2017.11.05 - Course corrections.


Making games is hard. The last posts and the long period of silence might have already hinted that I have been struggling with the game for quite a while now. I think I have now figured out what has given me a hard time and hopefully solved the problems.

For a more detailed concept, you can take a look at the updated game page. But here is the short version:

My initial idea was that you write laws with a visual interface. As I wanted the interface to be more powerful it developed into a programming language. This brought two problems: For the player to play the game, the programming language needed to be very mature and not just work a little. An other issue with visual programming languages is: They work great for simple things, and terrible for complex things.

Also a country is a terribly abstract thing, so are laws and so are programming languages. And then there was the approach for a non traditional game map with floating islands. All this would result in a very steep learning curve for playing the game.

I have made several major changes to the initial concept and worked on a technical proof of concept:

  • The development of the visual programming language is halted. I will resume it when the game has matured a little bit.
  • The player will not program abstract laws but the behavior of single individuals.
  • I am allowing the player to use almost ANY programming language. I will provide libraries for Scala, Java and JavaScript. This is actually far easier than to design a good visual programming language.
  • The world map will be tile based. I have now a good structure to support multi threading for this.
  • I will stick closer to traditional real time strategy games for the actual game play. They are well understood by many players so they should have an easier time to focus on the programming part.

With this I have now again a game I am very excited to play and make. Today I release the proof of concept for this new concept. I hope to return now to weekly releases and to be able to focus each week on a small part of the game and improve it - as that is my favored approach.

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reign 42 MB
Version 2017.11.05 18 days ago

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