Fortresses Finished!

In the little bits of time I’ve been able to find to code at the moment, I’ve managed to just about finish off all the different fortress archetypes. There are twelve in total – each nomadic civilization decides on one at worldgen that it will use for their desert encampments, and then each is subsequently generated according to the chosen algorithm. They each also handle rivers going through them in different ways – some loop rivers around them, some have rivers go through them, and there’s a fair bit of code handling the placement of bridges and entrances to ensure that no matter your angle of entering the fortress, and the position of the fortress on/off a river, you can always access the entire thing. Some are large, some are small; most have all their components within the walls, but some have spread out beyond the walls; some are well-defended, some less so. The white %s are placeholders for market stalls which I haven’t yet created the terrain type for, and the large “oval” buildings are barracks, the smaller circular buildings in military districts being buildings where you may find particular NPCs of military value.

Here are some examples. Bear in mind that these images don’t show the changes in height, but rather give you an overall plan of how these areas are laid out. The algorithms shown here are the “Concentric Square”, “Circle Lines”, “Star Fort” and “Cross” variations. They’re tremendous to walk around – even without NPCs (two versions away!) one can already tell what they’ll be like once they’re populated.



Now, for a general update. Editing my PhD thesis for submission is going well. The first third of it is bordering on submission-ready and I’m now working on the middle third. I’ll be moving house to “start” the full-time development year around the first week of October, give or take, but I suspect I won’t be submitting my thesis until some time around the middle of October. So, for the next month-and-a-bit we’ll be focusing on non-URR entries with a few short updates like this one, then my current prediction is starting my full-time development year some time in October. Once we do, we’ll switch back to full and detailed weekly blog updates, regular Facebook/Twitter updates and the rest of it. AND 0.6 WILL BE COMING, as the first step to totally finishing the worldbuilding block within a year of going full-time. Once that officially starts, I might even put up some kind of “one year countdown” on the blog to remind me how many days I have left to finish the worldbuilding. It’s going to be awesome, internet friends. Next time: an entry I’ve been working on for the best part of a year with some thoughts about AI…

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16 thoughts on “Fortresses Finished!

  1. This is fantastic, as Kasaris said you are probably gettint used to, but still you probably like to hear it. Keep it coming.

    I read before you had problems with map sizes. Looking at your fortresses pictures i wondered how much do them cost right now , have you measure them?

      • Ha, I do indeed. Positive feedback is an amazing motivator, honestly, especially when I’m having to force myself into doing something (finishing my PhD) which is of much less interest than what I could be doing here. Helps keep me focused on the longer-term objective.

        I assume you mean in terms of file size? Each grid isn’t too big, a few dozen mb in temporary memory, which is fine when there’s only ever one grid open at a time. Interiors make life more complex, but that’s why in 0.7 I’ll be switching to a new data structure for interiors that will entirely deal with any memory issues we may run into there. Re: a forum, I have, and I totally intend to set one up in the future, but honestly I don’t think it’s time myself! Especially since I’m barely doing any development last month and this month; once I move to the full-time development year in November/late October, maybe then. We’ll see!

  2. Frankly, I’ll probably never played at URR: like Dwarf Fortress (and other old roguelikes) it needs a tremendous time to enjoy & master the gameplay. Anyway, I really enjoy what you’re creating with this game, this is without precedent. I read your posts since years and it’s really fascinating to see how you build the game-design step by step, all the details you stack everywhere, etc. ^^

    • Well, thank you very much! Yeah, I am aiming to create something of DF-depth, once we’re onto the gameplay phase, and I fully recognize it’s a commitment. Obviously I hope to make the game worth the commitment, but at the same time, I hope it will be able to stand in a similar role to DF – as something of a “weird piece of art” as well as the game, and something that (like EVE Online, for example) people will appreciate even if they aren’t sufficiently interested to devote time to understanding and figuring out the game. I’m very glad you appreciate the kind of detail – it does slow down development, but I think the detail’s worth it. I’ve always appreciated games which have lots of details there for the player willing to look.

  3. I like the fortress designs — they look almost like works of geometric art, and it’s neat that the presence of a river will be factored into the generated map. This makes sense, since societies & towns historically often appeared along rivers. I am looking forward to your entry on AI as well…

    • I might post a few of the river ones at some point to show the kind of thing I mean, but very glad you like them. As I think I mentioned in some previous entry (though I forget which/where), I’ve tried to separate out some features of “castles” (within cities) and “fortresses” (for nomadic encampments in deserts) and make the two much more different than, perhaps, they would be in real life. Yeah, a lot of things are biased towards generating on rivers; this needs more playtesting, and I may want to up the amount of river generation, but it’s working well so far!

  4. Will the choice of fort result in other geometric considerations? Like will choosing a star fort put stars with the same number of points on their flag or shield or decorations that repeat in their culture?

    Within reasonable sanity of course.

    Maybe something like a grand city gate becoming a repeated icon among a culture.

    • Heh, interesting thought – there are a lot of connections like that already in the game, but since I’ve planned a lot about shields and whatnot it’s… possible, but unlikely, that that particular connection will make it in. Sanity is, indeed, important.

      I’m so glad you posted the Ishtar Gate – it’s actually one of the major inspirations for how some of the story is going to be told…

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