Author Topic: Ultima Ratio Regum - a 'strategy roguelike' in the making...  (Read 26364 times)

UltimaRatioRegum

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Hi all! Now that it's approaching a first 0.0.1 release, I thought I'd post a proper thread about my current project:

Ultima Ratio Regum is the early stages of a `strategy roguelike`. It aims to eventually be a fusion of the two genres - rather than a strategy game where you command with omniscience (even in ancient eras), you instead command as an individual character also in the game. Orders must be issued in person; you can lose contact with distant armies; but the same mechanics affect the AI players who also lack omniscience and depend upon the knowledge of situations they themselves can garner. Worlds can be generated over a vast array of sizes, climates and types, with or without mythological elements, from several different eras (and technological levels), but all ultimately with no fixed objective but a world full of civilizations and factions to be allied with or battled against. It aims for depth in character development and world events, but with much in the 'middle' - constructing buildings, city growth, resource management - abstracted out (as other games exist which handle those well).

After a year of development, URR has been released in alpha version: http://www.ultimaratioregum.co.uk/game/2012/06/11/downloads

Here's a world map:



Full size @ http://www.ultimaratioregum.co.uk/game/files/2012/02/Map.png

In-game screenshot, fighting a stunned Cyclops and then 'Look'ing at yourself:



If you're interested, you can check my weekly-updated devblog at http://www.ultimaratioregum.co.uk/game/, follow my Twitter feed at https://twitter.com/#!/UltimaRegum, or Like the FB page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ultima-Ratio-Regum/219012228145728.

I'd love to answer any questions, comments, or what have you! As I said above, I'm aiming for 0.0.1 release on the 30th of June which is primarily a demo of the world generation, mechanics like walking, swimming, climbing, jumping etc, and a little bit of combat.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2012, 11:00:25 PM by UltimaRatioRegum »

Darren Grey

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Re: Ultima Ratio Regum - a 'strategy roguelike' in the making...
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2012, 03:31:04 PM »
Looks interesting and over-ambitious.  I really hope you have the long-term determination to see this through :)  I've been following on Twitter curious as to how this will pan out.

A few quick interface points:
 - Left-adjust the combat log text.  Hard to read at the mo.
 - Colour theme the log text so it's easy to see what's going well or bad.  "You miss" should be red, "you hit" green etc.  Don't use too many colours, and keep consistent.  Problem is the log is repetitive at the moment and it's easy to miss important details.  I don't care what type of club he's wielding, I only care if he breaks my arm off.
 - Group injuries together on the status window, and don't bother saying if something is uninjured.
 - Have a little rethink on the display of grass in that second screenshot.  At the moment it's messy, and it's hard to pick out the important details.  Too much colour is the biggest problem.  Stick to a small palette of similar colours, or preferably one constant colour.  Also I'd suggest . instead of : for the symbol to make it cleaner.

For future development I would suggest focussing on the combat and in particular getting multi-unit combat fun and interesting.  The rest of the game should surround this, as this is the unique point of the game that will hopefully stand out as the fun element.  Also, it's probably more fun to code.  Jumping and climbing are far less interesting.  You won't get anyone to play your game if it's an epic jumping simulator with a side of combat  ;)

UltimaRatioRegum

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Re: Ultima Ratio Regum - a 'strategy roguelike' in the making...
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2012, 04:11:08 PM »
Looks interesting and over-ambitious.  I really hope you have the long-term determination to see this through :)  I've been following on Twitter curious as to how this will pan out.

A few quick interface points:
 - Left-adjust the combat log text.  Hard to read at the mo.
 - Colour theme the log text so it's easy to see what's going well or bad.  "You miss" should be red, "you hit" green etc.  Don't use too many colours, and keep consistent.  Problem is the log is repetitive at the moment and it's easy to miss important details.  I don't care what type of club he's wielding, I only care if he breaks my arm off.
 - Group injuries together on the status window, and don't bother saying if something is uninjured.
 - Have a little rethink on the display of grass in that second screenshot.  At the moment it's messy, and it's hard to pick out the important details.  Too much colour is the biggest problem.  Stick to a small palette of similar colours, or preferably one constant colour.  Also I'd suggest . instead of : for the symbol to make it cleaner.

For future development I would suggest focussing on the combat and in particular getting multi-unit combat fun and interesting.  The rest of the game should surround this, as this is the unique point of the game that will hopefully stand out as the fun element.  Also, it's probably more fun to code.  Jumping and climbing are far less interesting.  You won't get anyone to play your game if it's an epic jumping simulator with a side of combat  ;)

Thanks for the feedback :). To take your points in order:

- Yes, it's hugely ambitious; I've been going about a year and a bit so far, and I don't anticipate completion even remotely soon, but I'm ok with that.

- I have tried left-adjusting the log, and I find it trickier to read. I might just put in an option for it to be centred/left adjusted the player can change. EDIT: having just tried it again quickly, I'm less opposed. I might make left default after all :).

- That screenshot was a tad out of date: the colour-coding is actually very consistent, though that doesn't show it. Red is critically bad, orange is bad, yellow is neutral, light green is good, green is very good, light grey is general, and activities relating to weapons display in the appropriate colour for their status (legendary, famed, whatever). The "you cannot wield that" messages are now yellow (and only showed up so often because I was trying lots of combinations!). Red is only for attacks that do serious damage to you, so they are rare and highly noticeable. Well, rare if you aren't being mauled, anyway :).

- The combat log has also been reduced, and in 0.0.2, I intend to chop it down further to two messages per attack. As well as color-coding, they have >> for messages to do with weapons, or [ for armor, and similar other codes. The issue is that there is a lot of information to impart - being blocked, stopped by armor, damage to armor, damage to flesh, bone, etc, and that's tough to cram into a single line, but I think 2 is feasible.

- What do you mean by group? In a large battle, only messages involving you or those (friend or foe) in square adjacent to you will get messages, otherwise there would simply be far too many...

- The grass has been changed a little, but the 'Tundra' ground colours still maintain the most variation. Currently, tundra looks like this:

which I think is acceptable. With that said, a few people have requested a 'simpler' version of the ground, so I may implement that later.

I fully take your point about movement, but combat cannot be fully created until you, and the AI, can exploit the full range of movements. I don't want to fully program AI and then add climbing or swimming and have to go back and add it to every AI. That's the reason I'm focusing on UI and world generation at the moment in order to lay the ground work for the future. As the development plan on my site says, a lot of 0.0.2 goals are other general mechanics that apply to all creatures (like food, encumbrance, etc) since I don't want to produce combat in detail until everything of that sort is in. With that said, you can still fight a few creatures in 0.0.1/2, but those are going to be very few and very basic until all the factors that affect creatures have been programmed!

Your comments have encouraged me to take a new screenshot, which I've stuck above instead of the old two! So, yellow denotes the act of attacking in combat, and then subsequent messages give detail. I do intend to reduce it down to just one or two messages for every attack, regardless of how (un)successful it is, but messages with that kind of 'component' structure are something I'm going to work on for 0.0.2.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2012, 11:31:56 PM by UltimaRatioRegum »

UltimaRatioRegum

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Re: Ultima Ratio Regum - a 'strategy roguelike' in the making...
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2012, 11:36:12 PM »
Latest: despite the recommendation, a lot this week has focused on mechanics like swimming, moving with damaged or broken legs, damaged or broken arms, climbing, dragging yourself along, sneaking... anyway, more in the devblog at http://www.ultimaratioregum.co.uk/game/2012/06/18/pre-alpha-update/. I'd be interested to hear what people think about the mechanics listed in the entry re: damaged limbs and the ways they affect your speed.

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Re: Ultima Ratio Regum - a 'strategy roguelike' in the making...
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2012, 12:34:49 PM »
  Oh sweet I was wondering if this one was going anywhere. Good to see.

  Left justify might make it more readable, have to agree with Darren there.

  I love these over ambitious monsters. Lol!

UltimaRatioRegum

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Re: Ultima Ratio Regum - a 'strategy roguelike' in the making...
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2012, 10:23:56 AM »
  Oh sweet I was wondering if this one was going anywhere. Good to see.

  Left justify might make it more readable, have to agree with Darren there.

  I love these over ambitious monsters. Lol!

Thanks :) - yeah, I agree, I've left justified it now!

UltimaRatioRegum

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Re: Ultima Ratio Regum - a 'strategy roguelike' in the making...
« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2012, 12:20:10 AM »
Well, hopefully just a week until 0.0.1! In the mean time, I've stuck up some examples of the many, many kinds of worlds you can generate in the game @ http://www.ultimaratioregum.co.uk/game/2012/07/03/cartography/ , for instance, the 'ice age' pangaea below:



UltimaRatioRegum

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Re: Ultima Ratio Regum - a 'strategy roguelike' in the making...
« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2012, 12:32:34 AM »
It's just been released! Yikes. See more info @ http://www.ultimaratioregum.co.uk/game/2012/07/09/alpha-0-1-0/

requerent

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Re: Ultima Ratio Regum - a 'strategy roguelike' in the making...
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2012, 03:33:33 AM »
It's just been released! Yikes. See more info @ http://www.ultimaratioregum.co.uk/game/2012/07/09/alpha-0-1-0/

Congrats on the Alpha release!


The vast array of skills available is pretty overwhelming. I was happy to see some presets to choose from, but I would very much like to see either ADOM style or Ogre Battle character generation-- general questions about moral situations and stuff like that to generate our character. It may also be better if the skills are combined into sets-- would also be interesting if some skills aren't explicitly known to the player, but that's not remotely necessary either way.

I agree with some of the previous posts that the landscape can be a bit jarring, but it's obvious enough where trees and cliffs are. I did not, however, notice a Cyclops that blended very nicely into the terrain.

I assume the health/stats portion of the gui isn't up because we're invincible for now, correct? I love where the combat is going- only being able to hit the legs of the cyclops was pretty interesting. Will there be a variety of attack types and a combat economy revolving around stamina and stuff of that sort?

Lastly- I hit a crash shortly after running defeating the cyclops. I'm not sure what the cause was, but it happened when making a few moves after probing the full functionality of the current GUI.


Love the work put into it man- good job.

UltimaRatioRegum

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Re: Ultima Ratio Regum - a 'strategy roguelike' in the making...
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2012, 11:21:00 AM »
Congrats on the Alpha release!

The vast array of skills available is pretty overwhelming. I was happy to see some presets to choose from, but I would very much like to see either ADOM style or Ogre Battle character generation-- general questions about moral situations and stuff like that to generate our character. It may also be better if the skills are combined into sets-- would also be interesting if some skills aren't explicitly known to the player, but that's not remotely necessary either way.

I agree with some of the previous posts that the landscape can be a bit jarring, but it's obvious enough where trees and cliffs are. I did not, however, notice a Cyclops that blended very nicely into the terrain.

I assume the health/stats portion of the gui isn't up because we're invincible for now, correct? I love where the combat is going- only being able to hit the legs of the cyclops was pretty interesting. Will there be a variety of attack types and a combat economy revolving around stamina and stuff of that sort?

Lastly- I hit a crash shortly after running defeating the cyclops. I'm not sure what the cause was, but it happened when making a few moves after probing the full functionality of the current GUI.


Love the work put into it man- good job.

Firstly, thanks a lot for the positive feedback and comments! Specifics:

Skills are going to be changing significantly for 0.2.0, into a skill tree, effectively, and not all will be explicit or visible or similar from the start. It will make the origin of skills, damage etc much more explicit, and will also be more interesting, and have lots of if/or choices.

Yeah, creatures blending in and being hidden is a problem I need to think about a solution to. I'm considering simply inverting creatures and items, so they show up as a colored background and black foreground. Trying it out at the moment and seeing how it looks.

Ah, no, you're not invincible - use 'l' to Look, and then examine yourself. However, body parts and so on are going to change along with combat and skills for 0.2.0, so that's still in flux.

Do you have the log for the crash? :)

requerent

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Re: Ultima Ratio Regum - a 'strategy roguelike' in the making...
« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2012, 08:20:43 PM »
Depends on where the log dumps to-- there is a data file for the character I was playing (it's filled with gobbledygook), but otherwise I don't see a log file.

EDIT:

I ran it again and got another crash. No log file but I did get a runtime error.

Code: [Select]
src/console_c.c
Line 220
dat != ((void *)0) && (unsigned)(x) < (unsigned)dat-> w && (unsigned)(y) < (unsigned) dat->h

Occurred the first couple moves after walking in a newly loaded area. It occurs regularly.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2012, 08:30:21 PM by requerent »

UltimaRatioRegum

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Re: Ultima Ratio Regum - a 'strategy roguelike' in the making...
« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2012, 01:18:42 PM »
Depends on where the log dumps to-- there is a data file for the character I was playing (it's filled with gobbledygook), but otherwise I don't see a log file.

EDIT:

I ran it again and got another crash. No log file but I did get a runtime error.

Code: [Select]
src/console_c.c
Line 220
dat != ((void *)0) && (unsigned)(x) < (unsigned)dat-> w && (unsigned)(y) < (unsigned) dat->h

Occurred the first couple moves after walking in a newly loaded area. It occurs regularly.

Yep, I know about this one, and it'll be fixed for 0.1.3 on Monday :)

UltimaRatioRegum

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Re: Ultima Ratio Regum - a 'strategy roguelike' in the making...
« Reply #12 on: August 06, 2012, 09:38:34 PM »
Just posted a big entry on ideas and theory and concepts for the development of URR. Lots of ideas. I want to know your ideas about my ideas!

http://www.ultimaratioregum.co.uk/game/2012/08/06/brainstorming/

ALSO, A TEASER IMAGE.

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Re: Ultima Ratio Regum - a 'strategy roguelike' in the making...
« Reply #13 on: August 06, 2012, 10:21:11 PM »
All 5 options seems to have a solid enough foundation to tinker with----definitely stay away from the Slider hell/Spreadsheet syndrome that the 4X games can do without, perhaps look more into Grand Strategy games both western and eastern in origin?
Brian Emre Jeffears
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UltimaRatioRegum

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Re: Ultima Ratio Regum - a 'strategy roguelike' in the making...
« Reply #14 on: August 07, 2012, 10:17:51 AM »
All 5 options seems to have a solid enough foundation to tinker with----definitely stay away from the Slider hell/Spreadsheet syndrome that the 4X games can do without, perhaps look more into Grand Strategy games both western and eastern in origin?

Interesting; what kind of games do you have in mind?