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Added a Todo list up there ^^, idea stolen straight from Evil Steve's journal - ta Steve! :)
Now you can all see the bare essentials left to do for Alpha level release. Must... focus...
What am I letting myself in for?!

[ed] Note: I decided ALPHA level is having the complete game mechanics present in basic form MINUS the enemy carrier AI.
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I just wanted to say that I read your whole five years worth of development journal and I'm amazed. :) Every programmer knows what it feels like to have accomplished so much, yet have relatively little to show for it because all the good stuff is "inside". Keep up the good work!

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Thanks for the support Sel! Now the list is up I have less excuses for skiving ;)

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My name is Graham Fearn and I contacted you about 18 months and mentioned that I had been following your development of Carrier 2 (I had Carrier Command on the Speccy!). I was wondering if I could be an Alpha tester when it is completed?

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Hey Graham - there's a rather long queue of (very patient!) testers so far... but I'm sure at some point the more testers I can get, the better :)

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yes get in line ;) hehe

i sure i must be up near the front some where ;)

I wish i had the dedication to do something like this... keep meaning to learn programing and have done a bit. but nothing in this league!!

and what a game to pick ;) but i think following you do this has proved waht a mamoth task making a game is these days! I rember sitting in my bedroom and knocking up a version of Tron in a few evenings!!

them where they days though..

Still i'm all about networks these days.. so my time is spent learning about them.. maybe one day i will get back to writing a few lines of code, infact how many lines of code do you think you have written so far??

Take care sir and looking forward to flying a manta again! ;)

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Yep you're at the front somewhere I suspect, Devil :)
I would have kept the whole thing off the net until about now, but I needed something up there to back up my job apps in the games industry, and it kinda took off from there... and there's never enough 'spare' time nowadays.
Probably at around 70-80,000 lines of code now.

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First time caller, long time listener. Big fan of your work, can't wait for it to come out on directors cut DVD.

Re game AI. I think there's really two AI's to consider here. At the basic Action "in your face" game level there's really only island and carrier AI - what's happening now. The strategic level makes things a level more complicated but still hopefully you'll get to the action endgame, one way or the other.

For the enemy carrier, maybe consider the AI as moving island as a first step in the initial release. You've got missiles already and laser shouldn't be hard to model (he says from the cheap seats). Enemy Walrus and Mantas, well that's another story. I guess taking a purist view I'd say the AI for the Manta, Walrus and Carrier should all be the same, but scaled up to take advantage of the weapons available, and restricted to the environments they can operate in. Build it once (and they will come).

As for the strategy, it should probably always involve in order:
- protecting it's resupply line
- attacking the opposition resupply line at weak / critical points
- building the resource network

You could make the game harder by increasing the enemy carriers resources, or capacity to carry resources (fuel, speed, etc), which should in turn give it an advantage in all areas.

Just a few thoughts.

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Whoops missed this post - wish there was an alert facility or something.
Yeah I hope to get the Island AI into the Alpha - it's shaping up ok at the moment.
Lasers are in already, as are rockets and the facility to add other types too.
I just need to design the main AI framework and put in some placeholder behaviours for the strategical AI, then refine them over time.
Hope to take advantage of multiple processors too, so that's a factor.
Initially I'd hoped not to 'cheat' with bonuses to the AI, but make it smarter instead... we'll see how that pans out though :o

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