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Offline Asid

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Re: Field of Glory: Empires
« Reply #15 on: March 06, 2019, 01:16:47 AM »
Field of Glory: Empires Dev Diary #4 - Commerce and Trading




Welcome to the fourth installment of the Empires dev diaries. This week, we will talk about trading and commerce, and how buildings are very important in relation to this.

As you might remember from our previous diary on buildings, they provide a lot of opportunities and benefits. But many will need trading goods to work to their full capacity. They will still function even if the trading good is not available, but you’ll pay a hefty sum each turn, to simulate the convoluted ways by which you manage to get a trickle of the precious trade good. For some buildings, this is sometimes worthwhile as they might be instrumental in how you have setup your empire, but in other cases you will be better to disable or destroy the building.

So … trade goods! There are a lot around, something like 50 or so. Some are naturally produced in regions, and you don’t have to do much to gain access to them, even if by themselves they won’t generate any benefits (you would still need an appropriate building for that). Here, we are talking of wood, stone and the like. Some are manufactured, like pottery, clothes, weapons, sails. And a third category are imported resources, which are produced by another region or country (although as you can guess, these too are either natural or manufactured).



Buildings will often need a trade good. Some good examples would be a spinning mill, in need of cotton (or flax). A mint would need gold, and stables would need horses. This will generate trade between your region, where the structure is, and an exporting region. And, depending of how good your nation is at commerce, the exporting nation can be a neighbor, someone on the other side of the sea or one of your own regions (if it has the trade good obviously). The whole process is automated, and you don’t have to worry about who can provide what, as given the scope of the map and the possible size of your empire, this would become daunting to handle, and then, to put it simply, a source of tedium. Now, we did not say it was done randomly. There is a measure of your trading efficiency, named ‘Trade Acumen’, which will be used when there is competition between several potential sources of supply. As you can guess, your internal trade is much favored here, as well as trade with your allies. But sometime, a powerful trading nation, like Carthage, will literally snatch trading opportunities and get richer from doing this. And that’s how you end up with Carthaginian olive oil in Rome while some Sicilian farmers are discontented!



Trade Acumen is something you can improve though, either at your national level, with the right decisions and a proficient ruler, or at the local level, by building trade ports, paved roads, trading centers. All in all, trading is a smooth process in which you can gain significant money, while providing your buildings with what they need. Now, sometimes, trade is not a possibility or is too difficult to achieve, so you’ll want to inspect the ledger and see where the nearest source of iron is and then snatch it from the hands of its current owner…

You might think that’s all about trading, but definitively no! Because having a good availability of trading goods is much more useful than just having your buildings work without an extra fee. Trading goods also play a very important part in what the buildings will themselves produce. This is done through the mechanism of bonus trade goods. An example will probably be the quickest way to convey how it works.



Let’s take a fairly advanced building, the Thermes, in which your citizens will wash, relax and gossip. The Thermes are a healthcare building, and as such give a health bonus in the region, which speeds up population growth while protecting (partially) against diseases. By itself it requires no trading good to work smoothly. But, should you happen to have, either in the region it is in, or an adjoining region, marble or perfume, then you’ll gain extra culture and money from the building, as it operates much more efficiently, being now so beautiful and sophisticated! So playing and optimizing these bonuses, although definitively not mandatory to get a good game and win, is one way of getting the most out of your nation. And this might be mandatory, if you like to play at a high difficulty level or against live opponents.  For some, this will be the pleasure of enjoying the ‘mind game’ that this kind of gameplay demands, finding the right supply chain and combining buildings so that one needs a resource that will then be further used by another, etc. A game in a game, for those minded to paying close attention!



And so, to sum up, the surface of trading and commerce will feel simple and easy for newcomers, and it is, as everything works by itself. But when you start delving into the numerous buildings, the goods they need and the goods that would provide extra bonuses, you get a quite rich system, strongly tied to the general economy.




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Offline Asid

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Re: Field of Glory: Empires
« Reply #16 on: March 11, 2019, 05:57:30 PM »
Field of Glory: Empires Dev Diary #5 Governments and Rulers




Hi and welcome to the 5th developer diary for Empires, our upcoming grand strategy game set in the Ancient Era.

Governments come and go, but nations stay. Well not always, these too can disappear in Empires, although we will only brush lightly on this subject today, as it will be the topic on our 6th diary when we turn our attention to culture and decadence!

Still, governments in Empires are a fundamental part of how your nation operates. They are sorted in 3 levels, that we call ‘Civilization Levels’. Within each level, 5 possible governments exist. At the very bottom in development, your nation can be a tribal horde or a tyranny. Perhaps a sect even! Then as you progress, your nation can transform, for example, into a Republic, a City-State. Finally, upon reaching the last level of civilization, you can become an Empire or a Federation!

And all this is not just cosmetic, as you can guess. Each government has specific traits also called modifiers, and there are dozens possible. A City-State might have a bonus in commerce, while a Monarchy allows more experienced troops to be trained in your barracks. Combining these traits with other possible modifiers derived from your ruler (or political party for Republican Rome and Carthage), so that each state ends with a very diverse profile, and these can work together or, on the contrary, can help to offset a specific penalty.

This means that most of the time you’ll see that a clear identity is created for a nation, through its government, its ruler and its national modifiers. For example, Carthage is a merchant oligarchy and has some good bonuses for trading and commerce. On the other hand, it has great difficulties in levying en masse its citizenry, so it will have to rely on mercenaries to compensate for this lack of manpower. But Carthage being Carthage, the national treasury should be sufficient to recruit quite a lot!



Then there is your ruler. He too comes with modifiers related to his profile. Here again, there is a wealth of possibilities and rulers are generated randomly for near infinite combinations. Rest assured though, there is a sound logic applied when a ruler is generated, and mutually antagonistic traits won’t appear. You can then end up with a good administrator which is also a reformer (if you are lucky). But on the other side of the coin, should you be unlucky, a depraved and cowardly king is always a possibility! This will in turn greatly influence what you’ll do with your nation. For example, some rulers will allow easier conquest, either through giving a bonus to your military or how well they can administer the new conquered, unruly, regions. But some will cripple and syphon away your money or will negotiate so badly that a war might erupt from their blunders (try coming at the negotiation table and insulting a tyrant, see how it goes!).



Another important strand in this multi-layered approach to your nation profile is your government status, which is strongly tied to progress and decadence. Over time, your government will have a change of status and might become stable, old, decadent even? This, in turn, will influence how you can play your nation and can even influence when and how your ruler dies! Perhaps you’ll then wish ‘good riddance’ to the old fool who was ruling your nation if he decides now is a good time to wrestle a bear in an arena!



Next week, you’ll see how governments mesh together with culture and decadence to create the sense of ‘rise and decline’ for your nation. Stay tuned!


« Last Edit: March 19, 2019, 11:39:25 AM by Asid »

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Offline Asid

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Re: Field of Glory: Empires
« Reply #17 on: March 19, 2019, 11:39:05 AM »
Field of Glory: Empires Dev Diary #6 - Culture and Decadence



One key feature in Empires is how it deals with the progress and decline of nations. This impacts how your empire will evolve in a major way and is a focal point for gameplay.

Practically, these mechanics first act as a limit on simply conquering as fast as possible as it is hard to assimilate your new gains without increasing your decadence. Thus your quickly acquired Empire might be impressive but will probably prove to be ephemeral. The new territories will be unruly, and in turn this can cause large issues for your government and ruler. However, decadence is not just a problem for the over-ambitious conqueror, it will affect almost every nation over time, no matter how grand, making long term stability a real challenge. Once you pass into relative decline, citizen loyalty will drop, civil wars and revolts will become more common making the risk of major collapse very real.

Of course, even if this does happen, your previous greatness will have generated a lot of legacy (a topic for another diary), ensuring your reputation lasts – and that you have a good chance of winning the game despite your current problems. In Empires, with this ebb and flow, and added difficulty in maintaining stable large nations, nothing is a given.

As you all know, the Roman Empire had its times of crisis, some minor, some more serious, to the point that it was, sometimes, on the edge of collapse much earlier than the date it did collapse historically. But it recovered, more or less, several times and the Western part lasted centuries, until 476 CE. All the while, it managed to expand from Scotland to Mesopotamia. And yet, over time it suffered many civil wars, usurpers and rampant inflation.



This is what we aim to simulate, albeit in perhaps a gentler, less frustrating way, in Empires! We want you to consider, seriously, that your nation is a complex, fragile construct. If you manage it well through several simple yet subtle mechanisms, then -- most of the time – things will be all right. If you throw caution to the wind, by conquering rabidly and neglecting the welfare of your citizens, then there will be an internal reaction that sends your nation into turmoil and revolts.

Ok after this long preamble focusing on the core design principle, let’s get practical! One of the very important measures of the progress of your nation is the Culture of each region. It comes from assigning your population to the Culture task, supplemented by your buildings. As with other types of ‘production’, this can be further modified by traits at the national level, from your ruler, government, etc. At the national level, there can also be events that change how much culture you generate. An artistically minded ruler can lead to benefits across the nation.

Culture is pivotal to the game, because it serves many purposes. The most straightforward and direct usage is ‘welfare’, a bonus to loyalty, which you get if you have population assigned to Culture production. Thus you can offset unrest by placing your population in ‘unproductive’ (compared producing food or money) activities. There is a limit to how much bonus to loyalty you can get from welfare, so this tool has its limits, but it works well as a ‘first line of defense’ against discontented and demanding citizens.

Because, as you might have guessed, citizens, and population in general, are not always fully happy with their condition. The more numerous the population of a region is, the lower the loyalty will be, due to citizens expecting services, welfare and entertainment. Slaves bring different challenges in this respect compared to citizens. They, oddly enough, want to change their condition by revolting, or at least escaping. This too lowers the overall loyalty in the region. And when loyalty is too low, you can get revolts, either from the slaves, or from the citizens. They might even turn back to their former nation or master, if they are not from your main ethnicity. People are so ungrateful!



The second, slightly less direct use of Culture, is to fight off Decadence. Decadence in the game appears under several conditions. First, as your government grows older, some decadence appears over time. Second, when your nation grows and conquers other people, you get extra decadence, coming from the turmoil and instability of having to assimilate new territories. And then you have what your nation is made of, its infrastructure. Some buildings are very nice and will greatly help you, but they come with the cost of generating decadence over time.

And so, you have on one side the overall culture of your nation, and on the other side its decadence level, giving you a ratio between them. If the ratio is good, you are a nation that is progressing in terms of civilization.

This ratio is compared to all the other nations in the game and will place you into one of three ‘tiers’. At the top, you have momentum and perhaps you might even be qualified as being glorious, like the ‘Glorious Roman Empire’. Then there are other nations that are in the middle of the chart. For them, nothing special. They can go either way. And then there are the ones losing ground, in term of progress. For those in the bottom tier if they do nothing to deal with their problems, bad things will happen.

All of these effects are very gradual. You don’t switch from being a young and dynamic empire to a crumbling kingdom made of senile senators and pampered citizens in a few years. You’ll have time to react and adjust, but doing so may demand considerable effort though!



All this leads to the status and civilization level of your nation.

 Your status can be ‘young’, ‘stable’, ‘glorious’, ‘old’ or ‘decadent’. Civilization level gives the tier of your government. For example the Republic is a civilization level II government, as is the Monarchy. And an Empire is a tier III government. Status and Civilization level are combined, depending of your progress in civilization and how decadent you are. It is entirely possible to be the ‘Glorious Roman Republic’ but later on the ‘Decadent Roman Republic’. It will depend on how well you handle the progress and decadence of your nation.



There are rewards from being a nation progressing through the civilization levels. As time passes, if you maintain a glorious status long enough, then you might evolve to a new civilization level. And this is how the Republic might transform to an Empire for Rome! And then if you are already at the top civilization level, being again Glorious has its own reward, with the fabled Golden Age!

So we talked about how nice it is to have significant culture in your nation. We also spoke of Decadence and how it is gained. Rest assured, you also have some tools to remove decadence, even if they are rarer. First, when you manage to make your nation evolve, moving from young to stable, or even from a civilization level to another, you remove half of the accumulated age of your government, which automatically will remove quite a lot of decadence. Then when you conquer a region, over time turmoil will recede and this will in turn remove some decadence. And then a few buildings will remove decadence over time, like an Academy for example. But for the most part, the more powerful buildings tend to have some drawbacks…

This is where we have almost come full circle back to our loyalty issue we talked about initially (as you can see the game features mesh with one another). It won’t be possible, if you want large populous regions, to fight off disloyalty only with the welfare bonus from culture. You’ll need something else. It happens that we have a lot of buildings in the game (400). Several of these (circuses, gambling rings, theaters, noble districts, brothels, monuments, gladiator arenas, etc) will greatly boost loyalty in your region. In a very ‘panem et circus’ way of the Romans (we want bread and games!). The only issue with these buildings is that they generate decadence over time. And so we are back to the problem of fighting off decadence.

We said earlier that we did not want to be too punishing and frustrating, it’s a game after all. Depending of your difficulty level and rate of expansion, it will be entirely possible for a player paying some attention to his empire to avoid the more acute crisis that struck the roman empire (civil wars mainly). But you’ll have to make choices and be watchful of your expansion rate and how your citizens feel. Failing that, a usurper is always around the corner!

As you can guess the AI nations too are subject to this ebb and flow of progress and decadence. This makes for a rather dynamic map where empires expand, splinter and reform. Some nations can even be reborn because their old master is crumbling in decadence! So there are opportunities to grab desirable regions, if you see that your neighbor is rife with internal problems…

Field of Glory Empires is on Steam too! Wishlist it now!

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Offline Asid

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Re: Field of Glory: Empires
« Reply #18 on: March 26, 2019, 12:38:54 PM »
Field of Glory: Empires Dev Diary #7 Provinces



Scaling up your Empire: Provinces

One of the common issues for strategy games is moving from a small nation with a handful of things to do per turn to a bigger one with dozens of decisions to make. What was fun and thrilling in the early game, like deciding if you want to build a cattle ranch or a sawmill becomes more mundane. And yet, sometimes for specific reasons, you still want to check, as the wise ruler you are, what’s going on in a precise location.

Many games try to create tools for this reduction in micro-management. But most if not all adopt a ‘forced approach’, where at some point the game tries very hard to make you do things in a very specific way. In Empires we decided that you can eat your cake and sell it too … with Provinces!

Provinces are a grouping of regions, the basic geographical unit in the game. You can create a province when you have at least 51% of the regions belonging to the same provincial area. These are fixed on purpose, because they are grouped logically and historically. Plus, there are a few perks attached to them, like a regional unit. For example, the Sicilia province is made of 5 regions, the ones making up Sicily plus Melita (Malta). In our case, having 3 of these 5 regions allows you to create the province.



At this point many of you will think: “I don’t want to create a province and have my precious regions handled by the AI”.  And some might add say, “by the stupid AI”

So let’s talk about eating your cake, and selling it. Twice! First, we adopted a reverse approach to how other games try to reduce micro-management. Creating a province provides bonuses. Not creating provinces mean you don’t get bonuses, but you don’t suffer any penalty. If you don’t want to create any province, then that’s fine, have it your way. But you’ll want to create them, believe us.

One of the reasons is that when regions are handled at the province level there is no mandatory automation. A region, as part of a province, can still be accessed and have all his population reshuffled to your liking, and you can order the buildings it should construct as before. But should you don’t want to do that, then you can use the Province panel to decide what the governor AI should do. For population and for buildings (one set of options for each), you can decide that the focus should be on a job (like producing more money, or constructing extra agriculture buildings). You can also decide to have the governor try to balance production with the needs. Here, the not-that-stupid AI will take into consideration the need at the region level, for each region, and at the national level. So for example if you have a severe lack of money, then clicking on balancing will result in more population than usual put into the money-making job.



The AI will also check your upkeep, so as not to overbuild structures that you would have trouble maintaining. It is even capable of checking which of the regions have particular bonuses and  have them focus on something specifically. If you look at this screenshot, I have requested a balancing of production for Sicilia. And yet you see we are far from having the population split evenly within each region. For example, Melita has a lot of people in infrastructure. If you checked Melita specifically, you would see that the region is the one with the biggest Infrastructure bonus within the whole province!

So all in all, we believe these AI governors do quite a decent job. We will be honest (sometime it pays off  ), the AI is not equal to a veteran player who can fine tune everything each turn. But it plays like a competent opponent…

As you see, Province management has never been so easy. You can automate in different ways, including handling everything manually. But there is more. There are province-specific bonuses.

A Province pools some of its resources and then redistributes them either equally (for food), or where it is needed (for infrastructure). So for food, it means that regions with poor land (like a mountain or an underdeveloped forest region) will benefit from the food sent by other regions, within the province, helping them grow. Also, if you have large body of troops, it might be difficult sometimes to sustain them from a single region. With a province, supply will arrive from several regions, easing the logistic challenge of feeding your army.

As for infrastructure, all regions can help the process of creating new buildings, so you end up with your structures built much faster, in a more focused way. And again, you might use this trick to funnel infrastructure from powerful regions to a poor one, helping it develop much faster.



Recruitment is also handled at the provincial level. Each province has a provincial palace, and this is the place where all units are recruited. And each province has its own special ‘provincial unit’ that you would not have access too otherwise. For example the Africa province (centered around Carthago) would provide African War Elephants, to any nation holding it. Or Crete will allow the famous Cretan slingers…

All in all, we have tried with provinces to provide you the tools so that your games scale up well when your empire grows, while staying as discreet and unobtrusive as possible, for people who like to micro-manage. We hope that you’ll come to appreciate our Province system as much as we do!




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Offline Asid

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Re: Field of Glory: Empires
« Reply #19 on: April 08, 2019, 09:36:37 PM »
Field of Glory: Empires - The Challenge



From Slitherine

Fied of Glory Empires is surely a very ambitious project, aiming to bring to life the ancient world and its civilizations and to recreate the cultural intricacies of that time. 

To better explain the complexity an the scope of the game, we started writing a series of dev diaries covering the most crucial points around which Field of Glory: Empires is designed.

Today we would like to expand this experience further. Welcome to the Challenge!

The Challenges

These are a series of events focused on special versions of the game. They are designed to explore step by step the game's mechanics but with a twist. These versions have certain areas and features locked, while others are allowed.

But what kind of challenge are we talking about and who can participate?

There is no better way to explain them than having a look at the first one:



Challenge #1: Conquer Italy playing as Rome in as few turns as possible

Nation available: Rome

Turns: takes as few as possible

Map: Locked to the Italian Peninsula and its closest surroundings.

Mechanics and features: All active

In this race against time, there is room for only one winner.

Who can join?

Influencers and media members. The participation is mainly by invitation, but if you think you qualify to compete, write to us at challenge@slitherine.co.uk, with your name/nickname and your channel/media.

Time and validity

10 days from the announcement.

In the 10 days of validity, we will gather the videos or the screenshots proving the completion of the challenge and will assign the scores. After all the Challenges have been played, we will declare the final winner by calculating the cumulative points gained in all the episodes.

Check all the rules here

 

Are you eager to see the Challenge in action? Then don't miss DasTactic tomorrow April, 9th attempting it on our official Twitch Channel at 6 pm BST / 1 pm EDT / 10 am PDT


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Offline Asid

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Re: Field of Glory: Empires
« Reply #20 on: April 17, 2019, 04:02:57 PM »
Field of Glory: Empires - The Challenge has been accepted




Field of Glory: Empires is a very ambitious project. It’s perfect combination between empire management and grand-strategy, united to a set of unique mechanics, will set a new standard for strategy games.

To better introduce players to this upcoming masterpiece, we have launched a great Challenge series of events, inviting influencers and media members.



And the participation has been great so far! With only few days remaining to complete the competition, we are delighted to see such interest.

We have gathered in a playlist the main efforts played so far, so you can have a look at first hand how the game unfolds, even in more strict environment.

You can watch some sample below:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/X8YRiu73AZE

https://www.youtube.com/embed/OsP7tPJfJ7g

https://www.youtube.com/embed/F6LvluXe0_c


Stay tuned for further updates!

Check the Dev Diaries:

Dev Diary #1 - A Brief Overview

Dev Diary #2 - Region Management, Population, Loyalty

Dev Diary #3 - Buildings

Dev Diary #4 - Commerce and Trading

Dev Diary #5 Governments and Rulers

Dev Diary #6 - Culture and Decadence

Dev Diary #7 Provinces



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