Around the World...
This week saw the completion of traveling the realm in Conquest!. This was challenging yet exciting as the screens work a bit different from most of the others. The realm of Conquest! is comprised of three continents, with each having a varying number of cities. Each city has different markets (and prices) for goods, so players must determine where they need to go to buy the troops they want. Additionally, the magic shop is only located in Port Cities. Fortunately, favorable markets can be added to a player's journal. Players may only purchase ships in port cities and may only sail from Port or Coastal cities.
Traveling by land can be done in a number of different ways: by foot (most common), a magic carpet, or teleporting (mages only). Cities can be locked, either by the owner, mages, or in response to a barbarian attack. Players may not normally leave locked cities but rather can attempt to escape from them. Locked cities also prevent players from entering through normal means.
The design of the screens called for a map of the continent or the realm to be displayed. As you can see, Krees did a very nice job with the maps and the features.
Players will then click on a destination and select how they want to get there.
Cities are laid out on a 10x10 grid. Prior to this week, these locations were randomized by the server. Given the nature of the continents and where the land and water are this lead to some cities being in the oceans or a port/coastal city far inland. I tried to come up with some rules when randomizing the locations but in the end I decided to just scrub the randomizing and have the coordinates fixed in the configuration. So while the city locations no longer change each Conquest! Age, I no longer have cities ending up in strange locations
Traveling between continents is similar:
Note that the Kraken will not appear unless a mage has summoned it!
We are moving on to Subterfuge next, which will cover spying and espionage. I expect this to take several days as there is a lot of content here. For those keeping score, we have the following screens remaining: Subterfuge, Combat, Fleet Maintenance, Alliances, Quests, Class Commands,Weather, Chat, Settings, Town Call.
Follow the journey on Facebook or Twitter. Until next time, I hope to see you in the game.
Closing Out the Vault
It took several days but we finally finished the design for all 50 magical items! The results came out very nice:
Each item now has a unique icon, visible here in the magic shop and in a player's vault. There are still many more icons to create, including Heroes (22), Badges (50), Troops (48), and Classes (7). For now, though, we are moving on to Travel, which will allow players to traverse the continents by land, sea, and magic. Here is the concept we used for the Kickstarter campaign:
The idea was to have a scrollable map where players will tap to travel to each city or continent. There are 3 continents in Conquest! and each one has different cities. Additionally, the number of cities is variable by continent. The game server lays out the cities on a 10x10 grid when a new age begins. This is used to determine travel costs between cities. The mobile client will take those coordinates and plot them on the map. I have already modified the "MAP" command to send these coordinates. When a player enters the travel screen the client will fetch this information from the server and render the map. At least, that is the current design plan.
I believe this will have some unique challenges in Unity (as each new scene does). One thing I am concerned about is the server never had the concept of a graphical map; therefore, the coordinates for each city were just 2 random numbers. However, it might look strange if a port city is in the middle of a continent. I will have to adjust the algorithm to put port (and coastal) cities on the edges.
I also completed prototypes for the Log, Private Messages, Journal, and Population screens. The first three use the same scene underneath, as the information they display is very similar. Once we get some of these other major items out of the way, we can circle back around and make these look better.
James has been working on Conquest! since 1993.