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I would like to make my introduction to this list by introducing myself and my current interest in OpenSource Development.

I am a Computer Science grad, with a background in testing. I am currently a rookie project manager.  This information will be useful later since you can correctly infer that I don't know how to use M4 and my OpenGL knowledge is limited to tutorials, but I do know how to be a project manager.

Since college I have had a idea that if I could combine the best features of games like SimCity, Age of Empires, Civilization, etc  and add to them some real flexibility and custom personality I would have a really cool game.  Recently I convinced a investor/rich friend that a game like this would be worth a little of his money. 

I argued that I could take some of my design ideas and build them under the GPL.  I would open the design to the community for refinement and comment so that game would truly be a game for the community.  I would use his money to buy some project hardware and then use the rest as Christmas presents for active developers (nothing beats a bribe... :-] ).  Once there was a game ready to release, we could package CD's and release a version for windows users.  All proceeds would be divided amongst the people involved (that includes the investor and the devlopers, if there are any proceeds)

To be brief the current design is for a “Epic” RTS game that takes a society from cave men to spacemen.  A short list of notable requirements are

1)The map is isometric clon of SimCity except there is no pre-set size limit.  The map will grow as the “fog of war” is revealed.  Each player will manage only his own map.

2)The main engine is a balanced tree with “game time” as the key.  Each player will run his own tree and only check in with a central server periodically to stay in sync.  When a unit is moved it must publish  events locally, if it moves onto enemy ground, it must publish on both the local and remote event tree.

3)The technology mapping (i.e bronze age, before stone age, computers before lasers) and all unites and buildings are customizable.  The idea is to support more building types, units, and buildings then any one person can ever play.  Given boundless options, the resulting society will feel very personal to the game player.  This has two levels, A example is a decision to research "tanks" instead of airplanes.  The other is to set "zoning" rules so the buildings in a town are of a style comfortable to the player. 

4)Great Library: A open source game that incourages new unit devolpment needs to set rules.  The issue of fairness is solved by having a "Great Library" server hosting what units and rules will be used in the current game.  This is important since a project goal is to setup a server to provide a commen set on the net if the user doesn't want to start there own.  This might also move into storing a saved city.

5)City Management is similar to SimCity (zoning and taxes) but the purpose is to generate money to build a army and walls and weapons.  Too many RTS games become routines (i.e. build 10 peons, then a barracks, then a house).  Mixing a real city simulation in with the tatical needs of the King should be much more interesting and much less predicatable.  

6)Unique units:  This is easiest to explain with a example.  When selecting a unit factory (i.e. a barracks) you can decide to build a archer but a slider will allow you to generate a more accurate archer, but it will take longer.  Also every battle this unique archer fights in will slowly increase its unique accuracy factor.  This adds a great deal of game play as grouping veterans with rookies in combat units just adds another level.

7)Massive online play:  given that each player is running a unique event tree it is planned to have massive online games (i.e. hundreds of players) There is a plan to allow for citys at different stages of evolution to play together but not as direct neighbers.(sprial layout based on a societies age)

8)Community:  Since the game will support massive online play, and alot of personality in each city, the hope is to support direct chat, and other "IM" style features to encourage people to go online and let the game run.  If there isn't a active battle, you could let the game play a little like SimCity and spend your time chating with other players.   Some people will want to fight alot of battles and some people will want to run the game like a game of Sims or SimCity but will be able to share there designs with others.

I know this is a lot of information for one mail.  However, if any/all of this project sounds interesting please let me know.  I have just recently ordered the hardware I think would be useful and I am requesting hosting space from sunsite.dk to publish the requirements for open review. (and get a real pop account...long story)

I am open to all comments (even the vaperware ones)

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