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Grand Strategy Stellar Monarch 2: Feudal space empire builder

Discussion in 'Strategy and Simulation' started by Chris Koźmik, Dec 10, 2020.

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Feel free to exhibit your deepest inner feelings about the subject

  1. I'm fainting from being overjoyed! It's one of the greatest days of my life.

  2. Excellent! I can't wait!

  3. Looks promissing.

  4. We will see how it goes...

  5. Meh.

  6. Boo!!!!!

  7. Argh! My eyes are buring, my brain is melting, take this ugly thing away from me!!!

Results are only viewable after voting.
  1. Chris Koźmik Silver Lemur Games Developer

    Chris Koźmik
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    http://www.silverlemurgames.com/stellarmonarch2/





    I know some of you (most probably) would prefer if I announced a sequel to Amberland instead (but don't worry, it's on my list as well, probably the project after that) but today we are going to enter a feudal space empire fantasy where you are an emperor leading the dynasty, making sure other great houses are loyal and obedient, fend off rebels, assassins, usurpers to the throne. And then face the inevitable alien-scum threat and save the galaxy.


    Stellar Monarch 2 is a sequel to (surprising!) Stellar Monarch :) This blockbuster (according to my humble indie developer's standards that's it :D) from 2016 was long due for a new take. Now, you will be getting a better and totally redesigned evolution of the concept where the good parts will stay, broken or not mediocre will be improved or replaced and overall it will be cool and everything. This time I will be moving more towards the feudal settings (predecessor was about running a bureaucratic empire with court factions), with the sequel it will focus on noble houses and the internal power struggle in a feudal style.

    [​IMG]

    Official announcement post: http://www.silverlemurgames.com/2020/12/10/im-making-a-sequel-to-stellar-monarch/

    Official website: http://www.silverlemurgames.com/stellarmonarch2/
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 18, 2021
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  2. Catacombs Magister Patron

    Catacombs
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    Let's see some of that sweet, sweet C++ source code ;)
     
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  3. Chris Koźmik Silver Lemur Games Developer

    Chris Koźmik
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    LOL, I just realized that thanks to this photo people finally will (I hope :D) stop asking me "are you making this in Unity?" :D Which is starting to become slightly irritating. As if making games in C++ would be an extincted art or something.
     
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  4. MadMaxHellfire Arcane

    MadMaxHellfire
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    why do something when you can do the same thing ten times shittier?
     
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  5. Xamenos Magister Patron

    Xamenos
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    Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    I was very disappointed in the first game not being a feudal backstabbing simulator as I'd assumed from the name. The sequel seems to be addressing that complaint and more. Will be following with interest.
     
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  6. Catacombs Magister Patron

    Catacombs
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    OK... but let's see some code ;)
     
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  7. Chris Koźmik Silver Lemur Games Developer

    Chris Koźmik
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    SM1 was modeled more like a "Celestial Empire of China" with a single emperor and an army of bureaucrats, court factions and an enormous bureaucratic machine you can't fully control. With SM2 the model shifts more to "feudal europe" with dynasties, noble houses and the ruler trying to reform the kingdom reducing nobility power and shift it more into the direction of an authoritarian/absolute monarchy.

    I carefully positioned the windows so only the "good' code is visible, which is the courtGetDepartmentName() function :D The rest of the code would burn your eyes and you would suffer a permanent mental damage and you might sue me and I would be forced to pay compensation for your lost heath for the rest of your life. So, no, thanks :D
     
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  8. Chris Koźmik Silver Lemur Games Developer

    Chris Koźmik
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  9. astrosmurf Novice

    astrosmurf
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    A noticeable graphics upgrade in the portraits. Glad to see that the magnificent hats are in this game as well.
     
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  10. Harthwain Cipher

    Harthwain
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    The concept of limited control should be more explored in games.

    Indeed. Remember Caesar's Civil War? The Senate gets too worried about Caesar becoming too powerful and he - fearing for his life, because he knows the Senate is out to get him - decides to play va banque and crosses the Rubicon, so the Senate nominates Pompey as the supreme commander of the Republic's forces and the two fight it out.

    The main question I have is: how the AI is going to figure out how to accomplish the tasks you set out for it? Will you have to designate a person you delegate it to, who then selects another person who delegates it? And then an assassin can wreck havoc by killing a crucial person in the chain of delegation?
     
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  11. Removal Learned

    Removal
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    emperor of the fading suns vibes
     
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  12. Chris Koźmik Silver Lemur Games Developer

    Chris Koźmik
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    Thanks for the feedback regarding graphics. Actually, I'm obsessing over the art style right now, and I have NO CLUE if it's good or bad anymore :D Forunatelly I don;t have such dilemmas regarding design or I would go insane :D

    All right, so the art is acceptable you say?

    Well, I have a different approach. I try to avoid simulating the things by AI, I mean, if the situation deteriorated enough to handle it by AI without the player bothering it's already bad. I would rather solve such things on a different, a higher or a more abstract level. In the situation you described I would rather make it like that:

    "Admiral is sent on a mission, there is a 10% + 1% * per noble houses intrigue & discontent rating - 2% * imperial bodyguards ratings -25% if the admiral possesses "cautious" trait that the admiral will be assassinated in the middle of the mission. There is 33% + 5% per internal affairs department efficiency stat (which can be boosted by Cyber Investigator tech) to successfully uncover who did it. Then you have 50% + 10% per legislative prosecution efficiency stat to successfully prosecute the culprint (in addition, if during investigation phase you got a critical success you get two rolls for prosecution where a better roll is used)"

    That's more to my style :)
     
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  13. Harthwain Cipher

    Harthwain
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    Could you be able to prosecute someone based just on your wild guess? Will it possible for you to engage into an illegal prosecution ("I am the king!"), perhaps at cost of loyalty? Also, shouldn't your legislative prosecution efficiency be boosted (or lowered) depending on what level of support you have within whatever legislative body your government currently has, so you ought to have friends people you can depend on in certain places in order to make your Reign of Terror run smoothly?
     
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  14. Norfleet Moderator

    Norfleet
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    The problem with limited control is that if the player doesn't control it, something else must. This means you need to essentially make the game able to play itself without the player, as each system that the player isn't controlling needs to be able to play itself.

    This is extremely expensive, computationally, although I imagine it could multithread fairly well given that the actors are independent. Still, the more actors you have, the more expensive it gets, and the alternative solution results in a CK-like effect where the entire world is basically functionally retarded and pushes buttons at random with no sense of direction or purpose, rendering any kind of negotiation with them purposeless as anything you can't exert control over pretty much immediately goes full derp. It would be nice if these people were actually scheming for their own personal goals, but the thing is, they don't, they just mash buttons at random, creating the semblance of results like a million monkeys on typewriters, but without an editor.

    Thus, it'd be extremely difficult to have individual nobles, or even just noble houses, that behave sensibly, especially when they act in opposition to the player, where they have to actually be pursuing meaningful goals, not just pushing every "Start/Join Plot or Faction" button they see.

    Sweeping it all under the hood is one way of avoiding expensive computation or randomly spammed derping while still retaining some control of the narrative, but then you're less playing a game with actual simulated rules and actors and more just walking your way through a probabilistic decision tree. I find games like this more interesting to read through their innards than to actually play.
     
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  15. Nirvash Learned

    Nirvash
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    [​IMG]

    Please, you can surely find some extra good artist working for peanuts.
     
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  16. Norfleet Moderator

    Norfleet
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    The art is fine. It has a simple charm to it, distinguishable without being unnecessarily distracting. "Guess Who" seems like a very good point of reference, as each of the Guess Who characters is meant to be visually distinctive from one another.
     
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  17. Harthwain Cipher

    Harthwain
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    Limited control is a broader concept though.

    Imagine you're playing a game about Napoleonic Wars - you could introduce delay of orders, to stimulate the fact that it took time for orders to arrive (if they arrived at all, which happened sometimes, especially in the heat of battle). This alone would have tremendous impact on the battle, since you wouldn't be able to react instantly (unless you're the one commading the troops in your vicinity at the moment).

    Then there is morale, weather...

    Maybe, but I think we can only achieve more by aiming for the stars, rather than going for the 'same old, same old'. That's why I support any Crusader Kings-offshoot; because ultimately it tries to explore something new and interesting.
     
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  18. Nutria Liturgist Patron

    Nutria
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    Strap Yourselves In
    IIRC the first one left me feeling that the game was running without my input. I love the idea of limited control in theory, but I also remember Sid Meier's axiom that you should look at who is having the most fun in the game, is it the player, the computer, or the programmer? I'll support this because I think there's a good game that will emerge from this path eventually, but it's gonna take a hell of a lot of work to figure out.

    My idea that I really hope somebody steals is that you're at the head of the Achaemenid Empire. You (at least theoretically) have control over vast resources. But you have threats on all your borders thousands of kilometers away and even more threats from the unruly nations inside your empire. And it takes a long time to get messages out to and back from your satraps. So you've got to plan out how to fight a war 2 or 3 years in the future, assemble an army, have supplies stockpiled for it, and find a leader who you can hopefully trust.
     
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  19. Demo.Graph Learned

    Demo.Graph
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    Whatever you do with mechanics, it would be really great if you'd improve GUI substantially. See my venting off here, especially the part about fleet interface.

    It would also be convenient if players would be able to add their own markers/categories to planets. Contrary to your intentions, for me SM1 turned into another micro hell when I got about 40-50 planets and wanted to specialize them. I had no easy way to divide them into distinguishable classes (agro planet, industrial one, etc.) or their level of development (do they need additional funding/pops or are they already good?). I ended up making up an autistic planet naming system (for example, agriplanets had names of ancient gods while industrial ones had dwarven ones, I've also included "+", "." or whatever other symbols in the names themselves to distinguish developed planets from others; developed agriworld could be named "Minerva." and developing industrial one "McUrist--"). It wasn't convenient at all.
     
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  20. Chris Koźmik Silver Lemur Games Developer

    Chris Koźmik
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    I'm no able to aswer this at this stage :) It's still in the preprodcution phase and many things are simply not figured out yet design wise :)
    You know, maybe just post an idea if you have any and don't worry to much how I envisioned it, at this point I can still redesign a lot of stuff. So, just post if feel like it, I will see what sticks and what goes to final implementation. Basically before EA starts you can go quite wild with ideas :)

    If you look very, very closely you will notice that Clara Winthard is bald and has a beard :D In short, a lot of portrait assets are not done yet :)
    Anyway, yeah, I know the issue of recoginzability and I aim to address it. If you compare it with the SM1 you already should see a significant improvement.

    Exactly! That's what I was trying to say.

    That's percisely why I don't want "the AI doing stuff" but instead want to go a route where it's more abstacted and more high level, near the decisions the player makes and near the interactions the player enganges with.

    I was thinking about it. Basically, I want to make differnet grades of planets (Megalopolises, Core Worlds, Colony Worlds) and you interact with the most important grades only (no longer setting up a specialization of some distant colony world).

    Later I will make a post about it. But if you want to check it earlier, there is this post about it in S.L.G. secret group (which is used for now since there is no dedicated SM2 forum available yet).
    (you need to join: https://steamcommunity.com/groups/SilverLemurGames/ and then check this https://steamcommunity.com/groups/SilverLemurGames/discussions/1/2943621444603321014/ )

    BTW, that's also why in SM1 I made an adjustments in one of the versions that you are allowed to make X planetary subsideis total, so you don't need to obssess over checking every single planet.
     
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  21. Demo.Graph Learned

    Demo.Graph
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    I don't like it, tbh. This decision would simply put an artificial limit on a player freedom. It would force the player to give up some control to an artificial idiot.
    I'd rather see a system where player has some action points each turn and can spend them on doing anything in his empire. "You wan't to change a global industrial policy? 5 AP. You want to change a policy for a specific planet? 1 AP. Command a battle? 2 AP and a chance to lose some more if your character is wounded and has to spend some time ripping new kidneys out of peasants."
    It's your game, of course.
     
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  22. Galdred Studio Draconis Patron Developer

    Galdred
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    You don't have to give up control. You could just rule that backwater worlds don't have a production queue because they are entirely focused on terraforming or whatever, and only the most advanced ones can be order to do stuff.

    The AP system works too indeed, and is kind of what they use in Eclipse: the board game.
     
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  23. Chris Koźmik Silver Lemur Games Developer

    Chris Koźmik
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    Unsustainable information wise. Sure, you would be making 5 actions per turn but still you would need to check 200 imperial planets to decide where to make the action. Plus, 5 actions per 200 planets would not have any noticeable impact anyway. But if you have 5 megalopolises, 40 core worlds and 135 colonies and you are limited to make actions on the first two grades of planets only then it's manageable. Except for infrastructure like starbases which can be placed anywhere, but that's another story.
     
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  24. Eisen Learned

    Eisen
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    It is, it would be art with C too
     
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  25. Jeff Graw StarChart Interactive Developer

    Jeff Graw
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    Are you making this in Unreal? ;)

    /s
     
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