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.412 is LIVE!! Check out the changes here…

Hey all!!

Back from a little vacation to get recharged, and hot off the press is .412! Lot of changes, and some neat UI stuff. Highly recommend to get. Also, the beginnings of the finance screen are in, and some fixes for lower resolutions should have something for everyone!

EDIT: .412a had a fatal error having to do with dependencies requested that didn’t exist in the build. I have removed all those dependencies and have uploaded as .412b. Please try that version if your install didn’t work. Thanks!

V.412 Changelog

2.24.15

BUG FIXES

* Fixed several graphical issues, especially with lower resolutions

* Fixed issue where taxes were not being calculated properly

* Fixed bug where calculating trades could cause a crash

* Fixed most remaining instances of numbers/money amounts being out of sync

* Fixed issue where projected cash flow was not accurately taking into account sector growth for next month

* Fixed issue where you could go negative on the ADM used when creating an Edict

MAJOR CHANGES:

* Added empire treasury screen. This will greatly expand in future releases but for now you can see your sector-level profitability. As the game evolves you will have to manage your sectors first as well as your sector governors and this will be the first stage in that reporting.

* Added trade summary on planet screen. This shows what trades were coming and going, the status of the station, what kind of trades the planet can do, and eventually it will show the corruption (new concept!) and efficiency of the planet’s trade

* Added planet summary panels on the system screen. These panels show just about everything you would want to know about a planet in easy icon form. Will add tooltips for future versions.

* Added starbase effective range concept. In previous versions, a level I starbase was just as effective as a level V starbase as far as covering a part of space and supporting stellar missions/Edicts. This didn’t make sense from a gameplay perspective, so changed to be an exponential range increase based on starbase level. The downside to this is that starting in .413, the empire will have to pay 50% maintenance for all starbases.

* Added kickback information to emperor screen, so you can see how much money is coming in each turn from your less savory sources.

* Added additional comments/results for the ‘Have Conversation’ action. Now, depending on your charisma, you can learn additional things about the character, and they may even join your alliance if you are persuasive enough! Added charisma as the primary weight mechanism, with modifiers for intelligence, age difference, traits, and loyalty (was not considered before). This should produce more realistic interactions, where people who hate you all of a sudden love you and support you on the basis of one conversation

* Tweaked balance further now that the sector economy level is starting to be developed

* Added functionality to Edict creation screen. Now shows real-time what adding ADM to an Edict will do for a system/sector/planet cash flow. Also added ability to use a planet’s materials if they are out of ADM, so a system/sector can now use the remaining materials on the planet before dipping into their reserve.

* Added the ability for Logistical stations to send goods to their immediate trade hub only. May not send upstream to other planets for emergency supply.

* Added more Pressure/Persuade effects, should all be done except for personal actions (blue)

* Changed economic profits. Before, a sector could be losing billions of dollars and it would be subsidized by magic, apparently, since the money was never accounted for. Starting in .412, sectors that are not profitable will subtract from the total tax base of the planet before imperial and sector taxes are considered. This will make it more important to pay attention to ‘black hole sectors’ of your economy. On the plus side, made manufacturing and agriculture more profitable to somewhat compensate.

Enjoy!

-Steve

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Off Topic #2 – YouthDebates.org – A Worthy Stop On the Internet Superhighway

Hey everyone!

As I’ve said before, I try not to go too far off topic on this blog with the game, but on occasion I will use the soapbox that you have allowed me to climb to highlight things/people/sites that I think are noteworthy, whether they have anything to do with games or not.

Recently, I had a chance to interact with some fans of Imperia who wanted to do something about the (sorry) state of the forums, and help use their expertise to make the enterprise look more professional. As you probably know by now, Imperia is a hobby and I am currently making zero dollars by its creation; so everything I spend, even as little as server space for the forum, costs money. These guys offered to help because they think the game has serious potential and because it’s a game they want to play someday. After the forums went through their capable hands, well, things got real. 🙂 I never said I was a forum administrator!

Anyway, as I got to know them better, I took a look at their main project, YouthDebates.org. While I’m somewhat apolitical (mainly because the political atmosphere in my country is rather toxic and feels somewhat hopeless to change) I have to admire the energy and passion this organization has to look at politics from a ground level, to help contribute to campaigns all over the world, to talk about controversial subjects, and to learn more about the greatest game of all.. diplomacy and politics. There are forums and causes for just about all sides of the political and humanitarian spectrum on their site, and even if you are a clueless newbie who has no interest in politics whatsoever you might at least gain a perspective on this complex world and all of its interlocking pieces that you might not have had before.

While I am not endorsing any particular view or campaign on the site, I am very impressed by what’s being done there. If you have any interest in politics, or just making the world a better place, I encourage you to check their site out at  youthdebates.org. They are also an affiliate link on our main site at www.imperia5x.com.

It’s good to know, in this messed up world, some people are still trying to make a difference. Bravo.

-Steve

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Version .411 is OUT!!! Big balance changes… your games should last longer

Hey everyone!

The newest version of Imperia is out – there aren’t a lot of visible changes, but there are a lot of changes under the hood! The balance has been changed signifcantly, so that the game is easier and the fact that you can do more per turn should make it more fun! Please try this build if you have been frustrated with the difficulty of the game (i.e. hell planets)

-Steve

V.411 Changelog

2.14.15

BUG FIXES

*Fixed issue with scroll arrows not working on non-native resolutions

*Fixed issue with taxes not properly being lowered if people were leaving due to unrest, or to other population factors

MAJOR CHANGES:
*Significantly improved balance – planet habitable minimum bio levels are now 60, not 50. Also made numerous small tweaks to planet generation. The upshot is there should no longer be any ‘hell’ planets as in earlier versions. This is in conjunction with the static modifier change below.
*Raised MDLs for smaller Class 0 and 1 planets
*Changed calculations for mineral and food – now they produce less per level, but balanced somewhat with less need for them
*Added more money to planet treasuries
*Viceroy economic AI has been given a pass; now unless they’re really stupid, they’ll raise taxes more effectively to get a planet out of the red.
*Lowered cost of government/infrastructure
*Added component to power rating: Astrographic power – basically the more sectors you control, and the more powerful they are, the higher your power
*Added new concept: Edict XP. Every turn that a planet, system, or sector contributes to an active Edict, the government modifier increases slightly, eventually allowing more ADM points per population on the planet.
*Added new concept: static modifier. This means that if everything is neutral, meaning nothing great or terrible is happening, popular support will slowly drop each turn. This reflects your empire people’s need to see your empire grow and expand, not stay static. To support this, costs and ADM time have been cut for many Edicts, especially exploration Edicts. Remember that Edicts that are supported by the Imperial capital’s time is affected greatly by your power rating.

*Tweaked galaxy generation to space planets a little bit farther apart

*Planets now have separate mineral values based on class; i.e. radiated planets will have a much higher chance of having luxury minerals and materials than an ice world

*Increased minimum range for warp engines (this will allow mission range to be higher at start)

GRAPHICS
*Added a few more characters
*New cover art
*Adding a few interstitial screens between turns.
*Money and numbers are now rounded to the nearest whole digit and one decimal point, e.g. $1,343,124 dollars (which was in thousands anyway and was confusing) is now $1.3b. I’d like some feedback on this change, to know whether these numbers are easier to understand.

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New Imperia Forum Design, New Staff, New Build… Everything’s Happening!

Hey all!!

When you get a chance, check our our new forum/website design. It’s much more modern, and it has direct links to both the blog and the latest build. We’d like to build an awesome community to help develop and push Imperia forward – to that end, we have completely redesigned our forum!

Special thanks goes out to the team of Allegrif, Devair, and Josh… they will be helping run the forum so that Pavlos and I can concentrate on, well, actually making the game. I am thrilled to have their assistance and they are excited about the possibilities of Imperia, so we have forged a beneficial relationship.

When you have a chance, please check us out! www.imperia5x.com

-Steve

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So Steve, Why are you creating Imperia?

Hey all!

So I’ve been asked a few times by people (by my offline friends, as well as my wife!) why I have spent hundreds and hundreds of hours on a game, a niche game, that probably few people will ever play, and will take a long time to complete. What’s the point?

The point is that I believe in these sort of games. Period.

I look around at the gaming landscape and I have both hope and fear. Fear in the gradual mobilization of gaming into small ‘bite-size’ chunks that anyone can play, games that have the depth of a puddle, games that encourage us to win by essentially hitting the ‘put more money in’ (i.e. PTW) button, like a slot machine. It pains me that games like the Kardashians, Trivie Crack, and Candy Crush make millions and millions of dollars, while truly unique games get almost ignored by today’s gaming youth as a general whole.

But I also have hope. Hope at the many small indies that have sprung up, creating games that THEY would want to play, and developers who aren’t afraid to take risks. I was inspired in part to jump into the deep end of creating Imperia by another game, Aurora, a one-man 4X tour-de-force by Steve Walmsley. It’s programmed in VB6. VB6!!! But the gameplay is insanely deep, and it will let you go as far down the rabbit hole as you want, or until your computer starts to smoke. I look at developers like Arcen Games, who create games that they would want to play, first and foremost, even if they aren’t ‘tried and true’ designs/concepts, even if by making them means they might go bankrupt. I look at the two-man team who has developed Dwarf Fortress, an ASCII game that may be the most procedural game ever created, and has committed to working on DF for 20 years. And I look at Amplitude, who though being the most ‘commercial’ nevertheless reaches out to the community daily, learns from its mistakes, and I believe truly wants to make innovative and memorable games in the genre (Endless Legend, Endless Space)

I want to help keep this light flickering. The grand strategy/4X light has ebbed and flowed over the past few years, and even though we have seen somewhat of a resurgence in the genre over the last few years, many of the games that were released weren’t very good. With every half-assed game that comes out in this field, and the lack of profits that companies might see, I fear that larger companies will simply give up on this genre. There are no more Microproses, Ataris, or New World Computings anymore to showcase these games – Firaxis is about the only AAA publisher/developer left that is committed to making these kind of games, and even their games are quite mainstream! I get it – you’ve got to make money, so you have to appeal to the widest crowd, so I don’t hold it against them in this modern gaming environment.

Which brings me back to Imperia. This is the game I’ve always wanted to make, and I think a lot of people have wanted to play it, even if they didn’t quite realize it. It’s not mainstream, it has a zero budget for marketing, and it’s being made by one programmer and a great artist, with suggestions from some very talented and innovative people. I listen to what you say. I know it’s a long-drop project. And my wife does think I’m crazy for putting so much time into a game that doesn’t even ask for donations.

But I believe in Imperia. I believe in these epic games. And I hope that if you’re reading this, you do too. I’m going to take a page from Amplitude and reach out to you. Let’s make this game – together. Let’s make the game that will hopefully pull some of this generation into strategy gaming, and at the very least, pull some of the people my age (late 30’s) who grew up in what I consider the golden age of grand-scale strategy gaming back to the fold.

Essentially, my stated goal is simple: I want to make Imperia the best and most innovative 4X/5X space strategy game ever made.

Let’s build this crumbling empire. One idea at a time, one code line at a time, one pixel at a time. And unlike many of these projects that start out with fanfare and die soon after, I’ll be here for the long haul. So don’t worry about me. I need you. Tell your friends who might like these games. Contribute. Share your ideas. One word might spark an entirely new concept for the game. You never know! So let’s do this thing.

Together.

-Steve

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What do you like most about the Imperia design/concept?

Hey everyone!

I was curious to know what most appealed to people about Imperia. I always appreciate feedback, so I wanted to start a poll. You can answer up to 3 concepts/ideas that most attract you to Imperia.

Thanks for your feedback!

-Steve

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Imperia Tutorial Video Series Starting!

Hey everyone!

Very excited about the great interest in the new build of Imperia! With so many more people playing means that I think it’s time to have some tutorials! I have started to record some video tutorials that are no more than 10-15 minutes per concept. The first video is now up, and it covers the UI and the tooltips in more specificity then the first video, which was more of a grand overview.

The video is here: http://youtu.be/GC0vPlGjzEU

Look for future videos on Edicts, planetary management, the trade system, and character management!

-Steve

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Imperia .410b Change Log (IMPORTANT INFO!)

Hey everyone!

Hope you are enjoying Imperia! I know that some people are having issues with the game not loading – the new installer that I am using is not correctly checking for prerequsites (namely XNA 4.0 redistributable) so if you are using this installer you will have to download and install it manually. Many computers have this already so you may not need it but if you are getting a white screen or an error on startup, that’s why. I have added the old OneClick version to the download folder that works normally if you don’t want to mess with that.

Here’s the changelog!

Imperia V.410b R2 Change Log/Readme 2.6.15

Notes
* Please uninstall any previous version of Imperia before installing a new version. I have not yet added patch ability. The good news is that the install is relatively quick.
* I am updating the WikiDot Imperia wiki periodically and this will be the best document for questions and how to play Imperia. Please refer back to it frequently.
* If you are using the Actual Installer version, please note that you will have to download and install the XNA 4.0 redistributable if you do not already have it on your computer. The OneClick (the zipped file) will do this automatically.

Fixes
* Fixed some issues with lower resolutions
* Fixed bug with calculating edict times with low Emperor power
* Fixed a few save/load bugs
* Fixed issue with budget not calculating correctly
* Fixed issue with going into negative ADM in certain situations

Changes/Additions
* Added numerous new graphics, including planets, starbases, stars, and other spacey things
* Complete UI overhaul – everything in the game has been revised as a new look is created
* Added additional info panels for Production
* Added system nav bar for widescreen monitors >= 1600 px
* Added army system, generals, and the UI to support moving them, disbanding them, mothballing them, and changing their mission/stance
* Totally revised intel system, splitting into domestic intelligence (gives you more information about your planet’s people) and political intel (take actions against characters)
* Added allies and enemies system, affecting your Power rating as emperor
* Added Pressure and Persuade system, allowing characters higher up a chain of command to pressure or persuade characters who report to them, increasing the chance actions are effective
* Added more character portraits and names
* Added event portraits and event response UI for future events/comms
* Added Develop Specific Economic Sector Edict, to allow focus on a particular sector instead of a whole shot to an entire planet
* Added more events dealing with riots and using your military against your people to lower/suppress unrest
* Added many more conversation strings and stubs in preparation for the ‘HawkTalk’ conversation engine conversion
* Added foundation for Fear/Love mechanic re: Popular support
* Hundreds of small tweaks and changes

Balance
* Increased maximum Total Development Levels across the board – this made starting smaller planets more room
* Increased population per level of economic sector to 1.2 million
* Gave more minerals and food to starting planets
* Lowered ADM costs across the board for Edicts
* Added more starting ADM for the Emperor (more to do now!)
* Added more to starting sector treasuries (they were going bankrupt too quickly!)
* Added Fear modifiers to certain events and stances
* Tweaked popular support and unrest factors to be less punishing
* With more options to control unrest, reset wage factors on unrest
* Decreased Admin/Gov costs, making it easier to build more ADM on planets
* Made System Edicts less reliant on Emperor power (since it starts much lower

Unresolved Issues
If you use the mousewheel to scroll up and down intel lists, it also effects the zoom level of the quadrant map. I can fix this, but it will require a rewrite of the zoom function and is not a huge priority at this time.

Thank you! If you are still having issues with Imperia, please post at www.imperia5x.com and I will help!

-Steve

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Imperia V.410b RELEASED!!!!*

*Finally, right?

Hey all, great news – while I can’t be totally sure that I got all the bugs out with the new release, Pavlos and I think you’ll enjoy it. This is a MASSIVE UPDATE that changes virtually everything about the game, and adds expanded intel, a totally revised UI, the army system, the pressure/persuade system, a revised economy model, a rebalancing, and more!! We have put a lot of work into the graphics and UI, and feedback is welcome!!

I’m exhausted, so I’m just going to let you try it out on the usual link at Sourceforge. There is also a new installer; goodbye OneClick!

Please enjoy, please remember it’s a beta, and please don’t kill me if something doesn’t work right. The game is getting large enough that I don’t know that I could catch every bug that might occur. Please send a bug report that is generated to the imperia5x.com forums – it would really help.

Enjoy!!!

-Steve

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Imperia 5X Let’s Play is now live! First 15 months of a new emperor’s life..

Hey everyone!!

The first (true) LP is now live on YouTube. It shows off several of the new gameplay mechanics and Edicts, as well as the military, intel, and character interaction options. Plus, you get to see the most updated UI! Fun, fun, fun!

Here’s the link:  http://youtu.be/UJccFfmcSQw

Enjoy!! Expect .410b to be released in a day or two. It’s essentially ready.

-Steve