
There are probably things I’m forgetting considering I don’t update this as often as I should. Regardless, there has been a fair bit of work done.
Risujin has decided that he wants to focus on his school work, and, you know, make something out of his life. He’s done well for himself and is now attending Stanford to get his Masters’ Degree in Computer Science. I’m personally proud of him for the hard work he puts into his life and hobbies.
As a result, I’m now the only active founder and have taken full control of the project until (if) Risujin decides to come back and contribute again. So naturally, there will be a lot of changes to the way things are done and the code base. This, I think, is kind of normal for a new manager to do — make the work more his own. However, what we are now lacking is a programmer of Risujin’s talent and dedication. I’m very much welcoming new programmers to come out and prove themselves.
I should explain my (probable) plans thus far:
So that’s the plan so far. I’m pretty much going to dump 0.1 out into the world and get an announcement published to a bunch of Linux news sites with a call for developers. From there, we’ll agree on which route we want to take the game, but I strongly feel that using Python for the logic (as many for-sale games do) will make work considerably easier. Clutter also sounds like a godsend, and should not only make UI creation very simple, but also provides text support (I believe).
Apologies for the lack of images in this post. I wish myself and my few remaining developers luck for the upcoming year — it’ll really make or break this project.
– Andrei “Garoth” Thorp
OMG Risujin wrote net code! As in, the program can now host servers and connect to servers. As in, you can, like, play with other people!
This is amazing stuff. Obviously there isn’t too much that you can do at the moment, and there will probably be some issues, but wow! This is like gnarly man!
Yeah. Best game ever, I’m telling you. Anyway, screenshots, screenshots.
So I’ve managed to run a local server and connect to myself a few times. I couldn’t wait to do a test with other people, but that’ll happen later today.
As a note, even with all the trees still on all the tiles, my computer managed to handle 3 side-by-side Plutocracy sessions without lagging at all. However, the fourth one did cause some problems. So it managed to handle around 270,000 faces without any problems, which is way more than there will be in an actual game. I don’t expect that we’ll ever have to render more than 100,000 faces at any given point. In fact, I expect that it’ll be considerably lower than that most of the time. So that’s good news.
So anyway, I connected to myself, and renamed one of my clients — oh, by the way, Risujin wrote chat and naming just yesterday.
So then the next thing I did was gather the various clients’ ships.
I had 4 clients’ worth of ships in one area. You can see all the various nations’ colours side by side. As a note, we might want to tweak the colours — looks like pirate and sapphire are too similar in the moonlight. Maybe yellow?
Here is another pretty image of all the ships together.
But then the pirates didn’t want to have anything else to do with the other nations and decided to sail away…
Honestly, this is a MAJOR milestone for the game. Please take time to send your thanks to Risujin. Send him an e-mail or stop by IRC and tell him how much you love him. Don’t be ashamed. (You can reach him via our newsgroup — plutocracy-dev on Google Groups.)
It’s like we have a game or something!
So as some of you must know by now, the original thematic shift I had in mind didn’t pan out. Anyway, so I made some other designs and this is one that people seem to have liked a fair bit.
So I finished the model over the last couple of days. Here is how it looks in game:
Comments? I think it’s good. We’ve also decided that the ships are allowed to be radically different from each other. That’s probably for the best anyway, makes them easier to tell apart.
Big updates recently. It’s almost like we have a real game! The ships move and we have some more UI. I’ll also talk about some other changes here and there.
So when you start up, you’ll notice now that there is a new button on the bottom left. It’s grayed out though.
Well, anyway, so if you click the flag and join a nation, a ship spawns. When you click on it and select it, the little ship button that was grayed out before lights up.
Clicking on the button will show you a listing of everything that’s being carried on the ship.
Probably the most interesting part — after a ship is selected, clicking on some other water tile will lay down a path for your ship to travel. (Note that it’s a bit wavy because of our triangular tiles. For the moment, we decided we weren’t going to fix the zig-zagging.) Right away, the ship turns the way it’s supposed to go and heads off!
Also, I’ve gotten into the code a bit and tried to improve the screenshot feature (F12) which I use so often. I managed to write a patch that lets you set r_screenshots_dir, a variable that will change where screenshots are saved. I also made a call to display a popup to tell you when a screenshot has been taken. And guess what? I did it all wrong and I bet Risjin’s reprogrammed all of it before applying. Hahaha. Oh well, the features are in at least.
Also, we have a google newsgroup now! If you’re interested in following development, you might want to sign up.
Another unrelated note — my last thematic change design was boo’d down mostly, so I made some new designs. They were much more liked, but I’ll post about them later. I’m hoping to make one of the models today.
Finally, we also decided that our resources system was bloated, so Risujin and I made some changes, which are now reflected on the wiki pages about Buildings, Resources, and the model list.
Yep, big updates. Sadly, however, there probably won’t be another one for a while, since Risujin is being called away to improve his old project, CellWriter, for a few days. Anyway, have a good one folks.
Hello, I’ll make this relatively short. Basically, Risujin and I have been thinking about switching up the theme of the game a bit. Caribbean is boring. “Lets go for something space-y and imaginative. We’ve so lost our rocker,” we said. Oh boy. Anyway, so as a first order of business, I’ve been redesigning how a ship should look.
The textures will be roughly:
Some ship features:
I think I put too much thought into textures. I need to remember that this ship will be tiny. Anyway, this design solves some issues:
I’ll still have to figure out how buildings fit into this kind of style, but I think I have some pretty good ideas there too.
Construction of the Aurora ship shown above has begun. She’ll be game-worthy as soon as possible.
Exciting updates a plenty, friends. To business.
First thing I want to point out — as in this screenshot — is the new status display. When something of note happens, a notification in a pretty bubble comes up on screen.
Next thing that you should rapidly notice is that there is now more main UI! Yes! User Interface goodness. (Bottom left corner for the observation impaired.) This new bit of UI shows us the nations options, and for the moment lets us switch between them freely, which should be restricted later on as per the spec.
So when you click the Nations button, you get a window with the different nations possible. When you first click a nation to join with, a notification comes up. However, this is a special kind of notification — this one has a little magnifying glass icon. When you click the magnifying glass, the globe smoothly rotates to the area of interest — in this case, the newly spawned ship you own.
You’ll notice in this more zoomed shot that the ship has a pretty little ring around it. This ring shows the unit’s health and armour (for the moment). I’m very impressed that Risujin thought to put the health info in a ring like that. The ring already shows ownership of the unit in a lot of games, but this integrates the health in as well and looks very stylish.
Also note: clicking on the ship will highlight the circle for when you want to move the ship. This is not shown in these screenshots.
Also note that the nations have different colours. These colours are based on the Tango colour scheme — Risujin and I both love Tango, thanks Tango people.
Also there have been some changes to the globe rotation / movement system. I don’t think I ever explained the system too well in general, so here it is:
We think this system is very good. It’s simple because it only requires one button, but lets you have a lot of control over the globe. You can do quite a few tricks and get some nice benefits:
Anyway, thank you for reading. I’m happy to provide these updates to you all. Big thanks to Risujin for all his hard work. This of course, is the normal state of affairs, but we should continue to be grateful regardless of how common-place his magnificent work becomes.
I’ll leave you with some interesting statistics brought to you by git and other console trickery. Note that insertions/deletions is in diff format and tracks “lines changed” really. Some lines are deleted, some are added, some are deleted then added (ie. modified).
Hello there folks, I come bearing yet more interesting screenshots today. Right to business then.
First of all, Risujin put in a slight glowing effect with the logo and resized some things. Here is how it looks now:
Another big thing that he’s done is make the tile that your mouse is currently over highlight, and the model on it glow. Here are some images about that:
And when you click on a tile, the game now opens a “ring menu” that lets you choose what you would like to construct there. This work is still incomplete in terms of what will be on the ring and possibly ring size, but I think the idea is clear:
And then when you click one of the icons in the ring, it will place a model on the tile. Obviously in the finished version, things will be constructed more slowly and the models will be textured, but you get the idea:
Also, I spent a while and made a finished-ish Sloop model (textured). Here is the process of selecting and building again, but this time I can select a ship for demo purposes:
And here are some better angles of the ship model:
Well, thanks for reading. Hopefully you found that to as cool as I did. It’s obviously even more fun when you have it live in front of you and can actually rotate and spin the globe. I think we’re all generally pleased about how it’s coming together. I really need to make more models, though, and quick!!
Risujin and I have been working hard as usual and have more progress to show off. Mostly, I’ll just be showing off some pictures as they’ll say more of what people are interested in than explanations of what’s going on would.
So, first of all, Risujin has committed several fixes and now a lot of issues have vanished. He discovered a couple bugs related to the PLUM model exporter (related to normals), the fixing of which has given us correct lighting on the models.
I’ve redone the tree model and made it overall better. That model is in SVN, by the way. Anyway, long story short:
Risujin has also worked his magic some more and improved our performance quite significantly. The face count limit for the models looks like it has stabilized at 300 faces, which is a lot of detail if you know what to do. I hear the game renders over a million faces at 25 fps on Risujin’s computer.
So yeah, we have models loading nicely, and some models done! Stay tuned for more exciting stuff coming up.