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Messages - Edi

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Offtopic / Re: Black Talons - a new sci-fi RTS video game
« on: July 09, 2013, 11:43:59 am »
This particular thread is just spam. That guy has been copy-pasting the same post in every forum he has been able to sign up on and he will probably have no interest in replying or doing anything else either.

Not that the Dominions 4 thread isn't advertising also, but I wouldn't have signed up here just to post that. I thought it would be okay to post because I've participated in the UFO:AI project myself (small as those contributions have been compared to many others), so it's not just a drive-by posting.

Offtopic / Dominions 4: Thrones of Ascension
« on: June 23, 2013, 02:10:41 pm »
Hi guys,

I've been away a long time, as my interests have taken me far and wide indeed. A year and a half ago I was helping Illwinter Game Design develop Conquest of Elysium 3. Since November 2012 I've been helping them develop Dominions 4: Thrones of Ascension.

The Illwinter page for Dominions 4 is here:

Dominions 4 improvements

Here's a short list with the most important changes compared to Dominions 3.

  • Teamplay, one pretender and one or more disciples per team.
  • Thrones of Ascension. Claim thrones to gain extra powers and to win the game eventually.
  • Many sprites have been redrawn and the 3d terrain is also improved.
  • Many user interface improvements.
  • Formations like line formation or skirmish formation.
  • Improved random map generation with wraparound maps, caves, rivers and mountain passes.
  • Rivers that can only be passed when frozen, mountain passes that can only be passed by special units and when it's warm.
  • Pierce, slash and blunt weapons have slightly different quirks. E.g. don't shoot arrows at skeletons.
  • Darkness and dark vision plays a more important role. Notably in deep seas, caves and sometimes during assassinations.
  • Range restrictions on magic rituals and items and spells that can be used to boost ritual ranges.
  • Improved network support, turns can be resumed from any computer and turns can be marked as only half finished.
  • Global random events
  • Can build castle improvements like extra towers or extra supply storage
  • Province Defence dependent on the local population and some nations have easier or harder to organize it.
  • Improvements to AI and to modding.
  • Many new monsters, spells, magic items, sites, random events and some nations too.

You can also find more info from these links:
The Dominions 4: Thrones of Ascension announcement on the Desura Dominions 3 forum
The Dominions 4 subforum of the Dom3Mods Dominions 3 community
The Dominions 4 thread at Quarter to Three

So, if anyone here was ever interested in Dominions but never got around to buying it due to the high price at Shrapnel Games (who have not been distributing Dom3 since last November), this is the iteration to get. The links above are also the places to ask if you have questions, though I'll be checking in around here too.

Offtopic / Re: Conquest of Elysium 3
« on: February 15, 2012, 07:25:10 pm »
$25 is too much? :o

If I wasn't in the beta test myself, I'd still shell out double that for this game sight unseen based on Illwinter's previous track record, because their games have never yet managed to disappoint me. This one will provide virtually endless replayability with various combinations and configurations. And that's just with the random maps the game generates, but if one tires of them, the map editor allows you to do a whole lot of stuff like scripting stories, quests, events etc.

There is no demo out yet, because Illwinter has generally finished developing a game, then cut features from it until they get a demo and then made that available. I expect that this will be the case here too. You'll be able to try it at that point and you can then form an opinion on the price vs. quality. :D

If you want to try the predecessor, Conquest of Elysium 2, that one is available for free from Shrapnel Games: Link to free games from Shrapnel. Be warned, though: That game was made in 1997 and the user interface and graphics are primitive even by the standards of those days. The sequel is significantly improved over CoE2 in every single aspect.

Offtopic / Conquest of Elysium 3
« on: February 15, 2012, 05:05:56 pm »
Hi everyone,

In case you were wondering where I disappeared off to and why, the reason is in the thread title. I felt I needed to take a slight break from UFO:AI about the last time I posted here, played a couple of other games for a while and was just considering coming back here when Illwinter Game Design announced they were developing Conquest of Elysium 3. I asked them if they'd like my help in beta testing. That was sometime in early August 2011 and right now the game is just a few days from release on Desura. Release date is 19th or 20th, depending on your time zone.

All in all, if you're a fan of turn based strategy and have fond memories of games like Master of Magic or Age of Wonders, or if you liked Illwinter's Dominions series, this game is definitely worth checking out.

There's a dev log discussion thread here, but in order to get an idea of what the game looks like, there are several YouTube videos available. The beta version accidentally leaked out to about a dozen people due to a permissions snafu at Desura, but it didn't turn out to be a bad thing at all, since the videos have generated quite a bit of interest.

Here are the video links:
52 minute overview
Demonologist game
Burgmeister (essentially a hobbit class)

In case anyone likes a text and screencaps AAR/LP, I wrote one playing the Necromancer class and the AAR can be found here:

A Chronicle of the Interregnum

Sadly, savegame compatibility got axed between versions 2.96 and 3.00, so the end of the story is left to the reader's imagination.

Windows / Re: UFO AI 2.5 ETA?
« on: July 26, 2011, 09:50:00 pm »
When is 2.5 coming out with the heavy weapons platforms?  Or will be integrated into the 2.4 builds?
Not in 2.4 yet as far as I know. We're still waiting for 2.4 to be released, so 2.5 is a long way off.

Artwork / Civilian model - possible trademark issues
« on: July 24, 2011, 12:56:33 pm »
One of the models used in the game may be problematic from an open source point of view, since it has the text "United Colors of Benetton" on the T-Shirt.

That's a registered trademark of a multinational company and I hardly think we have permission to use it in the game. That model should be replaced.

See attached screenshot.

Bugs prior to release 2.4 / Re: UFOPaedia or UFOPedia
« on: July 05, 2011, 12:16:19 pm »
Well, as I said, we need to either pick one form and stick with it throughout, or offer both (or more than one) form in the game.  Most big games, office suites, and other programs that Ive seen have at *least* two - which tells me that United States English and Euro/British are the most common (though I've seen some software that have several more choices, including some more obscure forms).

Trying to argue or "prove" one form to be "better" than another is totally pointless.  No matter how hard one tries to rationalize it or back it up with any supporting argument, someone else can do the same to push it the other way.
Well, since this issue is largely a matter of taste, if someone else just absolutely, positively wants to be dead wrong on it, that is their privilege.  ;D ;D ;D

Personally, I prefer the American English spelling because I'm more used to it and the shorter words make for less chance of spelling errors. I don't have anything against "armour", "colour" and "neighbour", but a lot of the other ones that add the u are annoying as all hell.

If separate language settings for English US and English UK are not too difficult to do, might as well implement them.

Feature Requests / Re: [USABILITY] Ingame shortcuts and functionality
« on: July 05, 2011, 12:06:40 pm »
Level up/down is currently by up and down arrows, though it only moves one level per button press. It is still often a quick way to adjust the view.

Discussion / Re: Appearance of UFOs
« on: June 28, 2011, 05:18:44 pm »
The automission feature has been significantly improved in 2.4. In 2.3.1 it doesn't really work. The number of UFOs can be a problem, but that depends a lot on personal preferences. One option is to try to intercept over water.

Feature Requests / Re: Clack. Clack. [b]BOOM![b]
« on: June 27, 2011, 01:38:29 pm »
That kind of setup in the real world requires a force already in position with prep time to set everything up and then spring the surprise on the enemy when they arrive.

Phalanx is a reactive force, meaning when they go to a mission, it's always a hot drop into a situation where the enemy is already on the ground and slaughtering civilians. This precludes using mines and similar area weapons that require a setup time, since they are essentially storming a hostile target. And they need to be careful of civilian casualties, which are pretty damn hard to avoid with things like claymores and similar when the civvies are running around like so many headless chickens.

The aliens wouldn't have any need for something like that since they don't generally stick around long enough when on a mission.

FAQ / Re: Skills?
« on: June 27, 2011, 01:33:11 pm »
Promotions also have a mind score requirement. X number of kills + Y mind + [less than Z] civilian or friendly fire kills allows progression to the next rank. Warrant Officer is the highest rank you can get to if you have any friendly fire casulaties (civvies or own).

Windows / Re: 2.4 vs 2.3.1 (Newbies/2.2/2.3 holdouts must read!!!)
« on: June 27, 2011, 01:23:14 pm »
The nightly build package is broken. geever, mattn and the other coders are investigating it.

If you build the game from the source using muton's tools as per the instructions on downloading the source and compiling it, everything works perfectly on Windows. If you have a fast internet connection and a reasonably fast computer, the build time is also not too much. Except for the first time, when every map needs to be built.

« on: June 23, 2011, 11:40:16 am »
Another company to talk to if going commercial would be Shrapnel Games. Not that I expect commercialization to happen, but in the case it was considered.

Feature Requests / Re: Grenade launcher : high register fire
« on: June 20, 2011, 12:08:57 pm »
One thing my grandfather taught me was NEVER throw or fire a grenade into a window, because of the high likelyhood of missing.  I do with for higher angles of fire, but not to the point where I am shooting upwards and praying wind catches it.  But, so far, I have found that bouncing a grenade off a rooftop gives you some good distance, but lousy accuracy, but with plasma grenades, who needs it, just land it in the general vicinty of your target and its cooked.
The rooftop bounce is awesome. And isn't that questionable accuracy sort of how Phalanx works (at the beginning anyway)?

"Alien at 12 o'clock!"
*fires in the general direction*


Feature Requests / Tweak to uninstallation questions
« on: June 19, 2011, 03:31:42 pm »
When selecting "Uninstall UFO:AI", youget two popup windows:

1) Do you really want to remove UFO:AI and all its data? Y/N
2) Do you want to delete all your savegames and settings? Y/N

The problem? If you misclick, which is easy to do, bye-bye savegames and everything else, since the yes button appears in the same location on the screen, even if No is the default option for the second question.

A better approach would be to have a single popup that worked like this:

"Do you really want to remove UFO:AI and all its data? Y/N"
[checkbox, default value unchecked] Delete my savegames and settings

How the checkbox question/option is worded and default checked/unchecked is irrelevant as long as the default position on it is to keep the savegames and data, because right now burning yourself when updating is far too easy to do.

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