September & October development progress report

I am a bit to late with my September report am I not? Well yes I am. Its because it has not been an easy September and October. I had some setbacks with the AI I was coding for Workname Empire. And putting quality above else I had to restart.

As usual i tried to make a to deep AI in the first attempt and it turned out I couldn’t manage to make it work at any reasonable speed. Like just 100 iterations for a small group of maybe 5 units already took like 20 seconds… And if I actually made the AI look into the deeper future (like a round or 3) its speed dropped to completely unacceptable. So I took a big breath and restarted, this time using an approach that will guarantee speed. Where in the previous attempts I used cloned game states of the actual game state I am now using an abstract representation of the game state. Much like the human mind probably ;)

Basically when considering its moves the AI is now in its own little world, a world that is much more simple data-wise than the real game and thus much faster. I think a speed gain of at least up to a 100 times is going to be achieved by this new approach. This will leave room to add some some optional higher AI settings for players who want to wait longer to get better results.

I have made quite some further gameplay improvements to Workname Empire as well. Longer development time has some payoffs. The most interesting thing to share is that the leader model is really starting to get a lot body. The leaders are getting a lot of personality and development opportunities now. There are four classes: Troopers, Technicals, Administrators and Barbarians. Although I am not limiting the player in their character development there is a penalty for learning skills belonging to other classes. The interplay between regular combat units and the leaders is very good and I think it will be one of the strong points of this game. In a sense this game is going where no wargame has gone before. The game will also show the player that larger forces can be overcome by smaller forces if led by able and experienced officers.

Hope to tell you all the AI is working out in my November report. Hoping to have the interface completed by x-mas.

In the meantime Decisive Campaigns 3 is also slowly progressing. I am adding some advanced new reporting functions as we speak as well as the option to take multiple choice decisions when confronted with specific issues. I am working with an as yet secret other developer on this title, if we feel comfortable in opening up to the public we will. So far so good though.

Best wishes,
Vic

Posted in Artificial Intelligence, DC3:Engine, Shadow Empire | 8 Comments

Advanced Tactics for $19.99, only this week!

ATMy publisher Matrix Games is having a special deal. You can buy Advanced Tactics Gold for only $19.99 for the duration of the week. Want to know more? hop over to Matrix Games!
The current version 2.15 includes many additions to the original release like improved AI, map generation and random officers and officer cards.

Posted in Advanced Tactics (gold) | 2 Comments

August development progress report

Hi guys. Well I’ll be able to keep this posting short. I took a few weeks of vacation with my significant other half and there is not so much to report.

There was finally after a long testing period a new gold patch for Advanced Tactics and the Decisive Campaigns series. Among others (a lot of small bug fixes) ATG has improved AI production resulting in more challenging performance and the DC Case Blue AI is now more capable in finishing off encircled units. Also the high command orders for long running games in Case Blue have been much improved and will naturally let the initiative pass from the Germans to the Soviets when the Germans get stuck in the fall/winter of 1942. Also with this patch I am quite confident all Windows7 microsoft graphics upgrade and Windows8 issues have been resolved.

On the workname Empire front I am making progress. Have the first chapter of the campaign running and working on designing the GUI for the first screen (scenario setup). Its quite a challenge to design everything so it will work well and pixel precise on big monitor screens and small tablet screens at the same time and in a diversity of resolutions.

Kind regards,
Vic

Posted in Advanced Tactics (gold), DC:Blitzkrieg, DC:Case Blue, Shadow Empire | 3 Comments

July development progress report

I finished up my initial beta build of the DC3 Engine. I am now going to test it over the coming months with one or two potential new designers who are interested in teaming up with VR Designs to make their own Decisive Campaigns games. We’ll have to see how this will be going since it is unexplored territory for me, but this might very well result in having a new Decisive Campaigns quicker than previously planned. Will keep you all posted on if this new teamwork approach is working well. It will probably be a few months before we can say if this will work out for everybody involved.

I am spending most of my time on the new mystery project “workname Empire”. This is proceeding nicely and an artdirector has just been signed on. Work on the GUI and the campaign should occupy me the coming months here. I already wrote the storyline for the first 5 scenarios (of about 18) and will now implement them first for some internal alpha testing and seeing if it works, is fun and is interesting. It was nice to do some story writing for a change, but will have to see if my internal and business partners agree here. Let’s just say that I am aiming to make the campaign an interesting blend between a wargame and an interactive story.

Furthermore I hope to soon promote the public beta’s for Warsaw To Paris, Case Blue and Advanced Tactics Gold to gold status. If you are playing one of the beta’s, especially on windows8, please report your findings here or on the Matrix Games forums.

Enjoy the summer all!

Best regards,
Vic

Posted in DC3:Engine, Game Design, Shadow Empire, Upcomming releases | Leave a comment