Hello all!!

Sorry I’ve been quiet for a little while. A combination of the holidays, a lot of work, and frankly a little burnout all contributed. I wanted to take a bit of time and step away to make sure that I still had the fire and passion for this project. Imperia is a complex undertaking, and it is essentially a 2-man project right now: Pavlos provides some wonderful art and graphics, and I do the rest. When I think of how much more I want to add to Imperia, sometimes it seems daunting, but then I remember that Imperia is the game that I’ve wanted to play for almost 20 years, and that purpose brings me back with a vengeance. So hiatus over, let’s get to work!!

There are 3 different things I want to do with Imperia in the next 30 days. The first thing I want to do is to get the full Imperia site in order. I have looked at some drag and drop options, and while those would be easy, I believe that I can program a basic site with CSS, Dreamweaver, and Javascript. If I can’t, I’ll go back to a basic template, and what I might do is create a ‘placeholder’ site while I work on the more advanced one behind the scenes.

The second thing is to actually get .410 as a release version. I want to have the ground unit system, the space units, the autonomy system, and the military edict systems all up and running, as well as complete the interim .410 UI. Pavlos has some excellent ideas about a UI that I think the next version will start heading towards, but for the .410, the current theme will be completed. We will also add the military tab for planets and create the military screen UI (this is how you will create large-scale build, design, and movement/attack/defend plans). It will be basic to start, but it will be a foundation. As part of the UI, I want to also have the event pictures in and the secondary screen in that gives more information. All tooltips will also be in for edicts and major UI areas.

The final thing is to get the word out about Imperia! Pavlos and I are excited about the new website, and unfortunately it doesn’t look like the current WordPress blog can be moved to the new website, so a link may have to be added. I do not want to give up that much history, so I will see what can be done. But in the meantime, I want to be more active on the blog/website, and if you know anyone who might be interested in playing (well, testing at this point) Imperia the feedback would be welcome! Remember, it’s free.

I want to address one other thing. Many people have asked me privately or mentioned in the forums about when/if Imperia will be a paid product. I do have some thoughts about that, and here they are.

  • First of all, I don’t know that I like the early access model that has been all the rage. Some of the companies are properly using this system to add requested features, to hunt bugs, and to promote additional worthwhile features. But for every game that does it right, there are 5 that seem to be money grabs. A few even have dropped support before the game is finished (or calling it a half-assed 1.0 and calling it a day). I don’t want to do that. I believe (perhaps naively) that developers who do this genuinely got ‘in over their head’ as opposed to deliberately misleading customers/gamers, but regardless of the reasons, I don’t want to go down that road. Any early access model that I adopt should Imperia be a paid product at some point would always provide a free alpha option.
  • That being said, I think Imperia has a lot of potential – but that potential is a LONG way off. It was started as a hobby, and became one that I shared with others who also thought a game like Imperia would be fun to play. I welcome any and all feedback. It’s how games get better. My stated goal has always been to make Imperia the best 4X ever made (or 5X, semantically :-) That hasn’t changed. But to do that with a staff of essentially two volunteers is a grand undertaking at best.

So there’s that. I can’t always promise progress will be rapid, but with .5 in the distance, most of the major UI and programming structure would be in place at that point, which makes development easier. The save/load systems, the XML readers, the sprite engines, etc. are all in the code and at that point it would be about creating content and developing the logic, which isn’t as hard as what’s been done so far!! I hope you can see the progress that has been made in the last 8 months, and I hope you see the potential of what will be, one day, but I can’t tell you what day that will be… because I have no idea either.

But stay tuned. Pavlos and I are ready to rock!

-Steve

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Written by texashawk76

Gamer, designer, manager, dreamer, writer, believer, doer.

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