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Diodor

Please test my RTS game - Pax Solaris

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Diodor    517
quote:

Original post by Symphonic

Woohoo! Got my license key



I''m glad to hear that! There''s a new version of Pax online now, with a much better user interface: now you can give orders to multiple stars simply by holding the left mouse button down and dragging the mouse pointer over the stars. Just download it again and reinstall.

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Peon    276
I''ll be honest. I thought it was stupid at first (it''s not much to look at, and I''m a visual kind of guy). But then I actually played and wow, it''s pretty cool! I only won once so far, but I really like the simplicity of it. I don''t know if this was the intention, but it feels a lot like a real-time Risk (and I noticed one of the maps IS called Risk) One thing I''d like to see are some "cards" or "powers" you can earn in some way, just to change the game a bit. By far the coolest thing right now are those white stars on the Cross map. Really makes you think about how you want to play, and it keeps you on your toes.

Great work, I''m loving it

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Diodor    517
quote:

Original post by Symphonic

My one wish: some way to speed up the end-phase of the game. Would it be possible to make the game speed variable?



I disagreed to a speed control that would allow to decrease the speed of the game, but I don''t see anything wrong with increasing it.

You can press "give up" though, which does increase the speed of the game a lot, even too much. After this you still control your stars, and you can still win, but you can''t turn down the speed again - so use it carefully.

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Silvermyst    113
Diodor, I agree that player should only be able to INcrease speed. I hadn''t tried ''Give up'' as I figured it would do just that. Sounds like my wish had already been implemented Man, that would''ve saved me about 20 minutes! (I played a one-hour level yesterday... I think it''s the level called Galaxy, which is my favorite so far).

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D_JildQuantum    122
Just played the game, and one the "One" Level! AWSOMELY SWEET! There was one point in the game where i was realy stuck, he had the whtie star, and i had to take it, and the green one that connects the two white stars in the upper left corner, and i had to develop my own strategy, of pulling his forces toward my weaker fortificatoin,s while i set up some troops that would make it there and save it just on time, and then take the green and white stars at the same time! wow that was fun! anyway, i dont know if this would be feasable, but did you ever think about working to make a sequal of 3d? then you would have to like protect in a sphere. Just an idea, but i think it would probably be really cool... or even have it layered, so that you had to monitor 2 or 3 layers at once. Anyway, its just a thought.... not meant to be taken entirely seriously

Quantum

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Dobbs    164
There''s no reason to go into the 3rd dimension... any 3d map could be represented in 2d in this game, and the 3rd dimension would just make the UI less natural.

I keep trying to get into new games lately and I keep finding them boring... but damn I enjoy Pax Solaris every time I play. I''m about this close <-> to registering. Damn you Diodor, I think you''re about to take away some of my hard earned money.

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Diodor    517
quote:

Original post by D_JildQuantum

anyway, i dont know if this would be feasable, but did you ever think about working to make a sequal of 3d? then you would have to like protect in a sphere. Just an idea, but i think it would probably be really cool... or even have it layered, so that you had to monitor 2 or 3 layers at once. Anyway, its just a thought.... not meant to be taken entirely seriously



Have a look at the cube level. I don''t want to make such drastic changes as adding layers or going 3d as they''d spoil the game''s simplicity and ease of use.

You''ll have to agree though that the white star is giving the map a sort of an extra dimension - and indeed much of the gameplay challenges seem to revolve around the white star. I''m planning on adding white stars in more colors, linking different points on the map together. This will capture the essence of 3d maps, unfolded on the 2d screen.

quote:

Original post by Dobbs

There''s no reason to go into the 3rd dimension... any 3d map could be represented in 2d in this game, and the 3rd dimension would just make the UI less natural.



There are 3d models that would be hard to put on the screen right now - the cube level is as far as I could go - and it''s not the easiest map to play. I would only need two types of white star to create a _very_ easy to visualize unfolded cube model (8 stars) and four white star groups to unfold a 3x3x3 cube though. Most interesting...

quote:

I keep trying to get into new games lately and I keep finding them boring... but damn I enjoy Pax Solaris every time I play. I''m about this close <-> to registering. Damn you Diodor, I think you''re about to take away some of my hard earned money.



The same thing has happened to me. I can''t even touch great games I used to play, let alone learn new ones but I find myself addicted to very simple games. Slay and Solar Wars instead of Shogun Total War or Homeworld, Soldat and the infamous Stick Soldiers instead of Counterstrike and Unreal. Triplane Turmoil is another great one.

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Dobbs    164
Thanks, I''ll check those out. I broke down and bought Pax Solaris, so have a beer on me (or feed your kids and wife if you have em, whatever).

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echoknight    122
Pax is a great game. Very enjoyable and actually challenging Well written AI.

This is one of the first shareware games i am actually thinking of buying.

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Guest Anonymous Poster   
Guest Anonymous Poster
wow nice job, very addictive. ive never registered a shareware game but im thinking about it now.

my only suggestion is instead of having just one arrow make the star lane line change to color coded arrows

**************** = no one moving or attacking
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> = moving / attacking
>>>>>>>><<<<<<<< = when both oppenents are moving to eachothers planets

i think this would make it a lot less confusing

one other thing. i dont really get the point of the damaged ships. mabye you could explain why you decided to add the from a design perspective?

great job though!

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Diodor    517
quote:

one other thing. i dont really get the point of the damaged ships. mabye you could explain why you decided to add the from a design perspective?



Excellent! A design question at last

The damaged ships allow for some interesting tactics - defeating a star will simply force it''s damaged ships to retreat - and about half of them get repaired during the retreat. The defender has a large advantage here. That''s why the attacker must try to first surround a star with many damaged ships before forcing it to surrender. But to surround a star one must break through the enemy lines and often risks getting his attacking force cut off and surrounded.

Tactical retreats also work well, particularly against the AI. I retreat from star A, the enemy takes it. I retreat from star B, neighbor to A, the enemy takes it with forces from A (half of them move forward to B). I attack and take star A - perhaps half the enemy forces from A retreat to star B which is now surrounded - and has 3/4 of the forces the enemy started with - waiting to be destroyed.

That''s where the blocking move comes in (two stars attack each other). In blocking fights there are only destroyed ships, none damaged, and the smaller side loses ships faster than the stronger side, but it takes longer for the battle to unfold. So the blocking move can be used to keep a star surrounded for a little more time until it is defeated.

From a defensive point of view, getting ones forces broken up in more pieces can equal a catastrophe. That''s why it is often necessary to retreat instead of standing to fight. The blocking move comes again handy by helping to keep a corridor open just enough for the threatened forces to retreat.

Damaged ships make surrounding and forcing a surrender a very effective tactic, and this tactic is the main reason for the tactical complexity of Pax.

There''s also the issue of mobility. Too much mobility makes planning impossible. Damaged ships cannot move. Attacking a star decreases it''s repair rate a lot, so it''s often preferable to keep attacking it even if there''s no hope of taking it just to keep the large amounts of damaged ships from getting repaired fast. Damaged ships limit the freedom of both defender and the attacker - and this allows for planning. It''s the same stuff I was talking about in the Constraints; granularity; tactics thread.

In a way damaged ships increase the granularity of a game: a successful attack will force a surrender and destroy many ships - a failed attack will not be able to force the surrender and will only have destroyed a few enemy ships - with the rest of them damaged but getting repaired fast after the attack is lifted. There is no gray area between a successful attack and a failed one.

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yumi_cheeseman    122
overall ur game is very good. after a while u have to learn the strategies.

the problem with the mouse did not occur 4 me.

what u need is some kinda intro screen. u really need to sell ur name in games. if u sell a game that someone really likes then they''ll remember ur name and maybe buy another of ur games.

maybe a bit of a story behind it. y r the ppl fighting each other and who r they?

____________________________________________________________

as you can see i ramble, but at least i have my own opinion
have a nice day

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Luctus    584
Holy sweet..this game is the the first with an original concept I''ve seen in quite a while, and have a great feel for the S in RTS, not just the RT as one usually see in big-title games..great fun too, two thumbs up!

-Luctus

Statisticly seen, most things happens to other people.
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Guest Anonymous Poster   
Guest Anonymous Poster
look poppet yuor game is the BEST EVER!!!!1 i realy relay liker it!!!!!
i enjoyd it even more than the kil ldave game. that is rely saying somthing popet./ yuo rely shoud sell this on the intrnent and yuo coud mzke astrnimocaly bhuge amonts of moneys!!
yuo did a great works with the user intreface grafical also.l
onsce agen popet its a grweat game and keep up the goosd works.

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Dobbs    164
My girlfriend is now completely addicted to Pax. This is good thing because she can no longer complain about me spending too much time on my computer, but it''s also bad because the registered copy is on my computer and she hogs it all the time. Good job Diodor.

Have you thought at all about making a pluggable AI DLL system? As I see it the game has two important qualities that would make it ideal for custom AI:
1) the interface and rules are simple
2) despite this it has a lot of tactical depth
Either you as a developer or random hobbyists could write custom AI geared towards specific levels or specific play styles, or even play around with neural net AI or other goofy stuff.

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5010    122
quote:
Original post by D_JildQuantum
Update: I still havnt beaten the Crossed Level! its driving me nuts! i have beaten the others in under 10 minutes... arg crossed is crossed! rofl



This works for me...

I ignore the white star and go for the center 1st. The enemies fight over the white star, so it doesn''t build up very high. It''s easy to make sure there are enough ships nearby to scare it from attacking you.

Then after the center is secure, it can pretty much take care of itself. So I then concentrate power and take over white and spread from there like ebola on crack.

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Dobbs    164
Yeah I use the exact same strategy on crossed and it works every time. I can beat it on hard without any difficulty.

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Juozasg    122
What a great game. Original and addictive

Simple to learn, difficult to master. More graphical feedback and few more features, such as custom speed controls and you''ve probably got the next Bejeweled.

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Avatar God    1072
Man. I am addicted, along with everyone I know, to this game. It''s crazy. But... I haven''t been able to bring myself to buy it because I honestly don''t need to be on the computer any more than I already am...

I was wondering, Diodor, if we could get some of the actual stats for the game? (the different stars'' actual attack, defense, repair, speed and production rates?) I''m really just curious - I don''t have the capacity to make a game anyways, so don''t worry about me stealing anything...


-geo
red eye is coming back (the old site is still around, albeit in a weird transitional form)

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Diodor    517
quote:

Original post by Dobbs

My girlfriend is now completely addicted to Pax. This is good thing because she can no longer complain about me spending too much time on my computer, but it''s also bad because the registered copy is on my computer and she hogs it all the time. Good job Diodor.



Did you play some hotseat or networked games yet?

quote:

Have you thought at all about making a pluggable AI DLL system? As I see it the game has two important qualities that would make it ideal for custom AI:
1) the interface and rules are simple
2) despite this it has a lot of tactical depth
Either you as a developer or random hobbyists could write custom AI geared towards specific levels or specific play styles, or even play around with neural net AI or other goofy stuff.



This is a great idea. I''d prefer a scripting language like lua to be sure against any security issues, but other than this, there are little hindering practical issues. In fact, the AI right now only has some 150 lines.

I''m slightly worried though that different AI could make the game less interesting. As it stands now the AI is a good combination of careless defense, predictability, relentless attack and fast, violent reactions to any breakthrough. I''ve been playing Pax for months and I still find it challenging. I have just beaten the "tree" level on hard with all the sides - insanely difficult - you really must predict what the AI''s will do and try to balance the two AI opponents so that none of them gets ahead.


quote:

Original post by Juozasg

Simple to learn, difficult to master. More graphical feedback and few more features, such as custom speed controls and you''ve probably got the next Bejeweled.



Speed controls (only allowing the game to go faster) are already coded, they should be online in a day or two.

quote:

Original post by Avatar God

I was wondering, Diodor, if we could get some of the actual stats for the game? (the different stars'' actual attack, defense, repair, speed and production rates?) I''m really just curious - I don''t have the capacity to make a game anyways, so don''t worry about me stealing anything...



Sure. The game_config.txt file in your game directory has all the stats you want, explained. In fact, it is possible to change the way the game behaves too. There are some more interesting files around there - config.txt, tutorial.txt, register.url

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D_JildQuantum    122
Hey! Im trying out the Crossed Level as we speak, and it hit me. What about an Alliance System? it wouldnt make the interface to much more complicated, and it would add an all new deapth to the game! here is what im thinking:

Each player has like an Icon at the top right hand corner of the screen, and when you click one it opens up the diplomacy screen for that player, while pausing the game. Then, you ask that player to form an alliance, or a StarShip Tribute thingie, or a Mutual Pact agreement, or a Right of Passage agreement, and then with each one, the other AI player analyses the power of you, and then makes a decision to accept or deny.

I know i have been coming up with wierd ideas lately, but i think this one hit the mark! and i know you have probably thought of it, but im just saying it would mabee nudge me into buying the CD Key

Quantum

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Avatar God    1072
Boy, would an alliance system change the game up. I''m just worried that everyone else will team up against me. And I would want to turn it on and off (before the game starts) if there was one. I like beating everyone.

Thanks for the game_config file! It''s cool knowing what your odds are. Of course, I was hoping for a register.txt with something like:

; if non-zero, player is registered
AM_I_REGISTERED = 0



-geo
red eye is coming back (the old site is still around, albeit in a weird transitional form)

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Diodor    517
quote:

Original post by D_JildQuantum

Each player has like an Icon at the top right hand corner of the screen, and when you click one it opens up the diplomacy screen for that player, while pausing the game. Then, you ask that player to form an alliance, or a StarShip Tribute thingie, or a Mutual Pact agreement, or a Right of Passage agreement, and then with each one, the other AI player analyses the power of you, and then makes a decision to accept or deny.



Been playing Civ 3 haven''t you? (great game btw) On the medium and hard difficulty modes something like what you mention works already: if one player grows too strong, the other players become more peaceful to one another: the attack treshold is raised. This is only a subtle change though, I feared that if I push this idea too much the game would turn into a stalemate.

Btw, on the hard difficulty modes on some levels a primitive form of diplomacy is necessary. On the tree level for instance, playing red, you must retreat in such a fashion as to leave the two other players balanced and you must try to help the player that tends to fall behind. You come to think of an AI player as your friend and of the other as the enemy.

There is an alliance system in the online play, if anyone gets to play a multiplayer game with at least three people I''d love to hear how does the diplomacy work.

quote:

Original post by Avatar God

Thanks for the game_config file! It''s cool knowing what your odds are. Of course, I was hoping for a register.txt with something like:

; if non-zero, player is registered
AM_I_REGISTERED = 0



Actually there was something like this for debugging purposes. I checked it again and (thankfully) it doesn''t still work. Btw, there''s a "registered" variable in all the levels It will only change the color of the level entry from red to green though, you still can''t play the levels

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