House notifications icons

After watching second part of Knights Province play ( I’ve decided to look into house notifications. As of Alpha 7.1, they indicate when a house if missing a worker, or a connecting road (these are 2 very popular situations for new players). In Alpha 7.1 those notifications are rather vague and easy to miss in the background. So I’m drawing new icons for them. Here is the style:

Icons are good at attracting attention, as they should, but I’m not entirely happy about the style – it looks a bit “artificial”.

Key thought on the matter:

  • games do have artificial elements all over them (take “magic” GUI for example).
  • a town with dozens of these icons could look “crowded”.
  • this is an RTS, genre where you need to manage a lot of different things and every help from the game is appreciated.
  • “float-above” notifications are more affordable than arriving messages, which need to opened, read, clicked “go to”, finding an outlined/highlighted house and only then seeing a problematic house.
  • perhaps notifications can become houses “thoughts”. I need to think more in that direction ..

Until then, this is what I’ve been working on today (and refactoring controls render overall) 🙂

Posted in Ideas, Live progress, Screenshots | 10 Comments

GUI improvements

The game’s GUI just got nicer with new “fade in” and “fade out” animations. They are short and subtle, but make the menu hints appear much nicer.

Fort and Barracks UI got improved and now looks alike School’s:

I also was watching this YouTube video of Knights Province:

and it caught my attention, that there are no alerts on the minimap when players troops get attacked. Feature was implemented right away and will be available in Alpha 8 soon 🙂

Posted in Live progress, Sidenotes | 2 Comments

Wip on pop-up messages

Working on adding pop-up messages. Much needed in Town Toturial 🙂

Early screenshot:

Posted in Live progress, Screenshots, Sidenotes | 6 Comments

Building materials to building sites

I was wondering, why Serfs would have to wait for the house area to be flattened before bringing any building materials to it? Surely they can do that as soon as Builder arrives at the site.

Posted in Sidenotes | 7 Comments

Selective terrain painting

Implemented another “must-have” feature in Map Editor: painting of terrain surfaces into allowed areas (ground, water, mountains).

The screen shows how Sand brush was applied to “ground-only” area – notice how water and mountains remained intact, while terrain surface changed.

Posted in Live progress, Screenshots, Sidenotes | 3 Comments

Profiling CPU

Fixed a couple of bugs today, as usual. Did some GUI tweaks. And also implemented stacked CPU profiler. This is a nice way of seeing where CPU time gets spent.

Profiling 8-players skirmish mission. Most of the CPU time is spent on updating units .. Not a big deal yet, whole update takes ~6,5msec (out of available 100). Still it would be nice to optimize later on, so that on x10 speed it did not take 65msec (leaving too few for render and such)

P.S. Alpha 8 will feature new skirmish mission for 8 players!

Posted in Live progress, Sidenotes | 5 Comments

Another bunch of work

Fixed another couple of bugs revealed during automated testing.

Been redoing flat buttons:

They are still far from perfect. Next step will be to change grey menu backgrounds into something stone/leather/plaster-like. Probably darker shade.

Changed new Map Editor terrains selection from buttons to ListBox. Looks and fits much neater:

Some terrains don’t have textures yet (and I also plan to at least double the count of terrains in future).

Posted in Live progress, Screenshots, Sidenotes | 3 Comments

Today’s work

Fixed a couple of nasty bugs tonight:

  • Delivery task got corrupt when destination was destroyed and Serf was looking for a new destination. (yes, Serfs don’t throw away wares now, they will try to find a new demand)
  • Blanks were not properly unregistered from School. School was really surprised to see a Blank it was going to train to sit in Tavern xD
  • House animations sounds were not reloaded properly after save/load. There were several design mistakes working together. Now it should be fine.
  • Blanks were not taken from the Camp.

Perhaps there will be a new handy little function – when you click on a unit icon in the statistics page in the game, viewport will move to a unit of that type. Second click will move to a next unit of that type.

And this is desired result:

6 simulations in a row without any major flaws.

Posted in Live progress, Sidenotes | 1 Comment

What’s new with Knights Province since last newspost?

What’s new with Knights Province since last newspost?

  • New unit training is mostly done.
  • Rigged a new automatic test to help catch save/load bugs. Two bugs found almost immediately!
  • Fixed a crash when corrupt savegame was parsed.
  • Found a flaw in sound playback on house actions. Code redesign is almost done.

Now testing AI, to see how it handle new unit training mechanics ..

Posted in Live progress, Sidenotes | 1 Comment

New unit training mechanics for Alpha 8

I’ve almost rigged new unit training mechanics in Knights Province this weekend!

Cottages will generate new unit type over time called, (for lack of better title) – Blank.
Training citizen in School costs 1 Blank unit (no gold required yet?).
Blanks, Serfs and Builders occupy space in Cottages, so over time you need to build more of them.

Barracks train units as usual, but take Blanks instead of Recruits.
Recruits are removed from the game.
Towers will take an archer or melee warrior into them (each providing own bonus to tower strength).
Oh, I got an idea, I can reuse Recruits model for Blanks now )

At the moment, it’s 20 slots per cottage.
I’d say a typical town would need 5-7 of them. It all should be (and will be) balanced later on.
Building Cottages near School means Blanks will walk into School sooner and train faster.

Camp houses some units too, so that player could train citizens before building 1st Cottage.

So, you end up with Blanks not working but eating food unless you balance the number of cottages.
And if you want to grow fast you just build some Cottages and have to wait for blanks to appear? A bit less control over population growth.

Also now you can stack training orders in School, ordering up to 10 units of same kind in one training request.

I think Blanks can appear from cottages faster when cottage is near-empty.
That would be good. It would also help with recovering from your village being attacked.
So building one Cottage will generate 1 Blank per 15 sec, then after 10 Blanks it slows down to 1 per 30sec maybe.
However it’s getting complicated when unit is killed – which Cottage to take him out from – one with most or fewest habitants?

I’m also removing SheepFarm/Clothmakers/Cloth from the game, they did not fit in well.

Posted in Ideas, Live progress | 24 Comments