Tuesday, August 31, 2010

the flying machine (transport)

The flying machine is now a transport unit.

To load units:
Method 1: control the unit(s) to carry, target the flying machine and press backspace.
Method 2: control the flying machine(s), target the unit to carry and press backspace.
Method 3: control the flying machine(s), target the square where the units are, select in the menu "load all the units from...", and press Enter.

To unload units: control the flying machine(s), select the action in the menu, target the destination and press Enter.

Units can't attack from a flying machine. If the transport is destroyed, the units inside are destroyed too.

Monday, August 30, 2010

towers and catapults

The peasant can build scout towers. These towers basically do nothing, but they can quickly evolve on their own (without further help of the peasant) to a more useful tower: either the guard tower (requires a sawmill) or the cannon tower (requires a blacksmith). In the early game, the scout tower is sometimes built "just in case" of a rushed attack, with a smaller investment than the cost of a fully equipped tower.

The guard tower shoots arrows, like an archer, while the cannon tower only attacks ground units. Both don't require any food nor empty space (meadow).

A counter against towers is the catapult. The catapult is very fragile and cannot even defend itself against a unit in the same square. It moves very slowly too. On the other hand, it can strike units and buildings in an adjacent square, so towers are not a problem for a catapult.

Comment: at the moment, there are only 2 kinds of "interactive" distance: in the same square (sight and attack) or in an adjacent square (no sight, no attack, except for catapults). There could be an intermediate distance where units can see an intruder but doesn't attack. This might complicate the game too much, but it might be interesting.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

how to create a portable version of SoundRTS

Since SoundRTS 1.0 beta 10 p, it's possible to have all the game files (log, configuration, custom maps...) in the game folder, instead of "documents and settings\user_name\application data", etc.

Install SoundRTS with the installer, then copy the "SoundRTS 1.0" (or "SoundRTS unstable") folder from "Program files" to a writable folder (the desktop, a USB key, etc). In the new SoundRTS folder, create 2 folders: "tmp" and "user". "user" can be a copy of an existing "application data\SoundRTS" folder (the version must be the same, though). To launch the program, execute "soundrts.exe".

Saturday, August 28, 2010

queuing commands

Every unit has a list of commands. When the current command is complete, the unit forgets it and executes the next one.

To add a command at the end of the list, two methods:
Method 1 (using a default command): select the target, then press Shift + Backspace
Method 2 (using a command from the menu): select the command and the target, then press Shift + Enter

Here are some situations where it would be useful:
Example 1: you want a peasant to scout every starting square in the map (to know where the enemy is). Control the peasant, move the cursor to a starting square, then press Shift + Backspace. Repeat for each starting square.
Example 2: you want a peasant to exploit several resources. Target a resource, press Shift + Backspace. Repeat. When a resource is exhausted, the peasant will exploit the next one.

You can queue imperative commands too. Hold down Control + Shift instead of Shift.

Friday, August 27, 2010

imperative commands

Imperative commands allow the player to bypass the unit's AI and force an action.

Two methods exists:
Method 1 (using a default command): select the target, then hold Control while you press Backspace.
Method 2 (using a command from the menu): select the command and the target, then hold Control while you press Enter.

Here are some situations where it would be useful:
Example 1: you want your units to attack a specific enemy building or unit and ignore the rest. Select the target and press Control + Backspace.
Example 2: you want your units to retreat from a place and ignore the enemy units. Select another square and press Control + Backspace.

Special case: you want to get rid of one of your units, so you force an attack on it. Select the target and press Control + Backspace.

Comment: this system is quite different from Warcraft/Starcraft, where 3 command types exist:
- "imperative" goto command (right-click on an empty place)
- "imperative" attack command (right-click on a unit/building)
- "smart" attack command (press "A" and left-click on an empty place)
I am still a bit worried about the differences in SoundRTS. The reason why I chose a different behavior is because the "imperative" commands are less efficient in most cases (unless you micromanage very quickly), so they shouldn't be the default behavior.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

[log] SoundRTS 1.1 alpha 0 released

Available at:

This is an experimental release. Don't expect this version to be really playable. Lots of things are probably broken. The aim is to have some feedback about the new features.

SoundRTS 1.1 and SoundRTS 1.0 should coexist in the same machine without any problem. The settings are also stored in different folders (respectively "SoundRTS unstable" and "SoundRTS 1.0").

The main changes since 1.0 are:
- imperative commands, to force the attacking of your own units, or to ignore enemy units and focus on an objective (hold control while validating the order)
- queuing commands: "do this, then do this..." (hold shift while validating every order)
- units, buildings, techs, abilities (and more) are defined in a text file called rules.txt
- in a map, the author can add a tech to a player, and forbid specific training, building or researching (useful for tutorial or campaign missions, for example)
- scout towers, guard towers, and cannon towers (these special buildings don't require a meadow, allowing many of them in the same square)
- "direct" fly: now the dragons fly straight to the objective, ignoring the land path
- the keyboard layout is defined in a file called bindings.txt
- the view mode (control F2) now uses the mouse too; it might be somewhat usable even without sight
- invisibility and detectors
- transport (now the flying machines behave like zeppelins in Warcraft or dropships in Starcraft)

A Polish translation by Pawel Masarczyk has been added. It is also available with the 1.0 version.

About multiplayer games, this version is compatible with itself, at least I hope so.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Python 2.6 patch for Linux users

(just in case you missed the comments in the previous post)

If you have trouble installing Python 2.4 on Linux, here is a patch for the multi-platform version, compiled for Python2.6: