Welcome to Fenrir.dk. Fenrir.dk is the home of Imperium – Rise of Rome, a historical strategy game set in the Ancient Mediterranean and Near East, as well as a history repository on the Hellenistic and Roman World. Enjoy.
June is rolling around, and summer madness is just around the corner. I’ll be in Ljubljana (Slovenia) for some days, doing a workshop related to my day job. The summer will also be pretty intense on the home front, so in Imperium terms, that is probably not too good.
Hopefully, there will be some progress nevertheless. I have been working on implementing the political interface for the autocracy, and am now mostly tinkering around with the AI to ensure that it actually works the system. Making sure that noble families actually marry (when possible), respond to proposals, and replace governors when the latter dies; stuff like that.
Once I am feeling happy with that part, I will start working on the real fun – the Roman Republic. Most of the family interaction stuff is the same, so much of the work will be in the election algorithms. And once that is done, we’re into the home stretch… polishing, fixing AI, and polishing… but that will probably take a while.
May is rolling around with its unsteady weather. It’s been a month were I ended up spending a deal of my time on the battle engine in Imperium. Was it March I talked about “minor changes” in the battle engine?
Well, it’s not that I’ve really changed anything significant in the battle engine. I’ve added a few more options, such as chosing whether your army is deployed left-to-right, right-to-left, strong centre or strong flanks, but mostly I’ve been looking to improve the under the hood implementation of the battles (which are still auto-fought, of course). It all takes time, though.
I am – surprisingly – still pretty close to my original schedule, though. Much of the diplomacy engine has been implemented, so once I have finished with the current set of changes on the battle engine, I will finish up working on the monarchy political model and then shift my attention to the Roman Republic. Although the options will be very similar in the two “worlds”, the focus will be very different.
As a monarch, your task will be to keep the various members of your family and the major noble families happy (for which purpose you have a few core options – persuasion, intrigue, offices and land). If they become unhappy, they will either rebel, carry out subversive activities (have you heard what the Queen did with a horse?), or simply leave your court to join someone else.
In the Republic, the focus is different; you will want to advance the fortunes of your family, while providing enough incentives to “lesser” families that they will support your policies (i.e., align their votes with yours). At the same time, you will be fighting or allying with other great families with similar ambitions to yours … with the ultimate prize being Rome itself. The core options remain the same (though in a few cases with slightly different effects), but the Romans also have a few additional options for campaigning (for elections), prosecutions (Kings can simply arrest people they don’t like), and probably some legislation.
Well… let’s see how far I get before June.
I was considering preparing an April Fool’s joke for today, but you know – I doubt the three of you who are reading this came here for that, so I’ll spare you the joking around.
This has been a busy month. Unfortunately, I’ve had to spend more time on administration than development. Shouldn’t have been surprised, of course, but the paperwork for setting up my development company took a little more time than I hoped, and I’ve also spent some time submitting some applications for development funds. Together with easter, the paperwork put a heavy dent into development time.
So, not so much news this month.
Well, I guess it is the shortest month in the year, so I shouldn’t really be surprised to find February flying by. Except for the tuning of game variables (i.e., probabilities of success and failure and how great effects actions have – all to be moddable through config files), I believe I have now almost wrapped up all aspects of the operational part of the game engine. There is one feature left that I’m still deciding whether to put in or not: whether individual units (i.e., the Legions and Squadrons) should have personal commanders or not.
Having personal commanders would allow the game to simulate the historical requirement (in Rome) that magistrates have at least 10 years military service (young Roman men would be made available to serve as legion commanders during the year). It would also allow young men to exercise their military skills – currently all the political/social actions available to characters quite naturally focus on skills other than their military ability (I have mentioned that characters skills need to be developed, haven’t I?). Personal commanders would also allow for a very nice (and historical) dynamic for Celtic, Greek, Iberian and Germanic peoples – namely that of allowing their young men to experience military service as mercenaries. The stability of tribal societies depended a lot on the personal prestige of the “High King”; a handsome young warrior arriving home from service as commander of a gallic cavalry unit in Roman service, rich with loot and powerful with prestige could – and did – cause all matters of turmoil. It would allow a young Massinissa to command mercenary/allied cavalry in Spain against the Romans (as he historically did) until he returns to fight for his inheritance in Numidia.
So why would I even hesitate? Well … I would like to be sure the mechanism can’t be “gamed” excessively by the player. Did that legion led by young Julius Caesar get massacred when that otherwise undefended city fell? Whoops, my bad… I assume you see the problem.
Apart from that issue (and maybe some minor changes in the battle engine), operations should be complete. Next up, this week, will be the diplomacy engine and AI. Once I have that done, I’ll be digging in to complete the social engine (outside politics). That’ll probably eat up march (or more… I’ll take a break over Easter). With some luck, April will see only the political code and AI left on the game engine TODO list.
Oh yes – and I just founded a new development company which will eventually take over the Imperium parts of this site. Don’t get too excited just yet though – we are still a good distance from final Beta day.
Took my better half out for our five year anniversary today, so this will just be a brief update.
Development is progressing well at the moment. I am working hard on trying to develop a better AI right now, as well as puzzling out the remaining game mechanics/game features. As usual, the sticking point is usually to get the stuff implemented in the graphical user interface and ensuring that the player gets the requisite information. Not my most favorite of tasks.
Anyway, I will be trying to write some more on the blog in the future. I recently read some forum posts that really made me think on some of the ways I want to make Imperium slightly different than the regular gaming fare out there. Now I just need to take the time to write about it…