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feneur

Alpha 16 planning

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Time to start planning Alpha 16.

I'd say we're already off to a good start, already less than a week we have got a new victory condition (wonder), trade improvements, a shark, a crocodile, a town bell function, and a lot of gameplay changes by Michael, and a ton of smaller fixes to a lot of different things. Now the question is where to go from here, and as part of that, should we base our plans on getting certain features in, or on a specific date that we want the next Alpha to be released on? There are merits to both approaches, and in the end we'll probably end up with a compromise, but it would be good to have a focus :)

Taking a quick look at Trac it seems like Translation, Herding/Corralling, finishing up the Ptolemies, and improving the Lobby are the big things.

Are there other things we should focus on? (And I'm mainly asking this as "Are there things you are prepared to work on?" rather than "Are there things you wish should be in the next Alpha?", though the latter of course can be relevant as well.)

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I do think auras should have some sort of visual indicator (could be turned off in the settings). I forget that they are even there most of the time and have no idea how far the effect reaches or how much it actually changes the statistics.

Performance improvements are important, as always.

Other than that, I like your list.

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There is a good and productive discussion on running and charging on Trac. At the very least imo, this is the time to settle what we want for good, possibly write a reference document or something. Same goes for building capturing, it's been planned for ages but has never been started imo mostly because there is no clear consensus. It's also time to bring the design committee back to decide on such matters when there are issues.

To already break from what you mean, a long-standing issues that we have forgotten about: the FOW is still updated when it should not be.

There's also an effort on civ differentiation, we need, likewise, to push on that and decide what we want so we can start doing changes.

Many small art tasks remain uncompleted here and there.

I know sanderd has started working on formations, but that's tied to pathfinding as per the usual discourse.

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It would be nice if we can include the translation work, even better in this early alpha16 phase, so that translators can easily try it from SVN and update translations according to game testing (blind translation without game testing leads to poor results, and merging and compiling by self the translation branch is not for everyone).

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From my side, I feel that we should focus on sounds too.

I'm creating the scheme for battle sounds, just shared the phase reach sounds, but I'll definitly need your feedback in order to move things forward.

I think still there is a lot of work to do regarding sounds.

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I'd vote for adding the simple graphics options menu. IIRC there is already some ground work done. No idea how difficult is to implement it.

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I'd like to work on formations, like two formations really attacking each other, but it will cost a lot of time, so I highly doubt it will be ready for the next release.

I certainly think we should try to get translations in the game.

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I'd like to work on formations, like two formations really attacking each other, but it will cost a lot of time, so I highly doubt it will be ready for the next release.

I certainly think we should try to get translations in the game.

You get me i idea to suggest that.

based in some roman basic formations.

Whatever the deployment, the Roman army was marked both by flexibility and strong discipline and cohesion. Different formations were assumed according to different tactical situations.

  • Repellere equites ("repel horsemen/knights") was the formation used to resist cavalry. The legionaries would assume a squareformation, holding their pila as spears in the space between their shields and strung together shoulder to shoulder.
  • At the command iacere pila, the legionaries hurled their pila at the enemy.
  • At the command cuneum formate, the infantry formed a wedge to charge and break enemy lines. This formation was used as a shocktactic.
  • At the command contendite vestra sponte, the legionaries assumed an aggressive stance and attacked every opponent they faced.
  • At the command orbem formate, the legionaries assumed a circle-like formation with the archers placed in the midst of and behind the legionaries providing missile fire support. This tactic was used mainly when a small number of legionaries had to hold a position and were surrounded by enemies.
  • At the command ciringite frontem, the legionaries held their position.
  • At the command frontem allargate, a scattered formation was adopted.
  • At the command testudinem formate, the legionaries assumed the testudo (tortoise) formation. This was slow moving but almost impenetrable to enemy fire, and thus very effective during sieges and/or when facing off against enemy archers. However the testudo formation didn't allow a close combat and therefore it was used when the enemy were far enough away so as the legionaries could get into another formation before being attacked.
  • At the command Agmen formate, the legionaries assumed a square formation, which was also the typical shape of a century in battle
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Another thing that I would like to see in alpha16 is enabling by default, when possible, advanced graphics settings. This will require user testing on different hw, fixing rendering bugs when found, blacklisting other hw that cannot support it. This should also be done in the early phase of a planned release.

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I agree. Along with a proper options setting that actually saves settings, this will make most users adopt fancy graphics (since that's mostly no the game's slow part).

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Perhaps we could start chipping away at the seleucid empire in the art development forum as we take a few more passes at the ptolemies

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I'd like to freshen the score up a bit, when we have an approximate date I'll know how much I can get done.
Ideally, I'd like to add another peace track for each civ. that's a little more festive.
At the moment most of the peace music is kind of mellow, so I'd like to add some more upbeat music like the last part of Rise of Macedon, for instance.

I've also asked Jeff Willet to create a new combat track, he thinks he can have it done soon.

Also, now that my schedule is a little less of a mess, I'm gonna bring in the musicians I have on stand by - a pro tin whistle player to redo the Celts / Gauls, a trombone player to record the low brassy parts on Honor Bound / Elysian Fields, and the Qanun player to add another unique color to the Ptolemies.

At the moment I'm prioritizing the recordings, scheduled the first session for early next week.

I already have draft ideas of some of the new peace tracks, once they're coherent enough I'll post them on the music forum.

Last but not least, I'd like to help out LAVS with the musical aspect of the phase reach sounds.

Omri

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I'd like to freshen the score up a bit, when we have an approximate date I'll know how much I can get done.

Ideally, I'd like to add another peace track for each civ. that's a little more festive.

At the moment most of the peace music is kind of mellow, so I'd like to add some more upbeat music like the last part of Rise of Macedon, for instance.

I've also asked Jeff Willet to create a new combat track, he thinks he can have it done soon.

Also, now that my schedule is a little less of a mess, I'm gonna bring in the musicians I have on stand by - a pro tin whistle player to redo the Celts / Gauls, a trombone player to record the low brassy parts on Honor Bound / Elysian Fields, and the Qanun player to add another unique color to the Ptolemies.

At the moment I'm prioritizing the recordings, scheduled the first session for early next week.

I already have draft ideas of some of the new peace tracks, once they're coherent enough I'll post them on the music forum.

Last but not least, I'd like to help out LAVS with the musical aspect of the phase reach sounds.

Omri

you check out our alarm sounds, in civic center and when units are attacked, it's horn but, can be better. I'm very in resting in roman trumpets , very classical in Romans sounds and soundtracks.
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As many already said, I think we could focus on translations, or at least on the deployment of the localization system in the game.

And of course our main goal shall be getting rid of performance problems...

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I've got a hunch that leper has started work on proper configuration behind the door, so I'd definitely add the config screen to work that should be done for A16. There's time enough.

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I do think auras should have some sort of visual indicator (could be turned off in the settings). I forget that they are even there most of the time and have no idea how far the effect reaches or how much it actually changes the statistics.

There is preliminary support for aura visual indicator in SVN, courtesy of sanderd17. In this shot the temple has green rays, the hero elephants.

A0RriII.jpg

I noticed a minor issue, it looks the aura still is part of the actor, e.g. I cannot set a default starting position for units from the temple inside the aura.

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There is preliminary support for aura visual indicator in SVN, courtesy of sanderd17. In this shot the temple has green rays, the hero elephants.

I noticed a minor issue, it looks the aura still is part of the actor, e.g. I cannot set a default starting position for units from the temple inside the aura.

Yep, actually it is done with prop-points conforming into the terrain, we tested some ideas even with moving textures to make it look good, but the props made the selection box of the unit/building as big as the radius itself because of the props so we decided to remove them before the release. Decals is the other option, but there was some discussion on IRC that big decals could make a performance hit, and there was a brief talk about making "hollow" decals to reduce the performance hit not rendering the interior pixels of the decals. (I hope I get it right and explained it correctly) Philip was the one who suggested it, but of course, someone have to code it.

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but the props made the selection box of the unit/building as big as the radius itself because of the props so we decided to remove them before the release.

This is fixed now. So if you want, you can use it. There's just an extra argument you can use in the actor xml, you can set "selectable" to "false" for a certain prop, and it won't be counted in the selection size.

So I added those auras visualisations again, like they were before the A15 release.

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Thanks, eventually a similar system could be used to show the weapons range, it won't work with props and should be similar to the territory borders, since its form it's not always the same. There were a ticket for it with an example but I cannot find it.

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This is fixed now. So if you want, you can use it. There's just an extra argument you can use in the actor xml, you can set "selectable" to "false" for a certain prop, and it won't be counted in the selection size.

So I added those auras visualisations again, like they were before the A15 release.

Great! nice to hear :)

Thanks, eventually a similar system could be used to show the weapons range, it won't work with props and should be similar to the territory borders, since its form it's not always the same. There were a ticket for it with an example but I cannot find it.

Woldn't that be too much? Usually you'll have very limited amount of units/buildings with an active aura, but imagine how many weapon range lines could be drawn when selecting several units :/

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Woldn't that be too much? Usually you'll have very limited amount of units/buildings with an active aura, but imagine how many weapon range lines could be drawn when selecting several units :/

Well that should be evaluated, maybe it could eventually show the range only when there is only one selected unit. I found it useful in other RTSs, you can put snipers than can protect a passage or things like that. I agree it may not be necessary for 0 A.D. itself, anyway (maybe for a mod).

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If we employment attack ground, we need know the unit range visual. For catapults units are good.

If you see total War Rome 2 you can order fire in the ground to the archers.

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