Monthly Archives: September 2007

Supernova 2: military power

I’ve yet changed another part of the game. Initially I thought of simply putting some default ships when a new battle starts, based on the values of the resource management screen. However today I realized that this would be crap, since everyone has some preferences in term of tactics and ships. So I’ve removed the options screen button, and put a military one 🙂

( the options will still be easily accessible hitting the ESCAPE key during the game )

So what does the military screen do? it lets you manage your fleet. You have up to 64 slots that you can use to assemble your fleet, building one ship at time. This way even the money factor will come into play: beside the mineral resources (metals, etc) needed to build a specific ship, you’ll also need money to pay for the costs (think about the workers, energy, etc). So each ship will have a resource and a money cost, adding more strategy to the game. Later, if I’ll add a custom ship design update, things will be even more interesting 🙂

Then when you attack you’ll be able to place X ships (with X is a value depending on your current “maximum unit” value) on the battlefield, choosing from all the 64 ships you currently have in your fleet.

Magic Stones: Lost Temples Island beta

Today managed to finish the last expansion of Magic Stones, Beta release. It should be fairly stable, but as always if you want to try it, make a backup of your druid data just in case something bad happen 🙂

It is a bit sad to announce the last expansion for this game, but 2 years have passed since the initial release date (version 1.0, 4th October 2005) and I feel I need to finish this experience. I’ll still be updating the game from time to time like I do with my other titles, but I won’t be releasing free quests anymore. I’ll try to release an editor or a PDF guide on how to create your own though!


What’s New in 1.2.5

– added the last free quest “Lost Temples Island”, introducing the fifth avatars for life and spirit magic schools: the Angel and the Rhino
– fixed a bug that was displaying wrong attack and defense values when right-clicking on neutral avatars if you had any perk active
– now the artifacts damage amount received per battle is determined by the general game difficulty level
– fixed a minor cosmetic bug that was displaying the skills bar too long, causing a small graphic garbage
– increased effectiveness of charm attack/spell: now the charmed avatars will always to damage to their own allies
– fixed a wrong message window that was appearing when browsing avatars during a battle in character screen
– fixed a bug that was causing avatars to skip their turn if their speed was higher than 9

Supernova 2: battle techs

I am starting to implement the battle, even if I didn’t outline all the technologies yet. I want to visualize the battle first. I’ll have some rock-paper-scissor rules, but I will also leave an open opportunity for the future. Let me explain better 🙂

The units will each have a special purpose and weapons. Scout ships will be able to run cloacked nearby the big battleships and fire short range missiles or beam lasers, while interceptor can discover them even if they’re cloacked, and so on. But I also made the game in a way that in a future upgrade you could design your own ships.

Each ship has some basic stats like speed, view range, etc but also a very important value called “energy”. It measures the ship’s energy production. Each device you deploy on the ship, it consumes energy. So in a future update, you could still use the default ships equipment, but also re-design the ship equipment, still keeping the base values. So the only limit would be the ship energy, which usually is equivalent to the ship size, with some variations.

So far everything seems going quite well, I have fear however when I’ll have to start programming the computer AI… with so many variables to take into account, won’t be an easy task!!

Supernova 2: production

Today I’ve made another important decision about this game. While making the technology screen, initially I thought to divide it into 2 parts, research and build. So you would first need to research the technology, and then build it. However I realized that wouldn’t make much sense, and would also be too much “micro-management” for this game.

This game indeed started as a wargame with a macromanagement backend, and must remain that. Otherwise I could add more details, but also more complexity. It wouldn’t make much sense to research a new terraforming system, then to automatically build it on all planets at once? no, that would require some degrees of micromanagement, like deciding on which starsystem implement/build the new technologies.

So instead the production resources and the production speed will be used only in the wargame, adding yet another strategic element. I’ve already talked about the ships crew veteran training, the HP bonuses, and so on. Now there will be yet another component based on the production:

– initially when deploying the units on the battlefield you’ll spend resource point based on which unit to deploy (every one will have a cost) and maybe even deciding which devices to install on them

– then after battle has started, you can deploy new units building it, but building a new ship requires both resources and also some game turns to be done (once again depending on the ship size and quality). So the resources will influence what kind of ship you can build, and the production speed will reflect how fast you’ll be able to deploy the new units.

Imagine it like a reinforcement on the battlefield. A battle could be won this way, even when fighting with a enemy with higher crew experience and stronger starting unit, simply defending and building quickly more units after battle has started!

Yes, I’m very proud of this decision, I think will add even more variety to the wargame part 🙂

Supernova 2: technologies

Ok after finishing the macro-resource management part, I am now doing the technology one. It will be interesting. Of course since I am not making a 4X game, the techs will all focus on the wargame part with a few exceptions (maybe just a few techs to boost population growth, productions, and so on).

Now I am starting to plan the wargame part, the real core of the game, where I hope players will spend lot of their time 🙂

Since it will be turn based, I’ll have to carefully balance all the units. I don’t like games in which you start with a low-level unit that soon become obsolete, “cannon food”… I want every units to have pro/cons in a sort of rock/paper/scissors game.

So the small scout won’t have much firepower but they’ll be able to evade shots of the bigger cruisers, effectively beating them in the long run. This is just an example. I plan also to have different weapons, like beam weapon, missiles, shields, etc.

Before you ask, in this first release there won’t be any “ship design” options, in which you can completely customize your ships blueprints.

The units types will be fixed, as well as their weapons/shields/devices. What will change is the possibility of upgrades . Example: Red Legion scout ship with 2 lasers and 1 missile. If you discover the technology “black laser”, an upgrade to the normal laser that delivers more damage, you automatically have it upgraded on the unit. Same for the missile. I have yet to think if allow a choice on what to install on the ships once battle start, in case you have 2 techs that can apply to same device type, like “black laser” and “neutron laser”. It could add a lot of more strategy since each weapon could have different damage types to different enemies, but probably I’ll add this feature in a future upgrade… 😉