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Author Topic: Iron Testament - an ancient "open world roguelike" (pre-alpha)  (Read 44463 times)

Clownmite

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Iron Testament - an ancient "open world roguelike" (pre-alpha)
« on: January 13, 2013, 01:07:36 am »

Iron Testament is the working title for a game I've been working on for some time. In a nutshell, it aims to be one of the new breed of open-world roguelikes like DF adventure mode, Cult, or Ultima Ratio Regum, with some elements from Crusader Kings and Civilization thrown in.

Planned Features:
Open and active procedurally-generated world set in ancient times, with some rare mythological elements
Real economy that reacts to the current state of the world
Internal and external politics and plots; governments and laws
Ability to play as an adventurer, governor, or head of state
Easily mod-able

The current state of the game is pre-alpha. Work continues in my free time. Currently implemented major features are: a world map generator, city generator, language generator, and emergent economy that appears to sustain itself for at least a few in-game years.

I'm aiming to create a world that's active and have all sorts of things going on whether you're there to witness it or not. It bugs me in many open world games when nothing changes and you're the only character who really does anything, when the world "waits" for you.

(Very early, WIP) Screenshots:

Spoiler: Older screenshots (click to show/hide)








« Last Edit: March 11, 2016, 04:23:36 am by Clownmite »
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Mictlantecuhtli

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Re: Iron Testament - an ancient "open world roguelike" (pre-alpha)
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2013, 01:16:52 am »

Holy jesus, where did you come from with this! This look like a good endeavor, best of luck friend. [Basically, PTW]
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Killjoy

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Re: Iron Testament - an ancient "open world roguelike" (pre-alpha)
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2013, 05:58:32 am »

Hey very cool project. I like your idea with buildings of interest. Have you created a character for every entity in the city population? Or just one for every important figure (The mayor etc)?

We are actually doing very similar things. Check out my project in my signature if you are interested, we could have a talk or something.
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MonkeyHead

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Re: Iron Testament - an ancient "open world roguelike" (pre-alpha)
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2013, 06:06:33 am »

PTW with anticipation. So, are you intending this to be scaleable (as in, playable from individual up to nation level and at steps in between), or fixed to the acts of an individual?
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Clownmite

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Re: Iron Testament - an ancient "open world roguelike" (pre-alpha)
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2013, 10:56:47 am »

Hey guys, thanks for the interest!

Hey very cool project. I like your idea with buildings of interest. Have you created a character for every entity in the city population? Or just one for every important figure (The mayor etc)?

I'm writing this in Python so I need to be very wary of processing limitations. Right now the plan is to have important figures fleshed out and "active" in the world, while others are generated when you interact with them, more or less. There will be a bunch of cities, each with prominent figures who have motivations, so I need to limit exactly how much can go on.

One thing I'm particularly excited for is the economy - each city has a number of "agents" who require certain goods to create others (i.e. a metalsmith needs iron, food, and wood [for the fire] to work, and will produce tools). Each of these agents has money, pays taxes, and has a certain belief about the current price of goods. In a round of simulation, all participants in the economy make bids for what they need, and offers for what they sell, and adjust their beliefs about price accordingly. Each of these agents are real people in the city, so by assassinating a rival agent you may gain a monopoly on a market or just plain wreak havok on current prices.

Your project sounds great, I will definitely check it out!

PTW with anticipation. So, are you intending this to be scaleable (as in, playable from individual up to nation level and at steps in between), or fixed to the acts of an individual?

Right now, the idea is that it will always be played from the point view of an individual, even if you are head of state. That can possibly get boring, since you'd be required to stay in one city and govern/make laws for much of a year, so I'll have to see what that feels like when I get to it. I do plan to have a bunch of law choices, ranging from who can become a citizen, legality of certain products, punishments for crimes, and tax rates.
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miauw62

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Re: Iron Testament - an ancient "open world roguelike" (pre-alpha)
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2013, 11:21:57 am »

I like how this looks. I like it very much. Much more colorful than your average roguelike. So yeah, PTW.
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Caz

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Re: Iron Testament - an ancient "open world roguelike" (pre-alpha)
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2013, 11:33:46 am »

This looks very interesting. Be sure to update us when you have something playable. :)
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Minstrel

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Re: Iron Testament - an ancient "open world roguelike" (pre-alpha)
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2013, 10:51:19 pm »

All if a sudden, an influx of scalable low fantasy roguelikes. I like it.

Clownmite

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Re: Iron Testament - an ancient "open world roguelike" (pre-alpha)
« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2013, 12:19:38 am »

Currently, my plans are:
-Flesh out the economy a bit so that caravans move goods around in a logical way and economies react accordingly
-Flesh out the government and major figures a bit; have at least some degree of interesting interactions between them
-Refine combat
-Release a tech demo or something to show off these things in action

As I mentioned earlier, one part of the game that I hope can become a cornerstone is the economy. Right now I'm working on fleshing it out a bit more, but I could use some more ideas or suggestions about how exactly to do things. The current functioning form of the economy seems to work, but only on a per-city basis. If a city doesn't have all the resources it needs to sustain itself (most cities don't) it has to import them from another city, which is where I'm running into problems.

Cities have a number of entities which can collect raw resources, and a number of other entities that transform them into goods. The "main" good is tools - almost all professions need them to function, and each turn there's a chance that a particular tool will break based on the material it's made from, and whichever entity is using it will have to buy a new one. One problem so far is determining whether a city should import raw resources and use its own entities to transform them into finished goods, or just import the finished goods themselves. I have no idea how to determine this, so any suggestions would be welcome.

Secondly is the role of government. What role should the government play in an ancient economy? They currently can set tax rates, which are flat amounts of gold which get subtracted from an entity's bank each turn and get put into the government coffers. I'm unsure if these taxes should be a flat rate or a percentage, and per-transaction or per-turn. I suppose a government can set actually determine those things. But what about when the government needs goods - like weapons for an army? Does it have to purchase it from a blacksmith? Does it have its own "government blacksmiths" which produce items directly to the government? Similarly, what about things like food storage? Does the government collect a portion of each farmer's output to store for times of need? And when food is needed, does the government have to "sell" the food back into the economy or give it out for free?
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AlStar

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Re: Iron Testament - an ancient "open world roguelike" (pre-alpha)
« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2013, 03:24:58 am »

Secondly is the role of government. What role should the government play in an ancient economy? They currently can set tax rates, which are flat amounts of gold which get subtracted from an entity's bank each turn and get put into the government coffers. I'm unsure if these taxes should be a flat rate or a percentage, and per-transaction or per-turn. I suppose a government can set actually determine those things. But what about when the government needs goods - like weapons for an army? Does it have to purchase it from a blacksmith? Does it have its own "government blacksmiths" which produce items directly to the government? Similarly, what about things like food storage? Does the government collect a portion of each farmer's output to store for times of need? And when food is needed, does the government have to "sell" the food back into the economy or give it out for free?

You could make all of those possible for different governments, if you wanted.

For instance: one government that takes a tax on each transaction, takes a portion of farmer's food, gives that food out for free when there's trouble, and has its own stable of blacksmiths who work solely for the government, while another takes a tax each turn, leave the farmers alone, and issues work orders through the civilian sector; Could make for some interesting dynamics.

As far as deciding when something should be imported vs made from scratch, maybe some kind of cost-analysis? If it would cost city A 100 gold to make a cog, but they can buy it from city B for 90, then buy it.

Otherwise, if that gets too headache-y, maybe an 'isolationism' stat for cities. Ones that have a high value are more likely to try and be self-reliant, despite the cost.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2013, 03:26:42 am by AlStar »
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Clownmite

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Re: Iron Testament - an ancient "open world roguelike" (pre-alpha)
« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2013, 07:15:01 pm »

Yeah, I think it would be cool to have all those options available. Part of my question, too, is how did ancient governments actually deal with this? It seems really hard to enforce a tax on each transaction in the real world, so I'm wondering if there's an in-game way that makes sense to enforce taxes and also represent tax fraud or embezzlement.

The cost analysis is a good idea, but it's tricky to determine what it costs a city to make something. First of all, the city economy is going to need stuff whether or not the government does, and it's really hard for me to tell what it "costs" the economy to make a good from scratch vs import it. I think the only way would be to run a bunch of simulation rounds of the economy, but even then it is kind of dependent on chance. The isolation stat is an interesting idea.

Thanks for the input - discussion like this helps me get interesting ideas and clarify my goals. I'm still chasing down some nasty bugs that are causing economies to stall completely when they are relying on merchants to bring them goods...
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DrKillPatient

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Re: Iron Testament - an ancient "open world roguelike" (pre-alpha)
« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2013, 07:26:54 pm »

The colors all seem to go together so well. Did you figure them out by trial-and-error, or did you use a palette or utility of some sort?
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Graknorke

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Re: Iron Testament - an ancient "open world roguelike" (pre-alpha)
« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2013, 07:37:41 pm »

PTW and to read the stuff in more detail.
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Clownmite

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Re: Iron Testament - an ancient "open world roguelike" (pre-alpha)
« Reply #13 on: January 24, 2013, 07:58:02 pm »

The colors all seem to go together so well. Did you figure them out by trial-and-error, or did you use a palette or utility of some sort?

Thanks, I appreciate it! I downloaded a hi-res satellite image of the earth, and used mspaint to select a representative color for each biome and get the rgb values. Each biome gets assigned a color and then I interpolate the color with the neighboring biomes and add a little bit of randomness. I still have some work to do in world generation (currently deserts only form in the middle of continents) and in coloring stuff (I'd like the map to visualize heights a little bit better) but I'm glad other people are liking the colors so far.
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Mephansteras

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Re: Iron Testament - an ancient "open world roguelike" (pre-alpha)
« Reply #14 on: January 24, 2013, 08:25:13 pm »

Ambitious looking project. Very nice looking so far, though!

I may have to steal that palette idea for the game I'm working on. The effect is extremely good!
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