Author Topic: C# Aurora Changes Discussion  (Read 197666 times)

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Offline QuakeIV

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Re: C# Aurora Changes Discussion
« Reply #1380 on: January 18, 2018, 06:51:00 PM »
Feature creep is a very real threat still, since the game hasn't entered a playable state yet.
 

Offline sloanjh

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Re: C# Aurora Changes Discussion
« Reply #1381 on: January 18, 2018, 07:13:27 PM »
Now is the time to change something.  He's gotta rewrite the whole game anyway, why not rewrite it better?

The risk is that the complexity of porting the existing rule set to C# combined with the complexity of changing the rule set leads to a more complex overall task.   Trying to combine the two goes against most modern philosophies of good software engineering practices.  I personally think this has been demonstrated with the ground combat stuff:  Steve was chugging along through the various functionality sectors until he got to ground combat, at which point my perception is that the progress got bogged down.  Some data: the original "I am seriously considering removing PDCs" post was on Sept 17, 2017 (on page 70 out of 93 in this thread), so he's been on ground combat  for four calendar months and 25% of the posts in this thread, which is probably more time than it would have taken if he'd simply transcribed PDCs and ground combat.

A more telling example of the "change while transcribing" failure mode: the Pulsar 4x project seems to have fallen prey to this it.  My recollection/perception is that they started out wanting to do a straight port of Aurora to C#, but figured "why not improve the game mechanics along the way".  They seemed to have bogged down about halfway through; I haven't seem much activity from them at all for the last year or two. 

That being said:

1)  Steve is good at this stuff (writing Aurora); he's been doing it for many years.
2)  Ground combat IS an isolated system, so he can code it up and get out of it.  In general, Steve seems to be doing a really good job of doing minor and isolated tweaks to systems as he codes them up (e.g. the refueling changes), so that he's doing "transcription with cleanup" as he goes, rather than "write a whole new game".  In other words, I think he's mostly been striking the right balance.
3)  Steve's already written one game (VB6 Aurora) and gotten it to completion, which demonstrates the tenacity and ability to complete the job, so there's a good chance he'll complete C# Aurora too.
4)  (Most important) It's Steve's free time, so if he wants to spend it working out ground combat mechanics before getting a playable version of Aurora out then that's his prerogative.

So I suspect the ground combat stuff has probably slipped the schedule by a month or two, but if that's what Steve wants to do that's his choice.  Hopefully this is the only sector for which he's planning a major rewrite, and he can get back to straight transcription to get a working version out.  If not though, c'est la vie.

John
 

Online Steve Walmsley

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Re: C# Aurora Changes Discussion
« Reply #1382 on: January 19, 2018, 05:09:52 AM »
The risk is that the complexity of porting the existing rule set to C# combined with the complexity of changing the rule set leads to a more complex overall task.   Trying to combine the two goes against most modern philosophies of good software engineering practices.  I personally think this has been demonstrated with the ground combat stuff:  Steve was chugging along through the various functionality sectors until he got to ground combat, at which point my perception is that the progress got bogged down.  Some data: the original "I am seriously considering removing PDCs" post was on Sept 17, 2017 (on page 70 out of 93 in this thread), so he's been on ground combat  for four calendar months and 25% of the posts in this thread, which is probably more time than it would have taken if he'd simply transcribed PDCs and ground combat.

A more telling example of the "change while transcribing" failure mode: the Pulsar 4x project seems to have fallen prey to this it.  My recollection/perception is that they started out wanting to do a straight port of Aurora to C#, but figured "why not improve the game mechanics along the way".  They seemed to have bogged down about halfway through; I haven't seem much activity from them at all for the last year or two. 

That being said:

1)  Steve is good at this stuff (writing Aurora); he's been doing it for many years.
2)  Ground combat IS an isolated system, so he can code it up and get out of it.  In general, Steve seems to be doing a really good job of doing minor and isolated tweaks to systems as he codes them up (e.g. the refueling changes), so that he's doing "transcription with cleanup" as he goes, rather than "write a whole new game".  In other words, I think he's mostly been striking the right balance.
3)  Steve's already written one game (VB6 Aurora) and gotten it to completion, which demonstrates the tenacity and ability to complete the job, so there's a good chance he'll complete C# Aurora too.
4)  (Most important) It's Steve's free time, so if he wants to spend it working out ground combat mechanics before getting a playable version of Aurora out then that's his prerogative.

So I suspect the ground combat stuff has probably slipped the schedule by a month or two, but if that's what Steve wants to do that's his choice.  Hopefully this is the only sector for which he's planning a major rewrite, and he can get back to straight transcription to get a working version out.  If not though, c'est la vie.

John

I think the Ground Combat changes will probably delay completion by 3-4 months, more due to deciding exactly how to implement them than the actual coding. The ground combat design is mainly done now and a decent chunk of the coding is done. I still need to code the interactions between ground units and naval units (including new movement orders) and the logistics. As mentioned above though, this is a relatively isolated area so doesn't impact the rest of the game too much. On the plus side, ground combat was a very basic area compared to the rest of the game and I think the changes will make it much more interesting and immersive (from an RP perspective as much as a mechanics perspective)

I'm taking a break from ground combat at the moment to code the New Game window, with the intention of starting some test games. There are still some significant areas missing, including combat, AI, default/conditional orders, about half the movement orders and many of the minor windows. However, almost all the construction phase code is done (research, terraforming, production, maintenance, etc.) and most of the common movement orders, so I hope to start the first of those test games in the next month or two and then code the rest while playing.

I am moving house in the next couple of weeks, so that will slow things down a little, but should be up and running again fairly quickly.

I am well past the point now where I think there is a question of whether C# Aurora will eventually be finished. This isn't similar to early abortive attempts at Newtonian Aurora and Aurora 2. I have invested almost two years into this project (from March 2016) so I am pretty determined to complete it :).  I can't say when yet but the prospect of getting a new campaign running is my main motivation.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2018, 05:13:02 AM by Steve Walmsley »
 
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Offline Profugo Barbatus

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Re: C# Aurora Changes Discussion
« Reply #1383 on: January 19, 2018, 07:17:44 AM »
Hey Steve, bit of a throwback question to an old change, with the new population caps, how is this handled for multiple empires on a planet? Would earths 12 billion pop cap be split between twelve starting empires equally, or would everyone grow up to twelve for 144 billion on earth?
 

Offline Person012345

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Re: C# Aurora Changes Discussion
« Reply #1384 on: January 19, 2018, 07:27:40 AM »
Hey Steve, bit of a throwback question to an old change, with the new population caps, how is this handled for multiple empires on a planet? Would earths 12 billion pop cap be split between twelve starting empires equally, or would everyone grow up to twelve for 144 billion on earth?

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A new concept, Population Capacity, has been added to C# Aurora. This represents the maximum population that can be maintained on a single body and is primarily determined by surface area. This is the total of all populations on the same body, not per population.
 

Offline Iranon

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Re: C# Aurora Changes Discussion
« Reply #1385 on: January 19, 2018, 09:28:42 AM »
How will this work though? Can we seize territory in ground combat, ideally also set fixed claims when we want peaceful coexistence?
 

Offline TurielD

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Re: C# Aurora Changes Discussion
« Reply #1386 on: January 19, 2018, 11:18:34 AM »
Quote from: Steve Walmsley link=topic=8497. msg106222#msg106222 date=1516360192
I think the Ground Combat changes will probably delay completion by 3-4 months,

Ouch.  As someone who's only been playing the game around that long, that seems like a long time.  But on the 10-year timescale that you've worked on the VB8 version it's not too big a deal.

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I am moving house in the next couple of weeks, so that will slow things down a little, but should be up and running again fairly quickly.

Congratulations! Do you have a Coding Cave in your new house?
 

Online Steve Walmsley

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Re: C# Aurora Changes Discussion
« Reply #1387 on: January 19, 2018, 11:21:30 AM »
How will this work though? Can we seize territory in ground combat, ideally also set fixed claims when we want peaceful coexistence?

If another race grows its population, that is restricting your ability to grow. In effect the planetary environment has a limited capacity to support a population, regardless of their nationality.

On Earth, overall population growth is slowing even though there are considerable difference by region.
 

Offline Hazard

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Re: C# Aurora Changes Discussion
« Reply #1388 on: January 19, 2018, 11:45:25 AM »
Aurora is a 4X game, one explores, expands, exploits and exterminates.

Clearly, the proper response to having another nation swallow all your population capacity on a planet is to exterminate that other nation.
 

Offline waresky

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Re: C# Aurora Changes Discussion
« Reply #1389 on: January 19, 2018, 11:54:17 AM »
Aurora is a 4X game, one explores, expands, exploits and exterminates.

Clearly, the proper response to having another nation swallow all your population capacity on a planet is to exterminate that other nation.
From 2004 ive "exterminate" only 2 Sentients Race. Abducted 4 and "swallow in mine" another one. Not so easy..:)
 

Offline mtm84

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Re: C# Aurora Changes Discussion
« Reply #1390 on: January 20, 2018, 11:03:14 AM »
From 2004 ive "exterminate" only 2 Sentients Race. Abducted 4 and "swallow in mine" another one. Not so easy..:)

Nothing enhanced radiation warheads can't fix.
 

Offline Barkhorn

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Re: C# Aurora Changes Discussion
« Reply #1391 on: January 20, 2018, 11:09:16 AM »
I've been playing on and off since 2010, and I have only ever seen 2 NPR's that weren't spoilers.  And I only fought one, and they kicked my ass easily.
 

Online Steve Walmsley

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Re: C# Aurora Changes Discussion
« Reply #1392 on: January 20, 2018, 05:29:11 PM »
Ouch.  As someone who's only been playing the game around that long, that seems like a long time.  But on the 10-year timescale that you've worked on the VB8 version it's not too big a deal.

Congratulations! Do you have a Coding Cave in your new house?

Yes, I have always had a room for gaming. Back in the 80s it was known as the 'war games' room, as it was used for board war gaming (Avalon Hill, SPI, etc.). These days, the shelves are still full of war games and books, but its generally known as 'the office' as its mainly PC gaming :).

That has been true for twelve different houses now and will continue for number thirteen. Moving is a well-oiled routine :)
 

Offline boggo2300

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Re: C# Aurora Changes Discussion
« Reply #1393 on: January 21, 2018, 03:12:43 PM »
twelve different houses now and will continue for number thirteen. Moving is a well-oiled routine :)

Another similarity between Steve and Doc Holliday,  continually gettin' run outta town (though I believe Hollidays game was Faro rather than Poker)
The boggosity of the universe tends towards maximum.
 

Offline Profugo Barbatus

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Re: C# Aurora Changes Discussion
« Reply #1394 on: January 23, 2018, 11:41:48 PM »
So I was thinking, with the rewrite bringing up the opportunity to add new options, and the new depth in ground combat, is there any chance of getting a toggle for research capture? I regularly avoid letting my underdog games weaker factions actually invade worlds, only to avoid the underdog suddenly just learning half the advanced tech in the game. I can see where people would want that, but in a fully RP, player controlled game, I don't really want my setup being yanked out cuz a faction stole a bunch of levels of tech I was thematically avoiding.
 

 

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