DevLog #6 – Empires history

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Idea and beginnings

In mid-June 2015 after about two months of planning and preparation I started working on a new project proudly called – Project Hexagone, which is present Empires. Originally conceived as a project that I will be able to realize alone, so as a programmer I have chosen game type in which graphics are the least important – strategy.

The work began by writing a simple database and visualization system, which were visualising the data in the form of map of the terrain – similar to the Civilizaition series. At the end of June 2015 everything was ready and worked on Unreal Engine 4.

The first prototype of visualization EU4

Here is a picture of the first prototype version of the visualization system. It was then that I wanted to pull this project further and began to look for something to distinguish it from the original pattern – Civilization. The first challenge that I have set before me was to create a a huge, detailed maps and visualization system that is able to work with it.

 

Migration to Unity Engine

However, with the development of the project I noticed, that Unreal Engine 4 is not what it need. It was then that I decided to move the project on the Unity Engine. Migration of the entire project lasted for two weeks in July 2015.

The prototype of Empires after the migration project to Unity Engine

From that moment begins a period lasting more than a year expansion of the project. By that time I several times reconstructed from scratch visualization system, I created a system load external resources to allow users to modify the game and created a networking system that allows online gaming.

However, also in this time I have collected core team members who work on Empires until now – Piotr Kucharski and Hubert Mattuscha.

 

Development – screenshots

The next version of Empires on Unity – cities!

 

Visualization of Empires after adding the initial fog and cliffs

 

Visualization of Empires after rebuilding procedurally generated terrain

 

Visualization of Empires after adding heightmap based terrain height – the appearance of the coastline and smooth transitions between levels of land

 

Visualization of terrain with a new water and the test fog of war – the map

 

Current state – Open Development

Recently, in December 2016 visualization system finally reached a state in which no longer requires the optimization and is able render and generate a map to play on most of the currently used personal computers. This means that the current visualization in Empires is already expanded only and not rebuilt from scratch (which takes a lot of time).

The current state of visualization Empires. Fog over the unexplored terrain has been replaced by the darkest water, and the terrain that is not in sight of cities and units is simply a darkened terrain.

Also in December we are working on development of the the game mechanic – cities, armies, fight, scenarios and missions. After completing these gameplay elements Empires will be available for free as part of the Open Development (creating a game with fans) version Alpha 1 allowing a few minutes gameplay in one scenario.