General questions

Polaris Sector is a sci-fi 4X game that offers exciting exploration, detailed resource management, unique research mechanics and intense tactical combat.
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Re: General questions

Post by Firefox440 » Fri Nov 20, 2015 5:17 am

I have some questions.

-Is it another Unity 3D game? I am curious because it somethings which they remember me to it.

-How complex is the space combat? is it at 3D? really I am not interested at a 3D space combat or it depends more from the third question.

-Can it be modded? I can imagine how you do not like mods and at the end, these games without mods do not survive more of three months.

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Re: General questions

Post by Ufnv » Fri Nov 20, 2015 6:40 am

Nomada_Firefox wrote: -Is it another Unity 3D game? I am curious because it somethings which they remember me to it.
No. For graphics it uses a light-weight (actually, quite low-level) graphical engine called Allegro. The game is mostly in 2.5D, only some parts (like planets) are in 3D.
-How complex is the space combat? is it at 3D? really I am not interested at a 3D space combat or it depends more from the third question.
No, it is not 3D, but it can be quite complex. Here is some video, not the best one, but it gives the idea of how it looks like:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-BphwjDHiMM
-Can it be modded? I can imagine how you do not like mods and at the end, these games without mods do not survive more of three months.
Yes, it can be totally modded. Even a big part of source code and a very big API are available.

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Re: General questions

Post by Firefox440 » Fri Nov 20, 2015 9:40 am

Thanks by the fast answer.
No. For graphics it uses a light-weight (actually, quite low-level) graphical engine called Allegro. The game is mostly in 2.5D, only some parts (like planets) are in 3D.
I did not know it. Your game looks very good with very smooth graphics.
No, it is not 3D, but it can be quite complex. Here is some video, not the best one, but it gives the idea of how it looks like:

Yes, it can be totally modded. Even a big part of source code and a very big API are available.
Great. Modding can give to your game access to thousands of players and more time playing it. Because it is not 3D, very probably, more people will be able edit it. Specially me check this http://www.moddb.com/company/firefoxccmods , I like a lot edit games. I know a lot about 3D games but a 2D is easier.

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Re: General questions

Post by Ufnv » Fri Nov 20, 2015 10:14 am

Nomada_Firefox wrote: I did not know it. Your game looks very good with very smooth graphics.
It's the low-level engine that basically allows you to efficiently draw polygons and bitmaps regardless of HW platform :)
Great. Modding can give to your game access to thousands of players and more time playing it. Because it is not 3D, very probably, more people will be able edit it. Specially me check this http://www.moddb.com/company/firefoxccmods , I like a lot edit games. I know a lot about 3D games but a 2D is easier.
Well, your work is quite impressive. Modding is not an easy task, as you are quite limited by what a game can offer, and usually APIs and modding features are not very well tested by developers.

In Polaris Sector, there are some basic things that can be easily modified by editing text files - like ships, weapon, technologies, planet types and appearance, ship design patterns and AI fleet composition logic, etc.
But also there are some more complicated things that need to use a "mod kit". With it you have an access to the game internals, and can make deeper changes - change resources, buildings, races, logic of economics, politics, etc. Also you can make storyline, access AI, fleets, ships, stars, user interaction, etc.

Also all graphics is in png files, so can be easily changed/replaced.

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Re: General questions

Post by Firefox440 » Fri Nov 20, 2015 10:32 am

I have showed the game at my site with a small preview. http://firefoxccmods.com/index.php?topic=1511.0 Probably many people do not know about it and they will be very interested at this.
Well, your work is quite impressive. Modding is not an easy task, as you are quite limited by what a game can offer, and usually APIs and modding features are not very well tested by developers.

In Polaris Sector, there are some basic things that can be easily modified by editing text files - like ships, weapon, technologies, planet types and appearance, ship design patterns and AI fleet composition logic, etc.
But also there are some more complicated things that need to use a "mod kit". With it you have an access to the game internals, and can make deeper changes - change resources, buildings, races, logic of economics, politics, etc. Also you can make storyline, access AI, fleets, ships, stars, user interaction, etc.

Also all graphics is in png files, so can be easily changed/replaced.
Thanks. Yes modding is not very easy but for me the key is understand what you can make with a game. I do not try very difficult things in a begining with a new game and if I want some big, I start first with some smaller. I say it because many people start their mods without understand what the game offer and what you can make easily with your skills. By these reasons, I could make many mods. Of course, I have been modding games more of 15 years, 2D and 3D games, I am not god but I have enough experience.

About your game, It looks very appetizing. Your game looks as a very good game for be followed the next months.


Pds: My site needs registration, it is the unique way from avoid bad people for a man without too money resources. I am not Slitherine. ;)

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Re: General questions

Post by Ufnv » Fri Nov 20, 2015 12:10 pm

Nomada_Firefox wrote:I have showed the game at my site with a small preview. http://firefoxccmods.com/index.php?topic=1511.0 Probably many people do not know about it and they will be very interested at this.
Thanks, registered there, but awaiting for moderator approval.
Thanks. Yes modding is not very easy but for me the key is understand what you can make with a game. I do not try very difficult things in a begining with a new game and if I want some big, I start first with some smaller. I say it because many people start their mods without understand what the game offer and what you can make easily with your skills. By these reasons, I could make many mods. Of course, I have been modding games more of 15 years, 2D and 3D games, I am not god but I have enough experience.
That's quite an experience :)

I was trying to make the game as moddable as possible, but as I am not a modder myself, I cannot always predict what can be critical and what not.
What I tried to do in general, is to write a hardcoded part in a way it operates when possible with "abstract instances" instead of some hardcoded things.

For example, the resources in the game (like food, production, science points, etc) are not fixed, but instead the game operates with general "classes of resources" that behaves differently - like Mineral class can be stored in deposits and can be distributed empire-wise, Production class cannot be stored and is not distributed, Science class cannot be stored, but can be distributed, etc. And AI operates in these general terms, so adding new resource of any type would not break it's logic.
Buildings are also not fixed, so AI cannot "build Factory and Iron mine", but instead it should check balance of "resource #0", then search for a building that can produce this "resource #0", check if this building can be built, queue any supporting buildings (like to create "building #1" you need first to create "building #2", that allows for growing population required by the "building #1"), etc.

The same for spaceships - as there is a ship designer in the game and equipment, ship classes, science, etc is not fixed and can be anything, the AI operates in abstract "Doctrines". These Doctrines are a kind of guidelines for AI - what type of designs try to build when and for what ship roles, how to combine fleets from these designs for specific tasks, etc. And this is tied to the overall science progress, as at some point of time one fleet composition or ship design is better, but then it can be completely different.
And Doctrines can be edited, as they are a simple text files.

The difficult part is that I do not use XML - I do not like it since it's appearance :)
So everything is in plain text files with their own syntax.

Like this:

Code: Select all

ID "HydroponicFarm"
  Icon "images/ve/buildings/hydropon_plantation.png"
  Info "HydroponicFarm"
  MaxCountByDefault 50
  Produces Food 1000.000000
  WorkersRequired 750
  AIValue 0.200000
  Requires Prod 75.000000
  RequiredTech "SCBLDHYDROP"
  ProdAmountModTech "HIDDEN_HYDROPONIC_FARM_BOOSTER" 1.2500000



For most complicated parts I use a specially designed language.

It looks like this:

Code: Select all

          on event "ORBITAL STRUCTURES DESTROYED "+str(this.raceID) callm this.OfferTribute(EventParmInt) lazy always
            delete when "KILLED RACE "+str(this.raceID) or "ORBITAL STRUCTURES DOUBLE CHECK "+str(this.raceID)
or like this:

Code: Select all

phrase SeedContainersDefined(TotalAmount, Percent, FromID, ToID)
  local ThisAmount = call DivRound(TotalAmount*Percent, 100)

  local i

  for (i = 0, i < ThisAmount, i++)

    local idx = call RND(1, HandleList2 SIZE + 1)

    local StarHandle = HandleList2 Get (idx)

    if (Yes==call UFIsNoOnesStar(StarHandle, Yes))
      local ThisID = call RND(FromID, ToID + 1)

      call UFAddSpecialContaner(StarHandle, call GetContainerTypeByContent(ThisID), ThisID, call GetContainerAmountByID(ThisID))
    else
      i--
    end if
  end for

end phrase


About your game, It looks very appetizing. Your game looks as a very good game for be followed the next months.
Thanks! If you need any help, or you have any ideas of what can make the live of a modder easier, I am here...

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Re: General questions

Post by Firefox440 » Fri Nov 20, 2015 1:26 pm

Thanks, registered there, but awaiting for moderator approval.
Approved. Most of the people are approved at one day. I know how some people do not like this way but it is the best filter against bad people.
I was trying to make the game as moddable as possible, but as I am not a modder myself, I cannot always predict what can be critical and what not.
The unique requirement or the most important is a way for open/edit the files. If they are compressed at a highly coded format without any way of uncompress/compress, clearly it would be a problem.

At most of the games which they can be edited, they use your way. A highly coded part, perhaps in the exe where nobody can touch it and some additional xml, text, or other format for customize everything. It is probably the best way.

About the type of code, EAW/FOC, two of the games more edited by me use XML but Sins of a Solar Empire, other game edited by me use text files exactly as you have added. They are good and easy. I know how it can be a bit strange for some people jump from a type of code to other, it happened to me the first time that I edited a text file from these but just it needs a adjust from the mind.;)
For most complicated parts I use a specially designed language.
About this other code. It remembers me a bit to the lua. However if most of the configuration values are at text files, I do not see me editing this.

Do you go to release some as a debuger tool? some games add this for modders. It helps a lot if you have a tool telling you the amount of errors in code.

About what would make a modder with your game, it would not be too complex, perhaps some people try a very complex mod. But for me..........I would set your game at other universe as Star Wars. For this, I would not need edit a lot of things, it is more a matter from change the face. Some graphics, starships and text descriptions. The same made with the new EA Battlefront :o but free. :D

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Re: General questions

Post by Ufnv » Fri Nov 20, 2015 8:06 pm

Nomada_Firefox wrote: The unique requirement or the most important is a way for open/edit the files. If they are compressed at a highly coded format without any way of uncompress/compress, clearly it would be a problem.
I generally put all the graphical resources in one pack due to the number of files, but it 1) easy to unpack 2) the game searches for the unpacked resources first, so if you want replace any image, you do not need to touch the pack, just place a new image in the appropriate directory.
About this other code. It remembers me a bit to the lua. However if most of the configuration values are at text files, I do not see me editing this.
Yes, this thing is necessary if you decide, for example, to replace the race by completely different ones, with new dialogs, behaviour, logic, etc.
Do you go to release some as a debuger tool? some games add this for modders. It helps a lot if you have a tool telling you the amount of errors in code.
I do not really have a debugger, what I do, I print Traces either into the game console or in the file. I can try to make a game simulator as well, that allows line-by-line debugging of a code, but this will take some time after the release.

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Re: General questions

Post by Firefox440 » Fri Nov 20, 2015 10:00 pm

I generally put all the graphical resources in one pack due to the number of files, but it 1) easy to unpack 2) the game searches for the unpacked resources first, so if you want replace any image, you do not need to touch the pack, just place a new image in the appropriate directory.
It is the chooice from the best games with modding capabilities.
Yes, this thing is necessary if you decide, for example, to replace the race by completely different ones, with new dialogs, behaviour, logic, etc.
But if you want just rename a race and replace some units with new names, do you need edit this? I do not see neccesary the logic or behaviour.
I do not really have a debugger, what I do, I print Traces either into the game console or in the file. I can try to make a game simulator as well, that allows line-by-line debugging of a code, but this will take some time after the release.
If the game gives you a simple message about what is wrong, it would be enough. Sins of a Solar Empire has an alternative way of launch the game, this different way save all the bad things in a text file and it shows some messages in the screen if there are special errors in code.

About after the release, very few games released modding tools the first day and even if I would be happier if your game were different, I would not see nothing bad or strange if you would release some things three months after the game release.

For end the answer, one question, how many time have you been making this game? it looks awesome and I did not know nothing about this. It was a grateful surprise.

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Re: General questions

Post by Ufnv » Sat Nov 21, 2015 8:27 pm

Nomada_Firefox wrote: But if you want just rename a race and replace some units with new names, do you need edit this? I do not see neccesary the logic or behaviour.
Depends on how deep you are going. There are quite a few texts in the game and they use the race name in different formats. But generally yes, just editing text files is enough.
If the game gives you a simple message about what is wrong, it would be enough.
Well, it is controlled by the config file - you can switch on the printing into the game console or in some file.
For end the answer, one question, how many time have you been making this game? it looks awesome and I did not know nothing about this. It was a grateful surprise.
Actually, this is a complete rework of my game published back in 1998. Two years ago I've found there is a group of people that still play it, so first I decided to re-complile it for the modern platform, but then it converted into a complete new project :)

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Re: General questions

Post by Firefox440 » Sat Nov 21, 2015 11:02 pm

Depends on how deep you are going. There are quite a few texts in the game and they use the race name in different formats. But generally yes, just editing text files is enough.
Well, if it is necessary and it is possible, I do not see because I can not edit them. At least if it does not need a long look in the files. Who knows, I will tell you when I play the game one day (I am not in the beta as you perhaps know) and most important, I do not edit games if I do not play them and by default, the first condition should be fun for me. By the moment I like the video and the pictures but I do not go to trust at 100% (even a 1% :mrgreen: ) at the opinion from the creators or zakblood_slith who clearly is somebody very close to Slitherine staff. Do not see it as a bad opinion or critic to your work, just it is the true about how people have different tastes and I do not go to say how I go to edit it without to know if I like it.

However, I will follow this game by the moment because the modding option is a great addition to one thing looking very good.
Actually, this is a complete rework of my game published back in 1998. Two years ago I've found there is a group of people that still play it, so first I decided to re-complile it for the modern platform, but then it converted into a complete new project
Perhaps it explain because I saw some similar at youtube but I did not know it. When older are the things, better they are.;) At 1998 the unique game from this style at my hands was Imperium Galactica I and never I saw other things, nothing strange when there were not the internet stores from these days.

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Re: General questions

Post by zakblood » Sun Nov 22, 2015 6:03 am

no comment, or further replies here either

edited :oops:
Last edited by zakblood on Sun Nov 22, 2015 8:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: General questions

Post by Firefox440 » Sun Nov 22, 2015 8:41 am

I have some small questions about the game, some of them more directed to the modding.

-How many different space, ground and buildings can be builded per faction? can they be increased? I do not say from different variants from a same space unit.

-What languages will be translated the game? there are more things than english in the world. I am from Spain. I can live with a 100% english game but I know many people from other countries (Germany, French, Russian...) which they would not like it.

-Are there limits in the amount of units?

-How many factions are in game?

zakblood_slith:
I do not know but it looks as if you would be at all the beta. It looks as if you were receiving a more favorable treatment.
if i have a negative comment to make on a given game, i tend to keep my mouth closed and my fingers silent, one unless i bought it, why should i care, 2 if i bought it, and something make me mad about it, why moan? or complain, asking nicely gets a better response i find, so tend to ask questions or do pm's for replies, not odd forum comments in the open to to rant about it, there's always enough of them already so why add to it...
Your answer zakblood_slith confirm my primary matter. I do not trust a comment from you saying how good is a game.

However, there is a difference between say how does not run one thing in a game or how a game is not fun with start with saying how horrible are the things. This is one way which I do not follow. I am very realistic and if I do not like a game, I go to say you because I do not like it and how it is a personal opinion, other people can like it.

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Re: General questions

Post by zakblood » Sun Nov 22, 2015 8:55 am

no further comment here
:oops:

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Re: General questions

Post by Firefox440 » Sun Nov 22, 2015 9:03 am

if i have a negative comment to make on a given game, i tend to keep my mouth closed and my fingers silent, one unless i bought it, why should i care, 2 if i bought it, and something make me mad about it, why moan? or complain, asking nicely gets a better response i find, so tend to ask questions or do pm's for replies, not odd forum comments in the open to to rant about it, there's always enough of them already so why add to it...
Well, zakblood_slith reading this opinion from you, I am sure at 100% how I can not trust you. Sorry but when more I read it. More I am sure.

In fact if you do not go to say bad things, you would be a bad tester. Specially because most of the games tested at Slitherine are from my point of view very finished and they want more a real customer opinion than other thing.

About why complain if one game is bad? if you do not like it because it is not your style of game, I agree, you should not complain about it. But if it is a complain about a problem from the game, gameplay or a error, you should be complain. Clearly these aspects like to people making games, specially people as Slitherine which they publish games. If they would not like the opinion from others, they would not publish screenshots, videos or more.

I see how now you have deleted your previous answers. Do not worry, I have saved for everybody the best parts.;)

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Re: General questions

Post by Ufnv » Sun Nov 22, 2015 9:41 am

Nomada_Firefox wrote: -How many different space, ground and buildings can be builded per faction? can they be increased? I do not say from different variants from a same space unit.
Resources -> 12 used in game, capped at 64
Ground buildings -> 39 used in game, capped at 128

Spaceships -> 5 hardcoded "superclasses" (small ship, medium ship, big ship, satellite, freighter), any number of classes and types can be built on them. Like there are three "medium ship" classes -> corvette, frigate, destroyer, and within each class any number of hulls can be defined (like several types of destroyers).
-What languages will be translated the game? there are more things than english in the world. I am from Spain. I can live with a 100% english game but I know many people from other countries (Germany, French, Russian...) which they would not like it.
I do not know yet the plans of the publisher. Initially it's English and there is also a Russian variant obviously.
-Are there limits in the amount of units?
Not really. Currently this is regulated by your economical power. Maybe the maximum amount of Players ships I saw in real save-games was around 10K.
-How many factions are in game?
Currently 9 "real" races + 2 auxiliary.

Why don't you just sign up for the Beta? I can make sure you are accepted :)

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Re: General questions

Post by Ufnv » Sun Nov 22, 2015 9:43 am

Nomada_Firefox wrote: Perhaps it explain because I saw some similar at youtube but I did not know it. When older are the things, better they are.;) At 1998 the unique game from this style at my hands was Imperium Galactica I and never I saw other things, nothing strange when there were not the internet stores from these days.
Well, it was published in Russia only, so you had no chance. But there are still plenty of traces, if you search for "Remember Tomorrow 4x space strategy".

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Re: General questions

Post by Firefox440 » Sun Nov 22, 2015 10:15 am

Well, it was published in Russia only, so you had no chance. But there are still plenty of traces, if you search for "Remember Tomorrow 4x space strategy".
Can I think how perhaps the new game will be translated to the Russian? I have a some friends from Russia, specially one who he is very very very good with images. But if the game is not translated to Russian, with his level of english (zero), probably he will not buy it, even if I start a mod from this (usually he makes my textures and other image files because he likes play my mods).

About no chance because it was published at Russia..........I have a Vk account ;) I am a very expanded man around the world. But if you are speaking this, I do not speak Russian.

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Re: General questions

Post by IainMcNeil » Fri Nov 27, 2015 12:09 pm

Nomada please remember everyone is here to have fun. Beta testing is something people do in their spare time as volunteers. You don't have to agree with someone but you have to be courteous and polite. You are here to have fun - lets not argue! Everyone's opinion is just as valid.

That's not to say we don't want negative feedback on the game. We need your comments as negative feedback and criticism is how we work out what needs to be improved. Focus on the game and don't criticize each other! :)

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Re: General questions

Post by Firefox440 » Sat Nov 28, 2015 10:42 am

Resources -> 12 used in game, capped at 64
Ground buildings -> 39 used in game, capped at 128

Spaceships -> 5 hardcoded "superclasses" (small ship, medium ship, big ship, satellite, freighter), any number of classes and types can be built on them. Like there are three "medium ship" classes -> corvette, frigate, destroyer, and within each class any number of hulls can be defined (like several types of destroyers).
Very good values. It can give a lot of additional possibilities.
I do not know yet the plans of the publisher. Initially it's English and there is also a Russian variant obviously.
For me English a Russian would be enough. I am from Spain but I like more play at English.
Not really. Currently this is regulated by your economical power. Maybe the maximum amount of Players ships I saw in real save-games was around 10K.
When more features I read, more I like it.
Why don't you just sign up for the Beta? I can make sure you are accepted
I signed the first moment that you requested people for the beta but I did not receive any email, just one saying. I am not sure if you started the beta or not, or you accept more people by stages. :?:
Dear Nomada_Firefox

Thank you for registering for the beta test program for Polaris Sector - PC
You'll be contacted when the beta version of the game is ready to be tested!

Best Regards,
The Slitherine Team
Sorry Iain but I have not intent to argue. I was showing a real fact. Nothing more. ;)
I would be more than happy by test it. Not by a discount or take a look in the game, just because I like it and probably because I have a strange mind, I can see things which other people can not see.

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