Just so I'd have something to show, I finally put a little effort into the main/start menu:
I'd like to do a few epic fantasy paintings to act as the real background for that screen with a random one chosen on each load.
Refactoring And Such
I've given Input and Game a once-over. I spent a moment on IsoMap so that the game view is now drawn over the entire sweep of the 800x600 screen and all the GUI junk will be redone to be a bit less clunky. Maybe I'll even do some panelstyles that have dither transparency.
Now I embark upon sorting out the GUI classes with a few possible side-trips into Util. Once I'm done with this the entire GUI system should be a hell of a lot more robust; that is, easier to make layouts and easier to make those layouts dynamic, interactive with the game itself (as well as the player, to say the least).
My post regarding "Command Points" (or whatever) can be found here, though it isn't getting as much immediate attention as I hoped. I'm sure it'll pick up.
(And maybe I could have been more controversial and said something like "If you were to make an innovation vs. time graph of the Civilization series it could be described as an exponential decay curve!". By which I mean that the new Civ. game looks like it's continuing with the increasing focus on discrete combat units and the animations thereof and rather less on everything else, much less on the interactions between complex social and economic systems or what have you. In other words, I don't think I'll buy this one.)
Ahem. So anyway I did talk it over with Marcel a bit today and got some interesting ideas with regard to CPs, social classes, and diplomacy that got me to actually start writing the game-play design doc. This is good.
The Big Mystery
I think it'd be funny to have a big part of the gameplay / game-setting be totally secret. Like the shareware/demo version will have about half the regular content and none of the Big Mystery -- to find out the Big Mystery you have to play the actual game and get totally blown away by it, like you think the game is about one thing and then it pulls a huge shift on you out of nowhere that you weren't expecting. Introducing a gameplay element that is so totally unexpected would be magic.
And hilarious. To me.
So I will.
Now I've just got to keep my trap shut about The Secret Of Monkey Island.