Some general questions about the possibilities

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Starman001
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Some general questions about the possibilities

Post by Starman001 » 2014-02-15, 22:26

Hello People,

by my search for a 3d Engine for my needs I came to this place, and maybe I'm in the right place... I have a project in planning, and I need a good engine to get some serious starting...Sorry it's a bit longer text, but I want to explain good and english isn't my native language....

After a 1,5 years break, I decided to "restart" my modding mood... I've been in modding business for many years now (spending thousends of hours, i.e. I was working many years in WingCommanderSaga as CEO, modeller and game balancer ) and I would really like to start doing something "productive" again..

The thing is, for many years there is a mod in my mind, so that I can create a sequel to one of my all time favourite games : Imperium Galactica

While I somehow was not sooo happy with the second part, I still play the first till today and I just love it... Not only this 4x Game part which no (yes, NO) company has been able to do in a good way so far, but also the embedded real time part in building and fighting on the colony, this was just genius combination, and is until today unmatched...

And when no company is doing it, i want now to try doing it myself... I can do modelling, texturing, planning, organizing, game balancing and even teamleading, but what is really really missing for just getting me started, is a game engine that provides me the basics that made Imperium Galactica so special. Also my Head is full of content ideas for the game, i just need to find a "workplace". Not sure everyone even knows this game jewel, so let me explain :

What I need is :

1)Some sort of "playground" (2D is enough) for the starmap, where you can move ships arround. This should be timebased, so that time passes by why your colonies grow, research runs and so on. Realtime (but pausable, and a few time warp steps to make time flow faster. This has been seen in many games so far

2) The "ground playground", where you can switch to, and place buildings.. this doesn't even need too many features (just the basic : Building places, boundaries, terrain useable or not, some "time passing by" feature for while away the building time, money count etc and a few things to pretty it up, light effects, day/night, but the last too are just cosmetic... In this window / Playground it is not necessary that military building can fire or units move in realtime, it's just for building (and maybe unit) placing. Though animations should be possible (shows constructing of buildings over time), it makes that screen not so boring..

2a) Also needed, beside the build and research windows, is a window where you can outfit fleets (i.e. Cruiser Hull A, but replace it's weapons when researched and on stock after it is being build)...(also something special to Imperium Galactica)... This could also be 2d, but some 3d effects would be nice

Now the Vital part

3) Groundcombat Playground : The ability to create ground combat in exactly the same map (1 defined per planet), that you placed in 2)... It's not necessary (and technically must be forbidden) that in this playground you can alter the building placement or buildings somehow... But here the fight takes place, so military buildings should become somewhat fixed gun units, and units can move arround... buildings are destroyable of course, and will free up the building space for 2 again.

4) SpaceCombat Playground : This can be somewhat static for planets (1 defined per planet), but it should drag over defense units, that are build in Window 1 or 2, here a individual spawn location is not so important.. it's enough when the attacker starts at point A on the map, and the defense player and it's units start on point B.. Survivor wins, and groundcombat starts when the attacker has specific units left... It's not necessary to be 3 dimensional for flight vectors (would be really confusing), but it should be isometric with 3D Models (like in Star Wars Empire at War)

Technically, the underlying engine for 3 and 4 could be somewhat identical, despite the buildings being present in Option 3 and the groundmap needs at least obstacles which block fire and movement. Also, technical Issue 2 and 3 could be combined in the same window/programmpart, and between battle and build modes just some features are turned off (though the building window should be realtime and timebased like the starmap in issue 1)

Now, while I already mentioned it, "Star Wars Empire at War" is quite close, but afaik the engine itself has it's limit in modding. I do not want starlanes for example. But while the combat (ground and Space) and building part (especially space) is quite good, the biggest problem in that game engine is that I cannot control where I create buildings on the groundmap, and this, in combination with the realtime groundcombat is exactly what mades Imperium Galactica so special and has never been copied in a suitable way so far.

If this engine can handle this, or can be changed to this (if I find coders) , i can start doing detailed plans and create content, and when I have something substantial to show I can start modding and collecting a team.

So, what do you insiders think ? Could it be possible with this engine ?

I'm grateful for any insight tipps.
Starman
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Carsten
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Re: Some general questions about the possibilities

Post by Carsten » 2014-02-17, 00:26

Hi Starman,
welcome to the Cafu forums, :welcome:
and thank you very much for your detailed and enthusiastic post! :-)

I've read all of what you wrote, and I share your enthusiasm, but as I'm mostly concerned with the technical aspects of the Cafu Engine, it's development and details, and as I don't know the "Imperium Galactica" game that you're referring to at all, I feel that I'm not in a good position to answer your question -- much as I'd love to!

However, please have a look at our FAQ »Is Cafu right for our game of genre "..."?«. The answer there outlines the best next steps at this stage of your planned game project. :up:
Best regards,
Carsten
Starman001
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Joined:2014-02-15, 22:17

Re: Some general questions about the possibilities

Post by Starman001 » 2014-02-17, 20:41

Thank you for the welcome :up:

I already did a quick look in there, and will do a deeper one next weekend... I'm pretty sure there is not everything I need, but as long as it is makeable / codeable, It can be a road to go

Technically, what I need ( to make it much much shorter explanation :wink: ) is a good graphic engine for a isometric view (or better free zoom and rotation) on a 3d battlefield with 3d objects to create a realtime enviroment, and of course some nice effects....I'm not even expecting great light effects ;) ... The models it contains should be something between max 5K or 10K (for bigger buildings) polygons, so maybe a lod system would be helpful.

This would be the base fundament...

Second important thing would be to switch between this and some 2D screens, which should also be able contain to contain realtime objects..Technically most of the time you switch between Starmap 2D for movement and colonymap 3D for battles and building placement.

This just came into my mind : If the 3d Enviroment is possible, I think a way to achive it, is simply to lock the camera at the theoretical zenit and instead of a groundstructure there is a starbackground and no moving restrictions (hills, stones etc..)...

The rest, with the hopeful help of a coder I could dig out, breed or catch on the road, the rest of the windows certainly would be possible...

(edit) btw, I'm german too ;)
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Carsten
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Re: Some general questions about the possibilities

Post by Carsten » 2014-02-19, 18:16

Hi Starman,

thanks for the update. However, I must admit that it is still difficult for me to understand how exactly the game mechanics are supposed to work. Are there maybe some screenshots or conceptual illustrations? (If not exactly of this game, then maybe of something that is similar enough?)
Best regards,
Carsten
Starman001
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Joined:2014-02-15, 22:17

Re: Some general questions about the possibilities

Post by Starman001 » 2014-02-20, 21:34

Well, that's easy :)

The game is now pretty much abandonware, and there is one guy making a original replic with all the old graphic completly in Java... it works fine, just 2 minutes gameplay and you can understand the technic I want to achive...As I said, the important part (what no game copied until today) is that the realtime battle is taking place on the same map you placed the buildings... take a look here :

https://code.google.com/p/open-ig/

So, what I want to achive is practically the exact same gameplay, just with modern graphics (except one change : The spacebattles will be 3D too, like in Imperium Galactica 2)...
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Carsten
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Re: Some general questions about the possibilities

Post by Carsten » 2014-02-21, 16:32

Thanks, this looks very impressive!

Be aware though that the Cafu Engine, while it is certainly capable of handling the required graphics, is not natively made for a game type such as this (it was primarily made with 3D first-person simulations in mind). So despite upcoming improvements with the new component system, please be aware that almost certainly changes to the C++ code will be required, and it that takes a dedicated C++ programmer for implementing them. If I understand this right, it's not something that one can do in half an afternoon. ;-)

That being said, I'd be happy to support and assist such an effort when- and whereever I can! :up:
Best regards,
Carsten
Starman001
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Joined:2014-02-15, 22:17

Re: Some general questions about the possibilities

Post by Starman001 » 2014-02-22, 08:43

Thank your for the offer, I really appreciate that :up: There are 2 other engine possibilities, but I'm not very deep into them yet...each one has pro's and contras..

But at first I will now create a load of 3d Models and some more information. It's easier building a team when I have something to show and proof I'm serious about it.
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