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About Eck

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  1. Hello, I'm Eck. I'm a professional Game Developer at Harebrained Schemes. We just shipped BattleTech this year. \o/ Before that I was a professional business developer and hobbyist game dev for about 20-25 years. I've also been an active member of the GameDev community off an on since the mid-90's. I read the title and the first couple of paragraphs of your post. Is it possible to make a game like WoW with 1-5 people? Short answer, no. Take a moment to watch the credits and just count the number of people that worked on that game. I'm going to pull a number out of thin air and say 500. Now let's say it took them 2 years to make it giving us 1,000 person-years. Let's also assume that they are reasonably skilled individuals and decent at their individual specialized jobs. You have a proposed team of 5 so we'll divide 1,000 by 5 giving us an estimated timeline of 200 years to produce the game. Assuming your 5 people are just as skilled as the team at Blizzard. Start a little smaller than one of the biggest games in the world. - Eck
  2. Eck

    Am I biting too much?

    It's not the game mechanics of Solitaire that would translate, but everything else about it. Having a deck of cards, shuffling them, dealing them out to different piles, letting the user select a card and drag it, how you deal with card face data, etc. Plus all the game framework around a simple game like a menu system, maybe support saving and loading, sound effects, etc. There's a surprising amount of work that goes into a simple game that translates over to other titles. Plus it's something you could DEFINITELY finish. So many devs hand-wave away this advice. "Pfft, those tiny games are too easy, tha'ts not going to help me." I was one of them too for the longest time. Also, I think game jams are great investments once you know how to code. This forces you down the path of smaller ideas and helps get your framework pieces in place for future projects. It really identifies pain points and you can tell what SHOULD be easier. - Eck
  3. Setup Game 2 was supposed to be a 6-player game, choose whatever race you wanted, balanced map. That dropped to a 5-player game when one of the players couldn't make it. Then a 5th player bailed last minute and his phone didn't send the message. It's worth noting that he felt terrible about this and apologized multiple times. So instead of having the map setup and ready to rock and roll right at game time. We started 30 minutes late and had to build the map the old fashioned way. I think it's a testament to the streamlined improvements that we were still able to finish in a reasonable 8.5 hours (including pizza phase). Here's what happened... Race selection method - choose whatever you want. Speaker - roll randomly and Sardakk N'orr got it. Devin - Mentak (green) - Playing Mentak again. Damn pirates Dalton - Federation of Sol (blue) - New player - came super prepared and even had notes for early strategies after listening to Space Cats and Peace Turtles. Javi - Letnev (purple) - New player Eck - Sardakk N'orr (black/me) - I won the last game, so for this game I was going to go for more role-playish fun. I planned to go combat focused and support others who did the same. The 5th player - no show was supposed to play Embers of Muat. I was hoping to trade the War Sun tech with him, and I'd have payed silly prices to make that happen. Ah well... Some other time! Instead we randomly built the map, and I didn't take a clean pic of it because I was focused on analyzing the new board. Sorry about that! One thing to keep in mind for a 4-player game is every strategy card gets picked so every secondary action is possible on your turn. This is super useful for counting on secondaries as part of your grand plans. I only mention this cause I took too long to write up this after action report, so I don't recall all my strategy card picks. Round 1 - I told the table my idea of me wanting to take the game a little less seriously. I'd still try to win but my goal was to be a warlike bug race. Everyone else was welcome (and encouraged) to play their best. They were game so the first proclamation I made was - whoever wins the first combat, gets my support for the throne! The table snickered and agreed. Other than that, it was a pretty standard early turn, Sardaak N'orr (black/me) got Warfare and expanded towards Letnev (purple) for some early trading partners. Everyone else expanded a bit. 0 - Mentak (green/Devin) 0 - Federation of Sol (blue/Dalton) 1 - Letnev (purple/Javi) 0 - Sardakk N'orr (black/Eck/me) Round 1 end Round 2 - Federation of Sol (blue) was poised to take Mecatol this turn and chose Imperial. The rest of the table agreed this was a bad idea (once Sol gets on Mecatol, it's hell to kick him off) so Mentak (green) blocked him with a couple of cruisers. Blue took our shared border planet without even talking about it. Though I respected the move as a combat-focused-space-bug, I planned my counter strike for this transgression. 1 - Mentak (green/Devin) 0 - Federation of Sol (blue/Dalton) 2 - Letnev (purple/Javi) 0 - Sardakk N'orr (black/Eck/me) Round 2 end Someone offered me a stick of gum... It made me laugh pretty hard. Round 3 - This was an exciting turn. Lots of combat so the space-bugs were pleased! The Federation (blue) kicked those pesky Mentak (green) pirates off of Mecatol. A bug of my word, I gave him my support for the throne. Letnev (purple) lost two ground forces trying to take a border world I said he could have. Blue had blocked the only access into his undefended world... That is, it was the only way if you were unwilling to risk the Gravity Rift... Sardakk N'orr (black/me) hurled a carrier past the gravity rift successfully to take the Federation's (blue's) richest world. For those that are unfamiliar with the rule, every ship you send out of or through a Gravity Rift gets a +1 to their speed. However on a 1d10 roll of 1-3, the ship is destroyed. It could have been the Federation's undefended homeworld, but Blue was a new player and I didn't want to be THAT mean. 3 - Mentak (green/Devin) 4 - Federation of Sol (blue/Dalton) 2 - Letnev (purple/Javi) 1 - Sardakk N'orr (black/Eck/me) Gravity Rift Snipe Round 3 end Round 4 - I forgot to take a picture cause so much stuff was going on. And it's been too long to remember ALL the details. Sardakk N'orr (black/me) managed to kick the Federation (blue) off of Mecatol through a combination of action cards, bombardment, and a ton of ground forces. I got back, gave up, and got back my Support for the Throne. I think it wound up in Mentak's (green's) hands. This time I think it was for destroying someone's Dreadnaught? Sardakk N'orr (black/me) had a massive fleet on and around Mecatol Rex when the agenda Ixthian Artifact came up. I had lots of influence but definitely not enough to win the vote. I put down 19 against, other people put 24 for. Then I played the action card to get +5 votes. Since I was the speaker, I broke ties... We rolled the die anyway as a what-if and it came up 5. WHEW! Mentak (green) snagged a poorly defended Federation (blue) world and blew up a space dock. And people also started building up their fleets.<score guess> 6 - Mentak (green/Devin) 5 - Federation of Sol (blue/Dalton) 4 - Letnev (purple/Javi) 3 - Sardakk N'orr (black/Eck/me) <pic missing> Round 5 - Lots of fleet massing! Sardakk N'orr (black/me) had nearly ALL their plastic out on the board at one point. More massive battles, Mentak (green) jumped ahead to 8 during the round, but I used the Silence of Space action card to sneak through the overly defended wormhole and snipe his homeworld. Now Mentak(green) was in a weird position. To get his homeworld back he'd have to attack me, which would lose his support for the throne... 8- Mentak (green/Devin) 6 - Federation of Sol (blue/Dalton) 6 - Letnev (purple/Javi) 5 - Sardakk N'orr (black/Eck/me) Round 5 end Round 6 - Sadakk N'orr (black/me) wound up playing Diplomacy on Mentak(green's) home system, meaning he couldn't take it back this round. He still scored a secret objective though which brought him up to 9. People tried desperately to kick Sardakk N'orr (black/me) off of Mecatol, but just couldn't do it. There was too much plastic on the board. 9 - Mentak (green/Devin) 7 - Federation of Sol (blue/Dalton) 6 - Letnev (purple/Javi) 7 - Sardakk N'orr (black/Eck/me) Round 6 end Round 7 - With a point for mecatol, and a 2 point tech objective, Sardaak N'orr(black/me) was able to clinch the victory. Had I been unable to score mid-turn, Mentak (green) would have won without owning his home system by scoring his last secret objective. The picture of the board was pretty much the same, since my first action ended the game. Final score 9 - Mentak (green/Devin) 7 - Federation of Sol (blue/Dalton) 7 - Letnev (purple/Javi) 10 - Sardakk N'orr (black/Eck/me) VICTORY!!! Final thoughts This was a long and crazy ride. I think I wound up giving my support for the throne away about 4 times? I really shouldn't have won this game, but the second half of the game lined up perfectly as far as agendas and objectives were concerned. Other people just couldn't score those big 2 point objectives and I barely managed to eek out a victory. I am now 2 for 2 in my Twilight Imperium 4th games! Wish me luck for the next game. Other Notes Here was our cool 5 player map setup. This took quite a while to balance and even though we didn't actually use it, I thought others might be interested in a balanced Twilight Imperium 5 player map. The red hexes are impassible, and the 2 trade goods were a suggestion online. I'm not sure the trade goods are necessary though. Special thanks to my daughter for helping me tweak the board. Prev Game: https://www.gamedev.net/blogs/entry/2265302-twilight-imperium-4th-edition-game-1/ Next Game: Haven't played yet...
  4. Eck

    Resource types in sci-fi 4X

    I love Master of Orion 2 for the basics. Food - used for feeding populace Production - used for building stuff/ships - produced/used by the planet it is on Research - used for technology Money - generated from taxing production and certain buildings. Useful as a less efficient floating production. Once you get that feeling pretty good you can add a smattering of strategic resources. Rare resources that give you a planet or empire wide benefit. Rich planet - bonus production. Trilithium crystals - all your ship move ranges are increased by 10%, etc. - Eck
  5. Eck

    Ray Tracing - Part 1

    This is something I've been meaning to learn for the longest time. Thanks for taking the time to write this in depth guide. I'm looking forward to the next article in the series.
  6. I finally got a chance to play Twilight Imperium 4th edition so I figured I'd do a write up. We had 5 players and it was a blast. For race selection, we used this website about a week before the game http://www.mygurps.com/TwilightImperium.html and selected 3 choices per player. Here's what it rolled up for us (underlined is what we chose): Yellow (Eck (me) ) may choose from The Clan of Saar, The Naalu Collective, or The Nekro Virus. Green (Devin) may choose from The Barony of Letnev, The Mentak Coalition, or The Winnu. Blue (Matt) may choose from The Federation of Sol, The Yssaril Tribes, or The Xxcha Kingdom. Black (Eric) may choose from The Ghosts of Creuss, The L1Z1X Mindnet, or Sardakk N'orr. Blue (Alex) may choose from The Yin Brotherhood, The Emirates of Hacan, or The Embers of Muaat. To save time, I setup the map before hand since I was hosting. I went with a 5-player symmetrical design and tried to balance out tech specialties, resources, influence, and planet types. Here's what I came up with. See the future pictures for how that red section gets essentially "cut-out" for a 5 player game. Map setup With a mostly balanced map, we rolled to see who would get first pick of starting locations. And the last person to choose was awarded the Speaker token. One other house rule we played with was the Speaker would get to pick the 6th Strategy Card. The secondary ability on the 6th card would get triggered after the Speaker activated his Strategy Card. Round 1 start And then we started playing. It was a pretty standard set of early turns where people moved out and claimed a few systems. The only thing of special note was the Mentak (Green) chose Warfare but instead of claiming more of his central pie slice, he instead claimed the contested planet between him and the Hacaan (Purple). This led to immediate border friction and posturing between the two races. Green was there first, but Purple felt pinned in behind the Gravity Rift (black hole). I feel like the Naalu (yellow) are late bloomers so I was quick to make friends with my more combat focused neighbors. Here's what we looked like after Round 1. Round 1 complete I made a deal with the L1z1x (black) player to allow me to claim the green tech specialty planet and move out of the system so he could have the bigger resource value world. The green tech specialty would allow me to get my racial tech Neuroglaive faster and make it so I could hold my own versus all those dreadnaughts. We also exchanged Ceasefires. I couldn't quite take Mecatol this round so I moved adjacent to claim that victory point and set me up for next turn. I made sure to get Sol's (blue's) permission before taking that world and gave him our border planet to solidify the peace. I also traded my racial promissory note to the Mentak which allowed him to move first in the next round. Giving him a slight edge with the coming conflict of the Hacaan's (purple's) fleets. And I bought a sabotage card from the Hacaan which helped fund the war efforts. Publicly trading for a sabotage was great since it made people less likely to play action cards against me. Round 2 Complete Round 3 was very tense. L1z1x (black) chose Imperial, but his dreads could only move 1 (at the start). I delayed my move as long as I could so he was low on tactical counters. Then when he upgraded his dreads, I activated Mecatol Rex. At this point he stated multiple times that if I did that, he would roll through my territory. But this was the same turn I got Neurogalives. I told him I was no longer afraid of his fleets, Mecatol Rex was mine, but I would not strike first. He was still low on counters so he couldn't really do anything but stew this turn. While this was going on, the Hacaan (purple) got pinned in by Mentak (green) and Sol (blue). The space cats started massing a big fleet and told the Mentak (green) player he was coming for him. Blue claimed a few more planets and a couple of points. Round 3 complete L1z1x (black) started an arms race with my peaceful Naalu (yellow), threatening me the entire time. Not much was exchanged besides words however. Black was still token starved so he couldn't attack me without crippling his own position thanks to Neurogalive. Big things were happening on the other side of the board. The Hacaan (purple) used an action card to connect Alpha and Beta wormholes to threaten the Mentak's (green's) homeworld. In response, the Mentak moved their speed 3 cruiser fleets through the Beta wormhole and took the Hacaan's homeworld. My daughter was wandering in and out of the game all day. She was in the room around this time. After the game she asked me if green attacked purple with his cruisers because she saw he could sneak through... #ParentingWin Blue started moving his fleets towards Mecatol but I made some sweet deals just to get his ceasefire. Round 4 complete The Mentak (green) counter attacked the Hacan (purple), but the space cats played skilled retreat. Then they retook their homeworld. The Federation of Sol (blue) started moving towards Hacan (purple). L1z1x (black) built up a ton of PDS and upgraded them meaning I couldn't go crazy in his backyard. The glorious Naalu (yellow/me) made a series of plays over this round to gain 5 points. Imperial - held mecatol +1 Imperial - (Public Objective) Held 6 non-home system planets +1 Secret (Action phase) - Win a space combat versus a player with the most points +1 Secret (Status Phase) - Own two faction technologies +1 Public (Status Phase) - Own two unit upgrade technologies +1 So I went from 3 points to 8 points in one round. I still had the Speaker token so I'd get first choice of strategy card, and as the Naalu I would get to act first no matter which Strategy Card I chose. Nobody could take Mecatol from me this round since I had waited so late in the turn to make my move this turn. I knew there were action cards or agendas that might be able to mess me up, but the only thing that popped up was Seeds of an Empire. Voting on that either the first player would gain a point, or the last player would gain a point. I was scared for a moment because I thought first player might lose a point. Round 5 complete We didn't bother playing out any of round 6 because I was going to choose imperial, score a point for Mecatol, and score a point for one of the objectives that they couldn't take from me. Victory Naalu (yellow/me)! Final score: The Naluu Collective - 10 The L1z1x Mindnet - 6 The Mentak Coalition - 6 The Federation of Sol - 4 The Emirates of Hacan - 3 Final Thoughts: Fourth edition is much more streamlined than 3rd. The 5 player game took 8 hours including a break in the middle for pizza. Being the Naalu and going from 3 to 8 in one turn and then winning the first action of the next turn was really impressive, but it also felt a little bit unfair. Hanging out at 3 points, people didn't feel I was a big threat so they never felt the need to stop dealing with me diplomatically. But I was also on Mecatol Rex for the entire game and nobody attacked me there once. So I don't feel too bad about winning. I liked our 6th card house rule, and I also liked the 5 player wedge cut out. Most of the others didn't like it however, because they felt like it took away too many planets. I don't think they realize that with a 6th player we'd have someone else occupying space AND we'd also have to deal with 5 blank tiles so there would be EVEN FEWER worlds. I know people had fun though because they're already asking me when I'm hosting another round. Maybe we'll play the 14 point game soon. Next Game: https://www.gamedev.net/blogs/entry/2265456-twilight-imperium-4th-edition-game-2/
  7. Eck

    Week of Awesome VI - 2018?

    Right on. I was just making sure I didn't miss it. I'm sorry it's looking like we're skipping it this year. Not sorry enough to do all the hard work myself, but still... Oh, and thanks for all the hard work you guys put in on previous years. - Eck
  8. Has there been any chat about week of Awesome VI this year? I'm trying to schedule some upcoming events for myself but I don't want to cut into Week of Awesome if I can help it. - Eck
  9. Great tips, especially "Find the fun". I wish there was a better formula for it, but mostly it's just trial and error until you finally capture it. Awesome looking game by the way.
  10. Eck

    #1 Grass and Animated Sprites introduced

    How's the DF project coming? The world needs more DF.
  11. Eck

    Tower Defence - Post Mortem

    Congratulations on finishing your jam. So many get started, but don't quite cross the finish line. I think your "What went right - #2. Get the simple version complete first, polish later." was a super smart move and good advice for others. And yeah, debugging Unity with visual studio in a windows environment is dirt simple. Breakpoints, watch windows, Callstacks, etc. It basically plugs right into Visual Studio so you get a fully functional IDE. - Eck
  12. Like everyone else has said, you probably want to use a binary format. . Like @Nypyren said using + and += on strings is horribly inefficient. If you're dead set on using strings, you have to get rid of the + and += operators and use StringBuilder instead. - Eck
  13. Eck

    Problems with starting out on linux

    Just a point of clarity, writing code for Unity is more than just being "a game scripter". It's full blown C# development. It's way more than just adjust the color of this sprite, and change the speed variable from 5 to 6. I'm only calling this out because it's how I used to think before I actually got into it myself. - Eck
  14. Eck

    Problems with starting out on linux

    I strongly disagree with this statement. Game engines like Unity and Unreal let you focus on making games and plenty of awesome games are made with them both. HBS is a Unity studio who made the more recent Shadowrun RPG's and now we're working on BATTLETECH. It is a fallacy that "real" game developers don't use game engines. - Eck
  15. You could do something like Exlated 2nd edition speed rules. Where the Speed of your action reflected how many "ticks" you had to wait before acting again. A magical fast dagger might have a speed of 3, where a massive two-handed war sledge might have a speed of 9. So a character 1 uses a dagger and has to add 3 "ticks" to his waitTicks. Character 2 uses a war sledge and adds 9 waitTicks. Tick...Tick...Tick... Character 1 now has zero waitTicks and they can act now. Character 2 now has 6 waitTicks. - Eck
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