Alright, let’s talk about what this milestone means for the game itself!
Seasons & Map Generation
This was actually a bit of a detour from the original plan, but I had long known serious work was needed here, and the map is so crucial to everything else that I decided to bite the bullet.
The old system for creating and managing the seasons was extremely primitive – and it showed. Climate zones were assigned in thick bands based on latitude, with small modifications made near mountains. Randomness was leaned on heavily in an attempt to add some fuzziness. In the end, rather than getting large cold fronts advancing from the north you were instead treated to obvious and unrealistic stripes, with the occasional snow tile peppered here and there.
Climate and terrain is closely linked, so when I decided to redo the former I felt it best to step back and add map generation to the task. What we want are believable maps that contain regions with strong character, but the old logic could do little more than produce an even mix of terrain across the entire map. I decided to basically burn everything to the ground and start over.
Posted by Jon Shafer on June 4, 2014
Episode #33 is live!
Jon and Dirk are joined by Tomislav Uzelac, designer of the amazing WW2 strategy game ‘Unity of Command’ and studio lead for 2×2 Games. They dig into the title’s superb AI, its innovative supply system, building a streamlined strategic experience and the challenges of running a game studio from Croatia.
Very excited to have the designer of my favorite strategy game of recent years on the podcast. And he didn’t disappoint.
Over many years I’ve managed to train myself to always step back and factor in what the end user experience will be when making a decision, but this skill just comes naturally to Tomislav. He’s probably the most pragmatic and focused designer I’ve ever met – and this clearly shows through with Unity of Command. Definitely someone whose work you’ll always want to keep an eye on.
Posted by Jon Shafer on June 25, 2013
If you haven’t done so already, I ask that you check out the At the Gates Kickstarter page. Our goal is to innovate and take strategy gaming to the next level, but this campaign will be our sole source of funding for development. And hint, hint: the more successful ATG is the more articles you’ll have to read in the future!
To those of you who have already contributed and helped us reach our funding goal, I offer my most sincere thanks!
While At the Gates is an empire builder at heart, there’s no denying that late antiquity was a time when you were far more likely to die by the sword than resting peacefully in your bed. Appropriately, combat has a large role to play, and getting it right has been a major design focus for me.
The analogy I like to use to describe warfare in AtG is a well-developed game of chess, where each side is waiting for the other to provide an opening, and once this occurs the match is resolved fairly quickly.
So how is this accomplished in our game? Supply.
Posted by Jon Shafer on February 27, 2013