Pre-Alpha Build Progress

HAPPY HALLOWEEN EVERYBODY!!

Here’s a quick update regarding our upcoming playable pre-Alpha build. We’ve added a functional tutorial to teach players the fundamentals of SRC, and are in the middle of building a mini-encounter vertical slice! Screens and details below.

Pre-Alpha Build Progress

Our Pre-Alpha build is going well and we hope to have something playable for everyone by the end of next week.  We are currently working on the following elements:

Demo Map:

So far all of our maps are built for the Campaign Mode, and usually are pretty short with only a few mechanics to master.  This demo map represents our effort to insert a vertical slice of most of the game systems in one encounter.

So we’ll be adding Engineer usage points (doors to break down, bridges to build), definitely multiple lanes and flanking routes, archers, resources, and extra attention to the environment.  The critical path is in place — at this point we are doing bug fixing, environment set dressing, and balancing on the map.

Campaign Mode:

The idea for this Pre-Alpha demo is that the players will get an abridged look at the Campaign Map, where we’ll give them a few resources to buy and upgrade units as they wish, before committing to enter the above Demo Map.  So we’ll be giving players a bit of choice that’s a sliver of the grander scale we’ve designed.

Tutorial:

Like most strategy games, SRC needs a bit of instruction before diving right in.  We’re doing some simple trigger volumes that show relevant text as you progress through the Tutorial level, teaching the basics of movement, combat, multiple unit management, and using the Crossing Points to transition deeper into the background.

Only a few more parts to put in place before we’re ready to publish this bad boy.  As always, your support and attention is appreciated!  Drop by our Kickstarter and take a look!

Thanks everyone!

Building the Super Roman Republic

Hey everyone,

Just wanted to give a quick update on some cool stuff we wrapped up today. It hits all the beats we try to cover when designing features for the game. It’s interactive, it’s fun, and it fits within the Roman setting we’re trying to create. Also, it ties into our crowd funding effort which is going to start pretty soon over at KickStarter so that’s an added bonus. So what is it already! God, quit rambling.

THE SUPER ROMAN REPUBLIC

We’re calling it THE SUPER ROMAN REPUBLIC and it’s a brand new method for us to interact with our fans and backers in a unique and interesting way. It starts by offering a handful of KickStarter reward tiers that offer privileges and titles based on historical government roles from ancient Rome. These titles feed into an elaborate voting and communication system that help determine the additional content we add to the game. Everyone on KickStarter works hard to create new ways to interact and engage with their fan base and in that respect I think we really found something special. Here’s what you need to know: 

We’re using a modular development model for Super Roman Conquest. We’re going to have around 10 different game features shown on our KickStarter page when we launch. Now, these aren’t stretch goals. Stretch goals are a different topic for a different post. Rather, these are features that we’ve come up with that we think would be an great addition to the core gameplay of SRC.

SENATE DECREES

With all that in mind, we began developing the concept of Senate Decrees.  These handful of decrees would be displayed on the KickStarter so that fans would know what we had planned for the development of SRC.  We wanted backers of the project to have some influence on these decrees, either by voting on their favorites, or coming up with entirely new decrees.

In order to interface with backers, we set about building in a very simple form of government right into our KickStarter reward tiers. Depending on which tier the fans want to get in on, that’s how much influence they wield in the Senate Decree system.  This way, fans who are extremely into the real-life meta game of influence, and who want to get involved, can sign up to higher reward tiers.  Lower reward tier backers still have a voice in the course of development.

Real quick, of course everything is subject to change here. This is, after all, a development blog and things in development change as we all know. Ok, now that I got that out of the way here’s a quick and dirty picture I drew up.

SuperRomanRepublic

SENATE ASSEMBLY

In this system, the lowest voting member of the community is a TRIBUNE. Tribunes will get a special flag on the forums and will be able to participate by voting with their fellow senators on any of the 10 Senate Decrees we’ve already come up with. But that’s just at the beginning.

VETOS

After the Senate Assembly vote is tallied, the vote moves on to a possible Veto stage. Here, high ranking members of elite PROCONSUL reward tiers will have a chance to veto the decree passed by the assembly. To prevent a full government shut-down (so timely…) each PROCONSUL member can only use their veto power once. If a decree is vetoed a new vote is taken and no decree can be vetoed twice.

Moving on, if the vote is NOT vetoed it moves on to us, the developers. The 3 decrees that received the least amount of votes will be taken off for the next assembly. After that we’ll begin work developing the feature and work as quickly as possible to get it done and get it done right so that we can continue this process.

REVIEW PROPOSALS

In the meantime, members of a middle MAGISTRATE reward tier will get to work digging through the forums and talking to their constituents in the lower tiers. The hope is to make this like a true republic where larger lower tiers are represented by senators with their constituents priorities in mind.  Backers in the MAGISTRATE tiers will also have special access to us, the developers. We will check in with these patrons often to find out what the fans want put forward for the next assembly. Once the magistrates have assembled an adequate list of decree proposals, we’ll gather them into a list and conduct a special voting round for backers in the MAGISTRATE tier and above.

PROPOSAL VOTE

This voting round only includes members in the magistrate tier and above and will decide which of the proposals will go on to become Senate Decrees in the next assembly. After all the votes are tallied and the top three proposals are made decrees for the next vote, a Senate assembly will be called and the entire process repeats itself.

Well, I know that is a long post and there’s certainly a lot to digest there but I hope you at least get what we’re trying to accomplish with this system. Feel free to message us with any questions or ideas.

Thanks for reading, stay tuned for more!

Campaign Map!

Hey yall,

Just wrapping up a new Campaign map for the Mediterranean, and wanted to share our progress.  We’ve got a handful of encounters already hooked up to this campaign, and we’re taking a look now at the difficulty and balance of the maps.  Here’s a shot of the new Campaign Map:

italymap

So this is one of the first screens you’ll see during this campaign.  I’ve put a rudimentary unit management screen on the map as well, where you can purchase and upgrade units, and requisition new equipment.  Expect this screen to contain a lot more sub-menus and buttons as we pack in more customization to the campaign.

At this point, you can scroll around the map, zoom into areas, plot your campaign route, and engage the enemy.  Next step is to add the additional customization menus, and nail down an appropriate campaign length for this region.   Til next time!

Unit Selection

Hey all!  We’ve been hard at work on SRC, and have made some changes to how the player selects units on the battlefield.

Initially, we required you to click the unit, then click the direction you wanted to move.  This became too hectic with dozens of units on screen, so we started streamlining the process using hotkeys and more assistance logic.  I think we’re approaching something that’s starting to feel organic —  here are some of the new methods to grab units:

  • Select Next / Previous Unit:  Select the unit to the left or right of the currently selected unit, along the same battle lane (your depth position within the landscape).
  • Select All of a Type:  Select all units on your current battle lane of the currently selected type.  Select all Centurions!  For example..
  • Select All Units!:  As it says, selects every unit on the current battle lane.  Good for quick evasive/panic maneuvers.
  • Box Select: Quickly drag a box around any assortment of units to group select them.
grabbing four units

grabbing four units

Then once the player has the units selected, they can order basic movement commands (back, forward, halt, up and down (when available)), and combat commands.  We are going to let this unit handling method percolate, and see how well it scales to some of the grander, more complex maps.  It’s important to give you flexibility in how you command your troops, but to avoid over complicating the process and losing a whole legion in a panic.   That can and will happen!

But that’s a topic for another time.  Thanks for reading!

Pixels!

Hey all, and welcome to our first development update post for Super Roman Conquest!  We’ve been working on this game for several months now, and there’s so much to talk about.  But let’s start with some thoughts on PIXELS.  Our style for this game is going to mix 16-bit era textures and sprites with 3D worlds and dynamic lights. We grew up playing amazing games on SNES and Genesis, so those lush, carefully drawn, 256-color images hold a soft spot in our hearts.

Let me preface this — first and foremost I consider myself a scripter and a designer. “Artist” of any kind is a far and distant 3rd. Maybe 4th. It’s not my forte, though I appreciate good art greatly. However, our team being only the two of us, we’re both picking up tasks that were previously out of our wheelhouse. For myself, getting into pixel art has been fun and somewhat cathartic.  At some point we’ll want to contract out artwork, but until our budget allows, I want our placeholder art to motivate us and inspire others.

Anyway, here’s a dude I’m working on. He’s an Auxilia, one of the non-Roman citizens of the army, usually volunteers from regions outside Rome.  In our game the Auxilia is going to be a light troop — not as badass as the Centurion or Optio, but he’ll be able to hold his own against those brutes from Gaul.

Auxilia_sheet

Each frame is about 32×32 pixels, and these are just a few of the frames we’re using.  We’ll be adding more frames later, like proper death animations for one thing.  It takes a while to get the walk animations right, and I don’t think I’d ever be happy with them, but getting to the death frame is quite satisfying.  I finally get to take my revenge on the sprite that tormented me with out-of-place pixels and wonky looking legs.

ITS ONLY 32×32 PIXELS

I thought drawing up these sprites would be a snap, and was often dismayed by how awful the whole image could look when one pixel is out of place.  After all, we’re doing only 32 by 32 pixels per frame!  If you had 1000 monkeys randomly putting pixels on a grid, you’d eventually come up with the coolest looking image ever.  Right?  Well theoretically, at least.  Here’s some math:

  • A 2×2 image has four pixels.  If you only used two colors, your possible combinations would be 2 to the 4th power.  16.
  • A 4×4 image has sixteen pixels.  Using only two colors, you’re now at 2 to the 16th.  That’s 65,546 possible images on a 4×4 canvas with only two colors.  Yikes!
  • 32×32 image has 1024 pixels.  2 to the 1024th power might as well be infinity.  And that’s only with two colors.

Here’s a guy who was trying to visualize something like this: http://petapixel.com/2013/02/07/exhibition-uses-a-computer-to-generate-every-possible-photograph/

Either I keep working on these pixels, or we’re going to need a lot more monkeys.   Here’s a screenshot of the Auxilia soldier in a game environment, fighting some Gaul brutes:

Battle_9-11-13

Anyway, that will wrap things up tonight!  Check back soon for more updates!

Welcome to the official site for Super Roman Conquest

Hey there and welcome to the first post on the official Super Roman Conquest website. For those of you who don’t know or stumbled onto this site by mistake, Super Roman Conquest is a indie side scrolling video game set in ancient Rome. It’s being developed by SeaCliff Interactive, a small studio founded by two industry veterans with a passion for indie games.

We’ll have a ton of stuff to show and tell you about in the next couple of weeks so I’ll save most of the explaining for then but I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for coming to the site and to ask you to please stay tuned for exciting updates in the future.

-MB