Once more into the breach, dear friends. Well, that’s pretty much the story of October’s development work. Although I’ve also done other stuff, most of the month has been spent polishing the siege battle engine in Imperium; digging for bugs, fixing interface issues, adding a few extra options that felt like they were needed, and so on. It’s still a quite basic game engine where you choose to either reduce the walls, ravage the surrounding lands, blockade and/or assault (as defender you get to choose between staying put, offering battle or launching a sortie), but I think that there are decisions enough to make it interesting. The one new feature I added was to allow the player a choice of siege methods: rams (standard approach), circumvalliation (tightens the blockade and increases the difficulty of breaking the siege), siege towers (adds support for an assault) or mining (difficult, but effective). I expect to complete work on this latter today.
I also released the series of bug fixes I had done in Imperium Mini for a new and (IMO) improved version. I’m particularly pleased to have gotten the tooltips fixed; that problem had bugged me for a few months. Being able to isolate and fix small problems like that is one of the key reasons why I developed mini in the first place. Thanks to all of you who have helped by reporting issues in the game.
The current version will probably stay the way it is for a while, unless some major issues crop up. For a future release, I would like to experiment with changing the combat system, e.g., by allowing battles between stacks of units (with a simple Warlords-like battle engine), more units, leaders, and limiting the number of attacks in a turn per empire. Perhaps even opening the game up to let the player play with more empires. However… work on Imperium has first priority, so all this is speculation for the future.
In the meantime, you guys do know about Zak’s Hoplites, right? If you’re at all into the ancient period, you really should try it.