Development has reached new hights at V0.4 and is prime for some pre-alpha testing. Here is the latest movements:
- Fixed networking and encryption issue
- Fixed ‘no fleets’ GUI issue
- Fixed Capturing systems issue
- Fixed missing texture issue
- Fixed issue with fleets going missing in deep space
- Fixed chat system
- Added new grid lines to the game grid
- Added user key colors to ships and stations
- Added new system types Gas Cloud and Asteroid Belt
- Added 2 types of system capture; with orbital bombardment and just ground assault
- Added Server selection on login
- Added multi-threading to the turn updates
- Added galaxy map
- Refreshed GUI layout
- Added turn timers to queued items
Movement on the working Alpha has been slow but us moving in the right direction. Unfortunately the development is stuck on some fundamental networking issues. But hopefully have these resolved soon.
The latest pre-alpha version now has 3000 star systems to explore and the seamless galaxy is performing well!
Were also investing in some new ship models which I hope to showcase soon.
Many 4X games or RTS games have a ‘tech tree’ to advance the level and power of the units played with in the game. More often than not this involves some fort of Research function or experience gathering. In Exclave Online this is done very differently. I wanted my enhance the exploration part of the 4X game by giving players something to discover which would really make a difference to their play style.
In Exclave the Brower game each sector of space commonly had a single Pirate Outpost system which could be captured and the player would gain the use of the Pirate ships which would be constructed from the Pirate Outpost. This would give the user a unique ship that could not be acquired through normal resource gathering and manufacture.
Exclave Online 3D takes this idea further by introducing several alien races which will inhabit the galaxy. Randomly throughout the galaxy Earth like planets will be seeded. Each one will host one of several Alien races. These earth like planets bring several bonuses to players who captures the system and acquires them as part of their territory.
Firstly these Earth like planets have a higher population capacity and the systems total populate can grow higher than a regular system. Population is key for having large fleets and a large income, to speed development.
If the system is captured via peaceful methods then the system comes with a pre-maxed population without the need to grow it over time. If Captured via orbital bombardment then of course all this population is lost and will need to be re-grown.
Earth like planets typically generate some level of all the key resources, rock, crystal, gas and water.
Most of all; each Earth like planets host an Alien civilization who have distinct technology of their own, Which like the Pirate Outposts of old, generate unique technology for the owning player which can be used to construct unique and powerful ships.
All players are considered to be Human, and everyone initially shares the same technology and utilizes the same ship classes. When the game starts players have access to the following human ship classes: Fighter, Frigate, Destroyer and Cruiser.
Subsequently players are encouraged to explore and expand their territory, in doing this they will no doubt covet the ownership of star systems with the most resource offerings, and in particular those with Earth like planets hosting an Alien Civilization.
Once a player owns one of these systems; the ship classes associated to that alien civilization become available to them as well as the human classes.
Players will then have access to not only the Human ships but the alien ships, these range from additional frigates, destroyers and cruisers, to larger more powerful Battleships, Carriers and Titans.
The Alien ships set themselves apart from the Human ships not only in general appearance, power and stats, but in unique technologies. Some have Shielding, some have laser weapons, some even have stealth devices which conceal them from other players view.
It is likely these earth like planets and there technology giving aliens will no doubt be a point of contention in the game between players.
A race of highly evolved pi-pedal crabs who live predominantly underwater to alleviate the huge weight of their exoskeletons. Similarly the Arkhlians technology is focused on advanced exoskeleton armour and their space ships are known for their tough impenetrable exteriors.
The Bipeerlons are a race of giant slugs with multiple tentacle eyes and precognitive abilities. Due to their naturally soft amorphous bodies their technology has been focused on defensive means. They have developed the most advanced weapon shielding technology in the galaxy.
Exclave Online is almost ready for the first playable alpha release!! I need your help to finish adding all the assets to the game. I need some investment to get all the ship models, space stations and aliens into Exclave and these cost money!.
I have added a new donate button for anyone who is willing to give the project a few quid.
Many thanks for anything you can give. I will make sure you are rewarded with something special in-game once it is released.
Check out the donate button in the side bar and the Donate page to see where the money needs to be spent.
This is the first of several blogs I want to do covering the core features of Exclave Online.
Central to the game-play of Exclave is the turn based nature of the game. this however in my eyes is not a hindrance to real time play due to the way it has been implemented. It is key to remember that Exclave Online is a Massively Multi-player game, designed to host hundreds if not thousands of concurrent players. Of course in this type of game; you might consider ‘turns’ as completely unworkable. Exclave Online, like many statistical 4x browser games of passed and present employs an automatic ‘ticker’ to process the turns on a given timer regardless of the users readiness for the turn completion. This keeps the game moving at a pre-determined and regular rate, ensuring he game is not held up for any one individual.
The Ticker for Exclave Online is currently set to around 30 seconds, this keeps the game speed up and gives all players the opportunity to perform actions frequently to avoid frustration.
The full turn follows a sequence: to queue players actions, process the actions and then send the update to the player. This is broken down as follows:
from 0-20 seconds of the turn players actions for this turn are queued up.
from 20-25 seconds into the turn; the queue is frozen and all new actions are moved to the text turn.
on the 25th second the processor begins to calculate all the turns actions, and apply them to the Exclave world.
from 25-30 seconds of the turn the server allows the updates to be read by the players client.
the turn is then reset to 0 seconds and the players actions are then queued again for the next processing at 25 seconds.
The timings of the turn are currently untested and no doubt they will be changed and tweaked after sufficient alpha and beta testing, we might see a ticker set to 45 seconds – 1 minuet or even longer in the released version of the game. This of course I will communicate as the decisions are made.
Why turn based? why not real-time?
Exclave Online is meant to be a casually played game, with a certain slowness built in (and the 30 second ticker might prove to fast to achieve this goal). A slow casual game lets you think more strategicaly, it allows you to dip in and out of gameplay while doing other things on your computer. The experience of waiting for your queued actions to be performed gives you a sense of anticipation with in my mind only adds to the fun of the game. Knowing that all players are bound by this slowness, lets you plan and predict movement and actions like a game of chess. Ultimately I will let you all decide if turn based is best, and how long it should be set to, 30 seconds, 1 min? feedback welcome.
Being so satisfied at implementing shields on fleet battles, I thought I would share a screenshot :
Thought I would give a quick update on development progress, and everything I am working on at the moment.
- Gui finalised (Done)
- Crafting compelted (Done)
- Fleets implimented (Done)
- Weapons, lasers, missiles implimented (Done)
- Ship models added to the game instead of placeholders. (Done)
- System information (Done)
- Planets (Done)
- Partical system (Done)
- Smoother movement and positioning
- System capturing (territory expansion) (Done)
- Planets and collectable resources (Done)
- Stations (Done)
- Battle rules
- Movement rules, limitations and Fuel/ammo consumption. (Done)
- Screenshots! (Done)
In Exclave Online the browser game there were over 100 items in the game to collect and create, including resources such as rock, crystal and exotic particles, as well as food, spaceships, defence platforms and all manner of things.
In Excleve Online 3D I will be simplifying the item system and reducing the total number down to a more manageable figure. I aim to make the game less complex and easier to manager, as well as keeping some level of complexity to make the game interesting. It will be a fine balancing act!
There will now be 6 sets of items, Resource, Food, Stations, Ships, Consumables and Technology.
Where before there were several revisions of ships with the numerous upgrade items, this will be reduced to one tree of ships with a handful of technology items that will control some sort of ‘tech level’.
The Resource set has been reduced to the following 5 items, removing the various particles, gases, rocks and metals we had before:
Rock – The most basic and abundant resource, this will be used to make all the other resource items at various levels of efficiency.
Metal – Will be used in all construction of Ships and Stations.
Crystal – Will be used in the construction of the more advanced Ships and Stations.
Gas – Will be used for the production of the consumables such as Fuel and Ammo and some foods.
Water – Will be the primary resource for the production of Food Items.
This condensed set should make the game easier to manage and the different construction trees much more understandable.