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Prepping Dev Diary 1 and initial release of Aztec

Discussion in 'Civ3 Future Development' started by WildWeazel, Dec 3, 2021.

  1. WildWeazel

    WildWeazel Carthago Creanda Est

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    I just wanted to get the ball rolling on a public update and release. Since we're a month in and have our first release candidate, it seems high time for a proper dev diary. This should coincide with the official release of Aztec and the opening of this forum.

    I'd like to get at least a few sentences and a screenshot from each developer who contributed, on the feature(s) you added and what you're working on now. More is great, but keep it fairly non-technical and engaging. I'll put together some opening words with links to here and the release page. I'm not sure whether the actual post should go in C&C, or in here and link to it in the announcement thread.

    With more people coming in here, are there any more topical posts we should have ready to prime discussion? I'm thinking at least feature requests, to avoid a deluge of new threads.

    Once again, I'm very impressed with how quickly and smoothly this first milestone came together with very little project management. Great work everyone! :beer:
     
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  2. Puppeteer

    Puppeteer Emperor

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    Ok, I finally Googled "dev diary". I'm still not entirely sure what we're going for as I've been mostly production support–mostly the ops in devops–and home lone coder. But here's my first shot at it:

    ---

    Being motivated by tech interests at least as much as end results, I contributed
    • Reading Civ3's PCX (image) and FLC (animation) files and turn them into native Godot assets (these formats are so old and C# relatively new that there were no existing open source libraries available to read them)
    • Automatic build script of the project for Windows, Mac, and LInux targets
    • A partial Civ3 save game reader
    • The beginning skeleton of a BIQ reader (mod file format)
    • A first draft of map drawing with pan and zoom (later improved and refactored by others)
    • A very rudimentary website via GitHub Pages
    • An initial rudimentary C7 load and save format
    • Prototype animated units, all animations in all directions (not actually visible in Aztec, but the code is there)
    I keep getting distracted by all the shiny things and ideas for how to expand C7 into the ability to be much more than a Civ3 clone, but I do intend to further flesh out the SAV and BIQ file readers, some of which I've done in another language and just need to port over to C#. I also want to either add a script or extend the build script to allow creating releases (downloadable checkpoint builds) on GitHub.
     
  3. Quintillus

    Quintillus Archiving Civ3 Content Supporter

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    For the general concept of Dev Diary, I'd recommend reading some Paradox or Stardock ones. There are links to the Paradox ones for their upcoming Victoria III here; I'd start with "0. The Vision" and read a couple. The tl;dr is it's a way to share information about the design and/or progress of the game and its mechanics in a way that builds community engagement (and to some extent, hype), while also getting some early feedback from the community on their thoughts on the design/mechanics/changes.

    Sometimes they are high level, and the Victoria III ones are fairly representative. An example of a more detailed one is this dev diary on Pirate Republics in EU4. That one gets too detailed for me, particularly when they list out all the reforms and the script triggers. But some people like that detail, so there is some variation in how detailed they are (which is also influenced by how much is far enough along to share in detail).

    -------------

    Topical posts... I like the idea of a feature request thread. Maybe (maybe not yet?) a bug submitting one. I also somewhat anticipate a deluge of threads. And while I enjoy discussing ideas for the future, I probably spend more time doing so than really makes sense. I definitely went down a couple rabbit holes last night. So, some way to try not to make feature threads a siren song that would result in me writing no code but discussing a lot of things would be good.

    --------------

    Hello! My name is Quintillus. You may be familiar with me from my Civ III editor project, or perhaps you remember me from my Stories and Tales days. The latest project to capture my attention is C7.

    Over the past month, I've been motivated primarily by shiny buttons and interactive UI elements, and my general goal has been making the game world feel alive, interactive, and reminiscent of Civ III. This has resulted in the following contributions:

    - Adding the game status area (in the lower right)
    - Adding unit action buttons, among several others
    - Adding popup support, and the first popups, such as the Build City popup
    - Adding the first code for the engine, which handles turn mechanics for your units currently
    - Adding the first sound support, for both the effects and soundtrack
    - Making initial optimizations to PCX/texture loading and FLC loading
    - Theming C7, to ensure there is a fairly consistent visual appearance throughout

    The Build City popup lends itself neatly to a screenshot:

    upload_2021-12-4_0-31-12.png

    Thanks to a combination of built-in Godot text editing functionality and the theming work, this popup should look and feel quite familiar.

    Another notable aspect is the sound support, as C7 supports all types of mp3 files, not just 128 kbps mp3s as supported by Civilization III. Although our late-November built has the main menu mp3 music disabled (we haven't yet added preferences to turn it off while developing), this should open the gates to customizing the soundtrack with fewer headaches and more fidelity going forward.

    My current work is on importing displaying more types of terrain on the world map, starting with mountains and hills (which you can glance in the edge of the Build City screenshot). This builds upon map work by Flintlock (which in turns builds on map work by Puppeteer), and by SAV-reading work by Puppeteer. It also keeps with my general theme so far of making the world feel more alive, familiar, and interactive.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2021
  4. WildWeazel

    WildWeazel Carthago Creanda Est

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    Think of it like a blog post explaining your work to someone on the outside. The idea is to both inform users about what features are ready, and interest potential developers in getting involved.
     
  5. Flintlock

    Flintlock King

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    It's hard to show screenshots at this point since we're still working on the game's infrastructure. For example, most of what I could screenshot of my own work already appears in Quintillus' shot. I'm referring to the units and base terrain, I also worked on optimizing the drawing code and the camera controls but you can't screenshot that.

    As for something to include in the dev diary, here's a summary of what I have been & am up to:

    I've mostly been hammering away at the map display. I prepared it so that it can easily repeat tiles around wrapped edges and show multiple layers, added the ability to click on the map, center the camera on a tile, and zoom in/out around a location. I added methods to draw units and a grid on the map. I did some optimization to ensure map scrolling is smooth. I also took the first steps toward some basic gameplay by enabling the player to move units and scattering barbarians around the map. You can't actually fight the barbs yet, that's something for the next milestone. Right now I'm playing around with shaders with the idea of rendering the map more efficiently, and making it easy to animate units and tint them with the color of their owner civ.
     
  6. WildWeazel

    WildWeazel Carthago Creanda Est

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    I think I'll post the DD in here, since presumably all the others will be, and link to it from the announcement thread. If someone wants to make a new thread pointing out this forum go ahead, since we may not be very "discoverable" given my somewhat cryptic title.

    draft removed
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2021
  7. WildWeazel

    WildWeazel Carthago Creanda Est

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    Posted, linked to, and the forum is public. We've live!
     
  8. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos Creator

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    Hey :)

    Can you use my mayan and aztec sets?

    upload_2021-12-7_13-21-19.png
     
  9. WildWeazel

    WildWeazel Carthago Creanda Est

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    We sure can, but we're still a ways off from including specific graphics. I see you're already discussing formats with Puppeteer, which is what I was going to suggest.
     
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