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What’s coming, and when!

Hello everyone, today is a very exciting day for me: it’s the first day that I am working full-time at KatHawk Studios! I now have a publisher and we will be working side by side to make AotSS as good as it can possibly be!

To that end, I wanted to share the revised roadmap. Now that we have firm release dates for EA and a fairly good idea of when we want to launch the game at 1.0, I can share with you the plan moving forward! Note that this is the roadmap at this point, and while we are pretty confident that it will be the moving plan, things can and do change, and as part of our Customer Bill of Rights, we will let you know when/if that happens!

Without further ado, here’s the plan!

.7 (COPERNICUS) MILESTONES

  • .7.6 – TARGET DATE: 9/1/19
    • Begin: Add Secrets/Rumors/Plots
      • Add 3rd tab to Character Screen for Secrets/Rumors
      • Add Rumor/Secrets Logic
    • Continue: Add Inquisitor System
      • Add Actions for investigating Rumors
    • Continue: Add Comms
      • Add at least 20 Comms
    • Begin: Add Science/Reform System
      • Balance and add UI for Science output
    • Add Science/Reform Screen
    • Add Static Grand Vizier Help Screens
    • Begin: Add Stories
      • Flesh out main story types (plot, major, side)
    • Continue: Add Plots (at least 10)
    • Complete: Comm System
    • Complete: Inquisitor System
    • Complete: Help System
  • .7.7 – TARGET DATE: 9/24/19 – .7 VERSION COMPLETE
    • Begin: House to House Diplomatic System Improved
      • Specific House Actions added that can be done to each other
      • War/Alliance Code Added
      • House AI Adds Relationships between each other and adds Actions
      • Actions to change relations coded
      • Add Diplomatic Stances to House AI
      • Add AI State: Retreat/Consolidate
      • Update House Window UI to show effects
    • Continue: Diplomatic System Balanced
      • Review AI for responding to your actions
      • Review UI for showing reactions to actions
    • Continue: Add at least 10 Reforms with implemented effects
    • Continue: Story System
      • Add UI
      • Add 1-2 test stories
    • Continue: Add at least 15 Innovations with implemented effects
    • Complete: Intel System

 

.8 (GALILEO) MILESTONES

(MAJOR FEATURES: EMPEROR SYSTEM AND MILITARY SYSTEM, GLOBAL EVENTS)

  •  .8.1 – TARGET DATE: 10/25/19
    • Begin: Add Emperor System
      • Add UI for Emperor Diary (main screen)
      • Add effects of unique skills, as well as skills
      • Add additional portraits/full-body art
      • Add Personal Actions (training, etc.)
    • Begin: Add Character Face Gen System
      • Add logic
      • Add at least 5 pieces of each part of face (eyes, ears, hair, etc)
    • Complete: Story System
    • Complete: House/House Diplomacy System
    • Complete: Science/Innovation System
  • .8.2 – TARGET DATE: 11/25/19
    • Begin: Add Celestial Council
      • Add CC Window
        • Add CC Format/Layout
        • Add interface to propose bills and review current vote
      • Add Council Actions to Character Comm Screen
      • Add Council Ambitions to House AI (Primary Category: Power)
      • Add Council AI for voting tendencies
    • Begin: Add Global Events System
      • Add Event Functions
      • Add UI (similar to Comm UI)
      • Add at least 5 test Events
    • Continue: Add Emperor System
      • Add minigames (hunting, logic) – OPTIONAL if time permits
      • Add events that change skills
    • Continue: Add Facegen art – tweak/balance system
  • .8.3 – TARGET DATE: 1/1/2020
    • Begin: Add Military System
      • Add Core Functionality
      • Add Military System Base UI
        • Planet Info – Military Value
        • System Into – Military Value
      • Add Core Combat Unit Data
      • Add Military Academies/Warship Factories to Build Options
    • Continue: Add Events
      • Add and test at least 20 Events
    • Complete: Emperor System
    • Complete: Facegen System
    • Complete: Celestial Council
  • .8.4 – TARGET DATE: 2/5/2020
    • Continue: Add Military System
      • Add Military Plans
      • Add Generals/Admirals
      • Add Space Battle Logic
      • Add Ground Battle/Region Invasion Logic
      • Add Military Overview Screen
      • Add Diplomatic Reactions to Military Plans
      • Add Military Options to House AI
    • Continue: Add Events
      • Add and test at least 20 Events
  • .9.0 WILL BE EA CANDIDATE

 

.9 (KELLER) MILESTONES

(MAJOR FEATURES: XYL SYSTEM, OUTSIDE COLONIES, ADD MOVIES/ART FOR WIN/LOSE)

  • .9.1 – TARGET DATE: 3/5/2020
    • Begin: Add Xyl End Game
      • Add Art (Xyl Design)
      • Add Basic Mechanic (update placeholder mechanic from .7)
      • Add Xyl Progress Screen
    • Update: Add Outside Empires
      • Reprogram generation algorithm to meet new role
      • Place according to culture and ring
      • Add UI for outside empire stars
    • Complete: Events System
    • Complete: Military System
  • .9.2 – TARGET DATE: 4/1/2020
    • Continue: Add Xyl End Game
      • Add Xyl Final Battle Mechanics
      • Add Psionic System
      • Add Story Events
    • Continue: Add Outside Empires
      • Add Diplomacy
      • Add Art for Outside Empires (crests)
      • Add Additional Character System
  • .9.3 – TARGET DATE: 4/25/2020
    • Add: Win/Loss/Intro Movies
    • Add: Tutorial System
    • Complete: Xyl End Game
    • Complete: Outside Empires
    • Complete: Any Other System Not Finished

 COMPLETE! (ADD: AS NEEDED) TARGET: 5/15/2020 (10 MONTHS)

Hopefully this will help visualize the progress of the game and what to expect with the initial EA build. Expect to get updates much more going forward!

-Steve

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.7.5 Update Changelog Notes!

Hey everyone!

Without further ado, here are the changelog notes from .7.5. A lot here!

7.5.0 Changelog Notes – WIP

7.18.19

MAJOR ADDITIONS/CHANGES

  • Added: Spec Ops
    • You will now be able to ‘Prep Special Operations’ as a status once an Inquisitor has been assigned to a House or a Character. This will generate Spec Op points every month towards that target (either the Character or the House Leader)
    • Once you have at least the minimum number of points for a Spec Op (shown on the left in purple on the Action; greyed out until you have at least the minimum shown) you can take the Action at any time. You will have a chance of success (shown on the right of the Action button) that can go as high as 95% (always a chance of failure!) the higher above the minimum Spec Op points you go, the greater your chance of success (represents more planning)
    • Once you initiate a Spec Op, you will find out how it went the following turn as an Event: Success, Non-Critical Failure, or Critical Failure:
      • Success: the op happens as planned, and the desired action takes place. The squad reverts to Passive Intel status, and they gain a significant Spec OP XP
      • Non-Critical Failure: the op did not come off as planned, but the squad’s cover for whatever reason was not blown. You may have them try again next month (in which case you do not need to do anything) or you can change their status/mission. No adverse effects occur, just wasted time/prep. Squad gains a small amount of Spec Op XP
      • Critical Failure: the op failed, and very publically. Your Squad gets away, but is considered injured/damaged in the attempt and will be in Working Up status for 2-6 months. Significant repercussions will happen to you depending on the severity of the Ops (usually a huge hit from the Character’s House in negative rep, also an increase in Fear and Grudge.
    • There are no limits to how many Ops you may have going at one time – as long as you have a free Inquisitor squad, you can do one!
  • Added: Character Fear Mechanic
    • Characters now have a fear level of you from 0-100, where 0 is absolutely fearless and 100 is terrified. This can be determined in very general terms, becoming more specific as you get more Intel Progress on a Character.
    • This effects how likely they are to agree to an Action, their speech/attitude towards you, how likely they are to Demand or Threaten something vs. Request or Favor, and how likely they are to join Plots against you.
    • Keep in mind that while a character with a high Fear level will be far more likely to do what you ask, they will more than likely hold a Grudge which never drops naturally, making them more likely to retaliate if they have an opportunity in the future.
    • Fear drops very slowly over time naturally, and can also be dropped quickly by positive Actions (getting to know Character, making a positive Speech, lending your Support, and promoting them to a higher Position)
    • When you start the game, since you are a young Emperor and widely ignored, most Characters will not Fear you very much. Doing Tyrannical things early in your reign is certainly a viable strategy as long as you can deal with the long-term repercussions!
  • ADDED: Blackmail Mechanic
    • Blackmail is a special status that stays on a Character indefinitely. If you successfully complete the Spec Op ‘Blackmail Character’ they will have a special Blackmail Status. This means the following:
      • They will hate you virulently – their Grudge Level goes to 100
      • They will always agree with what Action you ask for, but the strength of the demand may ‘break’ the Blackmail hold. In other words, if you demand a Holding from a Blackmailed House Leader, they will agree – but asking such a strong thing will almost certainly ‘break’ the blackmail. If you ask for minor things that they might have agreed to anyway, it is very likely that they will stay blackmailed.
      • They will always serve – if they are in ‘Will Not Serve’ status, that will change, making them available for Projects and Offices
      • This status will not affect other Characters’ secondary effects (they aren’t going to tell their friends that they’re being blackmailed, after all!) but ONCE THE HOLD IS BROKEN, ALL Allies and Friends of the Character will have a Grudge and Fear rise of varying amounts depending on the Character and the closeness of the relationship!
    • Once a Character is blackmailed, you can voluntarily release the Blackmail through a Friendly Action. The Character will react much less violently than if they broke it themselves, but they will still not be happy with you, especially depending on the Actions they agreed to during the time of Blackmail.
  • ADDED: Decision Score/Grand Vizier Feedback
    • You will now have significant feedback about whether to spend an AP (and live with the consequences) of asking a Character to do something. Depending on the Intel Progress level, you will have a range of what the Character’s Decision Score (DS) will be regarding the specific Action. Your Grand Vizier will give his opinion depending on the amount of Intel and the score range. Keep in mind that since you do not have exact intel, in close situations, your GV may say that it is more likely than not, but the opposite effect happens.
    • Also, the conversation will be color-coded for quick reference – Green = likely, Yellow – maybe, Red – probably not.
  • ADDED: ‘Neutral’ answer possibility
    • Currently, there are only 2 possible answers when a Character responds: Positive (good results) and Negative (bad results). Now there is a ‘middle ground’ option where basically you didn’t really succeed or fail, but you got a non-answer. In other words, you won’t accomplish what you wanted, but you won’t get a negative effect, either, beyond wasting an AP point.
  • ADDED: Assassination System Expansion
    • Now you can see your monthly Assassination Attempt chance right on the main UI by your Power. A few changes to this have been made:
      • This represents the monthly chance that an ATTEMPT will be made on your life by someone in the Empire. This does NOT take into effect Plots. Those are effectively unknown until/unless they are discovered.
      • At the end of each month, a D1000 roll is made against your assassination chance and if it is LOWER, then an assassination attempt will be made on the next turn. You will have the chance to spend AP for the month, but a random AP expenditure will ‘trigger’ the attempt and you will see the result on a pop-up screen. This can be anything from a missed attempt to an injury that lowers your AP for a few months to, yes, death. (though this is a very low chance)
      • If you don’t spend any AP points, the check is made when you hit ‘END TURN’. There is no escaping the assassination check once it has been rolled. It represents the fact that it will happen sometime that month, but it might happen at the beginning or the end of the month.
      • Factors lowering the check: Low Unrest on your planets, having a smaller Empire (the fewer people, the fewer nut jobs!), high Love, low Fear, being a Tyrant (having a higher Fear than Love), and having a positive GEP. Any of these factors in reverse will raise the chance. You can have a 0.0% chance if your factors are low enough.

 

MINOR ADDITIONS/CHANGES/BALANCE

  • CHANGED: Spamming of Actions
    • You can no longer ‘spam’ the same Action multiple times in a turn. Once you attempt an Action, you may not attempt it again that turn.
  • CHANGED: Logistical Network Limits
    • Logistical networks can now only be built to Level III, but their overall area of effect is greater. In addition, there can only be one LN per system, and they can only be built as follows:
      • LN I – Can not be built on a new colony or outpost, must be an established colony or higher rank
      • LN II – Can only be built on a system capital or above
      • LN III – Can only be built on a province capital or civ capital
    • They also cost more per level to maintain. The idea is to limit the LN spam, and build them only when absolutely necessary to expand to another constellation.
  • CHANGED: UI for Power
    • With your Power being so central to the game, the UI for the main screen has been adjusted to add your Assassination Chance, and your current Power is now shown prominently with your change up/down from last turn as an arrow.
  • CHANGED: Economic Prime Tax Effectiveness
    • Now can only be 25% – 115% max.
  • ADDED: New AI House Actions
    • Houses have been given additional Demands and Threats, and can now correctly build Logistical Stations. In addition, they better prioritize systems to claim.
  • ADDED: ADM Tooltip
    • Now when you hover over an ADM value in the system or planet mode, you will get an expanded tooltip explaining how the ADM was generated for the planet and the bonuses/maluses affecting it.
  • ADDED: New Relationship Types
    • Now, there are Patron and Protegee Relationships, as well as Hanger-On and Hung-Upon. These are essentially positive relationships, although the Hung-Upon character sees the Hanger-On as a junior partner in the relationship.
  • ADDED: More Conversation Engine Tags
    • There are now over 250 lines of speech that Characters can say randomly during conversation, and additional speech has been added for the new relationships and the Blackmail mechanic.
  • CHANGED: Intel Nexus UI
    • Cleaner and more iconography to make it easier to navigate the Inquisitor Info blocks.
  • CHANGED: Made the Comm UI clearer – now it is explicit when a Character is issuing a Demand, a Threat, or a Request (color cues). Also added a reminder about the Power effect on the choice
  • BALANCE: Made it harder to migrate – what was happening is any time there was an open job there would be a huge land rush and like 30 Pops would leave to try to get the one job, and 29 of them would be stuck on the new planet in the same situation
  • BALANCE: Viceroys now weight less for ADM generation
  • BALANCE: Government Complexes now produce 5 ADM instead of 4
  • BALANCE: Factories generate 3 times more BP per level
  • GRAPHIC: Made nebulae much lighter on the galaxy screen

BUG FIXES

  • As a general note, there should now be no crash bugs or hangs with turns at this point.
  • Save/Load now work again
  • Fixed issue where after a load, the GEP wouldn’t calculate correctly from earlier versions
  • Fixed all remaining tool tips bugs – wrote null catch code so it should cover any missing descriptions or icon names
  • Fixed bug with graduations not being correct
  • Fixed issue with conversations not always shedding their tags
  • Fixed major issue where a planet with a bio below 50 would not generate hardly any pops, thus creating situations where Houses would have like 20 people
  • Fixed all non-working Action responses
  • Fixed format issue on Action response
  • Fixed issue with Allied Power not showing up correctly in the Main Display – it was stuck to the same number
  • Fixed issue with when trying to perform an Action on a System/Planet that had been attached to a Province, but had not yet been assigned a Governor, you would not have any choices for Project staffing
  • Corrected Assassination formula
  • Fixed issue where Fear was being calculated incorrectly
  • Fixed issue where Comms were being treated as Demands when they should have been Requests, and vice versa

 

 

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Developer Diary 7.15 – Let’s Talk About Fear!

Hey everyone!

Steve here, with a poppin’ fresh development diary. In this episode, I want to talk about a concept that is being added significantly with the upcoming .7.5 update and will be a prominent factor in how you play your game: fear.

Fear actually works on 2 levels: how Characters fear you and how your Pops fear you. Pop Fear mainly determines whether you are seen as Benevolent or Tyrannical, which is its own discussion for a later time (it doesn’t affect game play yet beyond your title). Character Fear, however, will very much determine game play.

For starters, every Character has a Fear level of you from 0-100, where 0 = fearless and 100 = shit-your-pants terror. Of course, you won’t see this number (when was the last time you said to someone, “I’m 42% scared of that guy!”)  but you will have this information in 3 areas: character tooltips, the character screen, and the conversation screen. It will be presented as a phrase, depending on your Intel Progress with that character, and the higher the IP the more specific the phrasing (much like attributes).

Simple. So what does Fear affect? Many things: a character’s willingness to ask you for a demand or threat vs a favor or request, their strategy towards you, it adjusts their Decision Score (higher Fear = lower DS), and having a high Fear level gradually builds up their Grudge level.

How can you affect Fear? Easy! Do hostile things that succeed (challenges, exiles, public reprimands, etc), as well as Inquisitor Spec Ops like Intimidation or Blackmail, and sometimes by simply being more powerful than them! (Power truly is everything in AotSS. You can’t overstate its importance either way for your success or failure.) Over time, Fear will decay as the things you have done are forgotten, but a Character’s Grudge level will not decay, and a high Grudge level leads to Plots against you (FYI, Grudge levels are NEVER public, but you might get Rumor Intel saying that a certain Character is very unhappy with you) so keep in mind who you strong-arm!

Since creating Fear also virtually always increases your Power, this may seem like an easy road to keep your Power high and get things done, and indeed it might be, but since a Character’s Grudge level never decays, you will find yourself having to work harder and harder and expend more and more AP (Action Points) to get Characters to do what you want them to do, because at a certain Grudge level they will NEVER ally with you or even become indifferent, they will ALWAYS be an enemy – it’s just a matter of controlling them at that point. In addition, people who have a high Fear of you also pass along their Grudge levels to people that they are Allies and Friends with, so you will basically piss off a lot more Characters than you might expect when you do things that jump the Fear level on a Character who is heavily connected.

Fear works alongside another stat that is handled in a similar way: Trust. That will get the next DD – so signing off!

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Power – The Lifeblood of AotSS

Hey everyone!

I wanted to take this time to write a quick dev blog about the concept of Character and Emperor Power. It’s actually critically important to the game, but I don’t think I’ve spent that much time on it. It will be very important to understand how you win and lose Challenges, how likely characters are to do what you want, and what happens when you gain and lose Power as the Emperor.

The first thing to understand about Power is that there are actually 2 types of Power: Inherent Power and Accrued Power. Inherent Power comes from your rank, your House Power, and your personal possessions. House Leaders’ Inherent Power is the same as their House Power since they are essentially the one and the same for practicality’s sake. Accrued Power is what can fluctuate the most throughout the game. This is the Power that you can gain or lose through Projects, Actions, Events, Comms, and Challenges. It can go below 0 which means that it can drive your overall Power lower than your Inherent Power.

Remember that Accrued Power is in many respects a perception of your influence throughout your Empire. You can have the trappings of power like a military, government, and Holdings (which make up your Inherent Power) but if people perceive you as weak or that you can’t control these levers of power effectively, you have an effective Power much lower than what you might otherwise be able to project. This is what AotSS models – not just the tools of power (which virtually every other 4X game does) but your perceived ability to use and intelligently wield it!

Anyway, so when is Power used? It’s used many times throughout the game, but most notably in 3 areas: when a Character is determining whether or not to do an Action, when a House is deciding whether to take action against you or your House, and when you have been Challenged (not in the game yet, but added soon!)

I am going to be rewriting the Action check to be much simpler – currently there are a whole raft of factors influencing it, but the reality of this is that you the player have to have a reasonable understanding going into the interaction of what will happen, without being quite sure. So the calculation will be greatly simplified to this:

(CHARACTER POWER + (HOUSE POWER / 3)) * RELATIONSHIP MODIFIER) + TRAIT MODIFIERS – PRESSURE = DECISION SCORE.

If the Decision Score of the Character is LOWER than the Emperor’s Power, then the Character will agree to the Action request. If it is HIGHER or EQUAL, then they will not. Period. Characters who are your Friends will ALWAYS agree with an Action request. I want to make this process much more simple and transparent. So as an example:

I am asking Viceroy Thedonoius to increase production on the planet Vesuvius. He has a personal Power of 95 and his House (Hawken) has a Power of 315. We are Allies, which is a positive Relationship and has a modifier of .25. He is Industrious, which means he is more willing to back Actions that improve Industry in his COI (Chain of Influence) and gives a modifier of -50 to any positive Industry Action (and vice versa). He is not being Pressured by anyone above him, so his Pressure is 0. My power is 318. So:

(95 + (315/3 = 105)) * .25) – 50 – 0 = (200 * .25) – 50 = (50 – 50) = 0. Is 0 (Decision Score) lower than 315 (Emperor Power)? YES. Character will AGREE to Action.

You as the Player will have access to these modifiers on the decision screen. They will replace the Grand Vizier’s information. Originally the GV was going to give you a hint as to whether the character would say yes or no, but I felt that losing an AP to what essentially is a weighted guess would be too punitive in a game where every turn counts and you’re essentially racing the clock.

Note: Characters who are currently Blackmailed will also always agree, but then they will immediately make a Blackmail Break check to determine whether they stay blackmailed for future requests.

This will also make it clear what you need to do in order to sway a Character to your cause, and whether it’s better to go the slow route and build up a relationship with them or to be more devious and Pressure/Blackmail them, or simply strip their Power. That part is up to you as the player, but you will now have better tools to make that decision.

Let’s now talk about what Power means for you beyond Actions and Challenges. Generally, you want to keep your Power above 200 at a bare minimum. As to why, let’s take a look at an Action request to a higher-level Character, like a province governor with a Power of 150, a House Power of 410, and a Relationship of Shunning (1.25 modifier). So:

(150 + (410/3 = 137)) * 1.25 – 0 = 187 * 1.25 = 234. Is 234 lower than 200? NO. Character will NOT AGREE to Action.

When you have even stronger negative Relationship Modifiers (Rival = 1.5; Vendetta/Vengeance = 3.0) you need very high levels of Power to ‘break through’ their refusal. (In these cases, you can think of it as strong-arming them to do what you want. They won’t be happy about it, but since your Power imbalance is so great they are compelled to do so.) So if you have a Character who is acting as a roadblock to do what you want, you basically can work on 5 levers to change that:

  • Increase your Power
  • Reduce their Power (negative lever)
  • Reduce their House Power (negative lever)
  • Improve your relationship with that Character
  • Blackmail/Pressure the Character (negative lever)

A Negative Lever will hurt your relationship with both the character and with their House, so be careful if you go that route!

When your power gets below 100, you are in serious trouble. At that point, your assassination chance goes way up as rival Houses see weakness. You would want to take immediate steps to gain Power ASAP. If it ever ends up at or below 0 at the end of a turn, you lose the game due to becoming a Figurehead and the strongest House at that time claims the Celestial Throne.

So how do you gain Power? Great question! Lots of ways:

  • Complete (not just start!) Projects. Each Project has a Power Rating. As Emperor, you get half of this when the Project is completed. Projects that expand your Empire like claiming Systems, Colonizing planets and building Logistical Networks will greatly increase your Accrued Power, and in some cases also increase your Base Power if you are adding Holdings.
  • Improve your Holdings – i.e. increase their Production, GPP, etc. Planet Holdings have an overall Planet Value that take into account the overall productivity of a planet, as well as its size and influence. These then affect your Base Power)
  • Win Challenges (will grow your Accrued Power)
  • Increase your Military Budget (will grow your Accrued Power)
  • Build Fleets and Armies (will grow your Base Power) (coming soon!)
  • Grow your House by adding Holdings and powerful Characters (this will increase your Base Power)
  • Get Married (coming soon!)
  • Refuse a Demand or Threat from a Character
  • Publicly shame or denounce a character, with an Accrued Power boost proportionate to their Power. Keep in mind that they may then declare a Challenge, and their House won’t like it either, but your Pops and other Characters will see it as a sign of strength.
  • Completing Favors for Houses (coming soon!)
  • Build Inquisitor Squads
  • Events that pop up from time to time (coming soon!)

As important, how do you lose Power? Again, lots of ways:

  • Give in to a Demand or Threat from a Character
  • Lose a Challenge, or fail to accept a Challenge
  • Lose Holdings (i.e. weaken your House)
  • Have your Holdings become less efficient, usually by losing population, riots, or lack of productivity
  • Fail in Claiming a System
  • Fail at completing a Favor for a House
  • Reduce your Military Budget below the minimum threshold to maintain a reasonable threat posture (this will be indicated on the Budget Screen for now and expanded when the Military System is installed)
  • Disband Inquisitor Squads
  • Have an Action refused by a Character
  • Accrued Power will naturally attrit each turn a few points (the ‘what have you done for me lately’ effect)

The Power tooltip will be rewritten to show what factors are going into your current Power so it will help you make better decisions about what to do!

Last, let’s talk about Challenges. They are not really in the game yet but they will be soon! Basically, Challenges occur when a Character ‘challenges’ your authority in some way and ‘calls you out’ publicly, while ‘bidding’ an amount of Power at stake no more than 20% of their total Power.

At that time, you can decide whether to accept or decline the challenge. If you decline, you will lose 20 Power automatically. If you accept, you will have up to 5 turns to ‘recruit’ Characters to support you in this Challenge. This will be a personal Action. If they agree, they will add their Power to the Challenge Power (CP). You will have a general idea of the other Character’s current CP depending on the level of Intel you have on the Character (Max Intel will always show you their exact CP) After 5 turns, whoever has more CP wins the challenge, and gains the staked Power as Accrued Power while the losing Character loses that Power.

As you can hopefully see, Power is super important to how you rule, and you can’t forget about it as you consider your strategy. This is why it’s important to make friends with both Characters and Houses, and why it can be beneficial to ‘build up’ certain Characters whom you have a very positive relationship with to support you in Actions and Challenges.

That’s it for now… have a great day!

-Steve

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.7.4.0 Changelog Released!

Hey everyone!

HUGE update inbound! It should be out in the next day or so. Without further ado, here’s the list!

7.4.0 Changelog Notes – WIP

6.14.19

MAJOR ADDITIONS/CHANGES

  • Added: Intel System
    • Major new gameplay system has now been added and is about 80% complete. This will break down the highlights:
      • Inquisitors added
      • Intel Progress added
      • Intel Nexus screen added
      • Intel-related Projects added
      • Statistical/goal Intel added
      • Assignments and budgets added
      • Informers added
      • Empire Intelligence Centers added
      • Intel-related Actions added
      • Special Ops added
      • Fear-related effects added
    • Inquisitors
      • Inquisitors are actually squads of heavily weaponized, trained agents, of which there is a lead Inquisitor that is represented in the game. Inquisitors have 2 main stats, Espionage (affects Intel missions, Trial missions, and general survivability) and Special Ops (affects special operations such as assassinations, blackmail, intimidation, etc.) An Inquisitor can be set to several Missions:
        • Passive Intel – allows you to gather information slowly in a planet, system, or province range on characters that are currently residing within that range. This Mission will not raise Fear, as it is covert.
        • Active Intel – more aggressive than Passive Intel, this represents the Inquisitors using more, ah, direct means to gather information, including intimidation. This is far more effective in gathering Intel Progress on your target, but it will raise the Fear level significantly and the affiliated House/Character will take a very dim view of being actively investigated.
        • Training – Basically gives the squad additional XP per month which can lead to an increase in either the team’s Espionage or Spec Ops skill.
        • Stand Down – Inquisitor squads cost money to have active. This Mission will put the squad in reserve, and while it will not cost anything against your Intel budget, the squad will slowly lose experience, and eventually points off their ratings, In addition, the longer they have been stood down, the longer it takes to reactivate them.
      • Inquisitors can be assigned to 3 types of targets: Characters, Houses, or Planets. If they are assigned to a Planet, they can also set a Scope for Intel Missions: Planet, System, or Province. It takes several months for an Inquisitor to set up and find a new Target, which is represented in the Preparing For Mission status.
    • Intel Progress
      • Intel Progress is a 0-100 number that represents the progress made towards maximum Intel on a Target. Basically, the more IP on a Target, the more you know about the stats/plans/etc. Slowly decays over time if there is no active Informer presence or Intel mission attached to the Target.
    • Intel Nexus Screen
      • This screen will show you your budget for the year, the projected and current Inquisitor budget, the current Informer budget, and the status of all Inquisitor squads. You can change the mission and target of any Inquisitor from here, or disband them entirely.
    • Intel-related Projects
      • You can currently build or expand an existing Empire Intelligence Center up to level 3. You can only build EICs on capital worlds (system or province)
    • Statistical/Goal Intel
      • In conjunction with Intel Progress, this dictates everything you know about a Target – it determines what data you can see about a House/Character/Planet, how accurate that information is, and with the next update, it will give you information about possible Plots that the Character is involved in.
    • Assignments/Budgets
      • You will now be able to set the Intel Budget at the start of the year and see what needs to be allocated to keep all of your Inquisitor squads from disbanding due to not being paid in full! (Loyalty, after all, comes at a price.) Anything above what is required to fund your Inquisitors in full will be allocated as the Informer budget, which you can set on individual Planets as needed.
    • Informers
      • Informers are your low-level intel net made up of Pops who are willing to divulge information about Characters on Planets where they are active. They do not have an influence on Houses or Planets, but they are a relatively inexpensive way to maintain intel on Characters who stay on a certain Planet. They do not increase the Fear level, and their willingness to inform is based on the budget set for the planet, their Culture, and their Love for you. In other words, don’t expect Pops to spy for you if the vast majority of them hate you.
    • Empire Intelligence Centers
      • EICs are the hub of your Intel network. Here is where Inquisitors are trained and supported, and they also serve as a planetary nexus for intel. They have 2 main functions – they set the maximum number of Inquisitor squads you can have in the Empire (the total number of levels of EIC) and they act as an Intel-gathering entity that always works passively, even if you don’t have Inquisitors present. It does raise Fear on the planet it is built on, however, while Level II EICs can cover and provide passive intel for a system (and raise fear) and Level III EICs can cover a province (and raise more fear throughout). They are progressively more expensive to maintain, and their costs come out of the planet’s Infrastructure budget.
    • Intel-related Actions
      • You will be able to assign Spec Op Missions to Characters that have Inquisitors assigned through the Character Action UI. If that character has an Inquisitor attached that is set for Spec Op Prep, Missions will appear for that Character. If no Inquisitor is attached, the Intel tab will not appear at all!
    • Special Ops
      • You will be able to do several special ops. In this release, you will be able to do 2: Assassination and Blackmail. More Spec Ops will be available shortly.
      • You select these by first assigning an Inquisitor to a Character, then setting their mission to “Spec Ops Prep”. They will start accumulating Spec Op points. Once they reach certain thresholds, Spec Ops will start to show active. The higher points you have over the minimum, the more likely the chance for success, but beware – an inexperienced Inquisitor could be caught in the act preparing with a big hit to the Emperor’s Power and Fear!
    • Fear System
      • The Fear System has been added as a counterpoint to Love. Love represents the overall feeling that Pops have about you; a low Love rating is essentially a low public approval, while a high Love rating means they’ll run through walls for you. Fear works differently – the higher it goes, the more likely that unrest and riots will break out. Once fear goes higher than love, you are considered a tyrant and your titles will change appropriately. Tyrants must spend a tremendous amount of military to keep Fear high enough to keep the Empire stable, but keep in mind that while Fear will drop if you don’t continuously show force to your people, your Love will be very slow to increase once you’ve shown you rule tyrannically! This system will continue to evolve as the Military and Science/Reform systems are added.
    • Added: Intel UI
      • See above for more information. Includes empire, system, and planet level UI showing information about Informers, EIC level, Inquisitors on a planet/system, the chance of an Intel increase on any one Character on a planet, and more!
    • Added: New Action: Request Favor with House
      • Now you will be able to ask a House Character whom you have a strong relationship with to intercede on your behalf with their House Leader. If successful, your Positive Rep with that House will increase depending on their success.
    • Added: Claim System/Influence
      • Now you will have more information showing the Influence of each House on each system from the Political Command Mode on the Galaxy View. Each House will be shown in descending order of Influence on a system.
      • You can claim any System if you are the first to put in a Claim regardless of Influence, but you will probably annoy the House who has the most Influence, and if you do not quickly strengthen your claim, a House with more Influence will override your Claim and you will lose yours. To expand your Influence, you must colonize planets, build outposts, and build installations like Starbases, Logistical Networks, etc. Influence drops off sharply about 300 AUs from the system in question, then levels out as it continues to drop until Influence ends about 15K AUs from a given system.
      • Remember that you can not build in a System that you do not have a Claim on!
    • Added: Budget Subsidy From Imperial Treasury
      • Now you will be able to allocate money when you are setting the yearly budget from your Imperial Treasury to the budget by setting a slider next to the budget sliders. It costs 25 Power to do this (it’s a sign of weakness to have to dip into reserve funds) but will make your Pops slightly happier (you are willing to use your personal wealth to improve the lives of the people).
      • This can only be used during the yearly budget allocation, and does not have to be used at all!
      • If you go negative in your GPP at the end of the year, you MUST use this subsidy to bring the budget to at least 0 (i.e. you are not in debt). It will still cost 25 Power. If you can not do this, your Empire will collapse, you will be deposed, and you will lose the game.
    • Changed: Migration Balance
      • Now Pops will migrate when they are happier if there’s a planet or colony that seems like it will provide a better opportunity. This should result in more overall migration!
      • In sum, planets that are not nice places to live will have less migration than before AS LONG AS there is opportunity and positive factors (retail, trade, jobs, etc).
    • Changed: Color-indicative UI
      • Now each Command Mode will have its own dominant color for system and planet screens, Projects, etc. This should make it easier to determine immediately what Mode you are in, as well as provide some color feedback. The colors are:
        • Military: Red
        • Economic: Green
        • Political: Yellow
        • Intel: Purple
        • Demographic: Blue
        • Overview: White
      • This system will continue to evolve as the game is developed!
    • Added: Change Assignment Action
      • A requested feature, now you can swap Characters who serve either in the Council as Primes or Characters who are Viceroys/Governors in your Holdings, as opposed to designating them for assignment and then reselecting them. This will simply swap the Characters’ Assignments. Note that if a Character is being demoted, i.e. from a province governor to a viceroy, they will not be happy, and vice versa. They cannot decline since they serve at your pleasure.
      • I have also expanded and improved the Character Selection UI in the Action screen. You will be able to see the tooltip, the House, and you can now sort by all Viceroys, Governors, Primes, and Courtiers. You can also sort by Skill. When you have an Action that will allow a swap, a ‘SWAP CHARACTER’ button will appear, and you will be able to access the Character Rank filter. Otherwise, you will only be able to select from ‘free’ characters (courtiers) as usual.
      • Note that you can NOT swap out Characters who are serving other Houses this way. In other words, you can not replace a Viceroy who is running a House Holding that is not yours and is not part of your House since you do not have authority to do so. You can only ask them to step down or exile them (or kill them!) to get rid of them.
    • UPDATED: Major optimization changes
      • Continuing to optimize the turn generation and graphics – most people should now get 60+ FPS on all screens. Still working on overview screen on planet view, but overall significant improvement
      • Turns should only take about 15-20 seconds to generate now, unless you are playing very large empires

 

MINOR ADDITIONS/CHANGES/BALANCE

  • Added more Requests/Demands
  • Added 3 more secondary strategies for House AI
  • Changed the Character Screen to make accommodations for the Intel system; also changed the Action Panel to only show categories that were relevant to the Character. For example, if a Character is a Courtier, they will not have any Assignment Actions since they do not have an Assignment, so there will not be an Assignment tab!
  • Added more tooltips
  • Continue to balance the economy – Planets should generally produce more Build Points. Also scaled down the amount of BP required for some installation’s maintenance.
  • Balanced map sizes slightly – now ‘small’ is actually larger with more constellations. This should allow all Houses to find at least one Holding without having to resort to taking a ‘bad’ one.
  • Rewrote the House Holding algorithm to deliberately create unbalanced House Holdings. Now, you will see one or two ‘much more powerful’ Houses as opposed to all of them having roughly the same number of Holdings.
  • Added more Events

 

 

BUG FIXES

  • Fixed major crash bug relating to the House AI not being able to execute a Secondary Action
  • Fixed major bug with the economy – the percentages should now be correct.
  • Fixed major hang bug with starting a game – the game would not generate enough Characters to populate all roles in the Empire
  • Fixed bug with Houses not going down to the lower relationship level once the Emperor Reputation hit -500. Now it will drop, and reset back to 0.
  • Fixed bug with Infrastructure costing way, way too much to build
  • Fixed bug with how new Outposts and Colonies are created – they should now have the appropriate amount of infrastructure
  • Planets should not now build in excess of their total facility limit; if they hit the max they will change their focus to Infrastructure at 100%
  • Fixed several bugs with how Claims are calculated
  • I think I’ve fixed an issue where you could not start a new game after going to the main screen after abandoning a current game. Still a WIP.
  • Other minor bug fixes

 

 

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The Intel System – A Deep Dive!

Hello everyone! It’s Steve with a new dev diary. It’s been a while but I’ve been hard at work on a major new system that will be implement fully over the next several weeks. I am super proud of this system, and I think it will expand game play significantly without being overly ‘fiddly’. Anyway, here’s how it works!

INTEL RATINGS

There are 2 overall Intel ratings to track: Intel Progress and Spec Ops Progress. Every Character, Planet, and House has this rating. Intel Progress refers to how through (or not) that entity is being surveilled, from 0-100. 0 means that you know basically nothing about that entity, while 100 represents maximum surveillance/intelligence gathering ability. In practical terms this means:

HOUSE:

  • 0-24 IP: No information about plans or strategies, no information about House resources, no information about Plots. You always know Holdings. No information about Projects other than Claims.
  • 25-49 IP: Limited information about plans – you know the House Grand Strategy, but not the secondary strategies. You know a wide range of resources, example a House may have between 25-300 Basic Materials. You know a House has active Projects, but you don’t have a target or expected time to completion.
  • 50-75 IP: You know a House Grand Strategy, and you have a 50-50 chance each turn to learn the Secondary Strategy. You know a much narrower range of resources and Power. You know all House Projects and their target, but not their expected time to completion.
  • 76+ IP: You have essentially complete information about a House (think pre-Intel version).

CHARACTER:

  • 0-24 IP: No practical Intel on this Character. You do not know their skills or any of their relationships. You do not know how they feel about you (they will be considered neutral/indifferent). You do not know their resources such as money and you do not know their personality traits such as Intelligence or Charisma. You have no chance to learn any part of a Secret/Rumor on a Plot, if any, with this character.
  • 25-49 IP: Low Intel on this character. You know a few Skills and you have a small chance to learn additional Skills each turn. You may reveal up to one Trait. You have a range of resources known, and you have a significant spread of their personality traits.
  • 50-64 IP: Moderate Intel on this character. You know about half their Skills and you know their relationship towards you. You may reveal up to 2 Traits. You have a narrower range of resources known, and you have a smaller spread of their traits. You still do not know their relationships with other Characters.
  • 65-79 IP: High Intel on this character. You know most of their Skills and you may reveal all Traits. You know their exact resources and you have a very close spread of their traits. You know all relationships with other Characters. You have a small chance each month (turn) (roughly the IP/20 chance) to learn a part of any Secrets/Rumors for Plots.
  • 80-100 IP: Max Intel on this character. You know all Skills and all Traits, and you have exact ratings for their traits. You also have a larger chance (roughly the IP/10 percent chance) of learning a part of any Secrets/Rumors.

OCCUPIED PLANET (unoccupied planets use Scan Levels to determine ratings)

  • 0-24 IP: No Intel. You do not know the current Population of the planet, the GPP, or any significant demographics. You do not know the Planet’s Fear or Love rating, nor do you know their Unrest Level. Practically speaking, you will have at least some intel on all of your Empire planets; this primarily applies to planets owned by other civilizations that you meet. You have no chance to increase IP levels on any Characters on the planet.
  • 25-49 IP: Low Intel. You know the Population of the planet, and you know the reported GPP and employment levels. You do not know significant demographics, including happiness and reasons people do or do not have unrest, and you will have a range for Fear and Love, as well as Unrest. You have a very small chance to increase IP levels on any Characters on the planet (~1%)
  • 50-64 IP: Moderate Intel: You know the population of the planet, GPP, and demographics. You do not know planet happiness demographics but you do know all other demographics, including culture breakdown. You have close ranges on Fear and Love and Unrest. You have a small chance to increase IP levels on any Characters on the planet.
  • 65-79 IP: High Intel: You know all statistics on the planet exactly, and you have a somewhat greater chance to increase IP levels on any Characters on the planet.
  • 80-100 IP: Max Intel: You know all statistics on the planet exactly, and you have the highest chance to increase IP levels on any Characters on the planet.

IP can be increased by the following each turn:

  • Informants on Planets can increase Planet IP and Characters on that planet IP. If the Planet is a House Throneworld, House IP can increase as well.
  • Inquisitors that are investigating (using an Active Intel Mission) a specific House, Character, or Planet will greatly increase the IP of that entity. Inquisitors that are using a Passive Intel Mission will increase a small amount depending on scope. An Inquisitor can be assigned to a planet, system, or province, with a corresponding loss of effectiveness the wider their assigned scope is.
  • IP can randomly increase depending on the overall Intel Budget.
  • Active Empire Intelligence Centers.
  • Random events.

IP can decrease by the following each turn:

  • Lack of budget for Informers (you will know the break-even point to maintain this budget)
  • Characters going into Exile/Hiding status.
  • Houses going into Lockdown (this is an Action they can take to decrease their IP level)
  • Planets can decrease by moving away Inquisitors that are actively surveying or by a Viceroy increasing a Planet’s Autonomy Level.
  • IP will gradually decay each turn about 2-3 points due to attrition and information age.

Spec Ops Progress (SOP) is also a number from 0-100 and represents an Inquisitor Squad’s ‘preparation’ to execute, pardon the pun, a special/black Operation (Op) on a Character or a House. Planets are generally too large to impact, although they can be impacted indirectly by Ops that affect their Viceroy or Governors. Generally speaking, the larger the number, the more Ops that become available and the higher the SOP number is over the minimum required, the better chance the Op has of succeeding. You will be able to see accumulated SOP points on each Character and House, as well as a general chance of success for each Op. For example, Assassination requires 70 SOPs to be accumulated. This is done by assigning an Inquisitor Squad to ‘Spec Op Preparation’ status and their scope is the targeted Character. Once the SOP threshold reaches 70, the Action will unlock and it may be attempted at any time. The closer the SOP is to 100, the better chance of success, although an Op with a low SOP requirement will have a much better chance of success since you can go much higher over the threshold than a higher SOP requirement. Once an Op is activated, one of 5 things can happen each turn:

  • The Op did not go off for whatever reason. The Inquisitor Squad will try again next turn.
  • The Op failed, but the Inquisitor was not caught.
  • Critical Failure. The Op failed, and the Inquisitor was caught attempting it. This will result in a loss of Intel Skill for your Inquisitor, and a large uptick in Fear from your population, as well as a violent reaction from the Character and their House that was attacked.
  • The Op succeeded, and the Inquisitor was not caught.
  • Pyrrhic Success. The Op succeeded, but the Inquisitor was caught during the egress phase. See Critical Failure results, but with the addition that what you wanted to happen actually did.

INTEL LEVERS

INFORMERS: These are passive Pops that depending on the intel budget allocated to informers on that planet, will act as a passive intel net. They will (very) slowly raise the IP of planets, and can randomly raise the IP of Characters on the planet. There is also a chance they will hear of a Rumor and will pass it long as an Event. There is no Fear effect from using Informers. Pops will only act as Informers if their unrest level is below 40, and certain Cultures are more likely than others to act as Informants. Beyond allocating the budget for each planet and the overall Intel budget, you can not control Informants directly.

INQUISITORS. Inquisitors are the heart of the Intel System in AotSS. You initially start with 3, and they act as your eyes and ears (and blasters, and lasers, and knives…) of the Empire. They are always 100% loyal to you, and they can only be trained in Empire Intelligence Centers that can be built on your Holdings. EICs can be Level 1, 2, or 3, and the level represents how many Inquisitors they can support. So if you have a level 2, level 3, and level 1 EIC on 3 different planets, you can support up to 6 total Inquisitors.

Inquisitors are actually squads – the Inquisitor is the actual investigator and leader of the squad, while the squad (around 15 highly trained soldiers) are used for protection, muscle, and intimidation when needed. Inquisitors can be sent to any planet in the Empire at any time, and travel twice as fast as merchant ships. There is no limit to the number of Inquisitors that can be on a planet at any time, or assigned to a House, although only one Inquisitor can be attached to a Character at a time.

Inquisitors have 3 main ratings: Intel Skill, Ops Skill, and XP. Intel Skill is a rating from 1-10 and represents how able the squad is in gathering Intel passively and actively. This skill is somewhat of a logarithmic progression, so a jump from 1 to 2 is greater then a jump between 6 and 7. Still, it’s worth having highly skilled Inquisitors since they are rare commodities. XP is a number from 1-100, tracked for both Intel and Ops, and represents the experience that the Inquisitor Squad is getting from activities. XP decreases slightly each turn when a Inquisitor Squad is stood down, and if the XP drops below 0 a random Skill drops a level. Once the XP reaches 100, the relevant skill will increase by 1 point and the XP will drop back down to 0.

Inquisitors cost a lot of money, especially more skilled ones. They may be loyal, but you pay them to be loyal! You will see the base cost to maintain your squads on the Intel Window, as well as the Budget window when you set your yearly budget. You can stand down individual Squads as a Mission, and they will count for very little against your budget, but each turn that they are stood down will require that many turns to be reactivated. In addition, if they are stood down more than 2 years (20 turns) there is a greater chance each turn after which they may disband forever to pursue personal goals (and get paid). You must be able to pay the cost per month of each Inquisitor Squad that is active during the previous year for the upcoming year, or they will disband. This is prorated during the year, so if the cost for an entire year is 200 BC for a squad, and they are stood down for 5 months (half the year), you will be responsible for 100 BC for the following fiscal year, or else they will disband. In addition, they will take 5 months to reactivate to readiness. Once a Inquisitor Squad is disbanded, they are lost forever – you will have to raise, train, and equip a new one from scratch! It takes 10 turns to raise a new Inquisitor divided by the level of the Empire Intelligence Center that they are raised from.

Inquisitors also have another effect: they raise Fear throughout your Empire. Pops are unsettled to know that you wield highly trained, unflappable, professional killing squads at your beck and call. Thus, you will always have a small amount of Fear per month as a ‘baseline’ based on the number of Inquisitors you have active. If they perform Active Intel on a planet, they will significantly raise the Fear level. This effect will be dampened somewhat if they are performing Passive Intel, and even less if they are at a System or Province scope. Stood down Squads have no effect since the populace do not know they are stood down – they are assumed to be lying in wait for their next mission! Missions like Target Unrest will have a large effect on Fear on the target planet, and act as a ‘wave’ of Fear moving to other planets in the system and outward to the province (with less effect with distance).

MISSIONS: Inquisitors can perform several Missions.

  • PASSIVE INTEL: This is simply information and intelligence gathering, with a planet, system, or province scope. This is the least impactful of Fear levels, but also the least effective, and the least experience gathering.
  • ACTIVE INTEL: This is active information gathering on a Character or a House. This will quickly raise the IP much more quickly and on a specific target, but will raise Fear levels somewhat. This will also not do much for your relationship with this Character and/or House.
  • SPEC OPS PREPARATION: Use this Mission when you are looking to use a Spec Op on a Character or a House. Each turn that your Inquisitor is in this status will add Spec Ops points to the targeted Character/House.
  • INDICT CHARACTER: If you are reasonably sure of a Plot’s initiator, you can move to Indict a Character, basically sending them to trial. The result of the trial will be known after 2-4 months. If you’re right, the Character can be sentenced to exile or death, and your Power and Love will soar, but if you’re wrong and they are innocent they and their House will be justifiably pissed, and your Love rating and Power will take a large hit.
  • TARGET UNREST: The Inquisitor Squad will look to find instigator Pops that have the highest Unrest levels and ‘silence’ them. In game terms, they will disappear from the game, put in prison or killed outright. Naturally, while quite effective in lowering Unrest on a specific planet, it will significantly raise Fear and lower Love on the planet and radiate throughout the system. It will also have the effect of lowering Unrest to a degree in any other planets in the system.
  • STAND DOWN: If you can’t afford to have all your Inquisitor Squads active, you can stand them down so your budget will be less next turn.
  • TRAIN: You still pay full price for the Inquisitors, but they will accumulate XP faster and across both types of skills (intel and ops). They can also be assigned a new mission at any time.

The following are Spec Ops:

  • BLACKMAIL CHARACTER/HOUSE: This is a Spec Op that looks to find compromising information about a House or a Character. If successful, they will always accede to your requests for at least a year. Failure means that no information was discovered. In rare instances, if the Inquisitor is caught snooping, the Character/House will use it for propaganda against your rule, and you will lose Power and the Inquisitor will lose Skill.
  • INTERROGATE CHARACTER: This is a Spec Op that will basically do what it says; the Character will end up in an intelligence room and they will be strongly coerced to talk about what they know. This is a very quick way to increase IP on a character, as well as learn about any Plots they may be a part of, but they will be very unhappy about the process, as will their House. This Op can not fail.
  • ASSASSINATE CHARACTER: What it says. It’s a hit on a character. If successful, the character dies and is removed from the game. If a failure, and the Inquisitor is discovered, you will take a massive Power and Fear hit, and if the Character is a high-ranking House member the House may well declare Limited or Total war.
  • DESTROY HOUSE RESOURCES: The squad looks to sabotage House resource holdings such as materials or energy. If successful, the resources are destroyed and can not be used by anyone.
  • STEAL HOUSE RESOURCES: Similar to destroy, but much harder. The difference is the resources will go to your House instead of being destroyed.

AUTONOMY LEVEL

Viceroys have one significant defense against intel: they can decrease the Autonomy of the planet. This will affect GPP, happiness, and unrest in a negative way, but it will make it much more difficult to raise the IP of Houses or Characters on the planet. A proactive Viceroy may decide it’s worth the negative effects to keep you from critical Characters or protect the House throneworld! Autonomy has 4 levels – Full, Significant, Moderate, or Limited. The ‘less’ autonomy on a planet, the less migration occurs, the lower the PDL drops (since people are more controlled, they do not shop, eat, or entertain as often), and in a nice bonus, it will actually increase production somewhat! (This may be offset by eventual unrest and happiness penalties, however). You can not control this level – other Houses do not have spy networks and you do not need to defend against ‘rival’ Inquisitors.

So that’s a fairly in-depth overview of the Intel system. Hopefully it will give you some idea of what to expect when the entire system is added in about a month! It will be added over the next several releases, so be ready – it will radically change the way the game is played!

Enjoy!

-Steve

 

 

 

 

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.7.3.0 released today!

Hey all!

Just released .7.3.0 today! It’s got some huge optimization improvement, a patch bypasser, more Actions, better AI, and lots o’ bug smashing! I highly recommend adding it, as it also includes the foundation for the Favor and Plot system coming later this month!

The changelog is added to the .7 Changelog post!

Enjoy!

-Steve

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By Request – All .7 Changelogs Posted Here Going Forward!

Hey all,

I have been posting my changelogs on Twitter, but that may not be enough visibility. Going forward, I’ll also be posting them here as blog posts so that they are more accessible. Without further ado… a list of all changelogs since .7.0.0!

.7.0.0

Changes and fixes

  • Completely updated UI – updated elements, fonts, and tooltips
    • New font for clarity
    • Increased size of many elements and fonts
    • Universal color scheme
    • Added economic summary window that shows among other things how close the empire is to insolvency and whether your House’s purse will make up any shortfall. If it can’t, and the Empire goes bankrupt, you will be forced out of office and exiled or killed – in other words, game over.
    • Changed layout of planet mode – now summary panels are on the left, allowing more room to see planet graphics
    • Added expanded information for trades, production, and build times on Economic Mode
    • Added expanded information for active Projects including target of Project and ETA (given no issues!)
    • Added new Demographic panel that shows several values of performance for each Pop class like unrest, happiness, etc.
    • New art – new character models, replaced old models
    • All planets are now 3D, several different models for variety and looks
    • Added Planet Demographic panel with breakdown of Pops job, statuses, and happiness
    • Added new House emblems and Civ emblems
    • Added Audience window for upcoming Character requests to speak with you and/or tell you something personal
    • Added many more choices for player House emblem, and it updates (along with House color) in the game
    • Added new Icons for Relationships between Houses
    • Added House tool tip for easier dynamic information about Houses when you are looking at Characters, etc.
  • Changed the way initial Relationships between Houses are done – now no relationship can start below ‘Cold War’ and be better than ‘Friends’
  • Added more Actions to facilitate working with Characters who would refuse to work with you any other way, including exiling them!
  • Added first stages of Xyl mechanic – they are the alien invaders that drove humans from Earth 1,000 years ago. Currently the new UI elements shows how many turns until the Xyl’s final attack happens and the rough estimate of the power of the attack. There will be a check at the end of the last turn vis a vis your Empire’s power vs the Xyl, and may the best man – or alien – win! (This will be a much more fleshed out mechanic over the later versions)
  • Added numerous House Actions that are only applicable to the House Leader to help influence the House relationships
  • Added the concept of Emperor Reputation. Basically, you (the Emperor) has a separate Reputation with each House that helps determine whether a check is required to decrease the relationship type. All Projects and Actions affect this reputation, and they have knock-on effects (so that if you help a House that is in a war with other Houses or have poor relations, they will be unhappy and it will be reflected in your reputation) Reputation normalizes over time back to 0 if no actions are taken, faster for positive reputation than for negative.
  • Expanded trade hub effect areas – this should make it easier to create contiguous trade zones
  • Added many more conversations to the conversation engine so there should be more rich and varied responses from your Characters when you interact with them
  • Added Economic Budget System
    • You will have 5 ‘sliders’ that you can change at the start of each year for free, as well as change the Imperial Tax and the Holding Taxes.
    • Development – increases the standard of living on planets and generally increases Happiness and lowers Unrest
    • Military – will be used to build and maintain space and ground military forces, no effect in this build
    • Intel – used to build and maintain Inquisitors and Intel networks
    • Science – used to maintain Academies that you control
    • Diplomacy – used as a ‘pool’ that can be used to bribe or gift Houses/Civilizations
    • Added Tax Change slider – you can now change the Holding tax and the various Governor taxes once per year.
  • Added House Diplomacy System
    • House Diplomacy with the Empire is now governed by 7 diplomatic states: Peace/Neutral, Cold War, Limited War, Total War, Friends, Allies, and Subject Houses.
    • House Attitudes are now: Friendly, Cooperative, Neutral, Mistrustful, and Hate. This should simplify the House states somewhat and create a delineation between how a House currently feels about the Empire and their actual diplomatic state, which may be different than how they feel.
  • Removed Characters from selection screens who refuse to work with you (have the ‘no’ symbol on their picture)
  • Added Strategic AI for Houses
    • They can now use Projects, colonize, and build outposts, starbases, trade hubs, etc.
    • They follow the same rules that your emperor does – they must use their own House resources, they need Administrators and contributors to their own projects, and they use their own financial resources (their own people do not pay, but they use their House treasuries to pay for Projects).
    • So far Houses only have 3 ‘ultimate’ strategies – power, wealth and expansion, but more will be added over time.
    • Ultimate Goal States are heavily influenced by House Leader traits and stats, their relative power in the Empire, and their House ‘DNA’ (historical actions and strengths)
    • Specific Character AI will be added in future updates
    • Tweaked Viceroy AI to better support high-level plans from Houses to more properly develop their Holdings per their House’s wishes/needs
    • Added UI support to show what a House’s current top-level goal and current strategy is. Note that once the Intel system is implemented you will have to develop Intel to discover this information
  • Added Riot check to planets that have unrest above 50% – will cause Pops to stop working, GPP to drop, and eventually facilities to be destroyed if the riots are not brought under control
    • Added 2 new Actions related to Riots: Meet Rioter Demands (costs a lot of credits and basic materials, you will gain Love and lose Fear on that planet, people will generally be happy for a while and Break Rioters Will (basically executes several Pops that are responsible for Riots, will greatly increase Fear and drop Love throughout your Empire, and your Houses will ALL sustain a drop in relations (except for Spartan cultures; they’ll approve)
    • Each Pop that can riot is checked – some may, some may not, but the check will not start until < 50% unrest takes hold (people feel there is enough background unrest and issues to start making their feelings felt violently)
  • Added a few Projects, mainly for riot control, and took a few away that weren’t working properly
  • Added exciting new Project – Initiate Orbital Kinetic Strike! Found in Military Projects in the Planet View:
    • Will damage planet – will hit 2-3 random populated Regions and damage the Infrastructure, and reduce sectors as well as killing Pops in those Regions
    • You will take a serious Reputation loss with the holding House, as well as any Houses allied to that House
    • Your Fear will skyrocket
    • Your Love will nosedive
    • Any Riots on the planet will end VERY quickly
    • Fear will increase in that system somewhat, and across the Empire less (think Death Star effect)
  • When giving a Holding to another House, also removed existing Viceroy and replaced with a Character from the new owning House
  • Changed algorithm to draw planets more consistently spaced and sized across multiple larger resolutions in System mode
  • Fixed an issue where the system view star would draw across inner planets when zoomed in
  • Increased zoom performance and increased speed in general
  • Greatly decreased turn speed (average time between turns now 10-15 seconds)
  • Fixed all existing Action conversation trees and now characters should respond appropriately
  • Changed Action response algorithms and now characters should be much more likely to respond to Action requests in line with their current relationship with you, unless they have a very high Honor and that House hates you.
  • Changed algorithm for ‘will not serve’ to greatly decrease the likelihood that they will not serve if they are friends (should be virtually 0 unless their House hates you and they have a very high Honor) and allies should be similar
  • Fixed an issue where Projects that were ‘sent’ to other planets (probes, colonizing fleets, etc.) were being treated as though the administrator was actually traveling to that planet. Made 2 important changes:
    • For fleet/probe based actions where the administrator would not physically ‘be there’ they no longer have a travel time
    • Instead, a ‘fleet arrival time’ is used. Fleets move much faster than civilian transports, about 3 times faster, so Projects that are interstellar/fleet-based should be treated much more sensibly now
  • Changed ‘groveling’ Action response algorithms to virtually always accept unless the character is much more powerful than you AND they are at Vendetta with you
  • Ensured that all Houses would have at least one Holding
  • Removed Common Houses – they added nothing to the gameplay but overhead
  • Fixed trade algorithm to allow planets to trade at a negative GPP to fulfill needs (but obviously that means that other planets will have to be profitable to keep the Empire in the green)
  • Lowered prices across the board and reduced fuel costs to allow for more trades
  • Activated ‘culture and idea’ migration – now Pops will take a planet’s dominant culture into account depending on the strength of their Ideas
  • Activated ‘Authoritarianism’ Idea – Pops and Cultures who score high in this Idea are more drawn to and like Viceroys/Governors with high Administration skill and have issues with weak leaders. More Idea effects will be added as the game progresses
  • Balanced economic model to take higher ADL into account – there is now more incentive to build planets with higher levels of Pops (academics, fluxmen, administrators, merchants)
  • Fixed issue where some Character screens loaded incorrectly (primarily House Leaders)
  • Fixed several issues with the Trade algorithm – trades should happen more often (and take less time to process)

Fixed lots and lots and lots of other smaller bugs

 

AotSS Changelog .7.0.1

Additions

  • News screen added on main menu, showing game news, updates, and hyperlinks to various help utilities
  • Added main menu screen in-game – currently functional: new game, quit game, return to game – new game code now in place for future load game system
  • Added player House Icon in place of generic House Info button

Changes/balance

  • Decreased turn generation pre-game to 3 turns
  • Increased size of small and medium quadrants to assist in ensuring a stable empire is generated
  • Increased popular support maluses to make the starting Popular Support trend slightly negative initially in most cases so that the player will have something to focus on right away
  • Increased starting material stockpiles for player House so that more can be accomplished early in game

Bug fixes

          • Static (sprite) objects no longer rotate 90 degrees when zoomed into planet view
          • All Enum states are now formatted correctly (e.g. planet types, character types)
          • On the finance planet view, character revenue allocations now refresh upon opening of mode
          • Crash when production resources go negative has been fixed – now if you have insufficient materials to generate a ‘production run’ of build points, that material will not generate until there are enough materials to produce BPs equal to your overdrive
          • Removed Change buttons on Emperor screen on new game setup
          • Fixed all incorrect/missing tooltips on Character screen
          • Fixed issue where no characters were being generated during game setup, generally with smaller quadrants/empires

 

7.0.3 Changelog Notes – WIP

MAJOR ADDITIONS/CHANGES

  • (Finally) added save and load capability! You can save a game (hot save only) in the options menu in-game and load a game from either that same menu or from the main screen.
  • Added button disablers to prevent attempting to load a nonexistent game. Once you have a save game, the load buttons will be active.
  • Known issues with load:
    • Trade hubs will not always generate – they will generate next turn
    • The physical ships will not load – they are representative anyway but will require a rewrite of the trade generation system to have initialize in a load game. I will do that but not this round
    • Save games are very large (~170 MB). While not an issue per se I would like to make them smaller to help with portability and load times.
    • No known issues with save at this time – the game will look like it’s frozen up but it’s working – I’m working on more graphic feedback on this process for next update
  • Grand Vizier Screen – this is sort of a monthly update/winning screen that will do the following monthly:
    • Give you some broad advice depending on your situation
    • Show you progress towards winning/losing conditions
    • Give you a set of goals to pursue based on your situation (always optional, but helpful for some direction)
    • Give you some potential issues in your empire
    • Accessible from the button bar on the top left, with the Grand Vizier picture button
  • Added remaining functionality for economic screen
    • Sliders to set your budget at the start of the year are now active. The button will ‘lock in’ your selections and be active if it is time to change your budget, otherwise it will show remaining months until you can change
    • You can now change your Holding tax. This can be changed whenever you like but it will cost you 20 Power to do so. This represents the percentage of GPP that Houses give you from their Holdings that count towards the yearly GPP projection.
  • Massively increased frame rate by optimizing graphics on galaxy map
    • Increase is 20-40 FPS in some cases, large quadrants might still be a little slow but should still be 40+ FPS on a good computer

MINOR ADDITIONS/CHANGES

  • Added a few more portraits
  • Added number of available fleets on the planetary trade box
  • Tweaked balance on setup. All Small quadrants have 80 stars, all Medium quadrants have 120 stars, and all Large quadrants have 160 stars. Also adjusted minimum distance between constellations, this should help allow more exploratory gameplay
  • Changed scale of UI windows to make them slightly smaller (should fit better on smaller monitors)

BUG FIXES

          • Fixed major bug that would generate stars ‘lost’ in space that seemed to be attached to a nearby constellation
          • Fixed a few other generation issues
          • (Hopefully) fixed very rare bug where the game would not generate due to a duplicate key error when generating characters
          • Fixed a few text errors
          • Fixed runaway elastic-ness on intel screen when viewing planet list
          • Fixed issue where sometimes constellations would not show, causing stars not to show as well

 

7.0.4 Changelog Notes – WIP

MAJOR ADDITIONS/CHANGES

  • Change: Revamped Character Info screen in preparation for Intel/Secrets/Plot system
    • Added: Character Relationship Matrix (click on second button on side button tab to access)
      • Will allow you to see all relationships with all other characters in the game (for now; soon this will be tied into overall intel level – the more you know, the more relationships will be revealed)
      • Can filter by Rank – all or none. Soon add by House
    • Can now click directly onto a Character Card and it will open the Character Info screen for that character
    • Updated fonts and size to make things easier to read
    • Added Character Skills on Customer Info Screen
    • Added Intel required to see Character Skills – you will now need at least some intel to reveal character skills, one at a time, and Max Intel will always reveal all skills
  • Added: Budget Slider Effects
    • Adding to Military Budget will increase the chance that a given Pop will decrease their Unrest each month, at a cost of Emperor Fear (they are being oppressed)
    • Adding to Domestic Budget will increase the chance that a given Pop will decrease their Unrest each month and increase their Planet Happiness, and their Emperor Love will increase
    • Military Unrest Suppression is 4X more effective than Domestic
    • Intel Budget will increase the chance that a given Character will have their Intel level increased each month by 1
    • Savings will add that percentage of the year-end GPP budget to your House treasury for use as needed
    • No effect yet for Reform
  • Added: Change Holding Taxes
    • Costs 50 Power to do this, but you can do it anytime
    • If tax > 30%, Houses will start to accrue negative Emperor reputation; if tax < 20% Houses will accrue Positive
    • Affects what percentage of ‘tribute’ Houses give you from their Holdings, and contributes directly to the GEP.
  • Added: Reputation/Rank effects to Relationship changes
    • Whenever you take an Action against a character, the effect that that Action has on your relationship with other characters is now modified by the Power and Rank of that character. In other words, people will be far less bothered with how you treat a Courtier than a System Governor, and the Action effects will be relative
  • Added: House Relation Changes – now hooked up. Once your Emperor Reputation goes below -500, there is an increasing chance that a House will lower their relationship with your House by one level. When that happens, the Emperor Reputation will reset to 0.
  • Added: 6 new Alerts – House Relations in Danger, House Relations Dropped, House Relations Improved, New Intel on Character, Population Suppressed, and Population Inspired.
  • Added: 2 new Grand Vizier Goals, 2 new opportunities
  • Added: Grand Vizier advice past the first month – it was somewhat of a bug where it wouldn’t advance past the opening month advice. Took time to add additional advice to the system.
  • Added: Project: Relocate Province Hub – this Project will allow you to relocate an existing Hub for less than it would cost to build a new one. Will upset the former owners, but make the current ones happy.
  • Added: Finance Prime info to Economic Screen – Shows portrait(which is clickable) and the overall economic effect the FP is having on your GEP. This is not actually installed (yet) but is planned for next build. You will have the ability to replace your Primes in the next build.

MINOR ADDITIONS/CHANGES/BALANCE

  • Tweaked balance where needed, now it generally is harder for Pops to maintain a high Love rating
  • Upped costs on several Projects
  • Made it clear on Outpost Project Help that the system where the Outpost is must be assigned to a Province (the province hub is where it sends its goods)
  • Changed balance with reputation changes with Actions – now should not be so quick to change, also in line with new Rank/Power mechanic above

BUG FIXES

          • Fixed major bug that would very rarely cause game to hang during game generation, related to updating character relationships
          • Fixed tooltip bug when you hovered over the Emperor on the COC bar
          • Fixed several logic issues related to how characters responded to your Actions – many times they reacted positively when you hurt one of their Friends or Allies, and vice versa; this behavior has been fixed
          • Fixed some odd issues with Projects where the ADM does not add correctly. Some of that is due to the Administrator and the relationships they have with the contributors but that’s not clearly notated on the Project form

 

7.1.0 Changelog Notes – WIP

MAJOR ADDITIONS/CHANGES

  • Added: Comprehensive Help System
    • Added 200+ tooltips that explain virtually every panel and concept in AotSS. Many of the tooltips have ‘expanded’ information that explain not just what the item/concept is, but how to change/adjust it, produce it, etc. Many more values are explained in AotSS now.
    • Added 15+ help screens on each panel and window (except for game setup; adding separate help for that next update) that explain what the panel does and how each control works – to activate the help, simply roll your mouse over the ‘i’ icon in the upper-left or upper-right corner of a window or panel
    • Added internal functionality for Grand Vizier advice on each screen – next few builds will add advice on concepts. As opposed to the ‘this is how to do something’, the GV will explain ‘this is why you should do something’. These will be accessed with a bubble chat icon on each window/panel.
    • Rewrote and expanded many existing tooltips as well to fit in with this system
    • Standardized tooltip orientation – all tooltips should more or less activate and show from the same corner
  • Added: Viceroy Time In Position Modifier
    • It is unrealistic to think that you can just plop down a new leader and immediately you can triple a planet’s GPP. This new system will immediately cut the efficiency of the viceroy’s skills by a percentage – in the first few months it may be as low as 15-20%! It will gradually raise to 100% based on government skill and intelligence, and you can see this modifier on the planet screen in the viceroy window
    • Affects GPP and production currently.
  • Added: UI Changes/Updates
    • Color coded several numbers to make them more readable and to understand what is ‘good’ in the game. Also, several layout changes to improve readability, including larger fonts in several areas and a revamp of the Project Screen to be clearer and cleaner
  • Added Project: Remove Excess Infrastructure
    • This Project will allow you or a House to remove 50% of unused infrastructure from each Region of a planet. This is huge when you have a planet that has been losing Pops but is still paying a large infrastructure upkeep in materials and money.
  • Added: End Turn Next Step functionality
    • The End Turn button will be red and will explain what you need to do to move to the next turn. Currently, it will tell you when you need to approve the yearly budget. Once you do what you need to do, the button will turn blue and you will be able to proceed.

MINOR ADDITIONS/CHANGES/BALANCE

  • Balance: Reduced APs at start of game, but no less than 2 per turn (so you can at least do 2 Actions or 1 Project). This creates more interesting choices early.
  • Balance: Raised costs of many Projects and lowered others. For example, the Scout System Project cost more than the Survey System Project, even though you get more info with the Survey. Also lowered scout costs across the board to help the AI scout more effectively.
  • Balance: Reduced the effect of Actions across the board and made it overall more difficult to change relationships with a single Action, unless it is a very powerful Action like a challenge, removal, or exile
  • Balance: Rebalanced the planet generation values so that more ‘exotic’ planets like lava and toxic have very high values in materials or energy so there is some thought to putting outposts there, despite the bio. Also: super earths are now really super!
  • Balance: Removed the ability to colonize and outpost gas/ice giants. This will be an ability that you can research later in the development of .7 with the Reform/Science system. Also removed the possibility of these being colonized at the start of the game (more of a bug than a feature)
  • UI: Added available fleets to Trade Panel in Economic Command Mode.
  • UI: Renamed ‘Average Development Level’ to ‘Planetary Development Level’. Makes more sense based on what it is.
  • Intel: Changed the algorithm to make more checks for revealed skills based on the new level – higher levels get more checks. This should result in more revealed skills at higher levels
  • Graphics: All planets should now rotate about their axis. Just a graphical thing, but it adds some life to the planets!
  • Change: Changed the way the Planetary Development Level (formerly ADL) is calculated – now it uses staffed levels of development instead of total levels, representing pops that would be generating income (since they’re employed!)
  • Change: New Emperors on their first turn will always have a one-time $500bc budget to use, regardless of their empire’s situation. This fixes issues where there is no budget at the start of the year, or too little to really make a difference, and fits the narrative that a new Emperor would have some sort of ability to influence things waiting for them.

BUG FIXES

  • Fixed the non-working exit button at the main menu
  • Fixed a long-running bug where you could have more employed Pops than total Pops, causing issues with production
  • Fixed a bug where the end turn button didn’t work after the first year
  • Fixed a bug where the budget was never available after the first year
  • Fixed an issue where the province hub would not show on the map if the civ hub was also in that system
  • Fixed a character generation issue where the House would be assigned prior to skill generation, so Intelligence would not factor into skills like it should.
  • Fixed an issue where very few characters would show up in the character selection screen when you tried to replace or fire a character
  • Fixed an issue where Neo-Sirius’s trade panel never showed up, as though it did not have a trade port in the system
  • Fixed some wonkiness with GPP generation
  • Fixed an issue where characters would react to an Action completely not what you would expect
  • Fixed an issue where the planet claim procedure would claim terrible planets like gas and ice giants that had great traits that artificially brought the bio up to a minimum level, but were still terrible planets
  • Fixed a rare but annoying bug that hung the game during galaxy generation – having to do with character relationships
  • Fixed some misspellings in tooltips and cleaned up some wording to align with some new concepts
  • Fixed most tooltip issues that result in ‘hanging tooltips’ where they don’t disappear no matter what – this results from a null data error. Working on a disposal routine to check for these whenever the graphics are refreshed and will be added to the next update
  • Small performance increases

 

7.1.1 Changelog Notes – WIP

MAJOR ADDITIONS/CHANGES

  • Added: Expanded Option Button
    • Now you can adjust sound settings, or mute either the UI, music, or both
    • Added hooks to add graphic options in next update
  • Added: Player House Tradition Selection
    • Added the ability to change your House’s tradition levels in 7 categories (Military Tradition is not yet used) This will allow you to more customize your House by setting specific strengths and weaknesses
    • 200 points can be allocated across 7 tradition categories in increments of 5 from a low of 5 to a high of 90
  • Added: Alert Bar Severity Filter
    • 4 buttons can be toggled on/off to filter out levels of alert: Low, Medium, High, and Critical
    • Added hooks to add scope filter buttons in next update (Character, Planet, System, Province, Empire)
  • Added: Additional Help Screens/Tooltips
    • Finished all side screens and most panels
    • Added tooltips to setup screens
  • Added: Admin Ratio
    • This ratio determines a large part of the planet’s unrest level. A 100% ratio is one EMPLOYED average Government Pop at 50 skill for every 10 Pops. Below that, unrest increases. Above that, unrest decreases
    • Added the value on the Demographic Screen to track
  • Changed: Claim System Project Functionality
    • The Claim System Project now is REQUIRED in order to build a colony in a system. You can’t just set up a colony in a far-flung world, you have to put in the political foundation to make sure that your claim and your properly is recognized.
    • Once you Claim a system, you can create a Colony Project there.
    • There can be any number of Houses that have a Claim on a system, but only certain Houses may build in a system. One House has the Primary Claim on a star system, and they control the system capital and the revenue cut that goes to the System Governor (typically 15% of a system’s revenues).
    • The Primary Claim House can (not yet, but soon) give a Colony Claim to a House that basically acts as a letter that allows that House to create one Colony in the system. This will be a major diplomatic boon that you can give to a House to help with diplomacy.
    • You can try to Claim a populated System, but know that this will usually drop your relationship level. If you are successful, you will have the Primary Claim on the system and you will own the system capital as a Holding. If you are not successful, you will have a loss of Power and a very pissed off House(s) to answer to. Only try to claim a System politically if you have a massive Holding imbalance, as a large part of the formula is the Planet Value sum of both Houses. Having 2 or 3 high-value Planets with significant development is worth more than 5 lumps of rock.
  • Changed: Planet Value System
    • Planets now have an overall Value, that is used to calculate House Power, Claim Challenges, and Migration targets, among other things. You can now see this value in the Planet View in any Command Mode. It takes into account not only the planet size and type, but the development, Pops, skill level, and economy. Uninhabited planets still have a value but it will be much lower since it will be based on potential, not development.

MINOR ADDITIONS/CHANGES/BALANCE

  • UI: Cleaned up setup screens so that they flow better
  • UI: Will not let you proceed in setup until you have entered all needed information

BUG FIXES

  • Fixed (for reals) bug where you could not access budget in following year
  • Fixed issue where you could not click on planet with a planet with rings next to it
  • Fixed planets with rings rotating weirdly
  • Fixed text error with next turn button
  • Fixed issue where you could not select New Colony without the star being part of a province. You need that for an outpost, but not for a new colony (the colony will create a new province if it’s in a new constellation)
  • Fixed some scaling issues with the Project Screen
  • Fixed an insidious bug with Project Button generation that could occur if any House had a duplicate Project that they were trying to do – it would not always let you.

 

7.1.2 Changelog Notes – WIP

MAJOR ADDITIONS/CHANGES

  • Added: UI: Supply Network System View
    • This view is the default currently on the Economic Command Mode in Galaxy View. It will show at a glance the status of your supply network to move goods to your civ capital.
    • Works like a hub/spoke system – lines go from system trade hubs to province trade hubs to the civ trade hub. Wider lines are higher-level connections
    • 4 colors determine status of connection:
      • Green – good – trade hub is actively sending goods to their higher trade hub
      • Yellow – Viceroy is cautious – there are goods to send but the Viceroy on the planet has determined that they need the goods more on the planet
      • Orange – No goods to send – There are no goods to send through the trade network at this time
      • Red – Will not send – The system governor has interdicted all planets in this system from sending goods through the supply network
    • No line means there is no connection to the main supply network (e.g. not connected to a trade hub, no trade hub in the system)
  • Added: Region Detailed Info Panel
    • Comes up as a popup panel on the Planet View in Overview Command Mode when you mouseover a given region
    • Shows a lot of information about the region under the tooltip, including the region mineral and bio values, the current/max population, unemployment, happiness, pop census, generated goods, and goods per pop.
    • Informational only; I used it to validate a lot of changes I made to the world generation process but you can use it to see in more detail what’s happening on your planets!
  • Changed: Planet Initialization process
    • Rewrote the code to factor in each region’s strengths and weaknesses when adding facilities. For example, now in a mountain region, it will look to add mines much more than farms and admin (if any) while on plains and grasslands, farms will be much more common. This has the effect of better utilizing the planet and ensuring that facilities are put in the places where they would be the most effective
    • Pops will be better generated to take advantage of the existing infrastructure, so there should be a better ratio of Pops to relevant facilities
    • Lowered habitability across the board to reduce the number of Pops in the game, but your civ capital will still have almost 1 billion people (by design)
  • Changed: Skill Adjustments for Characters in existing positions, especially Primes
    • In the previous build, Characters were selected randomly and assigned roles with no regard for skills. This was intentional to simulate a decadent Empire where cronyism has run rampant. In talking to some players, however, some of the characters border on inept which can severely cripple your Empire early in the game. I have mitigated this by giving some relevant bonuses to positioned Characters when they are assigned (for example, Finance Primes now have a 30-60 point bonus to Economic Skill, plus a small boost in Intelligence). This has resulted in better balance without creating elite ruling councils.
    • Viceroys and Governors also receive Intelligence boosts, which will improve their overall Skills
    • Higher chance for an additional Admin point (Admin skill is super important for skills because it represents the character’s ability to not only delegate their knowledge but propagate it through skillful government.
  • Added: UI: House Claim Panel
    • Supporting last week’s changes to the Claim system, this panel is below the system information and shows all Houses who have a Claim on the system. The Primary Claim holder will still be on the right of the panel, but will also show in the Claim Panel.
  • Changed: Relationship Generation
    • Changed system to now consider House relationship. Before, it would just take into account Culture, whether you were in the same House or at least the same Culture Ring, and certain matching Traits. This should result in less ‘island allies’ in Houses that you have a poor relationship with

MINOR ADDITIONS/CHANGES/BALANCE

  • UI: Added a few more tooltips, mainly for new additions in the last 2 versions
  • Balance: Some reworking of Region values for Habitability and Minerals
  • Balance: Reworked the production values for minerals and food – now more should generally be produced
  • Balance: Lowered the mineral/energy values required for Projects across the board to allow the Houses to do more
  • Balance: Increased speed of Supply Fleets and Trade Fleets slightly
  • Balance: Mineral stockpiles on Planets are now adjusted to more accurately reflect the new facility placement system – in other words, Planets with more Mines will have more Materials, while Planets with more Farms will have more Food to start with and this will be more pronounced

BUG FIXES

          • Fixed numerous issues with the trade system. Now all planets that should be able to participate in the supply network will do so. See the Supply Network System View for more information.
            • Fixed some trades not happening when they should have
            • Fixed some Viceroys not sending any trades when they should have
            • Fixed issue where even after a system governor had agreed to send goods, they would not do so
          • Fixed issue with Recruit Specific Pop Action – would not work properly for merchants – bonus was not being added. Will work now.
          • Fixed UI issues with Pop subsidy to recruit specific Pops – colors would not change properly across different selected planets on Migration Panel
          • Fixed issues with Outposts not initializing properly
          • Fixed rare bug where the galaxy would generate way too many Houses and Characters, causing a crash
          • Fixed issue where the Admin Bonus on Projects was not taken properly into account, causing major differences in estimated time to complete Project vs. actual time
          • Optimized Migration algorithm – it was using SortedList to do its thing, which is super slow relative to other options, so reworked it to use List and Dictionary and it should be faster now (turn times with 15 planets take about 15 seconds now)
          • Fixed issue with House AI where it would not consider other Houses in a system when making a claim.
          • Fixed issue with House AI where it could build a colony or outpost in another House’s Claimed system without permission
          • Added ability for House AI to consider relative worth of uninhabited systems when considering what to Claim. This should fix issues where a House claimed a more or less worthless system (no planets, only gas giants, etc)

 

7.2.0 Changelog Notes – WIP

MAJOR ADDITIONS/CHANGES

  • Added: Comm System
    • This is the start of what will eventually be the Intel System.
    • You will have comms from Characters that periodically appear in the Alert Bar (they are critical alerts) and you will have 3 turns to answer them before they disappear.
    • It costs 1 AP to answer (testing) and once you open a comm you can back out, but you can’t end the turn until you answer the Character! The comm button will turn red to remind you and the turn button will show red as well with the message (comm waiting)
    • If you have no APs, the button greys out to remind you that you have run out of time!
    • Currently, only House Leaders and Governors will generate comm requests – this will expand as the system grows
    • There are 2 types of comms: Requests and Demands. Requests are generally from friends and allies, while Demands are from Characters who have a poor opinion of you.
    • Demands will give a larger hit on the opposing character’s Trust and Grudge level, but giving in to a Demand will lower your Power.
    • Requests will only have a small hit if you can not do what they ask.
    • If the character is a House Leader, your Emperor Reputation will also suffer/benefit depending on your response
  • Added: Reworked Designation Panel
    • Reworked the panel to be more clear and in line with the rest of the UI
  • Changed: Star Sizes
    • Normalized the star sizes so that there wouldn’t be ‘tiny stars’ that were almost impossible to click on. There will still be star size variance but it has been normalized to be less extreme.

MINOR ADDITIONS/CHANGES/BALANCE

  • Added more tooltips
  • Tweaked unrest so that it is easier to fix – currently it is difficult to come back from high unrest unless the people leave – this is sometimes hard to do on very nice planets where Pops otherwise have issues.
  • Changed algorithm of House Claims to claim better systems
  • Removed the Constellation scaling function. It was causing more issues than it was worth. Now all constellations are the same general size, but all stars are where they should be, as well as saved games will have consistency with star placement.
  • UI: Made system panels smaller to be easier to see the bottom on smaller screens
  • UI: Added alert to Project Screen when there is no ADM allocated – you will not be able to start the Project until you add at least 1 ADM. Previously, you could start a Project with no ADM, with bad consequences
  • Sound: Removed the ‘static’ sound effect when you open the Character screen. Some people thought it was a bug.
  • Performance: Greatly increased Planet View Economic Command Mode performance. Should see frame rates now in line with other modes
  • UI: Increased the size of the Alerts so they are easier to read
  • UI: Removed the dead space on the Project Bar where the Choose Project button was. Now active projects move up to fill the space
  • UI: Updated the main screen – expanded the news panel to allow more room for news and re-centered the logo

BUG FIXES

  • Fixed numerous issues with Project ADM. Several inconsistencies with not using the right travel type (Fleet or Administrator), not properly adding the travel time, not calculating the administrator effect properly, and causing projects to be much shorter in time than otherwise should be. There should now be consistency with the estimated time and what the time actually is in the Project Bar
  • Fixed long-standing issue with Projects taking essentially infinity to complete, caused by ADM being calculated incorrectly on the Project Screen
  • Fixed bug where you could not level up Starbases and Logistical Stations
  • Fixed bug where you could assign a system to a Province when it was already assigned
  • Fixed several draw logic issues that led to much faster frame rate at the planet level
  • Fixed refresh issues that sometimes didn’t refresh the system and planet information panel on the bottom-center of the screen when changing to a new planet/system
  • Fixed multiple bugs with comm system during test builds
  • Removed a few obsolete Projects that no longer use current game mechanics, but were still available to select
  • Fixed (hopefully!) rare hang bug where a turn never finishes fully generating, even though you can move around and do things
  • Other small UI fixes

7.3.0 Changelog Notes – WIP

5.6.19

 

MAJOR ADDITIONS/CHANGES

  • Added: Monarch Rating
    • Your Emperor will now have a title, commiserate with their Power, Love, and Fear. There are 35 different titles that your Emperor can have. This doesn’t affect gameplay, but it is a cool step into the Emperor system that will be added in .8
  • Action: Request House Favor. You can now ‘petition’ a Character from a certain House to speak favorably of your interests at their House court. The more powerful the Character and the more they like you, the more effective this will be, and you will see a positive reputation boost. Keep in mind that this will reduce your Power (emperors should not be seen to be groveling for help) and if you fail, you will take a negative reputation hit (and lose even more Power!)
  • Added: Bypass Patch Check
    • If you can update your game, you will get a prompt to patch (Y/N). If you choose N, you can bypass the patch process and go straight to the game.
    • Fixed code that would continue to check for a patch when there was no internet connection.
  • Added: Several UI improvements
    • Added more streamlined button selection, added more info on the Planet Info panel, streamlined the Economic Main Display on the planet view, and cleaned up several tooltips so they do not cover up the icons
    • Removed Emperor from System/Planet COC view in preparation for Emperor UI coming soon
  • Changed: Major Optimization Changes
    • Now should consistently get 50-70 FPS on neutral computer on small or medium maps
    • Time to generate turn has dropped to 10-15 seconds on small maps; < 20 on medium maps
    • New game launch takes around 30 seconds now
    • Planet view in particular has been improved performance-wise

 

MINOR ADDITIONS/CHANGES/BALANCE

  • Added more Requests/Demands
  • Added more AI modes for House
  • Added more AP since you are starting to be able to do more, you will need more AP to effectively play the game.
  • Increased output of factories
  • Normalized starting relationships with characters – you will have fewer friends and allies, but also fewer vengeance and vendetta (should be almost none, really, since you’re kind of a blank slate)
  • Added a debug window for the patcher to help track down any issues

 

BUG FIXES

  • Fixed issue where you could not fire or request all Primes to step down, now you can
  • Fixed issue where Primes did not have the right tooltips, now they do
  • Fixed issue where Primes had full access to Assignment Actions, now they have been reduced appropriately
  • Fixed several issues where you should not have intel on planet, but could still see either value or ratings
  • Fixed issue where panels would not update if you didn’t select a different planet
  • Fixed issue where you could not see House Icons on character selection for certain Actions
  • Fixed a few text formatting issues with Action responses

Other small fixes

 

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Threats, Favors, and Requests… The Comm System At Work!

Hey everyone!

This is Steve, here with another exciting dev diary. Last week, I talked about the Plot system as one part of the Intel system. The Comm system is sort of the other major part that will be integrated over the next month or so. It’s very exciting, and here’s why!

If you’ve been playing, you’ve probably noticed that communication is a one-way street. You have to initiate all the talking. The Comm system will change all that – you will soon be getting requests from House Leaders, Viceroys, Governors, and even the common courtier! You are free to respond or ignore any or all comm request, but if you don’t respond, the Character will see it as an insult. Anyway, here’s how it works.

At the start of a given turn, there are 3 main types of Comms that can be generated: Threats, Favors, and Requests.

  • THREATS don’t start appearing until at least 15 turns into the game, once you’ve had a chance to establish a baseline of behavior towards characters and Houses. When they start, a threat is basically a demand that you can either accept (do) or refuse (don’t). Examples can be as simple as a request for materials or money all the way to requesting a Governorship or Primeship, or even a whole Planet/System for a given House! As Emperor, you will see the results of your decision. If you accept, you will improve the relationship with that Character/House but at the cost of some personal Power (you are seen to have given in) and if you refuse your relationship may plummet, and a possible Plot may activate depending on the magnitude of the request.
  • FAVORS are things that you can request of a Character that you are willing to do. It will be an Personal Action that you can take. Basically, you’re letting a character know that ‘you owe them one’. This has the effect of a major relationship increase. When they are ready to ‘cash in’, usually within 10 turns, they will comm you with what they would like. They are generally less onerous than threats, but not honoring them will cause your Power and Love to drop (nobody likes a welshing Emperor!) and your relationship will suffer greatly. In addition, your overall Trust rating will drop throughout the Empire and characters will be less likely to allow you to grant a Favor in the future. Note that Characters will not ask for Favors of you, just respond to offers to them. If you never offer a Favor, you will never get a Favor request.
  • REQUESTS are straightforward requests, usually from House Leaders or Viceroys, for a need that that planet/House needs. Fulfilling the request will lead to a nice Relations bump, while declining will not hurt your Power, just tarnish your relations slightly with that Character.

These Comm requests will show up in the Alert Bar using the character’s portrait, an icon for the Comm type, and a countdown timer showing how long you have to answer the Comm before you take a significant relationship hit. There is no AP cost to answering a Comm request, but you can not ‘back out’ once you open it up – you have to answer for good or ill!

This system, along with the Plots system, should bring some life to the world of AotSS. Finally, you will not be the only one driving the events of the world. You will be able to shape it and Characters will start to respond and react to your actions in the world, and you will have to deal with the consequences of pissing off powerful people in AotSS beyond their simple refusal to help/support you. I am really excited about it, especially since the XML format of the Comms make it easy to create dozens of new Comms in a relatively short period of time! This will also be the backbone for the Events system, coming closer to .8 (it will use much of the same UI).

Here’s a preview of what the comm will look like (WIP):

Communication Requests Mock

More to come next week, but until then please don’t forget to download the latest update – .7.1.2b!

-Steve

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It’s Time To Plot… But Not what you Think!

Hello everyone! Steve here, with a new dev diary. I know, it’s been a little while, but I’ve been busy with putting out some quality of life updates and bug fixes. It’s almost time to start a whole new system… and I’m super excited!

For the next several weeks, I’m going to be talking about the next major system to be installed in AotSS – the intel system! Some of the initial parts have already been completed, such as rolling intel on character’s traits and skills, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Plots, Rumors, and Secrets are about to come in a big way!

Let’s talk about Plots first. Despite the nefarious-sounding name, Plots are not necessarily always about killing the Emperor. (Though they certainly can be!) Think of it like something that a Character wants to accomplish within the game. It can be as simple as acquiring a title, all the way to knocking off a House Leader or even you!

A Plot has 4 parts:  Target (what they want to accomplish/get/achieve), Help (who they can get to assist them with it), Method (what strategy(ies) they are willing to use to accomplish it)  and Time (how long they are willing to take to accomplish the Plot). Plots generate Secrets (intel that can be gained to uncover a Plot) and Rumors (intel that can lead to discover who is involved, but are not as reliable as Secrets).

Let’s see how this system works with a real-world example. Say a Character wakes up one fine morning and they decide they want to get a new job that pays better than their own job. That’s their Target. Their Help would be possibly their friends, their LinkedIn contacts, their former bosses, their family, etc. They need to get a new job within a month, and will stop looking if they don’t find a better job after that time. That’s Time. Depending on what kind of person they are and the skills they have, they might go on a spate of interviews, carefully target one company that they really want to work for, or even start a rumor that gets someone fired from the job that they want, and then they arrive to save the day! That’s Method.

Now, during all this, if their best friend who is actively helping them get in the door tells someone about their job search, that’s a Secret. They have first-hand information about the Plot (since they’re part of it) and thus anyone investigating what they’re doing can plug in that information to better understand what’s happening. If, however, my coworker heard from their coworker who heard from their best friend that they were looking for a job, that’s a Rumor. It might be true, or it might not. Think of it as potentially flawed information.

So, if I’m an Emperor trying to figure out what this Character is doing (since they are hostile to me, for example, and have a high Power) I would begin by possibly sending an Inquisitor Squad to their planet to investigate. They will then pick up Rumors and Secrets, and slowly they will begin to fill in any Plots that they might be hatching. There are 4 levels of intel to Plots:

  • No Plot Intel means that there is no knowledge whatsoever, and it won’t even show up in their Plot Panel as an option to track.
  • Basic Plot Intel means that there is knowledge that a Plot exists, and you can start to investigate people attached to that Plot.
  • Moderate Plot Intel means that there is enough information about the Plot to act – meaning you have at least the Target and Help. Time and Method are optional, but the more you know the better chance you have to stop the Plot.
  • Max Plot Intel means that you know everything about the Plot with full accuracy, meaning that either someone confessed, or the Plot was stopped.

So, returning to our above example, let’s say that I was suspicious about this Character, and I thought he was trying to start a Plot to kill me or someone close to me. So, I set an Inquisitor Squad to the planet where he currently is, with orders to ‘Investigate a Possible Plot’. This is the default order when you have no knowledge of a Plot. After 2-3 turns, they might uncover a Secret or a Rumor. That info gets added to the Plot Log and would look something like this:

Viceroy Biggs is trying to get a new job that is better than the old one. We have heard that System Governor Blossom may be included in this Plot.”

So there can be up to 4 ‘pieces’ of intel per Plot. Green means that it is a Secret (high confidence) while Yellow means that the intel is a Rumor (low confidence) This would be a Moderate Plot Intel because while you know that a Plot exists, you have a Target, and Help, even if it’s not confident.

Once you believe you have at least a Moderate Intel Plot, you can act by either doing nothing, attempting to blackmail the parties involved, or if the plot is Illegal, having them openly arrested. At that point, an Inquiry is held, led by the Grand Inquisitor. If the Character is found guilty, they are executed or imprisoned depending on the Severity of the Plot. If the Character is found innocent, they are freed, you lose an amount of Power consummate with the Characters that you set to Inquiry, and they will have a huge grudge against you, as well as a nice Power boost representing public anger at your high-handed tactics.

So in the above example, since it is a Moderate Intel Plot, you are free to act on it, but if you’re wrong and you send an Inquisitor Squad to arrest the people ‘involved’ and it turns out after an Inquiry that you were wrong… sometimes the risk is too great even compared to doing nothing. But if you wait too long for further evidence, you risk the Plot developing and completing, doing what it’s supposed to do… even if the Target is you.

Another way to gain Secrets and Rumors is by talking to Characters who you think may be connected to the Plot. When you “Get to Know Character”, depending on their skills, they may just tell you something that adds to a Plot Intel – maybe one you didn’t even know was brewing!

The more you devote towards Intel, the more Inquisitor Squads you can train and maintain, as well as having a stronger low-level intel net. You will get Alerts about new Plot info, and a Critical Alert when a Plot moves to Max Intel or Moderate Intel.

So that’s the basic system about Plots – more to come soon! Enjoy!

-Steve