Cyningstan DOS Games

Games for Early PCs

New Year Progress on Barren Planet

The initial battle in Barren Planet
The initial battle in Barren Planet

Saturday, 22nd January 2022

After taking a break from the project in December, I'm back at work on Barren Planet. The game is coming along well, although there are few changes that could be detected in a screenshot.

A minor feature that took an inordinate amount of time is the brief animation you see when one unit attacks another. It took quite a bit of effort but you can now you can clearly see the results of the attack, including any return fire from the defending unit. Pew-pew noises are still forthcoming.

I made a proper start on the turn report screen. When your opponent is playing, you don't see what they're doing. Unless you have a keen memory, you can lose track of what units you had last turn and their strengths. This makes it difficult to see at a glance what attacks might have taken place.

The turn report screen will offer a replay of what your opponent did. You won't see your enemy's stats, but you will see their movements. Every move, attack, repair and new build will be replayed in the report, which you can play as many times as needed to ensure that you didn't miss anything.

Finished  work on this includes the recording of a player's every move for replay by their opponent. I've also made a start on the report screen itself, although I haven't got as far as the replay. But that should be well underway by the time you read this.

I've made a start on the game manual. Many 1980s games had substantial manuals by today's standards. Barren Planet will emulate them, with a comprehensive PDF manual taking the player through all the game's features.

There are some smaller things too. A small bug fix to the CWG library gave a bit boost in reliability. A change at the end of last year to allow the corporations to have different names in different campaigns has now been supplemented by a change that allows their logos to be different too.

There is no estimated launch date for the game. One major task ahead of me is to implement the computer player. The original idea was to copy the AI from similar games I wrote for the Psion nearly two decades ago. But I think Barren Planet needs something a bit better, so there's a lot of work still to do.


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