|Nova Update Feb 2010
||Sat, 13 February 2010 04:02 |
Registered: April 2006
Location: Nowra, Australia
|G'day Stars! Community,|
I noticed a bit of interest lately in where Nova was at so here is a bit of an update.
Ken's last word on Nova was that it was 'playable'. The bad news is that this was much exaggerated. There were significant stability issues and many bugs that would make playing nova intolerable to the average user. Many significant features of Stars! were not implemented. There was no AI and generating turns required a complex procedure of running separate applications is a specific order. Multiplayer play would be crippled by a lack of effective security.
When I first got involved I started with the component editor as it was a good way to learn a bit of C# and the structure of nova without tackling the whole thing at once. That work is 100% functionally complete and about 90% of what I would like for a version 1.0. Importantly nova can now represent all of the Stars! components which required a significant restructure of code. This work was done in the first half of last year, and is included in the current download.
I am now much more familiar with nova and C# and have been working on 3 new priorities:
1. Make the nova file formats human readable to support debugging and third party tools. This is a large job and is about 70% complete.
2. Improve turn generation to make it simpler. This week I finished a Nova Launcher, like the Stars! splash screen. The various parts of Nova now talk to each other properly and there is no need for the user to guess what program to run. All up this goal is about 80% complete.
3. Create a simple AI to aid in testing Nova. Nova now has an AI that submits turns, but doesn't actually play the game. This is important as it forms a stub for others to build an AI from, but only amounts to about 2% of building the AI.
I would like to get the above items wrapped up so I can release a new version for show. This will also include various bug fixes that make the game a bit more stable. I expect to get to that stage in the second half of this year.
Importantly a number of very talented programmers have been attracted by the activity in this project and have begun making significant contributions. A new map generator has been added and significant work has been done on improving the way the production queue operates. I believe that a start is also being made on an improved AI. I feel that work on this project is accelerating and therefore I am hopeful that there will be enough support to get nova finished sometime in the next 2-5 years.
If you would like to help with Nova you don't need to be a programmer. What we need is people to assist in the management of our website, documentation, and testing. That would off load these tasks from the programmers and help us get more work done. If you are interested in helping with nova, drop by the sourceforge and make a post in the open discussion forum: https://sourceforge.net/projects/stars-nova/forums/forum/662 536
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