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Author Topic: Axioms Of Dominion, An Empire Forging Game  (Read 8243 times)

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AxiomsofDominion

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Axioms Of Dominion, An Empire Forging Game
« on: July 09, 2015, 06:00:15 am »
I am developing a game using SFML and the SFML GUI library TGUI, maintained by Texus. TGUI does most of the heavy lifting but SFML manages non-GUI things like the game map images.SFML loads the game map, colors the various filters of the map, and loads things like the background image in the character and race designers.

Substack design blog:
https://axiomsofdominion.substack.com/
Old wiki with pages for a lot of individual mechanics:
https://axioms-of-dominion.fandom.com/wiki/Axioms_Of_Dominion_Wiki

I teetered between classifying my project as 4x or grand strategy but compared to games in the genre, its quite different so neither really fit.

Broadly the game consists of you managing a bunch of provinces and their resources and the populations therein. However you may choose to play without owning provinces but simply owning buildings and/or various characters. A merchant may only own buildings while an archmage may own buildings as well as subordinate mages. However the most common mode will be players who own provinces as well as buildings and characters.

Unlike Grand Strategy games in the Paradox style or 4x games like Dominions4, Civilization, and Age of Wonders, in Axioms you will be dealing with all the systems and institutions of an organized state. You will need to deal with religion, education, economics, politics, and diplomacy. You will need to maintain national intelligence as well as magical and technological research.

In comparison with the hardcoded and simplistic modifiers of Paradox and the click and wait mechanics, my goal is to more realistically simulate the issues confronting the ruler of an organize state. In contrast with 4x games in general I strive to avoid linear or even branching tech trees. I wish to do away with hard coded historical government types and simplistic modifier based religions and cultures.

As a ruler you will deal with the issue of acquiring territory but once acquired you will not simply hit the "core" button, the "change culture" button, or any such thing as in Paradox games, nor will you instantly obtain all the resources of a new province or city as in Dominions4 or Age of Wonders. Each province has a set of populations and important characters. Each population or important character in the game has an opinion, respect level, and fear level for every population and important character they interact with. In the case of acquiring a new province for your nation you will now have to deal with potentially rebellious populations. In order to benefit from new provinces you will need to subdue or integrate your new subjects.

Subduing new subjects is pretty simple. Stationing troops, carrying out punishments and reprisals, imprisoning rabblerousers, and shipping in settlers to change the demographics are all options. Generally these actions or threats of them are more successful the higher your fear score with the population is. Fear is generated based on what you've said you will do and followed through on, or just instantly did to control the populace. Executing or imprisoning important characters, decimating, the Roman way, populations, and so forth. Your new subjects will weigh the obligations you impose on them vs their fear of your response to disobedience.

Integrating populations is more difficult. Unlike other games where new provinces or populations are integrated over time or with the click of a button and/or the expenditure of monarch mana, here you will need to literally integrate new populations into society. You may appoint bureaucrats into your government from conquered populations, assign important characters with the appropriate background, allow open worship of foreign religions, levy various taxes and military drafts, and so forth. However other populations will of course dislike their loss of power and privilege as new groups are given those things.

Populations have nationalities, races, factions, religions, and castes. For instance pluralist dwarf farmers of nation x and religion y. Dwarves will gain opinion/respect of you based on the rights and responsibilities you assign them in your nation. They will also have their opinion modified based on how you treat others from their nation and their coreligionists. Similarly for farmers. As pluralists they suffer fewer penalties if you treat all subjects more equally.

You'll also need to manage your economy. Each province has various resources, some more common than others, based on their biome/climate/terrain. You'll need to manage food supplies as well as materials for housing and other buildings. You'll also need to manage production chains somewhat like Patrician, Anno, or a city builder game like Emperor or Children of the Nile. However there is no actual building placement. This resource system will also feed into military logistics. No more sending off 100k troops to the other side of the world willy nilly.

Magical and technological research are the next major system I'll give an overview of. You grow in knowledge based on the nature of your nation, your application of research resources, be that money or educated populations, and what you find in Dominions4 like secret sites. Generally sites will hold magical tomes containing knowledge of spells. There might be technological secrets as well. Nations will accrue tradecraft skill for things like agriculture. If you have lots of well watered plains and river deltas you'll slowly become more proficient at agriculture there over time. However mountain agriculture will not be raised unless you are performing agriculture in mountains. Consider Japanese and Incan step terrace agriculture to the kind the Egyptians knew. Both magical and technological advancements apply to the industrial world as well as the military one. Magical road building or structure raising for instance. One thing you'll need to do is build and maintain roads and harbors and airship routes and so forth. In theory you could find a rich trade route, find a natural harbor and go Waterdeep on that thing. It shouldn't be necessary to build a sprawling empire to do well. A wealthy city state should also be possible.

As far as politics and diplomacy and espionage go, all important characters have the goals of gaining land or wealth or w/e, but both character types like mages and merchants and individual characters have more specialized goals. These are divided into open and secret desires. A merchant may openly wish to break into a new market or a mage to acquire spellbooks and grimoires. But a noble may secretly desire to be king or to marry off his daughter to a lord who will treat her well. Part of the espionage game is figuring out the secret desires of others as well as their actual plots like coups, assassinations, sabotage, and knowledge theft. If you marry the noble's daughter and make her happy you may have his loyalty, but if you ever betray his confidence through divorcing her or something, he may hate you forever. Alternatively you can find a different noble to marry her off to, perhaps your espionage has uncovered his unimpeachable character and you have other desires spouse wise. Other political issues involve opening national trade, allowing foreigners access to your libraries and universities and so forth. Nations and characters in favor of free trade or scientific exchanges will favor other nations who follow that path. This is one thing lacking in many ostensibly nation building games. What motive besides fear or an alliance do I have for not attacking some other nation.

A lot of more standard 4x fans will not want to actually manage their empire and I respect that. But I've known many people who wished for more internal management in their strategy games and I know I'll have fun.

Example shots of in game and the main continent of the scenario map:
http://imgur.com/coFrnoV
40 province map for early testing, saves on load time.

http://imgur.com/HTKVLkX
Giant picture of 2860 main continent. Game will generate maps on own but this is for scenario and later testing. The colors are because the game gets the province you selected based on the color. The actual map will not be colored that way. Also 160 inland ocean provinces.

Will have better pictures and maybe video up when I am farther along. Game is playable, or will be again once I finish upgrading to TGUI0.7, but most features are not enabled.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2022, 03:39:19 pm by AxiomsofDominion »

Hapax

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Re: Axioms Of Dominion, An Empire Forging Game
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2015, 02:26:13 pm »
Sounds intriguing with a lot of detail involved. It will be interesting to see more of where this is at the moment and how it progresses.
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AxiomsofDominion

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Re: Axioms Of Dominion, An Empire Forging Game
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2016, 05:13:38 am »
Wow, I haven't posted here in ages. I was busy with my work for the Bernie Sanders campaign, sad times now that its Hillary or Trump.

I am still working on this and just got back into it after travelling around knocking on doors and doing various online stuff.

I've gotten quite a bit of work done since I last posted here. Random map generation is functioning though it still needs to clean up and bells and whistles. But you can now generate a map and then play the game, such as it is, on that map.

Here I've included a current image of the game just after I've chosen a province to put my colony on a map generated in game. This is in the more 4x like empty map start. I'd expect most players to use the world generator and select a country to play as.
(click to show/hide)

Aside from map generation I've added some more menus and such and am working on the basic empty start gameplay as well as general gameplay. Although I have to get a job again now that the Sanders campaign is over I still expect to get quite a bit of work done in the coming months. Between August last year and this year I got relatively little done.

Below is a similar image a few turns later where I have the storage tab opened. Currently you can see the foods subsection. I believe there are over 100 foods available in the game. A single province probably wouldn't have local access to more than a couple dozen tops though.
(click to show/hide)

I'm hoping to get to the point where I can run world generation to make a Paradox style scenario/bookmark which is the other starting option. Basically you get a whole world, approximate 10x the size of earth given province sizes are comparable to a Paradox game, of unique fantasy nations. Nations should be relatively distinct and offer unique challenges.

AxiomsofDominion

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Re: Axioms Of Dominion, An Empire Forging Game
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2016, 08:04:45 pm »
For those who aren't aware I am currently developing a strategy game. I prefer not to call it 4X. More of a fantasy world simulator. 4X has so much baggage. But it does include 4X concepts to some degree.

In Axioms of Dominion there are 3 modes. "civ start", "paradox start" and "player sculpted start". This post is specifically focused on the "civ start" mode. In this mode you start with a race unique to your nation. The standard start is a humanish race as the base race. "National" races are a base race or a designed race that uses national nouns. So your national base race could be elves but they'd be called Abyssians if your nation was Abyssia.

One major part of Axioms that is missing from all over strategy games is developing your race and culture and society in general. Since the game is fantasy you can breed with various other races or even crossbreed with creatures or w/e. Well, unless your people are racial purists. Or if you aren't an absolute ruler maybe you can only incentivize interbreeding, but that's a topic for another post.

Depending on your goals, both gameplay and flavor wise, you could find a lost race or a rare creature and engage in a centuries long program of interbreeding to give your nation a unique character and unique culture or just purely for power. Potentially if you conquered an area with a habitat you were not suited for you might interbreed with native races or use magic to acquire traits of native creatures to become more productive in your new lands. Alternative you might magically alter your territory as well as your race at the same time to give yourself a large advantage there and/or make it seem inhospitable to potential enemies.

Axioms keeps track of a relatively large number of factors affecting the climate of regions/provinces in the game. You essentially have both natural and magical factors that affect the climate of each region/province. Your population does adapt naturally over time in both knowledge and form to different environments but the magic efforts discussed above can greatly accelerate the process.

Variables in climate include things like altitude, temperature, ambient sources of various magical energies, soil acidity, soil quality, rainfall, sunlight, etc. Different plants and animals prefer different climates. Altering climate provides advantages as long as you don't accidentally drive valuable animal or plant species to extinction.

If this seems complicated that's because it is. However keeping track of more information for each province/region, race, character, crop, and creature allows for a much different style of gameplay than is possible with a more abstract system like that used in Civ or other simplistic 4x games. You can create races/nations with vastly different compositions and gamestyles and there is also more variety that can generate conflict and interesting diplomacy/politics for those aspects of the game. Also adds to the economic gameplay.

On that note a major part of the game involves the aspects of your nation that are political and cultural rather than racial. Axioms allows unprecedented variety in how you manage your populace. You are able to apply laws based on racial, national, religious, class/caste, and other such factors. You can forge a nation which uses conquered humans/dwarves as a labor caste while the ruling castes are elvish/dragon/flameborn types with powerful magic and superior education. You might only allow dragon bred elves to be priests or researchers or learn the magical knowledge your society possesses. Purebred elves may be the only ones allocated management and administrative duties.

Class/caste based societies have unique costs and benefits as do nationalist single race societies and more diverse nations. Nationalist single race nations are far less likely to have uprisings during wars. A society with a racial underclass might have issues with revolts if a same race kingdom who promises better lives invades.

Diverse nations have more potential revolting populations but since there isn't a race based class/caste system they have less incentive to revolt. My goal is to make it so that different political and cultural choices only result in trade offs rather than having say a high literacy level diverse gender equal democracy be strictly superior which is something many games do. Victoria and Civ for instance. Similarly slavery or gender limitations have their downs but also their ups. Higher birthrates could offset preventing smarter women from being scientists and such in a society with strictly divided gender roles.

Different nations will also have a diverse use of livestock, whether for food, labor, or conflict. One nation might ride dragons to war while another may use leviathans for sea power. Another nation might use behemoths for construction or goods moving.

Essentially the player will slowly build up their own unique nation/race, which you can then save for scenarios, in the style of Conquest of Elysium, Endless Legend or Master of Magic races. Those games/companies tend to use premade races that can't change much over time.

AxiomsofDominion

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Re: Axioms Of Dominion, An Empire Forging Game
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2022, 06:22:07 pm »
This has been on pause for roughly 4 years because of life circumstances but I am working on it now and I'd like to release it in winter 2022 at least as early access though a full release is probable and preferred.

You can follow just design discussion at my substack which is free:
https://axiomsofdominion.substack.com/

I'd put it at around 40% done. Most of the SFML and TGUI stuff is pretty settled aside from the UI panel design stuff.

mrzo

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Re: Axioms Of Dominion, An Empire Forging Game
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2022, 06:41:48 pm »
Sounds like fun! Do you have website with visuals or screenshots from the UI? I didn't find any on your game design website.

AxiomsofDominion

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Re: Axioms Of Dominion, An Empire Forging Game
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2022, 03:38:17 pm »
Sounds like fun! Do you have website with visuals or screenshots from the UI? I didn't find any on your game design website.

So these images except maybe the icons aren't representative of the final result but the good enough stuff for getting all the mechanics working.

Debugging some stuff:
https://imgur.com/a/23cnnra

A Randomly Generated Map:
https://i.imgur.com/pJGGiKy.png

Unique colors for province detection on maps:
https://imgur.com/q6ueCG4.png

Icons:
« Last Edit: January 07, 2022, 12:01:27 am by AxiomsofDominion »

AxiomsofDominion

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Re: Axioms Of Dominion, An Empire Forging Game
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2022, 05:09:55 am »
https://axiomsofdominion.substack.com/p/attention-points-and-attention-economy?r=i2fsj&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web

This is a description of the likely controversial attention points system. Actions in Axioms will cost points, currently out of 1000, usually 2-8 but sometimes 1, 9, or 10 or in theory higher. Sadly a time based limit wasn't feasible so AP is the best solution. A ruler can't do everything.

AxiomsofDominion

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Re: Axioms Of Dominion, An Empire Forging Game
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2022, 03:31:25 am »
https://axiomsofdominion.substack.com/p/tribal-politics-in-the-age-of-exploration-25a?r=i2fsj&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web

Have a new design post and an upcoming companion post focusing on development related to classical tribal populations.

Also doing somework in TGUI, which uses SFML, to add recursive tooltips. Think I'll do action based tooltip locks instead of timed ones.

So far TGUI, and SFML proper have both been pretty useful doing almost anything I need to do.

AxiomsofDominion

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Re: Axioms Of Dominion, An Empire Forging Game
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2022, 01:23:05 am »
https://axiomsofdominion.substack.com/s/axioms-development-blog

There is a subsection of my substack for my development blog. Basically talking about what I'm doing. Try to post several times a week. Recently? Just grinding out some code changes from library updates from TGUI and SFML and doing a ton of refactoring of systems that support core systems. Almost got the basic loop functioning after all the changes. Conquering stuff, making deals with the AI, and some of the economic stuff.

My current hurdle that is giving me a compile time based break right now is that when you don't have traditional "nations/factions" as the core of gameplay but pure character relationships, and characters and their associated populations can move around, it is hard to have a good model for who "owns" a province. Been slowly cleaning up code related to that and getting a solid model and figuring out how to display that on a map mode or two.

Especially in the case of mobile, if not actually nomadic, tribes and stuff like that, how do you define control over territory? And since characters and their relationships are what define the political landscape, you can just have giant homogenuous swaths of color in the style of a traditional map painter.

AxiomsofDominion

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Re: Axioms Of Dominion, An Empire Forging Game
« Reply #10 on: April 01, 2022, 04:44:44 am »
I wrote a couple new design posts that are very interesting recently. I also did a lot of work with TGUI, which uses an SFML backend, for the menus and UI.

This is a blog post about adding social simulation gameplay to Axioms, which is a fantasy strategy simulation game with heavy RPG elements. Unlike something like Crusader Kings there is actually a lot for characters to do.

https://axiomsofdominion.substack.com/p/social-simulations-and-genre-blending?r=i2fsj&s=w&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web

These are some recent game screenshots. The game map and interface are something I'm going to finalize well into development so they are basically in dev mode now but people love pictures:

https://imgur.com/a/g6EGR5P

https://imgur.com/HgKSM8d



AxiomsofDominion

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Re: Axioms Of Dominion, An Empire Forging Game
« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2022, 01:20:55 am »
No super interesting new images yet but I'm getting close to the point where I will want to fancify the UI a bit. currently using the default TGUI black theme and some border coloring. Most of my current work is on the AI and some upkeep on the multithreading as I advance the UI complexity. Also got a shitton of performance optimization outside multi-threading and heavily optimized the RAM usage. Of course a large map with lots of characters, 5-7 digits or so, could in theory use up 256GB of RAM. Sadly I can't test that till I splurge on some new RAM and a new CPU.

 

anything