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Subject: Space Empires App rss

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Wibble the Obscure
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Gy'day All,

I am in the process of building an App for the Single Player game of Space Empires: 4X. It is still in testing (despite the code being written over 2 months ago - thank you real life paying work)

Does Jim Krohn (designer) or GMT come to BBG often? I have a few questions to ask about scope as i don't want to step on any toes.

As it stands the App does everything the base single-player game does with the exception of the specifics of the individual fleet builds.

My main questions are (to GMT / Jim Krohn):
1. Is there going to be an issue with using the app to record the player's turn-by-turn data? i.e. keeping a record of Techs bought, Tech points remaining etc. This would allow the app to completely replace all paperwork
2. Is there going to be an issue with modifications to the Alien Player game? A simple example is fighting against 2x EASY Aliens (5CP/turn) and 1x HARD Alien (10CP/turn). Another simple example is variable AI's (Alien tables focused on Defense more than attack etc.)

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Greg Love
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Hi Wibble,
Sounds cool, can you please give a few more details about exactly what the App does? When you say it is "for the single player game", do you mean the A.I controls Doomsday machines, for example?

 
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Wibble the Obscure
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Nah, it runs the Aliens for the other Solitaire game i.e. the '1 Player Alien Empire Scenarios'.

I have read the rules to, but not played, the 'Doomsday Machine Scenario' (DD). Since i don't play it i would rather get the App for the version i use most out there before i add the DD options.
The coding for the DD looks pretty simple but if the Designer/Publisher has no problem with adding the Player's fleet to the app then it would be so much easier to integrate than the other way around.
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Greg Love
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Awesome, keep us posted!
 
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Peter Kossits
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I'm pretty sure that Jim will want to know if this is a player aid for the boardgame or a standalone game. It sounds like a player aid but it's not 100% clear. And also whether you plan to sell it or distribute it for free.

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Wibble the Obscure
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peterk1 wrote:
I'm pretty sure that Jim will want to know if this is a player aid for the boardgame or a standalone game. It sounds like a player aid but it's not 100% clear. And also whether you plan to sell it or distribute it for free.

Yeah, certainly it is a player-aid, my question stems from the level of aid they are comfortable with. All it will do is look after the paperwork to one degree or another.

To be fair the rules are easily available and this app will do less than VASSAL where you can have access to the whole board and pieces but in my experience it is better to ask and get a clear YES/NO answer than assume.

Since i intend to offer options for changing some of the way it plays then that also needs some level of feedback from the designer. Again, just because i feel it adds another level of depth and doesn't infringe IP it is better to ask and be sure.

Certainly the App will be Freeware with the option to donate. Once i am ready to chuck it out there then it will be Windows-based first with the option to add Mac and Android/Google Play access later.
I don't have an Apple Account for iPhone/iPad support and they make you pay for the privilege so that may come later.
 
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John Lagerquist
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A friend of mine did a very similar SE4X helper app a few years ago but GMT wouldn't approve it. I hope they have softened their stance since then.

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Wibble the Obscure
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So a little update.
I have messaged Jim and he doesn't think there is a problem, but obviously i will show him the initial App before i push to public.
Because i am not representing any of the Map, Counters or Artwork, the App purely does the paperwork side of things, then there is little i can fall foul over but better to be safe than legally sorry.

I played a few turns with it yesterday and noticed a couple of things that i need to add and fix

BUGS - Major Issue
UI - COMPLETE and much more difficult than it needed to be - thank you Unity... they still have not fixed a build rendering bug in the latest Update and the update has (strangely) messed with some of my UI elements. I may need to re-jig the presentation to deal with this. This is the biggest issue with the project because i was counting on a certain type of presentation and i will need to change all the UI elements to adapt.

FUNCTIONALITY - Minor Issue
Save System - COMPLETE - I completely forgot to put in a Save/Load system... kind of obvious as soon as i started a game and i don't know how it did not occur to me earlier.
Player's Data - DELAYED TILL BETA - I realised i needed this before i started to revisit this project but i wanted to make sure the Banhammer was not going to fall on the App before i added it in.

I hope to have a decent slab of time over the next few days and with luck can push something out in the next 1-2 weeks or so for general play-testing and bug-hunting (pun very much intended).
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Greg Love
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Any work in progress screenshots, Wibble?
Cheers.
 
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Wibble the Obscure
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zombiewarrior07 wrote:
Any work in progress screenshots, Wibble?
Cheers.

Nah, i usually just do coding and leave graphics to others so there is little to see.
Also, i built this for myself and the aim was purely function.
Lastly, the UI is currently messed up and needs a fix under the new Unity release and my current plan is to completely redesign the layout.

tl: dr it is currently a 'build in progress' and bare-bones at that

NOTE: On the positive side i did the Save coding this morning but might not have time for a proper test until tomorrow
 
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Wibble the Obscure
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OK, it is stand-alone and ready for testing.

I will e-mail it to up to 5 interested people as well as to the Designer.
If you want to test it for me then PM me with your e-mail address and i will send it to you.
Since Zombiewarrior has been engaged in this thread i will bookmark a copy for him.

It is for WINDOWS systems only. Other platform support will come later.
The app is 18.6mb zipped.

Be aware it is also bare-bones. I did no work with graphics & sound.
If anyone wants to volunteer art-work for it then drop me a PM.

KNOWN ISSUES
No Player Data - IN PROGRESS, NEARLY COMPLETE - V1 Mostly done, just need to add the save/load functionality for it. I hope to add Tech Charts to it soon as well (V2)
No option to kill off an Alien Player - COMPLETED - Now you can kill off an extinct empire
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Greg Love
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Thanks, Wibble.
 
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Wibble the Obscure
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Just updated the current functionality.

Single Player vs Alien Game is complete bar bug checking (still looking for a few more testers so PM me if you are interested)
Player Data Input & Calculation has been added and is near completion.

Next Steps are to:
- add the Tech Charts for the Player Character for either solitaire or normal game tracking.
- add Single Player vs Doomsday Machine option

Then
UI Modification
Graphics
Sound


Lastly:
Mac, Android and maybe iPad/Phone versions
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Nathan Hortness
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Subscribed.

I'm keenly interested to see how this develops.
 
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Wibble the Obscure
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UPDATE ON PROGRESS

I need at least another tester or two before i release. Testers can either use it Solitaire vs Alien Empires or to manage their empire in a multiplayer game.
It is for Windows Desktop or Laptop machines at this point. One tester has had an issue with it not running on a Windows Tablet.

Single Player vs Alien Game is COMPLETE
Player Data Input & Calculation is FUNCTIONAL (with the exception of Save/Load)
Single Player vs Doomsday Machine - is NOT STARTED

INCOMPLETE
Save/Load for Player Data - KNOWN ISSUE
Save/Load for Human vs Alien player - needs testing

NEXT STEPS
Add Tech Charts for Human Player
Add Single Player vs Doomsday Machine option (probably post release)

Then
UI Modification
Graphics
Sound

Lastly:
Mac, Android and maybe iPad/Phone versions
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Greg Love
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Sounds great, Wibble, please send me a copy so I can try it out. I'm really interested in the single player vs DD machines, once you have implemented it.

Just a thought re sound FX, what about an option to play some very subtle ambient spacey music, and / or the occasional random spacey sound, like alien voice, or radio chatter. If you like, I can email you a bunch of WAV audio files that I am using in a space PC game I'm making.
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Christopher Grace
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zombiewarrior07 wrote:
Sounds great, Wibble, please send me a copy so I can try it out. I'm really interested in the single player vs DD machines, once you have implemented it.

Just a thought re sound FX, what about an option to play some very subtle ambient spacey music, and / or the occasional random spacey sound, like alien voice, or radio chatter. If you like, I can email you a bunch of WAV audio files that I am using in a space PC game I'm making.


Always happy to take the opportunity to recommend the Mission Control station at SomaFM.com. Ambient spacey electronica with real mission control recordings playing underneath 24/7
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Greg Love
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Thanks for the tip, Christopher, I will certainly check that out.
 
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Roger
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Hi Wibble and others,

Just FYI, I did something pretty similar many years ago, pre-expansion.
I never took it down so I presume it is still functional.

Cheers,
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Chris Hansen
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hsquid wrote:
Hi Wibble and others,

Just FYI, I did something pretty similar many years ago, pre-expansion.
I never took it down so I presume it is still functional.

Cheers,

At least in my case on a Windows 10 machine it now just gives me an error message saying there is something wrong with the switches in the file.
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Roger
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Ichirou wrote:
hsquid wrote:
Hi Wibble and others,

Just FYI, I did something pretty similar many years ago, pre-expansion.
I never took it down so I presume it is still functional.

Cheers,

At least in my case on a Windows 10 machine it now just gives me an error message saying there is something wrong with the switches in the file.


cry
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Wibble the Obscure
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I saw yours and IIRC another version that was web-based (which would not run for me because i am pretty paranoid with my security settings).

IMHO the more options out there the better and i notice yours does the fleet composition for Attack and Defensive Fleet which mine does not do. (I might add later but in play-testing i did not miss it).
I also wanted to add the option to manage one's own Empire for solo and multi-play (just building a Tech purchase system now)
Lastly i am surprised by the amount of people playing the Doomsday Variant and so i will add support for that as well but that was never part of the plan.

From my POV each support APP is like another flavour of icecream... and one can never have too much icecream!
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Chris Hansen
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Can't have too many apps, choice is a good thing. I did use Roger's app once upon a time, and it did work for me then. I recall it being quite helpful, so needless to say, I'm quite interested in your project as well, Wibble. I hope your testing is proceeding well.
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Wibble the Obscure
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Ichirou wrote:
I hope your testing is proceeding well.

Would be going better if the idiot Dev stopped adding things to it! (or at least got a few days without having to put out other people's fires - i am supposed to be on Leave dammit)

Once the Tech Purchase (b.08) and Save Load for Player Empires (b.09) is finished then i will call it V1.0 and post.

If you wanna see it earlier i could do with another tester or two? hint hint
Just PM me
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Wibble the Obscure
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OK, We are now at b.09...

Alien Empire and Player Save/Load is COMPLETE
Player Tech Purchasing is COMPLETE

The only thing standing in the way of release is bug testing
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