Sunday, November 14, 2010

Game mechanics and coding today

For the game mechanics I have been having some ideas to involve the towns in a more interesting way. Through the players investment in a town, they can improve its quality though the construction of objects around it such as walls, roads, granaries, or universities, which in turn makes the town more profitable to the player. This relationship of town to player is fundamentally at this games core, because in order for a player to expand at their own settlement, these kind of interactions must take place, and since multiple players can invest in a single town, this should spur up some conflict for control, as well as some team work in order to improve its quality.

Just some Ideas as to how I will draw mountain ranges, something which will overlay on top of the map, the squares act as a center point for the map symbols.

And although its subtle, the nodes are now modified by the sun, yes the sun.

There is a slight brightness difference in the nodes to represent cooler or hotter climates, further away from the equator.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Movable Map

The top image is some experimentation with the mouse moving the map around.

I replaced an array of squares with a placeholder image, and setup bounderies as to where
the map can be dragged. Left click dragges, right click zooms, the squares are an experiement
in a processing object called PGraphics. This is all good news, I was worried about how to display flat objects,
layers, and things. But with some of these objects, I can load a screen seperatly, and reference that screen later.

So in terms of program speed and orginization, interface options can be simplified and loaded when the program might be
doing less intensive work, then referenced when needed. It simplifies the drawing process, something which
will become more apparent in due time.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Custom Classes

First experiments with custom classes and some working OOp

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Map Editor Finished...for now

I have recently finished the map editor,

I want to leave it as it is for now, however I have always wanted to add temperature gradients and perhaps fertility modifiers based on wind direction and represented through saturation. I am already starting to imagine the process for this, however it is imperative that I move onwards to the actual game structure.

Friday, October 22, 2010


So, these are the first 3 mountain generations, I am happy that the system is able to create interesting and dynamic combinations. I am starting to imagine how the mountains (a landform which takes longer to move across and obscures vision, can become almost like sticky glue or high walls. They create corridors and valleys which I think will prove to influence someone's strategy greatly.

The difference between these pictures and the mountain ones below, is that these are aware of their quantity, I want the system to divvy up the land nodes (anything that isn't blue) into around 4 equal parts, for each land node. Hybrid nodes count as .5 of a count for each.

By the way, Orange is half coastal, half mountain.
when its against the water it becomes a cliff, when a river runs through a mountain chain, it becomes a canyon. Hybrid nodes are are great battlefields because potentially both forces can be good at fighting on them.

The difference between canyon and cliffis not rule based, however If I need to source it for a scene, it would be good to know the difference, the hue is 1 point off.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Little Bit of chaos

Figured out how to increase my map size, avoiding the memory limit (it was a setting in processing).
I was just playing around with these, ideally the map size is around 50 max, 15 at minimum.
so I got a little crazy with size, this is a 400X 400

This is a 200X200

yodel eh hee hoo!!!

The confetti looking squares are simply placeholders to let me know where the start and end data are.

At this point I am going to edit the drawing ability of the mountains, they will generate fully, then only draw however many is needed, perhaps sensing some kind of overlap so that the mountains take a more uniform creation.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

World building must be like quilting.

So I have been examining the way in which the map s generated. For now I have been making it compile a matrix of data, for instance

1 1 1 1 1 1
1 2 2 2 2 2
1 1 2 2 3 3
1 1 1 2 3 3
1 1 2 2 3 3

1 could be water, 2 coastal, and 3 plains

there are some rules in this array, for instance notice how all of the 3's are not within touching distance of a 1.

I have been examining how I can use this data to break out of the grid. My reasoning for this is that the square array that I have is rough around the edges (HAH), and squares themselves lend an inorganic way of representing curves which take place.

However, I will argue for the use of squares because of its relation to the cardinal directions. This is something I will go over in my next presentation.

Pic 1 - What Happenes if we take square array data, and convert it into hexagons.

Pic 2 - Possible ways of expanding the square method, this way the cardinal directions are maintained, and the different shades could ease a player into a landtype.

Monday, October 18, 2010

First Office meeting - 10/18/10

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Monday, October 11, 2010

Room info

An Early Draft of what the rooms are capable of.

The main thing I am wedded to here is the relationship between Schooling structures (Academy, Drill Room, Guild Hall, and Meditation Chamber) and between housing structures (Dormitory, Barracks, Hostel, Sanctuary).

-If you construct a form of housing, you are granted a unit or units, depending on the class
Soldiers - This unit has the potential to grow into a full fledged army unit, mainly used to physically assault an enemy.
Bandits - Bandits are a small tactical troop which can create road blocks and small tactical strikes.
Devout - A devout is a singular unit, which has the potential to rally a large number of people up to make one powerful strike.
Magus - A magus is a small band of wizards which can gather resources like treasure from tombs and act as a magical funnel.

Each of these units have special abilities.

-if you construct a form of schooling, you can offset your unit towards a certain practice.
For instance, if you have a barracks, you get a soldier
if you then build a Guild house, you can turn those soldiers into Rangers.
In this transaction you will retain most of your soldier like nature, the slight sway towards syndicate gives your soldiers some more sneaky qualities.

Inversly - If you create a hostel you get bandits
If you then get a drill room, and train those bandits to be more militant, then they become marauders.

Think of it as a Adjective to noun comparison
Bill is an Entrepreneurial Artist
Fred is a Artistic Businessman

Other then that relationship, the other room aspects are open to fluctuation, although I like where those are going for now.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

hallelujah Land ho!

So after a frustrating month of coding, mixed in with some needed reformatting, I have finally pressed forward into the island feature of map generations, this will offset any map generated which has too many water nodes, which significantly decreases play area. More to come soon, as I fix the apparent bugs in this picture.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Symbolism: Drawing Methods


So far I have pulled several aspects of symbolism, when I think about the representations of a society within a fantasy realm. I think the methods of symbolism are incredibly relevant to fantasy, not only because some symbolist work has fantastical pursuits, but also because of the suggestive nature of symbolist work. I strongly believe that in order to be invested in the fantasy genre, it requires some degree of imagination and creativity, suggestive imagery is the catalyst for provoking inner narratives and would be a very important aspect to fueling the imagination.

So this aspect of visual theory might be applicable to the drawings which characterize representations. Seurat, a famous symbolist artist (although he would not like to be classified as such) has some good theories on the manipulation of mood. For one, most of his works did an excellent job of using filters, some overarching color pallate which influenced an entire portion of the canvas, even though there would be blues in one section they still maintained a warm and red tone. Another prominant aspect of his work is manipulating the flow in order to communicate sorrow, fear, or perhaps joy and gaiety. The diagrams in the book explain more.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Process by Popular Demand

This is a new aspect to my process which I wish to focus on, code writing, something halfway between pseudo code and real code, I think looking at code on a computer screen makes me lose focus.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Don't think of an elephant
a site I found interesting while traversing the web for some geographical inspiration.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


So, this last week I spent a lot of time reformatting my code. It was a boring and frustrating process, however incredibly necessary to moving foreword, this will allow for the code to grow into something larger. Now, the system functions as it did however there is a different structure of variables, and an addition of several variables to allow for more control. For instance, pushing foreword it will be possible to have undo functions to the creation, and the code should run faster under this new format. As you can tell by the size of the scroll bars the addition of control variables has lengthened the same process, however things only draw when they need to, and never unnecessarily.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

In search of aesthetics, and the fantasy form - Frank Frazetta

I have spent this week contemplating the different aesthetic choices of games and other fantasy related media. And after seeing my game in a new light with the recent re-contextualization of the thesis, certain aspects of the game are becoming incredibly more important.
The game builds on narratives, so in order to fuel these narratives I will need to strike a close balance between visuals which fuel the game universe I lay out, and visuals that allow for different interpretations.

The First place I went was to the work of Frank Frazetta, a very talented artist who had a hand in changing the image of fantasy from the 60's to the 90's through his stunning works. He is responsible for the revival of Conan the barbarian, a series which was in the gutter until he created the cover for the last effort issue of the series. His work had the ability to pop right out of the canvas, it is very real, very sexual, and graphic. What it succeeds in doing is draw the viewer into the world, to evoke several emotions off of a very clear and apparent scene.
Sadly he passed away in May, 2010.

I think that Franks work spoke to what is usually classified as "High Fantasy". I would personally call it masculine fantasy because its themes are based around warfare and epic events. What makes the warfare masculine specifically is that the warfare is imaged off of medieval warfare, so our history has a prevalent stamp on the warfare of these "High Fantasy" (God I hate that term) realms. "High Fantasy" (ughh) also has the distinction of existing in a parallel world to our own, these aspects are prevalent in Franks works from the insanely large astrological bodies.