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Comparison with CIV?

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Goodaye,

Looks interesting but I'm somewhat confused as to what aspects differentiate it with the Civilisation series?

I already have CIV IV however I'm open minded to alternatives. Can anyone point out some differences?

Also is the game aimed purely at the Multiplayer market or will it come with a decent AI?

Thanks in advance,

Plugger

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I don't know CIV so I can't comment on the comparison, but regarding the AI: while the game has very strong multiplayer functions built-in to the game (such as an in-game lobby with chat, matchmaking lobby, in-game trading functions etc.) and each map can be played by several players at the same time (I forget how many, 8?), there is also a very decent AI which allows you to play alone against one or more computer opponents (and you can mix, too - you can have several humans and several AI opponents at the same time). There are three AI levels: weak, intermediate and strong. The last one, which is fairly aggressive and doesn't shy away from declaring war on you and hunting down your assets makes for pretty good play. Of course nothing beats playing against another human, but in EoS the AI is a real alternative.

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Looks interesting but I'm somewhat confused as to what aspects differentiate it with the Civilisation series?

EoS focuses more on combat than Civilization does. It starts out players at a technology level approximately around the year 1900 and moves into the early 21st century. It has multiplayer (LAN or internet), single player, voice-chat, resources (oil, iron, food, gold), and various options for cooperative play (like being able to show your map to other players, team win, etc). In addition to the random map generator, it a map and scenario editor (so you can create your own maps), and a rules editor (so you can create your own rules). And, the game has a built-in file uploader/downloader. If you create a cool world map / scenario / or ruleset, you can upload it for everyone. And you can download the stuff that other people create.

Also is the game aimed purely at the Multiplayer market or will it come with a decent AI?

It has both multiplayer and single-player modes. I'm working on making the AI as good as possible.

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Goodaye,

O.K, thanks for the replies. I'll be keeping a close eye on this one.

An AAR - if possible at this stage in development - would be a good way of giving people an overview.

Cheers,

Plugger

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Civ - I have just become re-acquainted with it after 20 years - mainly as some friends play it and we are therefore multiplaying CIV 3 Conquests on LAN.

It is a great time waster ...... What I do find annoying is the characterised nations which my friends prefer playing with. You know the scenario you are alone on the island but your nation has no interest in seafaring - like totally realistic Doh!. Last time I played I could safely to the next land by 1700. Bah!

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Well, the main reason I gave up Civ was the completely unsatisfying combat system. Since Firaxis had to design combat such that it worked the same in all eras, there's no unique "flavor" to warfare in any given time period, and it is all one bland goopy mess which bores the living hell out of me. We'll see how EoS handles it.

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Its funny but the combat in Empire was very simple but it worked with rest of the game very well.

In some ways Empire Deluxe add extra layers of complication without really improving it that much. Still my memories are a little hazy after all these years : )

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Iv'e have been an EMPIRE Fan for quite a while, & alway's will be one!,...i wished that they had an updated game for the present Windows System's!.

Anyhoo!,..."Empires of Steel"...will just have to take over that honor now!.

***True!,...EMPIRE was no 'Mind-Boggling' Complex_Military Strategy Game!...But!!!...it was just so much fun!,...rarely boring!. ***

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This game really looks great.

Will for sure buy it when its released!

During 2003-2008 I made some scenarios for Civ 3

including World War 2 Global.

My questions are:

How large maps will there be in Empires of Steel compared to Civ 3?

What will be the maximum number of units one can have in play at

a given time?

Will there be an editor?

Rocoteh

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I'll leave the first two questions to Brit when he's around, but regarding the last one: yes, there is an editor, and not only that - user created content is encouraged not only for maps but for complete unit sets, and there is an in-game mod download facility where people can share (upload/download/rate) their stuff without even leaving the game.

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I'll leave the first two questions to Brit when he's around, but regarding the last one: yes, there is an editor, and not only that - user created content is encouraged not only for maps but for complete unit sets, and there is an in-game mod download facility where people can share (upload/download/rate) their stuff without even leaving the game.

Sounds great.

Thank you for the info.

Rocoteh

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Iv'e have been an EMPIRE Fan for quite a while, & alway's will be one!,...i wished that they had an updated game for the present Windows System's!.

Anyhoo!,..."Empires of Steel"...will just have to take over that honor now!.

***True!,...EMPIRE was no 'Mind-Boggling' Complex_Military Strategy Game!...But!!!...it was just so much fun!,...rarely boring!. ***

There is an update, take a look at killerbeesoftware for an up to date version of Empire.

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How large maps will there be in Empires of Steel compared to Civ 3?

Hmmm. I'll have to double-check the Civ 3 map size in order to do a comparison, but the map size in EOS is upto 3200x3200 pixels.

What will be the maximum number of units one can have in play at a given time?

There is no absolute limit, but players have to supply their military with oil and food.

Will there be an editor?

Yup, as Moon mentioned, there's a map/scenario editor and a rules editor. (The difference between maps and scenarios is this: maps contain geography, cities, resources, airfields, and start points. But, scenarios allow you to define which nations are on the map, what they control at the beginning of the game (i.e. cities, resources, units), and which technologies each player begins the game with.)

There's also a built-in system for sharing your maps/scenarios/rules with other people (they get uploaded to our server).

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Goodaye,

I understand that you have a more sophisticated resource system than CIV in that the resources you own provide 'x' quantity per turn which is then utilised by your armed forces as opposed to CIV's model of simply linking resources to your cities.

So do you have to link resources (eg. rail net / port to port) in EoS to your cities or is simply owning a mine / oil field etc sufficient in order for them to be utilised?

Is it possible (assuming yes to the above question) to cut off an enemy city from it's resource base by surrounding it or blockading it, for example?

Taking this one step further (it's just a step to the left, then a step to the right...) is it possible for units to be cut off from their supply/resource net (and suffer detrimental effects) if they can't trace a path back to a friendly city?

Cheers,

Plugger

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Hmmm. I'll have to double-check the Civ 3 map size in order to do a comparison, but the map size in EOS is upto 3200x3200 pixels.

There is no absolute limit, but players have to supply their military with oil and food.

Yup, as Moon mentioned, there's a map/scenario editor and a rules editor. (The difference between maps and scenarios is this: maps contain geography, cities, resources, airfields, and start points. But, scenarios allow you to define which nations are on the map, what they control at the beginning of the game (i.e. cities, resources, units), and which technologies each player begins the game with.)

There's also a built-in system for sharing your maps/scenarios/rules with other people (they get uploaded to our server).

Sounds very good.

Thank you for the info.

There are many "homeless" Civ 3 players frustrated with Civ 4.

I think these people will be interested in Empires of Steel.

Rocoteh

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user created content is encouraged not only for maps but for complete unit sets, and there is an in-game mod download facility where people can share (upload/download/rate) their stuff without even leaving the game.

Is it possible to explain what system you are using for unit graphics? Are they 3D graphics or is it a sprite system? Will it be possible to upgrade any graphic used in the game including the interface?

I do allot of work with Photoshop and Illustrator and am just starting to delve into the 3D realm.

There are many "homeless" Civ 3 players frustrated with Civ 4.

I think these people will be interested in Empires of Steel.

Rocoteh

Another disgruntled Civ player looking for a good alternative here also.

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So do you have to link resources (eg. rail net / port to port) in EoS to your cities or is simply owning a mine / oil field etc sufficient in order for them to be utilised?

The latter. The game doesn't require roads or freighters or anything like that. When you own it, the resource goes into your resource pool. I had thought about handling that differently, but was worried about making players manage too many things.

Is it possible (assuming yes to the above question) to cut off an enemy city from it's resource base by surrounding it or blockading it, for example?

Historically, this is a strategy that worked. I didn't implement this, however, because I was afraid of requiring too much micro-management.

Taking this one step further (it's just a step to the left, then a step to the right...) is it possible for units to be cut off from their supply/resource net (and suffer detrimental effects) if they can't trace a path back to a friendly city?

Unfortunately, no. Units cannot be cut-off geographically from their resource pool.

There are many "homeless" Civ 3 players frustrated with Civ 4.

I think these people will be interested in Empires of Steel.

Yeah, I played Civ3 quite a bit. I got the demo for Civ4, but never played it more than the 100 turns (or whatever the limit is on the Civ4 Demo), and was never interested enough in it to buy. I've heard other people say that Civ4 wasn't a good followup to Civ3.

Is it possible to explain what system you are using for unit graphics? Are they 3D graphics or is it a sprite system? Will it be possible to upgrade any graphic used in the game including the interface? I do allot of work with Photoshop and Illustrator and am just starting to delve into the 3D realm.

It uses a sprite system (24-bit RGB + 8-bit Alpha). The sprites are rendered from 3d models*. Units have 16 rotations, some have movement animations (like infantry walking), and combat animations. I thought about opening up the graphics system so other people can add new unit images/animations. That could be done through the same system that I use for downloading/uploading maps/scenarios/rules. I had done some initial work on this, but there are no plans to have this available at release. (I could potentially open it up post-release.) There are some image/sound management issues involved that I have to get resolved. (Presumably users would want to add sounds as well as images, since units make sounds.)

Some of the complications: if someone added an image/animation to the game, it would be used in a new ruleset. The ruleset would have to remember what images/animations it uses. Then, whenever users downloaded a ruleset, it would have to download the associated images/animations/sounds as well. The system would have to avoid overwriting existing images, and would need to remember its dependencies. The whole thing can get rather complicated in terms of remembering dependencies. So, what I'm saying is that opening up the image/sound system in the game isn't quite as easy as simply "opening it up" - which is why that functionality won't be included in the initial release.

* I found that I could pack a lot more detail into sprites than using full 3d. With sprites, I could do 8-bit Alpha and sub-pixel details (admittedly, this is approximated by using 3D anti-aliasing). I could also put subtle outlines around units that made them more visible, and add some "increase sharpness" post-processing to the rendered images that made the images better defined.

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Assume you want to make a WW1 or WW2 scenario for

Empires of Steel.

Can you then have some nations starting in locked alliances

and other nations joining an alliance after x number of turns?

The latter is not possible in Civ 3 and that creates severe problems.

Rocoteh

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It uses a sprite system (24-bit RGB + 8-bit Alpha). The sprites are rendered from 3d models*. Units have 16 rotations, some have movement animations (like infantry walking), and combat animations. I thought about opening up the graphics system so other people can add new unit images/animations. That could be done through the same system that I use for downloading/uploading maps/scenarios/rules. I had done some initial work on this, but there are no plans to have this available at release. (I could potentially open it up post-release.) There are some image/sound management issues involved that I have to get resolved. (Presumably users would want to add sounds as well as images, since units make sounds.)

Some of the complications: if someone added an image/animation to the game, it would be used in a new ruleset. The ruleset would have to remember what images/animations it uses. Then, whenever users downloaded a ruleset, it would have to download the associated images/animations/sounds as well. The system would have to avoid overwriting existing images, and would need to remember its dependencies. The whole thing can get rather complicated in terms of remembering dependencies. So, what I'm saying is that opening up the image/sound system in the game isn't quite as easy as simply "opening it up" - which is why that functionality won't be included in the initial release.

* I found that I could pack a lot more detail into sprites than using full 3d. With sprites, I could do 8-bit Alpha and sub-pixel details (admittedly, this is approximated by using 3D anti-aliasing). I could also put subtle outlines around units that made them more visible, and add some "increase sharpness" post-processing to the rendered images that made the images better defined.

Hello, here is another player of Civ 3, who is very dissapointed about Civ 4 and the way the Civ series is going now.

May be the following link can be of some interest for you:

http://apolyton.net/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=169829&perpage=30&pagenumber=2

In that thread I transformed a couple of animated Civ 3 units to animated 24 Bit-BMP-Sprites for "Civ 2 ToT" by using a simple tool, that the modder Mercator offered to the Civ 2 community for free. There are thousands of animated high-class units for Civ 3, that can be used for free by modders (so not for the first commercial release of that game). I was able to do this so only beeing a normal gamer and no graphics artist.

May be you should consider about a simple feature to allow modders to introduce graphics from Civ 3 to this game.

And you should use better terrain graphics.

post-29811-141867621048_thumb.gif

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It uses a sprite system (24-bit RGB + 8-bit Alpha). The sprites are rendered from 3d models*. Units have 16 rotations, some have movement animations (like infantry walking), and combat animations. I thought about opening up the graphics system so other people can add new unit images/animations. That could be done through the same system that I use for downloading/uploading maps/scenarios/rules. I had done some initial work on this, but there are no plans to have this available at release. (I could potentially open it up post-release.) There are some image/sound management issues involved that I have to get resolved. (Presumably users would want to add sounds as well as images, since units make sounds.)

Some of the complications: if someone added an image/animation to the game, it would be used in a new ruleset. The ruleset would have to remember what images/animations it uses. Then, whenever users downloaded a ruleset, it would have to download the associated images/animations/sounds as well. The system would have to avoid overwriting existing images, and would need to remember its dependencies. The whole thing can get rather complicated in terms of remembering dependencies. So, what I'm saying is that opening up the image/sound system in the game isn't quite as easy as simply "opening it up" - which is why that functionality won't be included in the initial release.

* I found that I could pack a lot more detail into sprites than using full 3d. With sprites, I could do 8-bit Alpha and sub-pixel details (admittedly, this is approximated by using 3D anti-aliasing). I could also put subtle outlines around units that made them more visible, and add some "increase sharpness" post-processing to the rendered images that made the images better defined.

I am surprised you did not use Windows XP supported 32-bit bitmaps with 8 bit alpha. Some of the benefits of using 32-bit glyphs. It's possible to create special effects such as semi-transparent regions that partially show the background behind. It also improves the look of inactive or "Grayed" toolbar buttons as these can be given a degree of transparency to mix them with the color of the toolbar. However I am glad you decided to use a sprite system since I feel for a strategy game there is no real benefit of using 3D graphics unless you need extreme zoom functions and rendering each 3D model taxes the processor. Also as you stated the level of detail is better and you can use high polygon count models to render the static images used rather than relying upon textures to hide flaws in low poly models.

On the rules set's wouldn't it make more sense to have a separate folder contained in the main program folders for added content to be stored so that there could be no possibility of overwriting the original files? I really think allowing the functionality of being able to create and add new units would be a huge selling point for the game. Modding games is extremely popular and hard core gamers look for as much function in that area as they can find.

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Assume you want to make a WW1 or WW2 scenario for Empires of Steel.

Yeah, it would be nice.

Can you then have some nations starting in locked alliances

Yes, you can setup foreign relations in the scenario editor. (On a related note, the game also allows for "team wins" - so, if a world-war 2 scenario involved five different players, then the Axis or Allies "team" can win the game together - which is different than the normal "last player on the map" type of a game.)

and other nations joining an alliance after x number of turns?

The latter is not possible in Civ 3 and that creates severe problems.

Unfortunately, the scenario editor isn't that sophisticated. That sounds like a good idea, and it's not something that would be infeasible to add to the editor.

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May be the following link can be of some interest for you:

http://apolyton.net/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=169829&perpage=30&pagenumber=2

You're talking about all the user-built unit images? They look really nice. (You're making me want to get an image/animation download system running now.)

In that thread I transformed a couple of animated Civ 3 units to animated 24 Bit-BMP-Sprites for "Civ 2 ToT" by using a simple tool, that the modder Mercator offered to the Civ 2 community for free. There are thousands of animated high-class units for Civ 3, that can be used for free by modders (so not for the first commercial release of that game). I was able to do this so only beeing a normal gamer and no graphics artist.

May be you should consider about a simple feature to allow modders to introduce graphics from Civ 3 to this game.

Well, if the original artist has released them into the public, that sounds like a good idea. (I assume you're talking about images/animations originally created by modders for Civ3. Images created by Firaxis for Civ3 - well, there might be some legal problems with using that stuff.)

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I am surprised you did not use Windows XP supported 32-bit bitmaps with 8 bit alpha. Some of the benefits of using 32-bit glyphs. It's possible to create special effects such as semi-transparent regions that partially show the background behind. It also improves the look of inactive or "Grayed" toolbar buttons as these can be given a degree of transparency to mix them with the color of the toolbar.

I'm actually using PNG files. They're 32-bit (24-bit RGB + 8-bit Alpha). So, yes, it allows for semi-transparent areas in the image.

(Sorry, maybe "sprite" has a different meaning than I think it has. I guess I'm not up on my lingo. I'm using 32-bit images.)

On the rules set's wouldn't it make more sense to have a separate folder contained in the main program folders for added content to be stored so that there could be no possibility of overwriting the original files?

Yes. That's easy enough to do, but I also have to make sure user1 doesn't overwrite the files created by user2.

I really think allowing the functionality of being able to create and add new units would be a huge selling point for the game. Modding games is extremely popular and hard core gamers look for as much function in that area as they can find.

(nod)

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Well, if the original artist has released them into the public, that sounds like a good idea. (I assume you're talking about images/animations originally created by modders for Civ3. Images created by Firaxis for Civ3 - well, there might be some legal problems with using that stuff.)

Yes there are literally thousands of "fan" based created units and more being added every week.

I'm actually using PNG files. They're 32-bit (24-bit RGB + 8-bit Alpha). So, yes, it allows for semi-transparent areas in the image.

OK png works for me are you actually making APNG then? I was disappointed when Adobe did not include APNG to photoshop CS3 although the 3D functionality was useful.

Yes. That's easy enough to do, but I also have to make sure user1 doesn't overwrite the files created by user2.

Maybe you could have the users upload a folder containing the changes then each download would have a unique name so it should not overwrite any existing downloads. I wish I had more programming in my background but I focused on the graphics with programming restricted to HTML and CSS.

I do have to say that I am excited over the progress of this game however and look forward to finding out more.

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