Friday, May 30, 2008


The Tennessee Waltz

I could not reproduce the display problems documented; also one should not see the resize border, as I made it invisible, so I really can't explain what happened to Draco at 1280x800. However I slightly changed the code and I hope the game will be playable at any resolution.

It seems the newspaper are loved by the fans. Well, I'm adding them.

I did set up a small loading screen, which for reasons I can't explain now probably can't be kept, so the players will have to wait some second before going to the main screen without seeing anything; this is not good, but the players will forgive me.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


questions and answers

Estefano left a comment about a problem "There is also a big problem with your windows overlaps. They block the texts and don't size resize correctly."
I'm QUITE interested in this problem, can you send me some screenshots of what happens exactly? I set up the game so that it could be played at any resolution above 1024x768. Also, please give me the configuration of your pc.
Apart from that, it's not a playable demo because the game mechanics are still not complete, for example there's no turns yet, but there will be in the future.
I'm not sure I'll add the newspapers, I'll have to find out how to fit that with the general game flow.

@Draco: the shapes representing leadership really don't give an immediate idea of the quality of a leader, that's true. They are simply a subjective way to represent something. The design challenge in this case was to have 5 shapes clearly distinguishable, so I choose something that you could not confuse: a pentagon is clearly different than a circle and from a square etc. I excluded the triangle because there was not enough surface to host the stars.
The military summary gives you the real figures about the armed forces of the various countries, the military section is much expanded from the original so it is right to give the player enough information to play.
The button "grant Palestinian independence" is as simple as you imagined: it is a big simplification over reality, true. In this case all the problems that would emerge from such a decision are modeled by the great decrease in domestic public opinion that the player has to face. The idea of modeling the elections at the end of each game still exists, so it is clear that a player will have to decide early in the game to grant Palestine's independence, because it grants much better relations with the U.S.A., which in turn grant extra $$$, therefore the player can spend more money for Israel's army, and win a lot of wars. Every war won grants an increase in domestic public opinion, therefore the chances of being re-elected are enhanced.
For the battle screen, it's better to wait the manual!


Sunday, May 04, 2008


L'assedio di Corinto

Here's version 0.8! I'd have to write much more than a few lines to describe the various features, but I prefer to leave that to the future official manual.

Here's the link

As always let me know of any issues.

A couple of important things: the main map has now feedback elements. The colour of the countries reflect the diplomatic relations between the country the mouse is upon (in white) and the rest of the middle east. The default country for which relations are shown is Israel for obvious reasons.

Then you can see columns of various shapes, altitude and colour, with starts upon them. A little explanation: I needed a fast way to represent a complex set of relations on a limited space, so I envisioned a unique indicator with four different "faces". Shape represents the quality of a given country's leadership: the shapes used are a pentagon, a reversed pentagon, a circle, a square and a rhombus to represent a leadership from the strongest to the weakest.

The second face is columns' altitude, it represents the stability of a regime: the highest the altitude, the strongest the regime.

The third face is columns' colour: it represents the public opinion towards Israel, with colours ranging from full green, pale green, gray, orange and red, to represent public opinions from the friendliest to the most aggressive towards Israel.

The last face of the indicator is the number of stars upon it, to represent the overall quality of the armed forces. One star: that country's army sucks; five stars: that country's army simply cannot be stopped.

Also there's feedback elements for nuclear research and possession of nuclear weapons, and for alliances and wars.

Now let's look at Israel's screen: I needed to represent a lot of important informations and options, all of which were a bit distinct from each other: a review of the strategic situation, the purchase new units, nuclear research, the Palestinian situation and an optional section where to review the internal politics situation.
Two solutions: put every sub-section in a separate screen, thus requiring the player to click one thousand times to go back and forth the screens; or put everything in a single screen, trying to have the player understand that the various sections were distinct despite they were in a single screen.
That was the idea before implementing a sliding windows method: the player can jump from one section to another just rolling up and down with the mouse. Thus the idea of a separation still exists while having the player remain in the same screen.
I spent some time thinking about the Israel's screen as it is quite important, and I thought a confused screen would have prevented many players from learning the game. Also, I left the graphics quite simple and functional.

You can see Dayan has been added in the purchase sub-section of Israel's screen: in fact he can give the player suggestions on how to spend the current remaining funds and with the chosen attitude, defensive (the shield) or offensive (the sword); note that Dayan's suggestion are limited to ground forces due to the way air forces are treated in the underground game mechanics.

In response to Draco's questions about Palestine: unrest level is random at the start of each game, there's a quantity of funds you have to spend each turn to at least maintain the situation as it is, although you are free to spend more or less funds in garrison and police duties. Doing so, unrest will be modified accordingly, so if you spend 50% less than required you can expect that unrest will increase in proportion, and vice-versa. A higher unrest results in higher percentages of suffering a kamikaze attack, which will negatively affect Israel's public opinion towards the Prime Minister (the player).

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