Author Topic: Quasar4x - An early look at an Aurora4x clone in the works  (Read 28106 times)

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Offline twice2double

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Re: Quasar4x - An early look at an Aurora4x clone in the works
« Reply #180 on: September 29, 2019, 06:52:49 PM »
Very exciting! Thanks for all your hard work.

I've been playing Aurora4x on a Windows 7 VM with the high contrast theme.  The few things that annoy me about the game are 1) Windows-only 2) Performance 3) White background.  I'm limited to 5-10 star system games because of performance issues.
Quasar4x essentially addresses all my gripes about Aurora4x.

Oh I'm also really hoping you change your mind about open-sourcing this thing so I can help out  ;D

P. S.  Any chance Godot would make it easy to incorporate some mouse-based map pan/zoom capabilities?
 

Offline Kyle

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Re: Quasar4x - An early look at an Aurora4x clone in the works
« Reply #181 on: October 01, 2019, 02:07:48 PM »
The few things that annoy me about the game are 1) Windows-only 2) Performance 3) White background.  I'm limited to 5-10 star system games because of performance issues.
Among other issues me too :)  I can't wait to play a game with thousands of systems and many races.  They don't even have to all be empty systems either.  Theoretically, and I'm daydreaming here, a universe could be created containing well evolved alien empires with their own histories, and conflicts or relationships with each other, both current and past.  The code should be straightforward, it would just fast forward time for a few hundred years after new game creation, just like how Dwarf Fortress does it.  I have no idea how long that would take, but if it takes a one-time overnight run who cares, right?  (I'm years away from being ready for that sort of thing, but it's still fun to think about)

Quote from: twice2double
Oh I'm also really hoping you change your mind about open-sourcing this thing so I can help out  ;D
Well, the thing is I've put a stupid number of hours into this thing so that won't happen, but not to worry: when it's time to start on AI that part will be effectively open source since the AI will be contained in external modular scripts in GDScript.  I plan to implement the AI, the API, and the docs for the API in parallel, starting with the most crude and fast AI that I possibly can so the coders in the community can get their hands on it.  The outcome I most hope for is that someone else will take the AI and zoom way ahead of me with it, leaving me with time to improve the API for them as needed and otherwise spend my time fixing bugs and filling in whatever other features are still to-do.

Quote from: twice2double
P. S.  Any chance Godot would make it easy to incorporate some mouse-based map pan/zoom capabilities?
Yep, would be possible, but no point in adding luxuries until there's a game to play.

I gotta leave this disclaimer, I've had way too much coffee and needed a break from coding, so I'm just here writing about ideas for way way into the future, so stay relaxed everyone ;)
 
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Offline Bughunter

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Re: Quasar4x - An early look at an Aurora4x clone in the works
« Reply #182 on: October 01, 2019, 02:41:51 PM »
Having it play natively on Linux will be great.

About the AI, would be nice if we could have different NPR:s using different AI modules so you could have your AI fight someone else's AI and see who wins. That would create a whole new way to "play" Aurora.. and hopefully some great AI:s too.
 

Offline Kyle

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Re: Quasar4x - An early look at an Aurora4x clone in the works
« Reply #183 on: October 01, 2019, 05:01:18 PM »
About the AI, would be nice if we could have different NPR:s using different AI modules so you could have your AI fight someone else's AI and see who wins. That would create a whole new way to "play" Aurora.. and hopefully some great AI:s too.
Yep, I agree and that's exactly what I want to do!

I'm also toying with the idea of adding an automation menu the way Distant Worlds: Universe does it.  Even though it's obviously not a feature in Aurora, I feel it might actually reduce overall development time because I can have automation handle the parts of my test campaigns that I'm not currently working on.  And it's not much more work than making a pure AI module.  The pure AI would essentially be the automation code with all the boxes checked.  An NPR AI module could optionally be packaged by the author in a way such that it could be dropped in as an automation suite for the player's own race with numerous options that can be individually turned on and off.
 
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Online JustAnotherDude

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Re: Quasar4x - An early look at an Aurora4x clone in the works
« Reply #184 on: October 01, 2019, 05:39:34 PM »
I will literally kiss you if you do that. That makes Aurora at larger scales much more viable, less micro more murder. That and I'm tired of setting up automine colonies, that smeg's boring.
 

Offline Kyle

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Re: Quasar4x - An early look at an Aurora4x clone in the works
« Reply #185 on: October 03, 2019, 01:01:59 PM »
Progress update 2019-10-03:

The production cycle is a little less unfinished! Latest build is pushed.

It's now possible to:
- convert manned mines to automated
- build sector command hq's
- create sectors
- build missiles
- build fighters
- manufacture ship components
- manufacture maintenance supplies
- build orbital habitats
- build PDCs
- build PDC prefabricated sections
- assemble PDCs from prefabricated sections
- refit PDCs
- retool shipyards
- add ground units via SM

Additionally:
- Construction brigades are functional
- Unrest and Manufacturing Efficiency affect fuel refineries and mining
- Unrest and Manufacturing Efficiency affect production rates of installations, ordnance, and fighters
- Ships and PDCs can be built as conscript-only
- And as always, lots of little fixes, and minor mechanics that accompany these broad bullet points.

Prefabricating and assembling PDC sections in A4X seems to have numerous bugs, so Q4X doesn't come close to replicating whatever A4X is doing; I've made it so it should work how one would expect it to.  I believe there will be much less head-scratching when players use prefab PDCs.

Refitting PDCs is a notable feature on the list.  It's a huge function that is now finished and should be almost completely reusable when I get to Ship refits.

I'm now done with the F2 > Industry tab and Shipyard Modifications as they relate to the production cycle!  There are a lot of core mechanics still to go.  These are at the top of my list:
- underground infrastructure
- sorium harvesting
- shut down/restart industrial sectors
- training ground units
- repair, refit, scrap ships
- research queue support
- race improvement research
- terraforming
- geological survey teams
- default fleet orders
- conditional fleet orders
- fleet training exercises
- population admin level requirements
- new species / gene modification

Once these are done I'm planning on adding the disaster mechanic.  It might be nice to provide an optional progress bar in the q4x-only toy corner that gives you a particular wealth goal to reach, and possibly a general score as well.  I'm also considering adding an option to the disaster menu where the disaster radiates at a constant pace from the Sol System, requiring steady expansion, or a series of long distance moves, to keep ahead of it.  These optional features will hopefully keep things interesting until AI and combat get here.

Onward!
 
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Offline ReviewDude01

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Re: Quasar4x - An early look at an Aurora4x clone in the works
« Reply #186 on: October 06, 2019, 03:56:44 PM »
Suggestion: Add SM delete active missiles in system button
Or make AI not fire missiles that have 0% or 1 % chance to hit their target (specifically make AI stop firing these salvoes after for example 3. or 4. missed salvo or change target or retreat etc. but this slows performance of Aurora a lot)
 
 

Offline chrislocke2000

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Re: Quasar4x - An early look at an Aurora4x clone in the works
« Reply #187 on: October 07, 2019, 02:26:10 AM »
If you are dealing with the PDC bugs taking the opportunity to remove the requirements for minerals when you assemble them would be a great quality of life improvement.
 

Offline Kyle

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Re: Quasar4x - An early look at an Aurora4x clone in the works
« Reply #188 on: October 08, 2019, 02:04:20 PM »
If you are dealing with the PDC bugs taking the opportunity to remove the requirements for minerals when you assemble them would be a great quality of life improvement.
Since that's not a bug but rather intentional behavior in Aurora, I don't currently have any plans to make these types of changes.  This might be moddable some day. Edit: there was already no mineral requirement!

Suggestion: Add SM delete active missiles in system button
Or make AI not fire missiles that have 0% or 1 % chance to hit their target (specifically make AI stop firing these salvoes after for example 3. or 4. missed salvo or change target or retreat etc. but this slows performance of Aurora a lot)
Thanks for the suggestion.  The SM option would be very easy to add, but also doubtful whether it will be necessary.  My intention is for the game to be optimized enough to well enough to handle tens of thousands of active missiles.  AI scripts will be external and modifiable by anyone, but I'll try to make sure my initial AI logic doesn't flood the database.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2019, 11:11:44 AM by Kyle »
 

Offline Kyle

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Re: Quasar4x - An early look at an Aurora4x clone in the works
« Reply #189 on: October 08, 2019, 02:24:49 PM »
Progress update 2019-10-08:

Work on the production cycle continues.  Latest build pushed.  The production cycle can now:
- refit ships
- scrap ships
- repair ships
- use the research queue
- terraform
- train ground units
- skip industries that are shut down
- reactivate industries
... all obeying unrest and efficiency rules.

A couple more outliers in the UI have been implemented:
-   F2 > Industry > Stockpiles > Fighters in Orbit
-   F2 > Industry > Stockpiles > Scrap Fighters

And previously I had listed race improvement research as something still to-do, but found out it's been done.  So unless I forgot any exceptions, most research should be functional.

Here's the top of my to-do list now:
- underground infrastructure
- sorium harvesting
- geological survey teams
- default fleet orders
- conditional fleet orders
- fleet training exercises
- population admin level requirement
- new species / gene modification
- asteroid mining ships
- orbital habitats
- ship maintenance breakdowns
- disaster updates
- mass driver bombardment


 
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Offline DIT_grue

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Re: Quasar4x - An early look at an Aurora4x clone in the works
« Reply #190 on: October 09, 2019, 02:45:03 AM »
If you are dealing with the PDC bugs taking the opportunity to remove the requirements for minerals when you assemble them would be a great quality of life improvement.
Since that's not a bug but rather intentional behavior in Aurora, I don't currently have any plans to make these types of changes.  This might be moddable some day.

Are you sure about that? I thought what I was remembering might have been one of the unreleased changes, but it appears to go back considerably further:

No Minerals for Prefab PDC Assembly

For some reason I thought I had made this change in a previous version but it appears not :)

So for the next version, PDC assembly only requires wealth and production capacity; minerals are no longer required. Supplying the minerals was a micromanagement task that didn't real add anything to game play.
 

Offline Kyle

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Re: Quasar4x - An early look at an Aurora4x clone in the works
« Reply #191 on: October 09, 2019, 11:10:49 AM »
If you are dealing with the PDC bugs taking the opportunity to remove the requirements for minerals when you assemble them would be a great quality of life improvement.
Since that's not a bug but rather intentional behavior in Aurora, I don't currently have any plans to make these types of changes.  This might be moddable some day.

Are you sure about that? I thought what I was remembering might have been one of the unreleased changes, but it appears to go back considerably further

Ah yes, I was thinking wealth cost, not minerals, when I posted.  Q4X actually already doesn't spend minerals to assemble PDCs.  Thanks!
 
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Offline Kyle

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Re: Quasar4x - An early look at an Aurora4x clone in the works
« Reply #192 on: October 11, 2019, 11:31:59 AM »
Progress update 2019-10-11:

Implemented the following features:

- Underground Infrastructure

- Sorium harvesting

- Orbital Terraforming

- Orbital Asteroid mining

- Orbital Habitats

- Geological team surveys

- Disaster updates (the optional 1-2% heating or cooling of Sol)

There's a lot involved in each of the items on this list so I figured I'd double space it  ;D

The following UI elements are now functional on the Ships Window > P&C&GU Tab:
List teams on ship, transfer team to create pop, transfer team to existing pop, transfer team to another ship


Playing in fullscreen is now possible




I added a Settings window to the Q4X-only menu




Which will give me a place to put some quasar4x-specific settings.  There are two to start:




The first setting is the option to make frequent backups.  I don't like it because it's slow (a pause of about 1-2 seconds when you click an end-turn button), so it's off for now, but I wanted the option to be ready in case save-file corruption ever became a concern.  Eventually I'll change the timing so it happens while the user is idle, I just have other priorities before thinking about the afk-detection and UI-locking code that would be necessary.


The other setting is for a wealth progress feature I added:




When enabled, this displays a simple progress bar showing how much wealth your empire has earned:




Here's what happens when you finish Tier 1
Off-Topic: spoiler • show


Each new Tier uses a different color! Discover them all ;)  Hands off that SM button...




You can read about it in the screenshotted tooltip, but to reiterate, it's obviously optional and it's hidden by default. And eventually the wealth progress box will go away.


As a reminder because it's buried a few pages back, although default/conditional orders are still to-do, the default Grav and Geo survey orders are actually in place already. 


I've edited the first post in this thread where I had said Q4X "An almost empty prototype."  I think I can now proudly say that this is no longer true, so I have rephrased the paragraph to just say there's no AI or combat and that there will most likely be bugs! 

Speaking of bugs, feel free to report any you find and I'll upload fixes right away. I appreciate any reports, because it's no fun to go hunting for bugs in your own code. I will be preferring fast, frequent fixes over large comprehensive updates.

I also plan to start hanging out in Discord to field any questions or issues that might arise in more of a real-time fashion, although news will still always go here first.

And finally, I need a break!  I'm going to try and relax this weekend and do something other than programming, which believe it or not is kind of hard to do because whenever I'm not working on Q4X I have this annoying voice in my head saying "this is a waste of time, you're not being productive, you should be creating something!"  So I hope all of you enjoy your weekends as well and I'll talk to you in the next update!

 
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Offline joansam

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Re: Quasar4x - An early look at an Aurora4x clone in the works
« Reply #193 on: October 18, 2019, 03:21:37 PM »
You deserve a break, Kyle! I'm constantly impressed with the rate of progress you're making.         As a CS major who's tried making his own games before - you have a fantastic work ethic.  I've been checking in every couple weeks and love watching Quasar4x making leaps and bounds.           

Side note:
I would love a Distant Worlds-style automation menu, even if it's not super detailed.  The 2 things that keep me from regularly playing Aurora are the complexity of the civilian economy, and the general game/UI complexity that often take 5 clicks to do something that should take one or two.  Some automation would fix at least one of those, and maybe 2.           

Keep up the good work! But also - take some time off, go see a movie or something.  When you're ready to get back to work and need some inspiration, watch this: https://www.   youtube.   com/watch?v=YH3c1QZzRK4  ;)
« Last Edit: October 18, 2019, 04:17:30 PM by joansam »
 
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Offline Kyle

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Re: Quasar4x - An early look at an Aurora4x clone in the works
« Reply #194 on: October 19, 2019, 01:50:48 PM »
Progress update 2019-10-19:

:)



Well, maintenance breakdowns and other things were next on my list but I decided to heck with that, that's no fun, let's play with lasers!!  Q4X now officially has combat!*

*Limited to Turreted Lasers.  Spinal mounts and ship mounts are still todo, as well as missiles and all other weapon types.  But with the exception of missiles, all these other things are just easy variations on code that is now in place!

Here's a sample of the event log zipping by while this is happening:
Off-Topic: show


And an event log sample that's holding still:
Off-Topic: show


Just for reference, the combat overview at the beginning:
Off-Topic: show


And a 'No Interrupts' checkbox that I added a few updates ago but forgot to highlight.  It's useful for making these animated gifs, and will be good to have later on when watching the AIs battle each other in extended fights:


Latest build has been pushed.  Here's what was implemented:
 - Shield Recharging
 - EM Sensors detect shields
 - Alien shield strength intel
 - Ship to ship laser combat
     fire weapons according to target and fire control assignments when in range
     check for sufficient power
     chance to hit calculations
     damage amount calculations
     apply damage
     event logging
     update political modifiers
     nearby ships detect weapon impacts
     record power spent
 - Show Weapon Impacts on system map and in contact lists
 - Energy weapons recharge
 - Damaged weapons stop recharging and are removed from fire control
 - Damaged power plants cause reduced weapon recharge rates
 - Shorten sub pulse length when necessary to allow weapons to fire asap

A few more of the remaining unfinished UI bits are now functional:
 - Technology Report > Lasers
 - Combat Overview > Assign Contact as Target section > contact list, Assign button, Clear, and Clear Fleet
 - Combat Overview > Show Hostile Contacts Only checkbox, Open Fire, Cease Fire, Fleet Open Fire, and Fleet Cease Fire
 - System Map (F3) > Contacts tab: Show/Hide Active IDs checkbox

A4X Bugs dodged:
- contacts disappear after restarting the game and are all rediscovered after the next tick
- a couple incorrect values displayed for shields in the game logs

There's obviously a lot still left to do in combat, not just adding the rest of the weapon types but implementing more of the combat configs like sync fire, auto fire, copying various settings around and so on.  But!  Enough is done now that combat should be fully possible using just lasers and shields.  I haven't yet decided what to work on next, so you'll just have to stay tuned.  I'm going to take another day or two of a break, then, onward!



 
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