Happy New Year! Work on Conquest! continues at a good pace in the new year with two more areas focused on: Questing (complete) and Fleet Maintenance (nearly complete). Looking at the list of remaining items finds Class Maintenance, Misc Icons (troops, badges, etc.), Alliances, and City Ownership left. The first two are quite large, especially the Class Commands which is where each of the 6 playable classes in Conquest! execute their class specific commands. But more on what we accomplished.
In Conquest! there are 7 Quests players may undertake: hiring a hero, enlisting signature troops, searching for magical items, searching for an artifact, gathering components to cast spells, attacking a horde, and eliminating a bandit camp (the tutorial). The design called for a "map" of the area around a player's kingdom, with each of the quests represented by a specific location:
Hiring a hero and searching for an artifact require a player to have the specific name or location gathered from the mystic. Once a quest is selected, a pop-up prompts the user to start the quest:
All quests but the tutorial are single commands; that is, they only require one click to complete them. The tutorial is a series of steps designed to introduce new players to the game by having them visit several areas in the game, culminating in an attack against an NPC. Unlike other attacks, this does not break a player's protection. The tutorial can only be completed once.
Fleets in Conquest! were added after release of the game to support multiple continents. Players can establish kingdoms on each of the 3 continents in Conquest! and manage independent kingdoms (very few items are shared). Initially, players could have just 1ship but this was expanded to 8. Coupled with the invasion command, which allows players to bypass structure limits on the number of troops they can field using troops onboard ships, maintaining a fleet became essential.
Fleets can be used to strategically strand others on particular continents. If you do not have enough money to buy a new ship you could be struck for a while! Ships can also be used to transport goods and troops between your kingdoms, which is useful to jumpstart a new kingdom or hide assets.
There were 9 ship designs originally but I trimmed this to 8 recently. I also renamed some of the designs to better reflect the medieval period. Naturally the screen has a nautical theme:
Conquest! randomly generates a name when a new ship is purchased but players can also rename them. Ships can be damaged by naval battles or the weather so there are options to repair them as well. All of the screens are similar in nature (the icons are still being worked on):
Naturally there were several changes to the game server to support the new designs. In particular, the removing of messages designed to add "color" to a text based game which now serve no purpose in a graphical one. I anticipate a major overhaul of all of the messages once we finish the UI design.
I also started looking at audio resources to add to Conquest!, such as alerting a player when they are attacked or when they find a magical item. I haven't moved forward with this yet as there is still much work to do on the graphical side.
Follow the journey on Facebook or Twitter. Until next time, I hope to see you in the game.
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James has been working on Conquest! since 1993.