četvrtak, 16. kolovoza 2012.

Stareater 0.4

Five days ago version 0.4 finally got packed up and ready for download. Big changes happened between 0.3 and 0.4, space combat is implemented, ship design interface is changed to reflect redefined space combat, star system management is introduced, part of colony management is moved to star system and basic AI is implemented.

Plans for version 0.5 are not yet defined but this is a list that is currently on my mind:

  • Define exactly how planets and colonies work
  • Refactor whole code base
  • Redo GUI
  • Victory conditions
Only last item adds something tangible to the game but other items where piling up for a long time. It's time to do those things right. Every now and then something about colonies would go off. Since all game mechanics are based on non-integral arithmetic final numbers can get too low or too high than intended if parameters are  not constrained. Math behind colonies has such problems and I'd like to take some time to think about how exactly colonies should behave. There are other part that I'll address in a similar manner such as map generation.

Refactoring is also something that should be done before adding more features. I'd like to strip user interface code from all non-interface related code. That means game logic, data preparation and data conversion should be outside the GUI source code (classes). I'm aiming for model-view-controller design pattern where game logic is model, GUI is view and controller mediator between them. Also I'd split source code to two projects, one with model and controller and other with GUI. While refactoring, I'd like to redo whole GUI. There has been a number of conceptual changes that are not properly propagated to the user interface and some thing simple has to be done differently. Galaxy map is such thing. I'd like to scrap "big picture box in scrollable pane" implementation and try my luck with OpenGL.

That's enough to keep me busy until the end of the year.

utorak, 14. kolovoza 2012.

The blog

Finally decided to open a dedicated blog for Stareater and to write it in English. I was delaying that until project had more to show but I've decided to stop spamming my main blog with Stareater this, Stareater that kind of posts and Blogger service likes like it more aligned to multiple blogs with few topics then a few blogs with various topics. This is first official post on this blog and posts before this one are imported from my main blog. That's why those posts are in Croatian.

Stareater galaxy map and colony view
So, what is Stareater? It's a strategy game, 4X TBS, Master of Orion wannabe. Early development was simply to implement a prototype with game mechanics with minimal user interface, to test out the idea but now I see I'll have to devote a lot more energy to GUI. After all, I don't want to make another Master of Orion III, a game that bombards with numbers but doesn't tell what they do. Stareater will be the game where player rules from high above, mostly doing macro-management decisions and moving star ships. There will be an option to do micromanagement decisions but that won't be mandatory.

More information about the project is on Google project hosting site:

Don't be alarmed by word "zvjezdojedac", it's just stareater in Croatian. Initial development was completely in Croatian, from code to user interface. Since I'm going to increase awareness about this project, I slowly adopting a "common trade language" to it.