Sunday, May 04, 2008


L'assedio di Corinto

Here's version 0.8! I'd have to write much more than a few lines to describe the various features, but I prefer to leave that to the future official manual.

Here's the link

As always let me know of any issues.

A couple of important things: the main map has now feedback elements. The colour of the countries reflect the diplomatic relations between the country the mouse is upon (in white) and the rest of the middle east. The default country for which relations are shown is Israel for obvious reasons.

Then you can see columns of various shapes, altitude and colour, with starts upon them. A little explanation: I needed a fast way to represent a complex set of relations on a limited space, so I envisioned a unique indicator with four different "faces". Shape represents the quality of a given country's leadership: the shapes used are a pentagon, a reversed pentagon, a circle, a square and a rhombus to represent a leadership from the strongest to the weakest.

The second face is columns' altitude, it represents the stability of a regime: the highest the altitude, the strongest the regime.

The third face is columns' colour: it represents the public opinion towards Israel, with colours ranging from full green, pale green, gray, orange and red, to represent public opinions from the friendliest to the most aggressive towards Israel.

The last face of the indicator is the number of stars upon it, to represent the overall quality of the armed forces. One star: that country's army sucks; five stars: that country's army simply cannot be stopped.

Also there's feedback elements for nuclear research and possession of nuclear weapons, and for alliances and wars.

Now let's look at Israel's screen: I needed to represent a lot of important informations and options, all of which were a bit distinct from each other: a review of the strategic situation, the purchase new units, nuclear research, the Palestinian situation and an optional section where to review the internal politics situation.
Two solutions: put every sub-section in a separate screen, thus requiring the player to click one thousand times to go back and forth the screens; or put everything in a single screen, trying to have the player understand that the various sections were distinct despite they were in a single screen.
That was the idea before implementing a sliding windows method: the player can jump from one section to another just rolling up and down with the mouse. Thus the idea of a separation still exists while having the player remain in the same screen.
I spent some time thinking about the Israel's screen as it is quite important, and I thought a confused screen would have prevented many players from learning the game. Also, I left the graphics quite simple and functional.

You can see Dayan has been added in the purchase sub-section of Israel's screen: in fact he can give the player suggestions on how to spend the current remaining funds and with the chosen attitude, defensive (the shield) or offensive (the sword); note that Dayan's suggestion are limited to ground forces due to the way air forces are treated in the underground game mechanics.

In response to Draco's questions about Palestine: unrest level is random at the start of each game, there's a quantity of funds you have to spend each turn to at least maintain the situation as it is, although you are free to spend more or less funds in garrison and police duties. Doing so, unrest will be modified accordingly, so if you spend 50% less than required you can expect that unrest will increase in proportion, and vice-versa. A higher unrest results in higher percentages of suffering a kamikaze attack, which will negatively affect Israel's public opinion towards the Prime Minister (the player).

Yay! :D

Ok, here's my feedback:

The representation-idea with colors, stars and altitude is really good... u get a quick overview and that's great.
But I'm not soo convinced about the shapes. I mean the colors, stars and altitude makes instantly sense (e.g. red = bad, high = good, etc.) but the shapes don't. It's because you do not instantly associate a pentagon as good and a rhombus as bad.
But because you did such a good job in 3 of 4 representation-forms I wonder if there isn't any better - more associative - way in representing the leadership.

The overwiev when you click on a country and hover over the buttons is well done. Actually I had to laugh a bit when i read some lines like: "only an idiot would do that right now" or " the counrys words are backed by NUCLEAR WEAPONS"... I can imagine how the general is stepping into the room, banging the fist on the table and yelling that line to me ;)

The sliding option-windows are really a good idea and much more convincing then your former idea, which indeed sounded a bit confusing. I'm glad you found a better solution :)

Regarding the options:

The first screen shows you all the military of the other nations. Are this real figures or just estimations?
Another thing is that the military units are just portrayed by symbols. Is it planned to give them names (like in the after action report) too?
I especially like that nuclear research is no longer a game of chance, so you have the possibility to increase funding if needed.
The funding regarding palestinian unrest is another well done feature, but I wonder what the "grant palestinian independece"-box does when i click it? Does it mean all it takes to stop the unrest is to click a box? I know that it is also quite easy in the original game to let them have their homeland, but imho it actually should have been made as difficult as getting nuclear weapons (which would be a lot more realistic).

Ok, the last thing is the battle screen... I don't remember if there are any changes to the version you posted before but from what I see it looks ok so far. I don't understand everything you can do there but you probably have to fight some wars to get the idea.

All in all you did a great job so far and I'm really looking forward to the finished game! Keep up the good work and sorry for all my questions ;)

This is great, but it is not playable at all. Can we have a demo that works please. Its really hard to give feedback when you can't do anything. What happened to the "turns" and newspaper articles. I hope you don't omit that. I loved reading the articles. There is also a big problem with your windows overlaps. They block the texts and don't size resize correctly.

Keep up the good work.
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