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.7 inbound! And a new Kickstarter coming soon!

Hello, everyone! Long time no see! Even though I’ve been quiet, I’ve been working a lot on the game and after almost 5 pages of addons, changes, tweaks, fixes, and improvements, I’m just about ready to launch .7!

With that, after save and load functionality is added (the very next major feature to be added – well, technically save is already there, but it’s internal) I feel the time is right to launch a Kickstarter. With all the changes and fixes in .7, I am happy enough with the product that I feel that it is right to present as a Kickstarter.

A Kickstarter will allow me to work on the game more, add more art and special effects, allow the game to be promoted more (which will bring in more money that will allow more improvements – you see the cycle!) Let me be clear: I have 2 loans out on the initial development of the game – I have not made a penny on the game that I can ‘pay’ myself; all proceeds have basically gone to pay back loans on the game. So this is more of a passion project than something that’s going to buy my second home. But I do want to finish it and I feel the end is within reach with a large push in 2019. So look for more updates soon on when that will launch and how you can help!

Thank you for your patience!

Steve

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It’s Screenshot Time… The First Look at the new UI (and Trade)

Hey everyone! Steve here – just a quick blog to show what we’re working on this week. We’re revamping the UI to be more streamlined, so these are early shots showing the direction we’re going with the UI, as well as a sneak peek of our trade view!

New Empire View - 3.22This is a look at the main UI display, with the new Political main mode. UI consistency will be a main theme in Imperia – what you see here, along with the alert bar to the left and the Projects bar to the right, will be accessible in any screen – in other words, all stellar screens will have an economic, military, and political main mode, with specialized submodes as needed. We thought about ‘what tasks do players do’ and it seemed that if you need to check on your economic situation, say, you would want to do something about it, so when you drill down into the planet/system/province views, you will have economic-layered views and options ready to go.

On the upper-left is the Vital Statistics Display, showing from left to right game year (we may move this down to the next turn button), your love rating from your Pops, your fear rating, your Power rating, your Benevolent Influence pool and your Tyrannical Influence pool.

On the upper-right is the Dymanic Resources Display. This will change depending on what you are doing. For example, your Action Points are on the left, followed by your yearly budget and your expected gain/loss from that budget for the current year. However, if you have the Project Bar open, this will instead of showing your finances show your materials and ADM available for the selected entity.

New Alert Bar 3.22

Here’s a look at the Alert Bar on the left.¬†These are small icons that let you know that something has happened. Very few alerts are hooked up right now (these tell you that you gained/lost population on various worlds) and will have filters on the top to only show alerts that you want to see. When you hover your mouse over an alert, a sliding box will show from the right to expand on the alert, and if you want to act on it left clicking on it will take you to the relevant place to act. Right-clicking will remove the alert from the bar.

Now let’s look at the Trade View.

New Trade View - 3.22

We have already written about how the Trade system will work. When you go into the Economic mode, you will default to the Trade view. This shows your empire’s Influence ghosted, but shows the Province/Secondary/Empire trade hub radii of effect. These create Trade Zones that allow trade to happen in that zone. Merchant Pops can increase the standard area of effect of a trade hub, reflected with the Merchant Skill number on each hub ring, allowing even a smaller Secondary hub to cover several systems, and saving the expense of either building a new connecting hub or creating a new Province (you can only have one Province hub) or demolishing the old hub to move it.

Zoomed in Trade View 3.22

This is a zoomed-in view showing one province. You can see the lines extending from the province capital system showing the structure of the province. While Matka Gabia system is within a province trade hub, they do not have a trade hub of their own and can thus only import goods, not export them. The Polunocnica Secondary hub does allow Melchior to receive trades, but only between the two systems. If, say, Fertility were annexed to the province and a Secondary hub was built there and staffed with Merchant pops, it would be possible for the Polunocnica System to be linked to their Provincial hub, which would then link them to all Provinces and allow a greater range of trade options.

Please remember that this is not a finished look – many of our final assets are not completed yet. It will give you a good idea of the general look and feel of the game, and we are very confident moving forward about the UI – a game like this needs an exceptional UI, and we have spent a long time working on it and reviewing each part. Soon, we’ll show the revamped System¬†View, but our next screenshot blog will feature Trade Fleets in action!

Excelsior!

-Steve

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Status Report! .2 Alpha To Release Next Week!

Hey everyone!
So we’ve been pretty quiet for the last month or so. What we’ve been working on doesn’t lend itself to pretty screen shots or 3D wonder. No, we’ve been working on the baseline game features, the AI, and the player experience. It’s all pretty gnarly as far as something to post, and honestly I’ll let Oliver, our AI guy, talk about it in more detail, but basically it’s going to be as close to a living world with full characters in a 4X as has ever been seen. Your emperor will walk amongst fully-realized personalities, each with their own traits, abilities, goals, and morality. We have revamped the character attributes to be more in line with the new ‘Aitvaras’ AI system we have been working on. Characters will be able to determine their relationships with each other, determine their short and long-term strategies depending on those relationships, their ambitions, and the ambitions of their House and/or their civilization.
It does sound like CK in space, to a point. There are some similarities, to be sure. But we want each experience with talking to a character to feel like you’re talking to a real person. Where you might have 5-6 real options and no real feedback in CK, in Imperia you might have dozens of actions, many of which could lead to other actions, depending on what you say and how the character responds. We want these characters to feel real, and you should be able to understand what they want to do and be able to influence those actions if they are not in your best interests.
That’s the real heart and soul of Imperia, something we’ve talked about since the very beginning. You are not the absolute master of your domain. Things are happening all around you, all the time. You can choose to do nothing, and the Empire will still run. Planets will get developed, the budget will be passed, and characters will seek to achieve their personal ambitions with or without your stamp. You must use the tools of Empire to shape your civilization. Every month, what you do has an impact. You have the power to destroy planets, to colonize and shape constellations, to go to war with every other civ in the galaxy – but at what cost to your rule and your people? You can rule as the most feared tyrant in the quadrant, but if people start to leave your Empire, you have no one to blame but yourself. You can have people assassinated who displease you, but remember that people have friends… and long memories. Each action you take WILL have a reaction – but that reaction is not always immediate, just as in real life.
So we’re finalizing that AI plan. We already have some of the data programming in place. Next week will mark the release of .2 – with character Actions and the new speech system, you will be able to commuicate with your people and your characters, and start to shape your Empire. The economy is already pretty much done, though we’re still tweaking the trade system. We’re also updating the AI – adding constellations as provinces will change the game play significantly. There’s a lot to talk about next week, and we’ll have some new screen shots soon!
Also, look for a new video update next week and perhaps some podcast appearances! We’ll post the time and date on the site as we confirm them.
And…. looking towards next month, we are starting to design the new web site! We will have our own web site that is dedicated to Imperia, as part of a larger company site (KatHawk Games) so be looking for that as well.
Lot happening! Stay tuned!
-Steve
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Imperia V.410b RELEASED!!!!*

*Finally, right?

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

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

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

Enjoy!!!

-Steve

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The New Roadmap… A Preview!!

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