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New game in development

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Announcing a new game for the Atari 8 bit computer line!

 

Influence

 

Influence is a single player RTS (real time strategy) game in two major parts. In the first part, you use a very large scrolling playfield (256 x 48) to explore and develop a number of plots or tiles. On each tile you can build a Village, Farm, Factory and a Mine. Depending upon natural features available on the plot, you can also build roads, power stations and resorts. Although the wealth produced in each tile is added to the player total, each tile needs to be managed individually to maintain its productivity. As well as the production elements mentioned above, each tile can contain a population of inhabitants. The more people that live on a given tile, the better its production will be. Of course, the people need to be fed and kept happy. Unhappy people turn hostile, continue to eat but do not contribute to production. Adjusting tax rates can increase production at the risk of alienating more people.

At the same time as you the player are managing your tiles, the opponent is busy doing the same at the opposite side of the playfield. At some point the two sides will meet and the second part of the game will begin.

 

War!

 

Once on a war footing, your production will change to the creation of armaments. When you military is strong enough, you will have the ability to attack nearby tiles to either destroy the enemy outright or to take over their production. From here on in it will be a ruthless struggle for survival.

 

The playfield consists of 96 separate tiles, is controlled by a combination of joystick and keyboard (mostly joystick) and will run on an unmodified Atari 400/800/XL/XE with at least 48K and a disk drive.

 

http://youtu.be/hBmHZgkS5Ho

 

As per the video, the first part of the game is mostly done (although I think I have a lot of balancing to do – right now it seems a bit easy). The good news is that the program code currently runs to just under 10K and given the Quick 20K application space, I think I will have more than enough room to finish the program properly. Although I seem to be spending variables like a drunken sailor… :)

 

Please note graphics and colours are still very preliminary!

 

 

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Nice one, not an RTS person but its great to see new games on this fine machine..

 

Thank you!

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Looks interesting. Concept looks similar to Mega-lo-mania with its islands and numbers representing all kinds of stuff.

Cool! Looking forward to testing it!

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Are you planning on releasing it for play testing? I have some preliminary ideas that could improve gameplay but that all depends on if your going to release a version for further investigation AND you're interested in that kind of feedback.

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Thanks for everyone's feedback - I will (try to) release a version this weekend for interested people to play around with - I'm currently trying to smooth the rough edges from the interface and get the production side of the game working properly. Once that's done, the war portion promises to be a lot of fun (to program at least - hopefully fun to play as well!)

 

At this point I'm planning to distribute the game via a (free) digital release. I may produce a very limited run of boxed copies if there is any interest, but that task is such a colossal pain in the butt I really hesitate to get involved again. :-)

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OK, life intruded and I wasn't able to have this ready for the weekend, but here it is now!

 

Please note that the game is not complete. Exploration and production are in (although they will need balancing). Natural disasters, War, Armaments and Fighting are still to be implemented. The manual is also a work in progress. I would really appreciate any feedback that people have!

 

 

thank you!

 

post-11281-0-51254100-1433197423_thumb.png

 

Influence Development Version 1.atr

Influence Manual.pdf

 

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So, I got a chance to check out your game demo and I have to say it looks pretty good. At first, I was wondering if I would like the cursor but after playing with it I didn't feel it inhibited my movement.

The menu works very well. One thing I think might be worth trying out is when you're in a categories sub menu, allow the player to move the cursor back to the main menu from any category in the sub menu. It seem that you can only go back the the main menu when you in the upper left sub-menu option. Of course, I say TRY because I suspect allow to move to the parent menu from any sub-menu on the left side might make it difficult to confine the menu cursor to those sub-menu options.
I've attached a photo showing what I mean. The green arrow is the current path to the main menu from the sub-menu. The orange arrow show an additional path to the main menu that is currently not available. All left side sub-menu items would allow this path of access to the main menu.

post-27496-0-19018100-1433576743_thumb.png

I know it's not much but that's a good thing. I think you've really got a solid start to a game here. Nice work. Props.

 

 

 

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So, I got a chance to check out your game demo and I have to say it looks pretty good. At first, I was wondering if I would like the cursor but after playing with it I didn't feel it inhibited my movement.

The menu works very well. One thing I think might be worth trying out is when you're in a categories sub menu, allow the player to move the cursor back to the main menu from any category in the sub menu. It seem that you can only go back the the main menu when you in the upper left sub-menu option. Of course, I say TRY because I suspect allow to move to the parent menu from any sub-menu on the left side might make it difficult to confine the menu cursor to those sub-menu options.

I've attached a photo showing what I mean. The green arrow is the current path to the main menu from the sub-menu. The orange arrow show an additional path to the main menu that is currently not available. All left side sub-menu items would allow this path of access to the main menu.

attachicon.gifCropperCapture9.png

I know it's not much but that's a good thing. I think you've really got a solid start to a game here. Nice work. Props.

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks very much for the feedback Justin - much appreciated! I originally had mouse control for the game, but it was slow and didn't really buy me anything and I switched it back to joystick - the cursor is a holdover from the mouse period.

 

I should try to post a new version in the next few days - I have the war engine going (at least on the player side - and lots of rough edges at that!) The AI war-mode will need lot of work, I was about to get into it, but (temporarily I hope) lost interest in the project. Right now "Squirrel" is more interesting. I think having three active projects may have been a mistake. :)

 

Interesting point about the menu - I did initially have the menu structured the way you described, but I thought it might be confusing to the user to have the menu jump to another page when moving left and right instead of just up and down. I'll re-implement that and you can let me know.

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I the mouse routine really mucking it up that bad? I thought someone finally licked that and came up with a routine that doesn't eat up so much any more...

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You have to sample the mouse at about 800Hz for it to move fluidly, using a DLI or timer IRQ. If you're prepared to take complete control of the interrupt vectors (OS timer dispatch is slow), using a timer isn't all that costly.

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Although a mouse would be a cool feature, joystick navigation is probably your best choice since it is the default navigation devices for gaming.. I envision tiles getting a border. By moving the stick in a direction, that adjacent tile would then get selected. Pressing the fire button brings up the menu that you also navigate using the stick. If you are able to add mouse, hotkeys or context menus would be a good addition but that's all gravy

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You have to sample the mouse at about 800Hz for it to move fluidly, using a DLI or timer IRQ. If you're prepared to take complete control of the interrupt vectors (OS timer dispatch is slow), using a timer isn't all that costly.

No sure I have that much control using Quick (probably do) - I was using the built in mouse command for this project. I do have a Diablo type game on my to-do list and fast mouse movement would be crucial - I'll have a look at implementing it from scratch...

 

 

Although a mouse would be a cool feature, joystick navigation is probably your best choice since it is the default navigation devices for gaming.. I envision tiles getting a border. By moving the stick in a direction, that adjacent tile would then get selected. Pressing the fire button brings up the menu that you also navigate using the stick. If you are able to add mouse, hotkeys or context menus would be a good addition but that's all gravy

I was thinking about a border but didn't have enough spare characters. It occurs to me that I could probably use a couple of missiles in a "[ ]" configuration to highlight the active tile ... I'll add it to the list.

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OK, quick update

 

Includes War (when the enemy encounters one of your tiles), the ability to create armaments, the ability to attack an adjoining tile, and of course the enemy's ability to do the same. Still very rough! I'll be out of town for a few days so I thought I'd post this now, if I have time to work on it while away, you can expect a more polished version.

 

Influence.atr

 

And just for a laugh, the current source code INSRC.TXT

 

 

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