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Fantasy Construction/Time Management Project (Theoretical Stage)

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The basic idea is not revolutionary. This is a game that takes it's core concept directly from Dwarf Fortress or Stonehearth, build a community/town/fortress and survive in an open-ended sandbox environment.


I do want to focus mainly on the programming aspects of the game, like dwarf fortress, though I do NOT want to neglect the ui/controls/quality-of-life aspects that dwarf fortress has.


It should be noted that I have never programmed a game before, and this game is meant to be a project to help me explore these ideas in programming, it is not meant to ever be a commercial hit that will make me rich (or even make me enough money to live on), as it will be entirely free and open source.


The first step is simple, 3d or 2d.


A 3d cubic voxel based environment is not out of the question. The method is tried and tested, documentation for such things is everywhere, and the adjustment for various generation algorithms would be minimal. The problem here, however is performance, as 3d cubic voxel based worlds that are incredibly massive are very cpu-unfriendly. The solution for this would most likely be a 'chunk' system like minecraft, but I assume that would interfere in the 'living economy/environment' that I want to create with factions going to war with each other and such.


A 3d voxel based environment created from some other such shapes is an unknown in my opinion. I have no idea how that would effect world generation algorithms, or gameplay as other than irregular voxel shapes like in 7 days to die (which seems like a totally inefficient way of doing things) I have not seen it done.


A 2d environment is again, an unknown to me. I am not exactly sure how dwarf fortress creates such an environment (I believe it is simply a trick with layers, like a topographical map). Currently I am heavily leaning towards a 2d top-down perspective, though I could be swayed.


The second step would be which programming language to select.


This would not normally be a topic that I would ask for help like this on, but I do have my reasons for being picky. Namely I want to include modding support, and want the game to run as efficiently as possible. The programming language should therefore be chosen to reflect this.


I do not intend to create a multiplayer mode right away, that is something I would like to reserve for much much later (years in the future most likely), however I do want the option, and the design of the game should reflect this.


All objects in the game (Entities, creatures, individual THINGS) will be enclosed in an XML file. This is inspired by a game called Transcendence, which uses this method, compiling the xml and image files into a custom .tsb file format (the custom file format is optional, simplicity is key here).


I do not want to use a game engine, instead I want to code everything manually. The reasons for this are twofold: 1.) I want complete control of the game, and I want to know exactly how everything works from the start so that I have a better 'feel' for the game, a type of code kinesthesis. 2.) I want to learn how to code these things individually rather than relying on a premade structure.


Of course the third step would be designing the world generator itself (I believe, it may be that something else would need doing first) and to generate an actual world map, albeit a very basic one (no rivers/continents/differences in elevation/water) and then slowly refining it.

Next, or perhaps in tandem with the third step, would be a 'history generator'. This one seems far more simple to me, as it requires only a few algorithms, instead the content would mostly be variables assigned to entities (Characters and knock-off megabeasts). Or at least I assume this to be so. I do believe that this history generator should be far less complicated than DF's, focusing mainly on people of importance like nobles, inventors, great warriors, etc, with the less significant figures being represented as a group (an example of how I would like to do this would be voters/population in Democracy 3). 


Step Five would be the creation of some basic content (items, creatures, etc) and creating ways to fill the world with them.


Step Six would be the creation of a procedural item generation algorithm, and the same for creatures, to add more variety to the game.


Step Seven would be release. Before this step arrives, thought should be put into publicity. A current idea is a kickstarter to fund a publicity campaign (commercials on youtube, images on google adsense etc), in order to grow the community. Even if I receive no money, I would like to see many people playing (and modifying) the game.


Note that as these steps progress, work is not ceased on the previous steps, rather the focus is shifted. In all, none of these steps are truly 'done'.


As a final note, I want to know if I missed anything, or if the plan so far needs any corrections (perhaps I should focus on these things in a different order, or perhaps I am leaving out critical steps in the plan that I do not know need to be done). Also feedback on exactly how I would go about completing said steps would be appreciated, as would answers to step 1 and step 2.


Thank you for your time.


Edited by Jay2Jay

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