This year, one man will attempt what no other has attempted before him and many will post on forums about attempting it after. One man will attempt to create a grand strategy engine/game with Unity that will allow modding and multi-player. And he will attempt to accomplish this in just one year.
THAT MAN, IS ME.
This is the first post in hopefully many that will follow the journey and struggles of attempting such a enormous undertaking. This journey has already started, in fact it was started on the 25th of January. The first thing that I did was write up a design document (the first of its kind for me for games), having gotten the general idea ad layout for the various systems and subsystems to be contained within game. I started work on what I believe will be one of the most essential requirements.
I STARTED ON THE MAP SYSTEM.
I decided that in order to make the game highly moddable and extendible with possible DLCs and so on, I needed to be able to load the map from file. The height map, the splat map, the sector map and the map details must all be loaded from file. Now I tell you this now, that is no easy task. I toyed with the idea of including a map editor within the game and am still toying with the idea. However, when you are still working on getting the map to load correctly, perhaps this is not the right time to be worrying about being able to edit and then save that map.
Truth be told, loading and saving go very much hand in hand. Once you know the layout of what you loading it is easy to be able to convert that into providing the data needed to save.
WHAT IS DONE, YOU ASK?
Well I have managed to bend Unity's Terrain system to my will and the loading of height maps and splat maps is complete. I have also completed the ability to select sectors (in-game sections that will belong to different nations, think provinces/states) via clicking on the map. Obviously, these features are in no way complete and nor do I think they will be for quite some time.
World Map using the Map System
SCHEDULE AND FUTURE
Most of the systems have been given a date to be completed by, at least in a usable state. The following is the current schedule mapping, the dates provided are the due dates.
- 01 March 2012 - Map System (loading, saving and full performance improvements)
- 01 April 2012 - Nation System (loading, saving, editing of nations)
- 01 May 2012 - Combat System (Recruiting, disbanding, auto-combat, healing, improvements, full performance improvements)
- 01 June 2012 - Economy System (Trading, sector improvements (thus production), investment opportunities)
- 01 July 2012 - Diplomacy System (Alliances, enemies, relations, trade agreements, vassals)
- 01 August 2012 - Nation AI (Functional non-player nations)
- 01 September 2012 - Sub-Nation AI (Functional AI controlled systems within a player nation)
- 01 November 2012 - Multi-player (Functional 2-4 player multi-player)
- 01 December 2012 - Code Clean-up (Ensure code is clean and every attempt has been made to document all class and systems to prove their usefulness to the system)
- 26 January 2013 - Completed Grand Strategy game/framework for sale.