Happy Holidays! It has been an exciting year for Conquest!. It started out in March with an email suggesting taking Conquest! mobile and is now a working Unity client ~75% complete. To think that this time last year a graphical client client didn't exist at all and the server hadn't been worked on since 2005 is amazing. I anticipate launching 1.0 of the client in the spring of 2016. Huzzah!
Since my last post Krees and I have hit several major milestones. Chief among them, completing combat. All of the other work to this point is to prepare a player to attack others. During combat, each player may have up to 4 armies participating as well as ships. This brought challenges in how to effectively display the information while keeping it legible. We divided the results into three tabs: Spoils, Enemy Troops, Casualties:
All of the information is displayed and allows a player to quickly ascertain the losses and gains and jump to other parts of the game. Troops can be selected to view more information, such as combat attributes. I decided not to clutter the screen with the enemy's formation; this can be viewed under subterfuge. Eventually battles may be animated this will suffice for a 1.0 version.
Chat was another major accomplishment. Conquest! began on IRC and chat was an integral part of the game. When Conquest! moved away from the IRC platform this functionality had to be replicated and so the server now supports a rudimentary chat client with global and alliance channels. While not as rich as some chat clients it allows players to quickly communicate with one another.
During the course of play, Conquest! will make announcements to the world, such as battles, promotions and demotions, and Housekeeping. These messages are available under the chat window as well; the messages below correspond to the screens above:
There were several additional enhancements made to the client. In the lower left of the screen is a portrait of your advisor. This used to bring up a small window to view announcements from commands. On the suggestion of a tester this was made into a full-size pop-up. Additionally, I moved messages from being displayed in the advisor window to the active window. I also tightened up the way the client moves between scenes as events occur to save user clicks. Finally, I went through the earlier screens made in Unity and matched the design of the later screens to ensure continuity.
We also made good progress on Questing. In Conquest! there are seven quests players may undertake, from fighting highway robbers (the in-game tutorial), searching for loot, or fighting a barbarian horde. The design calls for a map with several locations: your current city, dungeons, wildlands, etc. with each representing a quest a player may undertake. All of the client code is complete but the graphics are still in progress. We should have this done for the next post.
The server saw many enhancements as well, including shortening some of the tutorial messages, the removal of two commands ("search" and "password"), and collapsing several messages into one.
I look forward to 2016 and the 1.0 launch of Conquest! mobile for Android and iOS platforms. Follow the journey on Facebook or Twitter. Until next time, I hope to see you in the game.
James has been working on Conquest! since 1993.