I had some doubts about how to handle “Skirmish” setup in MapEditor. Cos there are plenty of ways for Skirmish maps to be made made “unfair” (placement of resources, dynamic script, etc..). So I thought that maybe the MapEd should not be so strict about the “Skirmish” setting …
Ideally I’d want to pop up a dialogue with settings – which aspects of the mission should be (or should be not) equalized. So the setting is more helpful than restricting. But that would take some time to implement ..
.. two hours later ..
So what “Story/Skirmish” does now is just sets the flag to “Story” or pops up a “Skirmish setup” menu. Actual Skirmish “equalization” happens in “Skirmish setup”, where you can choose what to “equalize”.
New settings could appear there later in development (e.g. indicators of existing unfairnesses or more detailed descriptions, or something else related).
There’s one more feature I want to include into Alpha 8 – terrain triggers.
Terrain triggers are special zones placed in MapEd, that trigger dynamic script events when a unit enters into the zone. This is very helpfull for story missions scripting. With that feature, events could be triggered once and then removed/disabled if not needed.
After watching second part of Knights Province play (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33tjOSoJfNQ) 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) 🙂
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!