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Star Ruler

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DarkOne
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That is a good rating since in the beginning of your post you said it was mainly unpolished. I did read in their forums that Blind Melon had to release Star Ruler a bit earlier than expected because they simply ran out of money and need people to buy the game to continue to develop against it. It is a shame indie devs run into this problem, but as long as Star Ruler really embraces the modding community it should grow and the modders can help fix the game to make it close to perfect 🙂

There any other plans for distribution?


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Braindead
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As far as I know there's only going to be digital distribution (D2D and Gamersgate), but don't hold it against me if they bring it out on discs.

On another note, patch 3 is already in the making, and this ads planetary queue loading and saving, together with a couple of UI improvements. That's 3 patches in less hen 2 weeks, which is a good thing and a bad thing. As you said Darkone, they did bring it out before it was ready, but they are doing all they can to bring it up to par.

EDIT: MODding is important:

Quote:
From the beginning, Star Ruler was designed to be accessible to modders. In this article, we'll explore the impact of that choice from two perspectives: impact of modability on development, and the advantages modability brings to the end users.

It was an early choice to design Star Ruler with support for modifications, as that's how I personally got most interested in game design and development, and I wanted to give that opportunity to people that are just becoming exposed to game development. This choice has had significant impact on the rest of the design process, both positively and negatively, although the positives vastly outweigh the negatives.

Starting with the negative side of mod support, everything in our engine will be exposed to circumstances far beyond what any of us can envision, requiring code which is resilient to all sorts of input errors as well as other strange things that modding may cause. We don't know that ships will always leave a system under their own power, or that planets always need people, or that stars will be stationary. Many of the shortcuts that could have become available without support for modding simply aren't options.

Additionally, we have extra difficulty in designing the user interface as we try to balance design complexity on our end with support for things modders (or even we) may make use of, thereby saving time for modders whom won't have the same difficulty during their development.

On the other hand, these design requirements have also benefited us as we got farther along in the development, because the engine already supports things we didn't even know we would eventually be adding, and allows us to very rapidly code things that had already been planned, as well as quickly and easily change many elements of the game.

Looking back at the decision to support modification, I'd make the same choice. While supporting that decision has made development more difficult, the extra difficulty truly comes from programming the engine in a way that is far easier to maintain as time passes, and the design requirements limit the times where a quick solution wins out over a long term solution.

Star Ruler from a Modder's Perspective

Star Ruler's modding starts with its data files. These files are in a plain text format, so any text editor with the ability to export plain text works. Data files consist of Key:Value pairs as an attempt to maximize both human and machine readability. Each data file specifies base data, or a relationship between the base data and the mechanics of the game. Here's an example of a Sub System definition.

Name: "Standard Hull"

Description: "Standard hulls provide the necessary support structure to equip components, and some moderate damage resistance. They provide a middle ground between strength and speed."

Appearance: MediumHull

Tags: IgnoresScale, Hull

Available: Techs.ShipConstruction.Level > 0

Level: floor(Techs.ShipConstruction.Level)

Size: Object.Size

Durability: Size * progress(20,0.5,Level)

Mass: Size * 20

Costs: Metals[100 + 50 * Size], Electronics[50 + 10 * Size], AdvParts[20 + 4 * Size]

Provides: DestructsShip

All the blue text is the keys, and the remainder of a line is interpreted based on the key. All the mathematical expressions are evaluated via algebraic order of operations whenever an instance of the Sub System is created. The Provides line adds gameplay effects, specified elsewhere, to the Sub System, optionally with variables that define the effect's behavior. Also of importance is the costs, which can be named anything – adding a new resource is as simple as referencing one that doesn't already exist – which ties into the more general system of object states.

For non-data files, we use the C++ style scripting language AngelScript. This language is used for the GUI, custom effects system, and AI, and it may be expanded elsewhere in the future. A great deal of the engine is exposed in this language, and very little is impossible to do. While learning this language gives a modder far more power to create his or her vision, plenty of modding can still take place in the data files, or by editing clearly described variables within the code files.

To make mod creation as easy as possible, mods can make use of as much of the base game – or any mod – as they chose, overriding parts as the creator sees fit. We also plan to support meta-mods, which could function independent of the base mod (e.g. a new GUI window), or act as options or small modifications to larger mods.

^-- Found here


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Firgof
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Unfortunately, we didn't have much of a choice on when to release the game. If it was our choice, it wouldn't have released until everything was in, tested, and as bug-free as we could get it. As it was, it was either release the game or cancel the project. I was already calling favors in to pay the bills, Reaper had no more money saved up that he could give me; if either of us got a job it would've slowed progress on the project to, compared to our current speeds, effectively a halt.

We are doing everything in our power to get the game up to where it should have been when it launched. We've recently brought on a member from the forums into our dev-team and that has accelerated our ability to work and we're not above paying modders for their content if the content jives well with what we wanted for the game. We're going to keep patching and adding features at about this pace for as long as we can sustain it. Hopefully, everyone's faith in us will be rewarded with a highly polished milestone in the 4X genre in due time. At the moment, we're looking at about 5~ months of continued development before the studio must shut down, but we haven't even reached the end of the month yet in sales.


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Braindead
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I have absolute faith in the fact that this will turn out to be a great 4x game. That's why I bought the game without thinking twice.

If my monetary contribution will help but food in bellies then I'm glad to provide it. This is also the main reason why I favor putting my money in indie hands instead of the big evil MegaCorps. (well, Blizzard excepted, damn you SC2, and damn you D3 when you finally come out)


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bcasner
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For those of us new to 4x games like this a good tutorial is necessary, unfortunitly the one with Star Ruler leaves a lot to be desired. The game is overwhelming. If someone could suggest a 10 turn walkthrough it'd be really apprecitated.


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DarkOne
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The latest release trailer... this is better than the original.


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DarkOne
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Looks like Blind Melon Studios released a Star Ruler demo...! Make sure you post your thoughts.

Go and try it out from here: http://starruler.blind-mind.com/files/SR_DEMO_v1012.exe


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Braindead
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For those of you doubting to buy this game, it's now 20% of at GamersGate, find it here

They are also still steadily patching the game and adding new functions all the time. Patch 1.0.1.4 is in the works ATM.


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Braindead
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The creators of this game did a Q&A with the guys from the Manapool site here

edit: Review at the same site here


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s2odan
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The game is getting quite good now but its still a ways off. I would guess by early next year, providing it continues down its current course the game will be amazing.


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Stardreamer
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s20dan wrote:
The game is getting quite good now but its still a ways off. I would guess by early next year, providing it continues down its current course the game will be amazing.

I'd promised to do a review of the thing but testing it a day or two after release just broke my heart - it certainly wasn't the game we'd been promised. However, since then there's been an absolute blizzard of patches - is is ten of them, or something equally crazy like that? - which have done wonders to the basic game. I anticipate great things in this game's future.

On the other hand. the game plays so unlike anything I've eve tried before that I'm having difficulty getting used to everything! I keep looking for a 'Next Turn' button! 😀 Not sure how I feel about the mass amounts of ships I keep seeing, either. And that design screen...clearly I've got lots of learning to do! 😕


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s2odan
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The latest unreleased patch is looking like it will be very nice:

Quote:
[Added] Arrrr! Pirates will now periodically raid systems with lots of resources but no defenses.

[Added] Ships without engines (i.e. stations) now orbit the planets that created them.

[Added] Added basic interface to choose empire settings when a game starts.

Probably out sometime in the week as these guys release patches nice and quick.


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TranZen
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Latest patch v1.0.5.0 released, it's what we've been waiting impatiently for! 🙂

http://forums.blind-mind.com/index.php?topic=2668.0


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BonitaLeche
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I got sick this last weekend requiring me to stay home for the next week so i bought this game. First i want to say that it is really a game i like and has much more potential then any other game i can think of (except for maybe minecraft). However i do agree the learning curve is high.

A few things i would add or change

    Quick Que for systems or even all your planets

    Also show what is in que in that system

    And the in game wiki linked to the research tree.

    A hot key list. I know there is one in the settings but it does not have U in it and i would imagine more.

    Also U only opens the fleet list but does not close it.

Thanks for what you guys are doing i know how hard this really is keep it up and try to stay in business.

I only added it here because Firgof is active here. But it is also here

http://forums.blind-mind.com/index.php?topic=2704.0


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Pinback
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Star ruler has physical box release date of 16 September 2011 from the space sim friendly publisher iceberg.

http://www.iceberg-interactive.com/news ... bshop.html


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