Today I'd like to introduce the newest feature in The Imperial Realm :: Miranda
, the Conquest Map. This map reports in real-time the success or failure of the different factions on Miranda, as well as where fighting is currently underway.
The Imperial Realm::Miranda
was originally planned to be a free-to-play game with currency sales to support the game. Now that it is a pay-to-play game, currency sales are out, and a way to sell overall access to the game is in. Enter Secret Lair Codes
Secret Lair Codes allow access to the base game on either a timed or permanent basis, and support additional entitlements which can be redeemed either per-account or per-force (Miranda's analogue to a character slot in other MMO's.)
The screenshot above shows the screen which allows you to redeem per-force entitlements for codes which have been redeemed on the current account. The plan is that Miranda will have a Standard Edition and a Premium Edition which will both allow access for the life of the game, as well as a couple of lower-cost, timed, trial options of up to a month in duration.
I have a couple of new screenshots to share. I've been worrying about the performance of rendering and loading for a while now, but I ran Miranda in Release mode today for the first time in ages, and was very pleasantly surprised to find that everything is in fact running wonderfully. Load times are good, frame rates are solid. Stuff like that makes a Friday.
This first shot shows everything I've been working on this week. Buildings are tinted (when selected) with a color selected by the player. Selected (or under attack) units have health bars overtop of them that match the tint color and the background color of the name in the new player list in the top left corner. The player list shows the faction, player name, color and level for every player you can see. I experimented with putting the player name directly above every unit, but with a lot of units onscreen it was an illegible mess. Kills Today is an idea I shamelessly stole from Transistor
- thanks Supergiant!
This shot shows the same base from the top of a nearby mountain during heavy weather. I changed the magnification mode on the dust which got rid of some pixellation.
Because I can't just steal stuff off of the web, I was inspired by this (no license I could find)
and this (dependencies & too fancy)
Because I think this was mostly a waste of time I'm putting the one I built in the public domain
in the hopes that someone else doesn't waste time on this. If your lawyer isn't satisfied with this statement, feel free to have them email me.
I experimented briefly with this cool css hexagon drawing
example, but in the end I went with squares which are simpler. The picker can be resized easily by making the squares smaller/larger in the CSS.Here's a live example
of the color picker.colorpicker.csscolorpicker.js
I get occasional questions via email, I thought I would share some of those questions and the answers here. Anything here is just my current thoughts, game development is adaptive, so don't be surprised if things are different in the game.
Thanks to those who sent me these great questions. Keep them coming.You mention on mmorts.com that units and buildings disappear after 30 seconds. How do you handle situations where, say, an opponent of mine logs off and I build a whole bunch of cheap buildings where their buildings were? What would happen when they log back on and the spaces their buildings occupied are now blocked?
While I haven't implemented this yet, the plan is to allow the player to either quickly rebuild their bases at new locations, or if their previous locations are unoccupied, to place buildings where they were.
I was not at my sharpest yesterday so I decided to tackle something I thought would be easy and pretty helpful: Windowed Fullscreen. Windowed Fullscreen is a window rendered on the regular Windows desktop but with no window decorations and on top of the Windows Taskbar. It looks just like Fullscreen, but it avoids the screen flashing it takes to get into Windows' real Fullscreen mode (which I also have since it allows you to set the resolution and color depth independent of the Windows desktop.) Windowed Fullscreen doesn't work as well as Fullscreen if you have multiple monitors since there is nothing to constrain the mouse to the game window.
Since warning messages bug me, I took another crack at finding a solution to this warning message today. I'm building with the Windows 7.0A SDK which has a defective mt.exe...\compatibility.manifest : manifest authoring warning 81010002: Unrecognized Element "compatibility" in namespace "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:compatibility.v1".
Microsoft's official instructions are to install the Windows 7.1 SDK, but it wouldn't install for me because I already had the 8.0 SDK. Apparently this is a pretty common problem with a really messy
This week I built a single file downloadable installer for Miranda. This had been on my wishlist for awhile. I had planned to use a regular Windows installer, but I had the patcher built so I thought I'd see what else was needed to make it into a full installer. It turned out to be easy to install the files, and kind of challenging to hook it into Windows. It was the first time I've built a Windows dialog in 8 years!
Something I think is really important in shipping a product is getting the number of bugs down to zero. The fewer bugs you have, the less people will need to rely on support, and the more time I can spend adding features. I used this theory on a previous product with considerable success.
So before I send the game out for people to play I thought it would be good to have web-based crash reporting in place.
I've never been happy with the look of the in-game map. This week it occurred to me that maybe a topographical map would be a more in the theme of the game and a military-strategy-friendly way to go.
The Miranda map is made with WorldMachine
. A little Googling led me to discover that WorldMachine can generate topographical maps
of the terrain it renders. This seemed a whole lot easier than writing a topographical map generator into the world importer I wrote for Miranda, so off I went.
I brought the image into Gimp, inverted it (since the terrain in WorldMachine is flipped on the Y axis in Miranda) and got this:
Originally I looked at old maps and experimented with using a tea-stained paper background, but that didn't really go with the hi-tech nature of a future spacefaring society, so I used Google image search to search for "cool topological map" and found this neat old source of inspiration (12MB).
Next I took the image from WorldMachine, added a transparent layer, then used Gimp's select color to delete the black, then select color again and bucket fill with "Fill Whole Selection" checked, to change the white to blue. I pieced together a background and cleaned it up with the stamp tool and a soft brush, then I added a grid with Filters|Render|Pattern|Grid. Then I added a legend, making up some lore-consistent details, and the final map looks like this:
[The full 2048x2048 image is 5M so it will take a while to download if you click it.]
The map covers the entire 20x20km test area I'm currently running.
You're right, think I've got it now. Thanks for the feedback.
Nice, but just one thing: This makes the next post and previous post links difficult to read on some of the background pictures. I'd suggest making them blue like the rest of the floating text.
Assigning Secret Lair Codes in pairs is a good idea, this way I'll be able to choose my own doom.
Hey Dondergod, since we're the only people posting here I imagine we'll have to pick opposite sides to fight on. I hope you'll be a worthy opponent :D
I did not want to ask it when you released the previous blog :P. Anyway, still looking forward to get my hands on the game!