Open Source will allow improvements from original form.

Mar 10, 2011 at 10:09 PM
Edited Mar 10, 2011 at 10:09 PM

I cannot express how happy I am at finally seeing an open source project for SIII. You developers should really be congratulated. And your demo rocks, love the new mountain and grass texture, I am salivating at the prospects of this project! Though you will keep rivers won’t you? Please do. Allowing SIII to become open source will unlock even further the potential of this fantastic game, letting the online community enrich it in the same way Total War has been enriched by the many mods that have been created.

I have been playing Settlers since the days of the Amiga, and still believe its probably the best real time strategy game ever devised – not even Empire Total War matches it. Unfortunately SIII remains the pinnacle of the Settlers titles, the game losing its tactical edge from SIV onwards (dispensing of the pikeman was cardinal error). Ubisoft seems to have sacrificed tactical content for graphics and animation. In my opinion the game should have moved in the direction of Cossacks or Age of Empires, titles similar in nature which SIII could have superseded easily if it was developed in this vane rather than as a Sims type game.

I currently play SIII on line with a group of likewise die hard fans, on a specially designed map. We push the game to its limits creating battles of thousands of troops at a time. Although the game continually renews itself (in each tournament we play we learn something new we can do with our economies), over the years we have reached some limitations.

I wish I could program the improvements myself, however it will take me a long time to learn these skills. My suggestions are as follows and I would love to help achieve them:

Military:

1.Combine donkey with swords or pike to create a cavalry unit. New type of barracks, possibly new type of farm producing horses. The mounted unit having faster movement and advantageous engagement parameters vis a vis foot soldiers. These obviously would not be able to attack buildings leaving the tactical requirement for foot soldiers.

2.Organising your armies so that a group can keep a formation – lines, columns, and squares. After fighting many battles with thousands of troops aside, how you move your troops makes a big difference to the outcome. With a good encirclement you can destroy an enemy army of 2000, with your own army of 2000, and if it goes well you'll be left with 1500.

3.Allowing cannons to damage soldiers and not just buildings, and for them to be available to all nations. This would introduce the concept of artillery in open field battles.

4.Having a ship that fires a cannon (this was seen on SIV and was a welcome improvement, though it did not make up for the game’s other failures).

5.Limiting morale to 85/90%, allowing battles to remain tactical and more realistic. This will encourage skills in moving your armies and soldiers effectively, rather than just relying on morale.

Economic:

1. Having a tech/magic improvement to improve transport ships, allowing all nations to improve the carrying capacity of their navies (more goods and people).

 2. Allowing a button/control to shut down part of your economy, i.e. stopping all wood cutters in event of surplus of logs. This prevents the laborious tasks of clicking on each building and halting them individually.

 3. Introducing game in the forests of SIII, as seen in SII and SIV, so that a hunter can procure food for mines.

 4. Allowing for bigger maps to be played/designed – above 768 x 768.

Admittedly the open source version of the original game has not been finished yet. I guess I’m getting excited and jumping the gun a little. However once the current project is finished I would hope to see some great mods come along, improving SIII from its original form.

Cant wait for the finished product! I will even volunteer to help with some programming if you need a volunteer for basic tasks :-)

From an unashamedly self confessed SIII fanatic

 

Coordinator
Mar 22, 2011 at 12:20 PM
Edited Mar 22, 2011 at 12:26 PM

Hi, thanks for your interests in the project ;).

>1.Combine donkey with swords or pike to create a cavalry unit.

This won't happend in the near future since it requires custom models, currently we are using the ones from S3. But horses are definitely the prio one extension to military forces.

>2.Organising your armies so that a group can keep a formation – lines, columns, and squares.

For the short term, we will stick with the soldier control known from S3. Implementing "your" suggestion is a tough one, especially with the huge number of possible units.

> 3.Allowing cannons to damage soldiers and not just buildings, and for them to be available to all nations. This would introduce the concept of artillery in open field battles.

Cannons and the like will definitely be able to do this and also be mountable to ships. But only asians will have the cannons...

>5.Limiting morale to 85/90%, allowing battles to remain tactical and more realistic. This will encourage skills in moving your armies and soldiers effectively, rather than just relying on morale.

I don't see the advantage here. Everyone is able to get a higher moral and your suggestion is something similar to limiting soldier amounts ;). If you have more, you have more... But there will be some changes that implicitly affect the way moral influences fighting.

>1. Having a tech/magic improvement to improve transport ships, allowing all nations to improve the carrying capacity of their navies (more goods and people).

I also though about it already and it will definitely make its way into the release. The implementation will go the route of well known role play games like Age Of Conan. Each race has its own "exclusive" skill tree as well as a "common" skill tree available to all fractions. Time by time you get points you may freely distribute among these trees.

> 2. Allowing a button/control to shut down part of your economy, i.e. stopping all wood cutters in event of surplus of logs. This prevents the laborious tasks of clicking on each building and halting them individually.

Sounds like "fixing" bugs in the game by introducing "workaround" buttons...

> 3. Introducing game in the forests of SIII, as seen in SII and SIV, so that a hunter can procure food for mines.

I don't like that, really. But what might be done is that special fractions get a moral boost in forests or on other terrain and the like.

> 4. Allowing for bigger maps to be played/designed – above 768 x 768.

The maximum is currently set to 1024x1024, which means about 15-20 FullHD screens in both directions. Larger maps >could< be implemented but then only on high-end PCs with more than 1-2 GB of free RAM excluding all RAM already consumed by running applications other than S3. This yields to more than 4GB RAM for 2048x2048, and currently 4GB is the most you can expect, 2GB is more common and also the minimum I plan with for 1024x1024. Additionally there is another limiting factor, the CPU. The game computes the entire economy in a single thread and there is almost no chance that this can be changed in any efficient manner. So with maps larger than 1024x1024 you will probably hit the computational limits, at least with the current JIT compiler of NET and MONO. If they get close to the C++ level any time soon, then maps about 2048x2048 and even higher would be possible!

regards

chris