So you probably have noticed that I’ve been gone for a while from the blog. There is a very good reason for that: After much thought, I have decided to take on the large-scale challenge that Imperia has thrown in front of me. I’ll explain.

I have been working on Imperia for almost a year now (10 months) and it started out as a single project that I was using to learn how to program. I reached a point in my development where I realized that I actually had (or could learn) the skills needed to create the 5X game I’ve always wanted to play, which became Imperia. As I continued to work on it, I wanted feedback, so I posted the game to a few forums. Interest grew, and as the game went through version .2, then .3, and .4, more and more people jumped on, to the point where there are thousands of hits a week when I post new info.

With the addition of Pavlos and the creation of the awesome community, I had to at least consider what, if anything, I wanted to do with Imperia. Does it stay a hobby, or do I try to make it fly, follow my dream, and create the game I’ve always wanted – but with more resources?

After much thought, prayer, conversation, and trepidation, I’ve decided to jump into the icy pool: I will rebuild Imperia from the ground up and sell it.

What does this mean to you? First, I will release .414 shortly. It has a lot of bug fixes and is very playable at this point, if obviously incomplete. Future VB version releases of Imperia will always be free. I will continue to ‘noodle’ on the VB version of Imperia for ideas and to quickly test out certain parameters as I work though getting up to speed with my new development system.

Which is what, Steve? Well… glad you asked. I’m going all the way with Unity 5 and C# scripting. This change will allow many benefits:

  • Universal compatibility – there will be builds for Windows, Mac, and Linux
  • Resolution issues will be markedly reduced
  • The engine is more stable and much more supported at this point
  • Install dependencies are now much more integrated – one click install, with the flexibility of a full install program
  • Better memory management
  • Fonts won’t suck 😀
  • Vastly more potential to upgrade the UI – we are designing a ‘holistic’ UI where you never leave the galaxy map – you will ‘zoom’ into provinces (formerly sectors), systems, and planets – all on the same screen, but with different information. I’ve already mocked a prototype and it’s way more beautiful and flexible!

Those are the high points, and I am very excited about having the chance to correct and improve some things about the original Imperia, especially with the interface and some of the complexity of the planet economic system.

So for now, there is no MSRP, no Kickstarter, and no immediate early access plan. As I have said before, I have a lucrative full-time job and do not need to do this for the money. If we do move to some sort of crowdfunding, it will be small and used to pay for assets (music, Pavlos’ art, animation, etc). There is also the possibility of publishing though another company, though there is very little I can say about that at this time. Let’s just say for now there will be no call for your wallet. :)

If you are interested in being an actual alpha tester for KatHawk games (the DBA of my company), please let me know. A playable build is frankly 2-3 months off while I wrangle with the Unity system. I wish I had started with it from the beginning, but c’est la vie. There are some of you who have been with us since the beginning and I will personally reach out to you.

If you have any other questions, thoughts, etc. I would love your input, either here on the blog or at our forum. One thing we will be doing soon will be to update and unify the blog, the wiki, and the forum, and create a one-stop page with the usual things: news feed, media corner, development updates, etc.

I am very nervous about this decision, and I did not come to it lightly. I have no idea if Imperia will be as good as I want it to be at the end of the development cycle but I will say this. I’ve worked on this thing for almost a year, and I’ll work on it until it’s the best space strategy game I can possibly make, and if you want to join the ride, there’s plenty of room on the wagon – the journey’s just starting (again): hop aboard!

-Steve

Hey all!!

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

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

V.412 Changelog

2.24.15

BUG FIXES

* Fixed several graphical issues, especially with lower resolutions

* Fixed issue where taxes were not being calculated properly

* Fixed bug where calculating trades could cause a crash

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

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

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

MAJOR CHANGES:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy!

-Steve

Hey all!!

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

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

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

-Steve

Hey everyone!

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

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

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

-Steve

Hey everyone!

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

Here’s the changelog!

Imperia V.410b R2 Change Log/Readme 2.6.15

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

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

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

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

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

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

-Steve

*Finally, right?

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

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

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

Enjoy!!!

-Steve

Hey everyone!!

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

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

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

-Steve

So as an Emperor, you will have numerous ways to influence your leaders under your rule, ranging from benevolent to merciless. An important lever you will have is using your sector governors (and to a lesser extent, your system governors) to actually enact and guide your policies. The end goal of Imperia is that your sector governors should be both your potential largest levers to run your empire, as well as your greatest threat should they turn against you. The military system, both in the ground and in space, will start to show this in .410 with the addition of ground forces, armies, and fleets that can potentially be controlled by sector governors.

Another concept that will be present in .410 is the idea of using leverage from your sector and system governors to run your planets. Characters can exert pressure or persuasion on characters that are subordinate to them. Persuasion is less effective but is not considered tyrannical. Pressure is considered tyrannical and only allied leaders with tyrannical leanings will do this. Pressure/persuasion is ‘pooled’ for each character who is being influenced and can be used as ‘currency’ to improve the odds something will be done or used to speed up an Edict. Characters that are pressured are unhappy and will generally like you less, as well as their superiors. Points in these pools raise the chance of success for one point per persuasion point, and 3 points per pressure point. Characters will remember being pressured. Points will decay by 25% per month if not used.The idea is essentially that you are approaching your most powerful governors to give their support for key requests in the near future, without having to be immediately specific, but seeing the effects of their promise fade over time. That way, you have some ability to deal with events as they occur and this should result in less micromanagement overall.

This system will give the player more flexibility to set up situations with a better chance of success, at the risk of an unstable leadership structure in any given sector. A military army on the ground can also create pressure (but this is mighty Tyrannical) equal to the army’s suppression rating and must be in a Suppression stance.

On another note, I have been working quite a bit on the game over the last week or so and there are a lot of new additions big and small. I will be putting out a revised changelog tomorrow!

-Steve

Hey all!!

I promise this blog will be hopping more and more as I get more time to work on Imperia. Briefly, I want to talk about the revised roadmap that I’m looking at going forward for the game. I will add more detail to each version in a separate post, and I’d love feedback!

V.04 – This will have primarily the military system put in place, including ships, fleets, assignment to governors, admirals, and the War Prime screen with build orders, as well as randomized components and technology. It will be a large arc, and I hope to have it done by the end of the year. The war prime button will be unlocked.

V.05 – This will concentrate on the scientific system. With the planets and ships in place, there will be more to research. Here you will be able to research Edicts, technologies that are more efficient, war technologies, and the first version of the Lazarus Project (the true ‘win condition’) will be available. The science prime button will be unlocked.

V.06 – This will add the economic layer from a empire-wide perspective. There is already a empire-wide economy, but up to now the focus has been primarily at a planet level. This update will allow you to control empire-wide taxes, set a max and a min tax rate for planets and systems, and control the subsidies that sectors are allocated. I will be changing to a top-down model by this update; in other words, planets send profits to systems who send profits to sectors who are taxed for the Empire, and vice versa. Currently, there is a ‘bottom-up’ model. This will (hopefully) ensure stronger sector organization and really put the power in the hands of the sector governors, where it belongs. The economic button will be unlocked.

V.07 – At this point, intel will get a lookover, as will anything missing from the planet system (secondary designations, etc). The intel screen will be more functional (though I will be adding here and there throughout the process). You will have more intel options for characters, such as spread rumors, fabricate plots, etc.

V.08 – Here the character system will be completed and the events system will be put into place. Characters will comm you and the ‘wish and demand’ system will be implemented. I was originally going to do this in .4 but I realized that all the components of the Empire needed to be in play for this to be effective.

V.09 – At last… other empires!! Before this point there will be the possibility of civil war or a rebellion within your empire, but this update will introduce true empires that have grown and exist outside of your Empire. Soon, I will post the background of Imperia, and the context will make a lot more sense.

V1.0 – At last! Graphics updates, bugs, balancing, and anything else that I didn’t get to previously will be here. Exciting times, right?

-Steve