Development - March 2017

April 12, 2017 | Posted in Development | View comments

Patches of rain drift across an ASCII landscape

This month we're back into design work for The Amaranth Saga. Specifically, solving the problem of how the game's characters keep themselves, their armies and their families supplied with food and equipment. The final (heh) solution is starting to take shape... basically, two seperate systems will:

  1. Ensure the supply/demand for resources is kept in balance across the world map.
  2. Allow characters to source food from their current location.

The game's approach to measuring resources on the map very vaguely resembles Influence Mapping. The AI attempts to maximise its utility by activating/deactivating sources of supply and demand. This, in turn, is equivalent to solving (or partially solving) the Knapsack Problem. Additional complexities include getting the AI to:

  1. Estimate surplus resources by aggregating its partial knowledge of what exists in a given location.
  2. Ensure subordinates have access to resources that, at least initially, are identified only by their masters.
  3. Take into account the flow of resources over time, without resorting to perfectly scheduling everything as described here.

All of this I'll be covering in more detail in a later blog post.

Oh, and the GIF up there? I've also been working on a little side-project - partly to give myself a break from The Amaranth Saga's arduous design work, but also to build up a bit more of a portfolio of finished games here at Recurse Games. The working title is Hill Sword (because it resembles Mount and Blade, which a year ago I misheard as Mountain Blade), but this is subject to change. One game with the word 'Sword' in it is probably enough for now.

Since 'Hill Sword' will be sharing some of the same code as The Amaranth Saga, working on it has the added bonus of sharpening my code-base. Hopefully this will speed things up once The Amaranth Saga starts active development (i.e., programming).