Rising Empires - an Android project

Discussion in 'Android App Developers' started by Netherlords, Nov 5, 2011.

  1. Netherlords
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    Netherlords New Member

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    Hi everybody!


    The second beta continues as planned and we've now played 10 turns (2 weeks). The setup has forced all empires to build lots of fleets in order to move troops and settlers from their capital. All empires combined has built 68 fleets with some 279 ships... :)


    The beta will run for at least 4 more weeks (20 turns) and we believe we'll see plenty of action before the end. The player of one empire has decided to not participate and if you are interested in taking over this position please let us know (reply to this post or send a PM).


    I spent last weekend in Gothenburg with Johan and a couple of friends, incl. Glom which is our main game tester. Johan and I discussed how we are going to proceed with implementing the last features in Rising Empires. Rising Empires is, in its current version, a complete game but we want to add more diplomatic options as well as the Heaven level before we release it. The first we will add is non-aggression pacts allowing empires to be more friendly towards each other.


    We have also designed a new research view and removed the research selection from the empire menu. Research is such an important feature in Rising Empires and we believed it needed its own view where all data on technologies can be reached.


    If you're interested in Rising Empires and it's development please support us by visiting our website or our Google+ page and +1 us.


    Thanks!

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  2. Netherlords
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    Netherlords New Member

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    Hi!


    This will be the last update before my summer vacation. Only one more day and I will turn off my computer (and my brain) for three weeks! Johan will take a break from Rising Empires during the same period. We'll start working with Rising Empires again in mid-August when we're also going to have a large meeting to discuss the game.


    Tomorrow we'll run the last turn of the beta test. We've sent out a questionnaire with a couple of questions to our play testers and are eagerly awaiting their replies. We've already received some answers but we hope to get a few more. Overall I must say that this beta test has progressed very well. The routines for downloading results and uploading orders have been flawless, the bugs and errors that were found could be fixed and we've managed to implement non-aggression pacts.


    The last weeks have also been very interesting for me as I've learned a couple of new algorithms and possibilities when writing code. This has allowed me to re-think some ideas that Johan and I had and more practically it also means that I've started on our map generator! It's far from finished but it can create mountain ranges (see attachment) as well as the starting area around the capital.


    I'll continue with the map generator when I get back from vacation. My idea is to make it able to create good Surface maps first and then start to look at the Netherworld which I believe will be more complex to create.


    I hope you're all having a couple of good summer weeks!

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  3. Netherlords
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    Netherlords New Member

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    Hi!


    Johan visited me this weekend and we had plenty of time to discuss Rising Empires and even write a few lines of code. One or two beers went down as well... We had very good discussions and talked through the last features that we need to complete before we can publish Rising Empires on Google Play. These discussions were detailed as we talked through each step of, for example, the process when setting up a new empire. We also took the opportunity to discuss stuff like price levels on subscriptions. The next time we'll meet 'in person' to discuss Rising Empires will be in the middle of September.


    All new empires will start in a trial (or test) world where they can play up to 20 turns (with one turn each day this equals a month) for free and without encountering any other empires. Yes, that's right, no interaction between empires is possible during the trial period. During this period players will be able to start developing their empires, explore their neighbourhood, research technologies and build military companies. Then, when the player start his first subscription, his empire (and starting map) will be transferred to the game world. After 20 turns of game play his empire will be prepared for encountering neighbouring empires...


    We also had time to work a little on the code and it's now possible to create empires in the app. When the player (i.e. you) have selected race and religion type as well as entered name and password the empire is created together with a starting map. Then the player can issue his first set of orders immediately and do not need to wait for us to process a new turn. When the player uploads his first set of orders details about the new empire as well as the starting map is sent to our server allowing us to add the empire to the game world. I'll post some screenshots of the 'Create empire' screen when Johan has tidied it up a bit. We also got some work done on the map generator (see screenshots) and it's near completion. The only thing remaining is to create corridors between the different caves and to add rivers.


    All in all we were very satisfied with the weekend.


    Cheers!

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  4. Netherlords
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    Netherlords New Member

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    Hi,


    On our forum we've recently posted posts which discuss the security of Rising Empires as well as where we've got our inspiration to the game.


    Rising Empires security
    What has inspired us?


    I hope you all have a good weekend!
  5. Netherlords
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    Netherlords New Member

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    Hi!


    We've now created a blog for Rising Empires updates (much better than writing updates in our forum which we did before). It's called 'Words from the Netherlords' and can be found at:
    'Words from the Netherlords'
    I hope this will make it easier to follow our progress with Rising Empires and also to ask questions and discuss the game with us. :)


    Cheers!
  6. Netherlords
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    Netherlords New Member

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    Hi everybody!


    Last weekend Johan and I met for discussing and coding on Rising Empires and I must say that neither of us were prepared for what the weekend held in store for us. Our intent were to complete the setup of new empires and to test it thoroughly, instead we decided to change focus on the project from a massive multi-player game with 1 turn/day to a single-player game.


    We've already started development of the AI and you can follow our progress at the 'Words from the Netherlords'-blog. Both Johan and I feel this is a good decision and we look forward to deliver Rising Empires to all Android user out there!


    Cheers
  7. Netherlords
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    Netherlords New Member

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    Hi everybody!


    I've been a bit silent the last weeks. This has nothing to do with lack of progress on Rising Empires as we're moving forward with good speed, especially the AI for the single-player game is getting a lot of love... Johan is also working hard to improve the app and he is doing some great improvements compared to the old layouts. As soon as he completes the first layouts I'll post some screenshots.


    What are the status with the Rising Empires AI?


    We've completed the first version of the scout AI. This is the AI that handle all exploration and patrolling in the empire. The exploration bit is completed and functions well but we've not started with patrolling of already scouted territory. This is important though as the AI need updated information on what's going on around its borders.


    We've also done a lot of work on the settlement AI. The settlement AI can now handle and take care of the food situation in a town or city. It improves terrain, construct food buildings when more food is needed quickly and it also send requests to the main AI for better food technology when needed. The settlement AI also construct new buildings according the wishes of the governor (yeah, each settlement AI has a governor that decides how it will act). We're very satisfied with the algorithm that control what buildings that are constructed.


    What we're doing now is creating the objective AI (the first objective will be to move population from one settlement to another) and implementing the first version of our strategic AI. When this is done the strategic AI will be able to choose between building scouts and sending population to settlements that need/want a larger population. It's not much but with the architecture in place it will be simpler to add more objectives.


    If you want to follow the development of the AI in more detail please visit our blog, the 'Words from the Netherlords'.


    Cheers!
  8. Netherlords
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    Netherlords New Member

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    Yeah, you're not to first one to say that... :) Johan and I put together the first playable version of Rising Empires this weekend. You can now play any of the 6 races against a number of Greenskins and Human AIs. They do not put up much of a fight yet as they don't build any soldiers but we're working on it. :icon_ lala:
  9. Tottclown
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    Tottclown New Member

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    Sounds really cool! Good luck!
  10. Netherlords
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    Netherlords New Member

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    Join the beta test of Rising Empires and help us make and shape an excellent strategy game. The game is now an early beta build but we believe we’ve come far enough to ask for your help: Does it work on all phones? Where are all the bugs? We also appreciate general thoughts about the game: Is it interesting to play? Is it too slow or too fast? Is the learning curve just too hard?

    We've now uploaded the first beta build of Rising Empires on Google Play.

    Read more about the beta test on Google Play or on our website.

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  11. Netherlords
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    Netherlords New Member

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    Hi,

    It seems that the Rising Empires GUI is a little tough to get into. We should, of course, has anticipated this but better late than not at all. I've written a short tutorial over the buttons and things a player need to do in the first turn of playing Rising Empires. It can be found on our blog:
    Tutorial ? Playing the first turn in Rising Empires | Words from the Netherlords

    Later this evening we'll upload a new version of Rising Empires to Google Play. This is purely bug fixes to remove some of the most common bugs that has been detected.

    I would also like say thank you to all of you who've tested Rising Empires.
  12. Netherlords
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    Netherlords New Member

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    We've now published the 6th tutorial, this one dig deep into the combat system of Rising Empires. Conflict is an important aspect of Rising Empires and with the feature that all empires can develop and design their own unique combat troops it's good to understand how combat works.


    Here comes a list of all Rising Empires tutorials that have been written:
    Tutorial I - Playing the first turn in Rising Empires
    Tutorial II - Research and technologies
    Tutorial III - Loyalty, or how to keep your population happy
    Tutorial IV - Food, or how you keep your population from starving
    Tutorial V – Troop statistics, or how to design the ‘super soldier’
    Tutorial VI – War! Rules of engagement in Rising Empires


    Cheers!
  14. Netherlords
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    Netherlords New Member

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    This wednesday we did a major update of Rising Empires, adding the diplomatic system and an in-game tutorial:

    • Diplomacy – It is now possible to create non-aggression pacts (NAP) with the AI controlled empires. Lots of factors influence how the AI respond to these proposals (or if they send one themselves). For example your race and religion is compared to their race and religion, have you recently burned down one of their watchtowers, do they have NAPs with other empires and much more. We are really interested to hear your comments about the diplomatic system and how the AI perform now that it will focus it’s efforts against a smaller amount of enemy empires instead of just lashing out in all directions…
    • Tutorial – The in-game tutorial will help new players get used to the interface and learn the basics of the game. Rising Empires is a relatively complex game and it’s not easy to jump right into it. We hope this new feature will help new players learn the game and find it more enjoyable.

    Lots of smaller changes and additions has also been made, for example automatic terrain improvement for those that don't want this level of micro-management. Give the game a try and let us know what you think. It can be downloaded at Google Play.


    Enjoy!

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  15. Netherlords
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    Netherlords New Member

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    Johan and I are currently working on the next update for Rising Empires and plan to release it on the 1st of July.


    In this update we'll add a number of new features, for example the new Military Academy building will be activated allowing emperors to recruit generals for their armies. A general gives a number of bonuses to the troops in his command, boosting their combat efficiancy and morale. Another new feature is that empires will be able to build settlers and militia from the races that they've conquered. The computer controlled empires have been able to do this for some time but now you can do it as well. This makes conquered towns and cities more useful.


    We also hope to improve the AI further and are focusing on making it able to defend itself better. Previously the AI have had problems with defending it's capital due to it being unable to change it's priorities once a project (task) has been assigned. Now we're giving the AI the ability to cancel a project worked on in a threatened settlement allowing it to focus on its own defence instead. We've come a bit forward on this work but there are still some circumstances where the AI fail to defend itself.


    If you want to give Rising Empires a try it can be downloaded on Google Play. If you want to know more or just keep up to date with the development of Rising Empires please check out our blog Words from the Netherlords.
  16. Netherlords
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    The new update of Rising Empires has now been available on Google Play for a couple of days and we’re awaiting the first comments about it. There are a lot of new features and improvements. For example it’s now possible to recruit commanders for your armies in cities with the Military Academy building and you can train militia and settlers from races that you’ve conquered. This will make conquered towns and cities more useful. We did also tweak the AI quite a lot and improved it’s defensive capability.

    If you've been playing Rising Empires before please let us know your thoughts on the new AI. Do you notice any difference? Is it better at defending itself? Has it ever left the cover of the high walls to hunt down your intruding armies?

    I’m now preparing the code needed for training the AI. Each turns the AI evaluates a number of possible actions and selects those that gets the highest priority. These actions might be relatively simple, for example building a new patrol army, to quite advanced, for example using several settlements to create a big army that will be sent to the other level to capture an enemy city. The first one might take 1-2 turns while the other action could take 20+ turns... When training the AI we’ll try to optimise how the AI sets it’s priorities. This is done by letting different versions of the AI play against itself. I’m really looking forward to this!
  17. Netherlords
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    Rising Empires, the epic 4x turn-based strategy game for Android will be released on September 21st. There will be two versions of the game; a free one with ads and a premium version with additional content. The extra premium features include two additional playable races, the fast breeding Krant and the versatile Dwarves. The game is scheduled for release on Google Play and several other app stores.

    The game is currently in an open beta stage and can be downloaded at Google Play. At the time of writing, it is installed on 900 devices and has been downloaded more than 2,700 times. Many reviewers compare the game to classics like Civilization and Total War. One player writes: “Exactly the type of game I’ve been hoping for.” The average rating is 4.2. This news release has featured on Droid Life, Droid Gamers and many others.
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    It’s only six days left until the release of Rising Empires and we’re just about finished with all the new features and improvements for the premium version. Just a few hours ago I uploaded the final version of my code (AI and what we call the process methods) and Johan completed the last improvements for the GUI yesterday. We’ll still polish the game until the very end but we’ve added all the stuff that we intended for the release. We’re very excited to hear your response to the last features we’ve added and also how you like the insectoid Krant and the Dwarf races.

    Among the last things I fixed was improving how the AI value the strength of it’s armies when it prepares to attack an enemy town. Now it will build extra companies if it believes that the enemy town is very well defended, before it sometimes sent conquest armies that where to weak even when it was sent off.

    While working with this improvement I also found a very irritating bug. It seemed that when the AI compared if there is a path between two locations in the same region it always failed if both locations were the same. This just happened to have a big influence when it came to making use of all its army reserves since it always tried to locate its largest army reserve and when it would pick companies from the reserve it could no longer see that it was connected to its target location. Anyway, when I fixed this error the formerly very big army reserves that some AIs built up decreased in size as they now sent them to do mischief instead.

    Read more at the Words from the Netherlords.
  19. Netherlords
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    Netherlords New Member

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    The first review of our Android game Rising Empires was published yesterday by the web magazine Hardcore Droid. They give it a score of 4.8 out of the maximum 5. ‘The amount of depth and detail surpasses many PC strategy games and is startling on a mobile device.’ The review looks deep into the mechanics of Rising Empires and concludes that ‘You’ll be hard pressed to find a mobile game that tackles the subgenre with greater success.’.


    Read the whole review here: Mobile 4X Strategy of Startling Depth | Hardcore Droid
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