Roadmap (sep 2015)


#1

Originally published at: http://blog.openwar.org/roadmap-sep-2015/

RoadmapSamurai Wars is an online real-time tactical war-game featuring a reality-based simulation model. Up to now the focus has been on researching the various components needed for such a game, such as:

  • a simulation model and algorithm capable of representing the states and actions of thousands of fighting individuals
  • a distributed simulation framework that synchronizes this model between dozens of computers from all over the world
  • a network algorithm that handles high latency and crappy connections in a robust way
  • a rendering component that can visualize these battles on screen in 3D
  • an intuitive user interface for commanding armies and getting feedback of the battle
  • a lobby front end where players can meet up and start games
  • a lobby back end server that coordinates all of this
  • an architecture that is open and allows for maximum freedom to contribute and customize the game play

It’s been a lot of work, I’ve explored a lot of technologies, both useful ones and some dead ends. But the project is now in a stage were all the pieces of the puzzle have been discovered and it’s time to start putting them together.

Development and release process

The game is written in a of C++ (networking and graphics) and Javascript (user interface). There are no traditional version numbers or alpha/beta test phases or unstable branches. Instead, new features are released as soon as ready and as often as possible, and releases are labeled with the release date and time (yymmdd.hhmm in UTC). The three different client platforms (web, iphone/ipad, and android) will be kept in sync as close as possible (given the approval time of mobile app stores).

Get early access to the game by signing up as a Patron here:

Feature roadmap

This is a list of features needed for the game to be considered ”feature complete”. It’s listed in rough priority order, but there are no hard dates or deadlines. Features are implemented one at a time, and the list will be updated and re-prioritized between each task.

Map editor and custom maps

First step to customization is to be able to create and host your own maps. Initially with the current set of terrain features: hills, woods, and water, but later also structures like buildings, bridges, castles, and forts.

Lobby and chat improvements

Improve the main screen and lobby, add setup panel so you can host custom games. Add in-game team chat.

Battle view, gestures and commands

Need to fix glitches with camera control and unit movement / facing. And add more advanced unit commands for controlling groups of units, changing formation and unit orders like hold-fire, fire-at-will, hold-ground, etc.

Custom armies

Players will be able to select the units they bring to the battle field. Moreover, the host will be able to customize the cost of those units, as to balance the battle in his/her choice of preference.

Battle mechanics

Improve and fine-tune the calculations for movement and melee combat. Add support for artillery units. Improve how morale works and add fatigue. Add realistic line-of-sight and fog-of-war so that you can conceal units in woods or behind hills.

Graphics and animations

Graphics has admittedly been neglected while focusing on other parts of the game. Needs to be improved and expanded, recreating the style of classical Japanese woodblock prints.

Custom scenarios

Add different victory conditions and scoring mechanisms other than last-man-standing, like capture-the-flag, king-of-the-hill, free-for-all, etc. Also add historical and fictional scenarios of different types (meeting engagements, ambushes, sieges, etc). And improved battle AI for solo play scenarios.

Contextual battles

Add ability to play battles where the outcome matters in the context of a larger scope, such as ladders and competitions like tournaments and leagues, as well as the more traditional strategic campaign mode of play.

Other periods

Extend the platform to new periods, to ancient, medieval, napoleonic times, etc.


Records, Ratios, And Real Tatics, Castles
#2

In addition to roadmap, is there todo list or issues (e.g. github.com) left open at the moment? I am not c++ guy, but I think I can start from help fix minor ones.


#3

Being a solo developer so far, I’ve only had my personal to-do list. As project is moving from research to implementation stage it’s a good idea to start using the GitHub issue tracker. I’ll take some time to update the GitHub project (https://github.com/openwar/openwar/issues).


#4

Great, will keep an eye on it!


#5

awww that means i cant help with the 3d stuff?


Things we'd like to see in Samurai Wars
#6

So what exactly are you working at right now? When is the next update and what will it contain? How often do you work on this game?


#7

Good questions. I will post an updated roadmap later today describing what I’m working on.


#8

Samurai wars is one of my favourite games on the App Store as it is extremely engaging due to the high level of concentration required to win, it’s a great game to casually play with friends and it is free. I do have a couple of suggestions which would be helpful.

  1. There is a common connection bug where neither players units can do damage to the other players and the battle turns becomes just hundreds of soldiers running around not doing any damage each other. There is also a variation of this where one players army can do damage but the others can’t making the battle unfair. The final connection problem of this nature causes both players to win because on both players devices the other side cannot do damage. Please look into this problem.
  2. The hills are not clearly outlined in some areas of maps , this makes it hard to quickly and efficiently place archers and gunners so you have to go through quite a bit of trial and error before they can actually be useful. Due to this complecation I have seen a few players abandoning archers all together and using them as suicide units. A good way to fix this issue in my opinion is to have big black outlines on the top of hills and maybe a few scattered objects such as trees or boulders on the hills to give the player an idea of the hight.
  3. The cav archers could be better if they could fire while running, this would be unbalanced at the moment as if one of the teams sword cav was dead there would be no way of killing the cav archers and they could just run around until they can killed all the other sides units. So implement this feature once you have implemented ammunition for archers, you would have to give them less ammo than regular archers so there would still be a point in using regular archers once custom army’s are available.
  4. The battles are a little too fast paced, I understand you don’t want hour long total war style battles, but right now the average game goes for 3-4 minutes I would prefer 5-8 minutes as there is not enough time to think tactically in some situations leading to stupid decisions and repetitive gameplay. I believe that the game could be played more tactically if the speed of movement of foot soldiers and cav were deduced to a semi realistic speed as right now the soldiers in their heavily armour seem to be doing Olympic sprints across the battle field and the cav have became sports cars. Slower unit speeds would make
    surrounding or trapping the enemy an effective strategy as right now units can run away from ambushes easily. Also the time to kill needs to be slightly increased to give the player some time to think during engagements, this will lead to more dynamic tactics in fights.
  5. Unit formations would be a nice feature to be added at some stage of development. I believe the best way to implement this feature onto the control scheme is for when the player holds down his fingers on one of the unit emblems for more than 3 seconds, a small options box pops up with all the different formations available for the unit, it should go away then the player picks a formation or after a period of 10 seconds of no commands entered into the box. The formations should include lines of 3 different lengths, a wedge, a standard box shape and also opitions if you want your ranks tightly packed or spread out.

#9

All good suggestions.


#10

Is it possible at this stage to roughly say then the next update will be ready and what It will contain.


#11

See the roadmap update. There will be beta builds and updates, and I expect that the new features will remain in alpha and/or beta stage for most part of this year.


#12

Is it still possible to join the beta and does it cost money?
I am assuming there is a private build of the game which is more up to date than the App Store variant which I would need a beta key to play.


#13

Here’s the link to the beta sign-up thread. Have fun! :slightly_smiling: