Evolution!

This screenshot marks a major milestone. It shows a scenario created in the scenario editor being displayed in the actual game! (Click for full-sized version)

This screenshot marks a major milestone. It shows a scenario that was created in the scenario editor being displayed in the actual game! (Click for full-sized version)

This week has seen a lot of progress in many areas. The most important and significant of which is the ability to create and save scenarios in the scenario editor and have these very same scenarios loaded into the actual game!

Each scenario is distributed as a single file, but internally it is made up of data from the other sub-systems:

The anatomy of a scenario

The anatomy of a scenario…

Here we can see that a scenario is made up of two armies – created in the army editor, one map – created in the map editor plus the addition of scenario specific information that is created in the scenario editor.

The resultant scenario file is then simply loaded into the main game, ready for use! There is no need to distribute Army or Map files as everything is self contained within the scenario.

Ancient Armies, as a project has certainly grown in size. I now have four main applications plus a plethora of support libraries. I’m quite proud of the fact that the main game currently has very little code in it, but thanks to the common support libraries it can already render and manipulate the units and maps! A good sign that the architecture is doing its job.

In addition to the above, I have also fully sorted out Unit based Line-of-Sight (LoS). Not only is it now fully working, but I have managed to optimise the LoS system so that it dynamically alters the fidelity of its calculations based on the length of the LoS being measured.

I did this because it is pointless having a 1 mtr LoS resolution when one is zoomed out checking the LoS across several kilometres. Conversely, if one is zoomed in, then one will want as much fidelity as the system can muster!

As if the above wasn’t enough, I have even found time to make the load and save systems multi-threading and have them display a progress window, so that one knows what is happening.

At this point some astute readers may be wondering why I have entitled this blog entry ‘Evolution’ as it doesn’t seem to fit in with everything that I have discussed thus far…

Well the answer to that, is that a lot of design work has taken place with many design decisions having been made with regard to the game.

One of the decisions made was in regard to the nature of the first module for this wargame series….

I have decided that the first module will document the evolution of Ancient Warfare by providing coverage for a number of important battles that demonstrate how Ancient Warfare evolved through the ages.

The reason for this is decision is that I wanted to highlight the command and control system in Ancient Armies, which really impacts how the different armies are commanded. This will provide players that are new to this system with a rich variety of experiences based on the armies involved.

Additional modules will then be subsequently released, each concentrating on a particular period and/or campaign.

The initial battle list for the first Ancient Armies module will be:

i. The Battle of Kadesh 1274 bc – Shows the rise of the chariot as a weapon of war

ii. The Battle of Marathon 490 bc – Heavy Infantry start to supplant lighter infantry based armies

iii. The Battle of Granicus 334 bc – Combined Arms starts to show its real potential

iv. The Battle of Pydna 168 bc – The rise of the Roman Legionary and the decline of the Phalanx

v. The Battle of Carrhae 53 bc – Cavalry starts to supplant infantry as the primary attack arm

This is a provisional list and subject to change depending on the results of play testing. In addition, I may well decide to add other important battles, but for now, these are the ones that I’m concentrating on.

Laters

RobP

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