When can we expect some news?

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Anguille
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Re: When can we expect some news?

Post by Anguille »

Zaimat wrote:Borders are based on influence, a colony or space installation can generate influence (based on various local factors) and that influence has a range and decay (curve) over distance. If two different factions have influence in the same region (border friction) the strongest prevails.

Movement and Path-finding for units respects borders and when traveling will go around other factions borders. There are of course the usual exceptions such as certain treaties or when they are attacking you, etc.

The thing that's different with how Borders are implemented in "H2" is they precisely demarcate territory and we have seamless open space travel/path-finding unlike others. In the games you mention as far as I know the shape and size of borders are visual approximations but have very limited (or non-existent) interaction with actual travel/path-finding which is point-to-point or star-to-star.

In "H1" we actually had the units travel in open-space (tactical view) but it was limited in that we didn't have a seamless map (tactical and strategic), so you couldn't zoom-in/out as they were moving, and the fact that all units moved at the end-of-turn like in MOO/MOO2. Now units move *during* the turn immediately when they receive an order. This makes it so much better in so many ways both visually and gameplay.

For colonization, the rules are that if another faction controls the system or if there are hostiles/threats in the system you cannot colonize until you remove those threats or take control over the system from the other faction. Borders affect movement, relations and influence but they don't dictate where you can and cannot colonize on their own. I think this is the right approach, what do you think?

The terrain and path-finding system is much more complex and robust in H2 so it's going to make a big difference having the different engine modifiers. Traveling through Nebulae, Asteroid fields, etc has a HUGE impact now, and your ships will path around to find the quickest route with their equipped engines.

One of the things we are improving with Weapons and Armor is resistances, weapons now deal a damage (or multiple damage) type(s) and armor resistances will only stop damage of that type (e.g: Physical, Energy, etc). There is a lot more to say about weapons, but that's for another time :)
Thanks for the long post. Can't wait to finally see some screenshots or the like. The new game sounds great.

So you mean that it's possible to colonize even if it's in the territory of the other nation? I guess a human player will think about it before doing it but will the AI nations do it as well or just keep on colonizing everywhere?

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Re: When can we expect some news?

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Anguille wrote:So you mean that it's possible to colonize even if it's in the territory of the other nation? I guess a human player will think about it before doing it but will the AI nations do it as well or just keep on colonizing everywhere?
By default, Ai players respect borders and will not enter or colonize in another factions territory without the appropriate treaty. But since this is not a hard rule, it is technically allowed, so a player can do it but it will incur a diplomatic and perhaps a military response.

The only hard rule is that no one can colonize in a system where another faction has a colony or there are hostile forces. All threats have to be taken care and the system "safe" before anyone can colonize or even survey (which is required before colonizing).
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Re: When can we expect some news?

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Zaimat wrote:
Anguille wrote:So you mean that it's possible to colonize even if it's in the territory of the other nation? I guess a human player will think about it before doing it but will the AI nations do it as well or just keep on colonizing everywhere?
By default, Ai players respect borders and will not enter or colonize in another factions territory without the appropriate treaty. But since this is not a hard rule, it is technically allowed, so a player can do it but it will incur a diplomatic and perhaps a military response.

The only hard rule is that no one can colonize in a system where another faction has a colony or there are hostile forces. All threats have to be taken care and the system "safe" before anyone can colonize or even survey (which is required before colonizing).
Makes sense. I wonder if an aggressive AI empire will do it because they don't care (the Federation wouldn't do it but the Cardassians would surely do it).
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Re: When can we expect some news?

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Anguille wrote:Makes sense. I wonder if an aggressive AI empire will do it because they don't care (the Federation wouldn't do it but the Cardassians would surely do it).
Definitely, this will be accounted for in the relations system. If they are hostile to you or don't respect you, they can ignore your borders.

The new relations system is now defined largely by disposition (which is how one faction views and feels of another), approval and power differential are big factors in how they will react and interact.
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Re: When can we expect some news?

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So, any news? Do you have any idea when the game may be released? 2020 or 2021?

Thanks
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Re: When can we expect some news?

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It's been a while now....everything is so quiet! :shock:
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Re: When can we expect some news?

Post by Martok »

Any updates on this? While I admittedly didn't get into Horizon like Anguille did (cheers, mate!), there are a lot of things I like about the game, and am definitely looking forward to the sequel.
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Re: When can we expect some news?

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Hey Martok - it's good to see you back and looking forward to it.

Work continues at a steady progress and since my last update we've been working on things like:

Victory points system - Previously I had mentioned about how I had some qualms about it but I've since had a change of heart and implemented it, as it does give you more ways to play (and win) a game by driving the gameplay toward a faction's strengths as defined by their traits.

Strategic resources - These are rare depleteable resources and they can be extracted and traded not unlike regular resources and allow for special (or better) ship components among other things. We also added a Market system to allow a faction to manage (Buy/Sell) resource excesses/shortages, albeit at a cost (based on the circulating supply in the galaxy and market fees).

Jump point travel - This was a long-time coming and a especially complicated system integrated into our open map pathfinding system which now allows us to do things like worm holes, jump point modules and star gate travel.

I can't emphasize how big a deal the pathfinding is to the new game, most space 4x games limit you to travel star-to-star or like in Horizon1 sector-to-sector. This is a big reason why galaxies don't feel large in scale or cramped, why the Ai can't be smart in pathing around hot spots or hard to cross terrain (nebulae/gravitational fields) that can be used strategically (unlike terrestrial 4x games which don't have to deal with the pathfinding scale problems). The only reason we can do this now (beside the programming challenges) is because of multi-threaded/multi-core CPUs that allow continuous Ai processing necessary for each and every unit to find it's way to it's objective in a smart and realistic manner.

I know I've been too quiet since my last update (and sorry Anguille for not responding to your last queries). I can't really answer when the game will be released until we have a fix date. I can tell you we are trying to wrap things up feature wise but it is a huge game with modern engine/graphics and we are tiny and on our own but we are made of starstuff and we have our fans. :) That means next year is a possibility for beta at least.
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Re: When can we expect some news?

Post by Anguille »

No worries. I am super excited by the news and look forward to hear/see more of it. This is going to be an awesome game only few are expecting. I hope for a huge bang when it comes out. :D

And then i will be able to say...i knew it.
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Re: When can we expect some news?

Post by Martok »

Thanks for the update/info, Zaimat. It's honestly good to know work continues, as well as what you've (more specifically) been working on. :)


Kind of a random question, but do you have any plan/idea for how large the maps in Horizon 2 will be?

Also, will all the races/empires come "pre-made", or can we create/customize our own? (And how many can there be in a game?)
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Re: When can we expect some news?

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Kind of a random question, but do you have any plan/idea for how large the maps in Horizon 2 will be?
Our initial target is to have 4 galaxy map sizes which will encompass from 400.000 to 1.200.000 units (u) square on the largest map, which is quite vast.

To give you a sense of the scale of the game: Planetary systems are approx. 16.000u in diameter, large ships can be up to 80u, small ships 10u, fighters and missiles in the 1-2u range.

The current largest map preset is for 240 stars (with up to 10 planets per system). Higher number of stars are possible (up to 500 or even 1000) but there are performance and gameplay ramifications. So we only want to focus on the current preset targets, at least for the launch version.
Also, will all the races/empires come "pre-made", or can we create/customize our own? (And how many can there be in a game?)
Faction customization is something we plan to add for sure but currently there is no interface support for the creation and saving of faction templates in-game, whether we can do it for launch remains to be seen.
Right now we are spending more of our time in this regard toward making them as unique as possible, this will also add toward more possibilities for customization later.

As for the number of factions/empires that we can have in the game: Initially we plan to have 8 major empires and several (3-4) unique minor factions. Additional factions like Pirates, space monsters, etc are on top of this. The game can also generate minor factions dynamically to further populate the galaxy, but this is something that will be fleshed out later to make them unique enough and interesting. So yes, I'd like to add a lot of variety and interesting factions, something that will keep growing over time.
Thanks for the update/info, Zaimat.
Thank you for the questions, it made me step back and take stock of the game as it's progressing. :)
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Re: When can we expect some news?

Post by Martok »

Zaimat wrote: The current largest map preset is for 240 stars (with up to 10 planets per system). Higher number of stars are possible (up to 500 or even 1000) but there are performance and gameplay ramifications. So we only want to focus on the current preset targets, at least for the launch version.

Nice!


I love epic-sized maps, such as can be found in Distant Worlds and Stellaris. However, games take a long time to play, and (as you noted) there are often performance-degradation issues when you have 1000+ star systems needing to be generated and tracked.

In contrast, games on smaller maps obviously play more quickly, and are easier on the hardware. However, they're also not large enough to capture that "epic/grand" feeling I desire when playing 4x/grand-strategy games.


Consequently, I find that galaxy maps of 200-400 stars (depending on the game's other factors) tends to be my personal "sweet spot" when it comes to map size in space 4x games. So maps with 240 stars would suit me quite well. :)



Zaimat wrote:Faction customization is something we plan to add for sure but currently there is no interface support for the creation and saving of faction templates in-game, whether we can do it for launch remains to be seen.
Right now we are spending more of our time in this regard toward making them as unique as possible, this will also add toward more possibilities for customization later.

As for the number of factions/empires that we can have in the game: Initially we plan to have 8 major empires and several (3-4) unique minor factions. Additional factions like Pirates, space monsters, etc are on top of this.

That works for me. I was honestly just curious. I enjoy race/faction customization as much as the next person, but it's not a must-have for me. As long as the game universe feels "alive", with the major factions feeling fleshed out -- which you're already working on -- I am content. 8)



Zaimat wrote:The game can also generate minor factions dynamically to further populate the galaxy, but this is something that will be fleshed out later to make them unique enough and interesting. So yes, I'd like to add a lot of variety and interesting factions, something that will keep growing over time.

Interesting. Can these "minor factions" be peacefully annexed into one's empire (like the minor races from the old Star Trek: Birth of the Federation, or the independent cities in Age of Wonders 3)? Will how you interact with minor factions (peaceful, aggressive, etc.) influence how the other empires view you at all?
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Re: When can we expect some news?

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Just to add further about the Galaxy Map size and how to capture that grand expansive feeling, we will have a full 3d visualization of the game map while keeping a planar (2d) interface. And because it is a seamless map (no transitioning into systems or combat) it is way bigger and more immersive. The additional benefits will be made obvious with more things visible directly and precisely on the map showing the actual game play at all times and also game play is not being limited to just within star systems.

Performance with this setup and units having an open-map true path-finding (vs. star-to-star travel) at this scale means it's much more PC task intensive. Luckily CPUs and GPUs have improved a lot with multi-core and multi-threading becoming mainstream and so this all helps make this possible.
Martok wrote:Interesting. Can these "minor factions" be peacefully annexed into one's empire (like the minor races from the old Star Trek: Birth of the Federation, or the independent cities in Age of Wonders 3)? Will how you interact with minor factions (peaceful, aggressive, etc.) influence how the other empires view you at all?
We currently have standard alliances so you can have minor factions in your alliance through diplomacy. In the future the plan is to support sub-factions under the control of a main faction, to allow other formats such as vassals and/or federation type alliances with different rule-sets.

"Minor factions" are technically treated just like regular factions by the game, limited only for game play reasons. So we can turn on/off any feature for them. So they will have relations and a history of how they are treated with every other faction which can influence all manner of things including how other factions feel about you/them.
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Re: When can we expect some news?

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Excellent. Thanks (again) for the info! I'll stop pestering for you now. :P
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Re: When can we expect some news?

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This all sounds fantastic! Getting impatient!
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Re: When can we expect some news?

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Can we get an update, even if just a small one??

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Re: When can we expect some news?

Post by Martok »

I'm curious about the game's progress as well. Do you think you'll be releasing this year, Zaimat, or will we be waiting a good while yet?
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Re: When can we expect some news?

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Anything new? :?:
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Re: When can we expect some news?

Post by Zaimat »

Hello everyone,

2020 has been a long and difficult year with the impact of this new corona world having also caused delays with the development of Horizon 2. The good news is that we still made significant progress and I continue to pour all my energy and time into it.

A lot of the work this past year has been revisiting the existing game systems and refining them as well as adding or making improvements. Game development being an iterative process, the bulk of the remaining work in 2021 will continue to be of that nature. At some point once we're ready and able to take feedback I would like to do a closed beta as well with select people from our community, more on this later.

In the new year you will start to see some changes to the website and the forums.
I know people want to see screenshots but we want to hold back until closer to release, since there can still be changes between now and then. In the meantime I will start posting the art design behind the graphics in the game.

Thank you everyone for your interest, patience and support, none of this would be as meaningful without you. Have a happy new year!

-Raf
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Re: When can we expect some news?

Post by Martok »

Appreciate the update, Raf. I understand that you're probably not ready to announce whether the game is releasing in 2021, but it at least sounds like you can now see the light at the end of the tunnel, which is good to hear.

Looking forward to the website changes, and future info!
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