Back to the drawing board…

3 minute read

There has been some work towards the direction I’ve wanted the project to move towards.

I’ve made progress, both on the project itself and on my understanding of how it could work towards achieving it’s goals. I’ve built some basic prototyping to see if the whole thing could even work, mainly the game aspects - could I craft some type of gameplay that could be engaging to the player, what kind of graphical interface would be best for the task, what the simulation infrastructure itself could look like at it’s core. At some point I felt like it was going in the right direction. It’s a solid idea. It has potential.

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But my understanding of the scale necessary to fulfill even the basic goals set for the project were, and may still be, a bit off. That’s where I started thinking about the possibility of making this a collaborative effort, involving people who share with me the vision of creating a more serious gamified world simulation, as I know there are many people who would like to see this become a reality out there. It still felt like a long-shot (maybe even more so than with the previous make-it-myself attitude, as the ambitions scaled up as I more and more seriously considered collaborative direction), but one I thought was worth pursuing.

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The initial prototyping versions were not good for scaling, as I tried implementing things like my own interpreter for scripts (which were kind of working, but the solution didn’t really scale well, and the scripts themselves looked ugly as hell), globe map rendering based on unity’s renderTextures (which was horribly inefficient and required a lot of stupid manual work to get the individual province textures on the map, and provided no flexibility at all, which is a big deal for this project), the gui system was based ngui, which features has been since integrated into the unity’s own gui system (so there was no point to continue using it, also I wanted some more flexible solution, like a declarative design language, to create the ui for the game), and so on.

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So I want back to the drawing board. Decided to go with Lua for scripting (using MoonSharp interpreter - which is free and open-source), declarative design for the GUI (using MarkLight - which is free and open-source). Started working on a better design for the globe map system, one that could be more useful and flexible, and could in the future incorporate other types of information besides the “political map” aspect (distribution of province-level values throughout the province space - pixel based distribution maps).

I know this might be bad considering I want this game to playable one day, and this kind of constant revisions and indeed redoos can mean this will be further delayed. But it’s also not like I have a deadline on this.

I’m curious to see what comes out of all this in the end. For now I consider this a new beginning a good thing, supplying motivation to carry the whole thing further than ever before.