I made an isometric Civ-2 like grid with moving units in Gamemaker in less than 1 week. As someone with basic programming skills I found it to be a nice little tool.
But I can't talk about its complexities or how it compares to other stuff like Unity.
Thats good to hear. Gamemaker seems to be an easy to use development platform and one of the best in the various comparisons Ive seen for the type of game we want to make.
Alright, here are the goals of the project:
Develop a working prototype using GameMaker that resembles Civ 2: ToT in gameplay.
Build a core program around external inputs that will allow for easy manipulation of the components of the game, focusing on external graphic files, rules, map diagrams, events, descriptions, etc.
Create an easy to understand conversion system whereas Civ2:MGE and ToT scenarios can be made to work with the game.
Allow for scalability of the game contents so that the game can improve upon various aspects of the source material. For example, increase the number of slots for units, nations, tech advances, improvements, wonders, etc.
Provide a basis for future feature gameplay additions and an eventual re-creation in pure C++ language.
Keep the code as open source as possible within the bounds of the GameMaker terms and conditions to allow for collaboration, improvement, and input.
I think I may be over complicating this. I have to track to values of the tiles, status of units, and other factors. The best way to do this would be a database. Also, since this is turn based, I don't need constant rendering and other resource intensive things.
Now this is going to sound crazy, especially to those not in my real line of work, but I think I have a much better way of handling this. I know of a program that is highly manipulative, easy to code with, and has been available for decades on most computers around the world. It handles a higher color palette than ToT.
I'm going to build this in MS Excel, using a simple MS Access link to handle the data. Excel can act as the GUI. I've already tested converting PNG graphics to CSV values. All I need is a VBA macro to covert the values into cell background fills. Hyperlinked areas can be used to define tiles for user input with defined naming. No compiling will be involved and it will be totally open to modification.
Nice to see you, Harry - I was looking at your scenarios on SL wiki just today, they are still spectacular...Especially "Hand of the the Reaper."
And the unity angle sounds interesting indeed...
After all this time it's great that we are still pushing the boundaries of the CIV2 spirit!
Please keep us posted of how you get on with this, and if it proves feasible, we are
sure we can pitch and do what we can to help out...
A little update on this. I've figured out how to do the graphics and almost have a decent way to import png data to csv. This means that current civ graphics can be defined and therefore duplicated as cell data in Excel without manual work. Next up I have to decide if I want to go the easy route and have static images for tile data (multiple images for each unit on terrain) or the hard route with dynamic images (layered images that use logic to assign precedence, aka units over terrain).