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March 30, 2016

History of Age of Conquest: from I to IV

Filed under: Development,Miscellaneous — Tags: , — noblemaster @ 01:49

Age of Conquest has been originally released on May 17, 2000. The game has gone to numerous revisions over time. Below a screenshots depicting the various changes.

Emperor (Atari ST)

Not sure if this belongs here, but probably the very first implementation started with “Emperor”, a single player game for Atari ST.

Emperor (Atari ST Screenshot)

Emperor (Atari ST Screenshot)

Aevum Obscurum I

The first installment of the game was released under the name Aevum Obscurum (Dark Ages) and supported ONLINE-play only across PC, Mac & Linux. Release data was May 17, 2000.

Age of Conquest I (Screenshot 1)

Age of Conquest I (Screenshot 1)

Age of Conquest I (Screenshot 2)

Age of Conquest I (Screenshot 2)

Aevum Obscurum II (Experimental/3D)

An experimental version of Aevum Obscurum II was produced but never released.

Age of Conquest II in 3D (Screenshot 1)

Age of Conquest II in 3D (Screenshot 1)

Age of Conquest II in 3D (Screenshot 2)

Age of Conquest II in 3D (Screenshot 2)

Aevum Obscurum II

The next installment of Aevum Obscurum went live going back to 2D-maps.

Age of Conquest II (Screenshot 1)

Age of Conquest II (Screenshot 1)

Aevum Obscurum II (Updated)

An updated version of Aevum Obscurum II was produced with improved graphics & player avatars.

Age of Conquest II (Screenshot 2)

Age of Conquest II (Screenshot 2)

Age of Conquest III

A resign and port to Android/iOS was implemented featuring much improved graphics. The name was changed to “Age of Conquest”.

Age of Conquest III (Screenshot)

Age of Conquest III (Screenshot)

Age of Conquest IV

The latest release featuring single player and full cross-platform multiplayer game-play across PC, Mac, Linux, iOS & Android.

Age of Conquest IV (Screenshot 1)

Age of Conquest IV (Screenshot 1)

Age of Conquest IV (Screenshot 2)

Age of Conquest IV (Screenshot 2)

December 16, 2015

A Detailed Look at New DoN Troops

Filed under: Announcement,Development — Travis @ 13:15

With the latest update to Demise of Nations: Rome we brought forth many new units, as well as some graphical updates to existing units. These new units all offer much more varied stats than the previous iteration of units, so you may find it helpful to learn a bit more about them.

Rome – Applies to Rome and Samnites.

Hastati
(spear)
Principes
(melee)
Velites
(ranged)
Auxlia
(mounted)
Sagittarii
(ranged)
Strengths

  • Spear
  • Mounted

Weakness

  • Melee
  • Ranged
  • Settlements
Strengths

  • Melee
  • Spear
  • Ranged
  • Settlements

Weakness

  • Mounted
Strengths

  • Melee
  • Spear

Weakness

  • Ranged
  • Mounted
  • Settlements
Strengths

  • Melee
  • Ranged
  • Mounted

Weakness

  • Spear
  • Settlements
Strengths

  • Ranged

Weakness

  • Melee
  • Spear
  • Mounted
  • Settlements

 

Carthage – Applies only to Carthage.

Hoplite
(spear)
Infantrymen
(melee)
Peltast
(spear)
Numidian
Horsemen

(mounted)
War Elephant
(mounted)
Strengths

  • Mounted
  • Spear

Weakness

  • Melee
  • Ranged
  • Settlements
Strengths

  • Mounted
  • Settlements

Weakness

  • Melee
  • Spear
  • Ranged
Strengths

  • Melee
  • Spear

Weakness

  • Ranged
  • Mounted
  • Settlements
Strengths

  • Melee
  • Ranged
  • Mounted

Weakness

  • Spear
  • Settlements
Strengths

  • Melee
  • Ranged
  • Mounted

Weakness

  • Spear
  • Settlements

 

Germania – Applies to Germania, Gauls, Celts, Iberians, Ligurians, Slavs, and Balts.

Savage
(spear)
Barbarian
(melee)
Skirmisher
(ranged)
Rider
(mounted)
Brute
(mounted)
Strengths

  • Spear
  • Mounted
  • Settlements

Weakness

  • Melee
  • Ranged
Strengths

  • Melee
  • Spear
  • Settlements

Weakness

  • Ranged
  • Mounted
Strengths

  • Melee
  • Spear
  • Settlements

Weakness

  • Ranged
  • Mounted
Strengths

  • Melee
  • Ranged
  • Mounted
  • Settlements

Weakness

  • Spear
Strengths

  • Melee
  • Ranged
  • Mounted
  • Settlements

Weakness

  • Spear

 

Greek – Applies to Greece, Macedonia, Syracuse, Illyria, Thrace, Epirus, Athens, Corinth, Sparta, Messapia, Etruscan, Picentes, Lucania, and Sardinia.

Hoplite
(spear)
Armored Hoplite
(spear)
Thorakitai
(melee)
Psiloi
(ranged)
Hippeis
(mounted)
Strengths

  • Spear
  • Mounted

Weakness

  • Melee
  • Ranged
  • Settlements
Strengths

  • Spear
  • Mounted

Weakness

  • Melee
  • Ranged
  • Settlements
Strengths

  • Melee
  • Spear
  • Settlements

Weakness

  • Ranged
  • Mounted
Strengths

  • Melee
  • Spear

Weakness

  • Ranged
  • Mounted
  • Settlements
Strengths

  • Melee
  • Spear
  • Mounted
  • Settlements

Weakness

  • Ranged

 

Persia – Applies to Persia and Egypt.

Sparabara
(spear)
Cardaces
(melee)
Takabara
(ranged)
Asabari
(mounted)
Egyptian Chariot
(ranged)
Strengths

  • Spear
  • Mounted

Weakness

  • Melee
  • Ranged
  • Settlements
Strengths

  • Melee
  • Spear
  • Ranged
  • Settlements

Weakness

  • Mounted
Strengths

  • Melee
  • Spear

Weakness

  • Ranged
  • Mounted
  • Settlements
Strengths

  • Melee
  • Ranged
  • Mounted

Weakness

  • Spear
  • Settlements
Strengths

  • Melee
  • Ranged
  • Mounted

Weakness

  • Spear
  • Settlements

 

Berber – Applies only to Berbers.

Javelineer
(ranged)
Tribal Warrior
(melee)
Slinger
(ranged)
Camel Cavalry
(mounted)
Strengths

  • Melee
  • Spear

Weakness

  • Ranged
  • Mounted
  • Settlements
Strengths

  • Melee
  • Spear
  • Ranged
  • Mounted
  • Settlements
Strengths

  • Ranged

Weakness

  • Melee
  • Spear
  • Mounted
  • Settlements
Strengths

  • Melee
  • Ranged
  • Mounted

Weakness

  • Spear
  • Settlements

 

Sarmatian – Applies only to Sarmatians.

Lancer
(mounted)
Axemen
(melee)
Horse Archer
(mounted)
Cataphract
(mounted)
Strengths

  • Melee
  • Ranged
  • Mounted

Weakness

  • Spear
  • Settlements
Strengths

  • Melee
  • Spear
  • Ranged
  • Settlements

Weakness

  • Mounted
Strengths

  • Ranged

Weakness

  • Melee
  • Spear
  • Mounted
  • Settlements
Strengths

  • Melee
  • Ranged
  • Mounted

Weakness

  • Spear
  • Settlements

 

Generic – All nations can produce these units.

Peasant
(melee)
Mercenary Swordsmen
(melee)
Mercenary Archer
(ranged)
Scout
(mounted)
Garrison
(spear)
Strengths

  • Cheap
  • Low Upkeep

Weakness

  • Combat
Strengths

  • Spear
  • Ranged
  • Settlements

Weakness

  • High Upkeep
  • Melee
  • Mounted
Strengths

  • Ranged Pressure

Weakness

  • High Upkeep
Strengths

  • Fast

Weakness

  • Combat
Strengths

  • City Defense

Weakness

  • Slow
  • Open Combat

Pagan Priest
(melee)
Strengths

  • Magic
  • Rain/Snow

Weakness

  • Combat

December 9, 2015

Demise of Nations: 30+ Troop Types

Filed under: Announcement,Development — noblemaster @ 11:42

Since the last update, Demise of Nations now features 30+ nation-specific troop types. Also, the Pirates & Northern Expansion maps are now free to play.

Demise of Nations: New Troop Types

Demise of Nations: New Troop Types

New troop types are among the following.

Roman Empire:

  • Hastati
  • Principes
  • Velites
  • Auxlia

Carthage:

  • Hoplite
  • Light Infantry
  • Peltast
  • Numidian Horsemen
  • War Elephants

Persia (includes Ptolemaic Egypt):

  • Sparabara
  • Cardaces/Kardakes
  • Takabara
  • Asabari

Additional troops types are available for Greece (Athens, Corinth, Sparta, Macedonia, Syracuse, Illyria, Thrace, Epirus), Germania (Gaul, Celts, Iberians, Ligurans, Slavs, Balts), Berbers and Sarmations.

Download and play the game now:

 

December 4, 2015

Age of Conquest IV – ALPHA-Release

Filed under: Announcement,Development — noblemaster @ 20:14

Age of Conquest IV has been released as ALPHA for game-play feedback gathering. Please visit the forums to participate:

Age of Conquest IV - ALPHA Screenshot

Age of Conquest IV – ALPHA Screenshot

The game is schedule for release in Q1/2016 on PC, Mac, Linux, Android & iOS. Please follow us on twitter for further updates.

June 7, 2015

Demise of Nations: Wallpapers for Home & Lock Screens

Filed under: Development,Miscellaneous — noblemaster @ 19:49

Looking for a cool wallpaper for your smartphone? Look no further…

Demise of Nations - Wallpapers

Demise of Nations – Wallpapers

The ZIP-file below contains both a greyscale and a color image that can be used for either the home or lock screen or both. Please also check out the game: Demise of Nations: Rome!

Download:

Copyright Notice: The images provided are Copyright 2015 by Noble Master LLC. You are given permission to use the images for personal use ONLY. Do not sell the images and do not embed in commercial and non-commercial products.

 

May 4, 2014

Supporting Windows 8+ Touch Screens (Java/libGDX)

Filed under: Development — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — noblemaster @ 18:50

I have received an Ultrabook™ 2 in 1 Convertible from Intel® to implement support for both Laptop-mode and touch/tablet/slate-mode for our game Desert Stormfront. It’s quite a nice device. Thanks to Intel for providing the Ultrabook for development.

Desert Stormfront is running using libGDX over OpenGL. If your game or application isn’t using mouse-specific features such as scrolling when the mouse is at the edges of the screen and uses libGDX’s input processor to listen for events no changes are generally necessary to support tablet-mode. The game will work out of the box. If you are polling the mouse things don’t work as smoothly. If you poll mouse buttons for clicks you will not receive any mouse down information at all. The mouse buttons will not report anything and will always appear as non-pressed. Again, this is for polling only. On Windows 8, due to gestures being enabled by default, touch down events will not be reported until just right before the touch up event. If you poll the mouse/touch-screen, due to the down & up event being sent right after each other, no mouse presses are detectable. I haven’t found a way to disable gestures on Windows 8 so make sure you listen for events via libGDX’s input processor rather than polling for changes. And yes, I tried some solutions to disable gestures, but unfortunately none of them worked.

In any case, if you want to optimize your game or application for tablet mode on Windows 8, Intel has provided documentation for Detecting Slate/Clamshell Mode & Screen Orientation in a 2 in 1 Device. The code samples are available in C++. If you are like me, you need to get things to work for Java/libGDX. If you’d like to use my source code below (SystemHook.java), you will also need to download the jna.jar file (from JNA on GitHub) and run in together with SystemHook.java. You don’t need the jna-platform.jar. What can you do:

  1. If you have created a game, you might want to set the preferred screen orientation (e.g. landscape):
    SystemHook.setDisplayOrientation(SystemHook.ORIENTATION_LANDSCAPE
                                   | SystemHook.ORIENTATION_LANDSCAPE_FLIPPED);

    I believe the call should be made before the actual window is being created, i.e. before you create the LwjglApplication and the window thereafter if you are using LWJGL.

     

  2. Detect if a device is in touch/tablet/slate mode:
  3. boolean touchMode = SystemHook.hasDisplayTouch();
    ...
    

    This has to be called periodically to detect what mode the screen is in. Please note when the screen has been converted to touch-based input, the keyboard will stop reporting key events and an on-screen keyboard will have to be displayed if you are planning on using text input.

 

Feel free to post questions. If you’d like to see the game in action, please download the demo version of Tropical/Desert Stormfront from the official web site. Here is a demo video (sorry for the low quality):

 

Downloads:

References:

All the code I have provided is released under the WTFPL – Do What the Fuck You Want to Public License.

February 1, 2014

Demise of Nations: Rome — ALPHA-Release

Filed under: Announcement,Business,Development — noblemaster @ 15:17

Demise of Nations has been released for alpha-testing today (version 0.8.302a, February 1, 2014). Demise of Nations is a turn-based strategy wargame during the rise and fall of the Roman Empire.

Demise of Nations is based on a HEX-map of Europe in the dimensions 127×88 tiles. Each tile is approximately 30 kilometers in diameter. The map currently hosts a total of 22 nations including the Roman Empire, Carthage, Greeks, Sparta, Germania, Celts amongst others.

The game is played in turn-based We-Go (WEGO) mode. As opposed to traditional I-Go-You-Go (IGOYGO) mode, all players can enter their turns at the same time. This means the actions you enter will be not directly be executed but will be deferred and executed for the next turn. The units will try to move to the best of their abilities as you ordered them to do, but can fail to do so if for example a unit is destroyed beforehand.

WEGO makes a game less predictable than standard IGOYGO games, thus making it appear less preferable over IGOYGO. However, there are several advantages that outweight the negatives. (a) A player doesn’t have to wait for others to finish their turn before being able to enter their orders especially for multiplayer games. (b) Although the outcome of an action is less predictable, it doesn’t provide an unfair advantage to players that move first because everyone enters their orders at the same time. (c) A WEGO game can scale to an unlimited number of players. Traditional IGOYGO games don’t support more than 2-6 players before the game balance is destroyed. (d) Less predictable doesn’t necessarily mean bad. Although a WEGO-system is less predictable, it is more realistic. Like in Real-Life, commands take time to be executed. Orders are executed depending on the situation.

Please contact us if you are interested to participate in alpha-testing the game.

Demise of Nations: Rome (ALPHA Screenshot 1)

Demise of Nations: Rome (ALPHA Screenshot 1)

Demise of Nations: Rome (ALPHA Screenshot 2)

Demise of Nations: Rome (ALPHA Screenshot 2)

Additional References:

December 5, 2013

Noble Avatar Generator – Open Sourced (15+ Trillion Combinations)

Filed under: Announcement,Development — noblemaster @ 17:40

I am getting a lot of requests for using the Noble Avatar generator. I decided to finally open source it. Download information is below.

The open source package contains both (a) the imagery and (b) the source code used on the Noble Avatar website. The source code is in Java but it shouldn’t be a problem to port it to any other language/platform as needed.

Noble Avatar Generator – 15+ Trillion Combinations

Download & Information:

 

 

October 26, 2013

OpenGL Shader to Correct and Simulate Color Blindness (Experimental)

Filed under: Development — noblemaster @ 18:11

I was playing around with real-time color correction for colorblind players. I tried to focus on the following three types of color vision deficiencies (simplified explanation):

  • Protanopia/Protanomaly: complete/partly absence of red retinal receptors; in about 2% of men (rare for women).
  • Deuteranopia/Deuteranomaly: complete/partly absence of green retinal receptors; in about 7% of men (rare for women).
  • Tritanopia/Tritanomaly: complete/partly absence of blue retinal receptors; in less than 1% of men/women.

For a more detailed explanation, please refer to Wikipedia. The code I used is based on Tyler Howard’s thesis on a real-time color correction for colorblind users. I adapted the algorithm for a OpenGL ES 2.0 shading algorithm. I have also contacted Tyler Howard for test results but haven’t received a reply back. Also it appears that the color correction used the same method for Protanoopia and Deuteranopia which seems odd. In any case the source code for the OpenGL shader is available below.

I integrated the shading code into Demise of Nations (game still under development). Original uncorrected image:

Color Correction (Original Uncorrected Image)

Color Correction (Original Uncorrected Image)

Simulation and Correction for Protanopia:

Color Correction - Protanopia

Color Correction – Protanopia

Simulation and Correction for Deuteranopia:

Color Correction - Deuteranopia

Color Correction – Deuteranopia

Simulation and Correction for Tritanopia:

Color Correction - Tritanopia

Color Correction – Tritanopia

I generally feel the results with the color correcting code are minimal at best. It appears some of the lightness is corrected when applying the color correction filter but otherwise the benefits are marginal at best. A better option is designing for colorblind users beforehand using different shapes in addition to colors. I would love to hear back from colorblind users, so please comment, thanks.

Another great site regarding color correcting code is daltonize.org. I haven’t tried to integrate the sample code provided but it looks very promising.

Download: OpenGL Code for Color Blindness Correction/Simulation (Java)

May 1, 2013

Noble Master Games: Sales & Income for 2012

Filed under: Business,Development — noblemaster @ 17:21

I have been asked I few times regarding my income (i.e. game sales) and what I am doing all the time. Basically, as some of you know, “Noble Master Games is a single member company, it’s more or less me doing most of the work. I spend about 10-12h/day including weekends (sometimes I take a day off) developing games, programming, fixing bugs, marketing, talking to customers, keeping up-to-date with latest tech, contributing to open source projects, coordinating with contractors, paying bills, accounting, maintaining servers, posting in forums and so forth. I generally contract out all the artwork, music, translations and modding out if I can. I have a few great artists, musician and modders I work with. I couldn’t do it without them!

So now, how much did I make in 2012 (in US Dollars) based on my taxes filed?

  Gross Income:                    $162'324
  Expenses:                       -$130'755
  Taxes:                           -$15,324
  -----------------------------------------
  Total Income:                     $36,246

Please note the Gross Income refers to all income (about 99.5% game sales) over all games and platforms (see below). I don’t have any other income. The Expenses include to a large part contract payments for art & graphics, music, translations and modding. A large portion of it is used too for hosting fees/internet, marketing, accounting/financial transaction fees, hardware (e.g. devices for testing), software (e.g. Photoshop), developer fees (e.g. Apple), business fees, phone/fax and smaller office expenses (e.g. paper, stamps & the like), personal retirement payments and health insurance. A small portion has been used to fund open source projects or sponsor tournaments (e.g. Age of Conquest).

So basically this leaves me with a total of about $36,246 for personal expenses such as food, rent, utilities, transportation, personal entertainment and such, i.e. my personal income. To be fair, the Expenses includes about 40% of my rent and my utility bill as I am able to deduct it from taxes but the rest has to come off from the $36,246.

Based off my actual income, I can make more money working for a company, for example Google, than working for myself, so why am I doing it? First of all it is to a big part “fun” to have your own company and develop games. Also, there is no boss to report to. Although I spend a lot of time working, I can choose freely when I want to take a break. So no, I am not complaining. I am not poor but I am also not bathing in Champagne. I wish I could afford to hire 1 or 2 people full-time to work together with as things can get lonely at times. Generally, it’s difficult to say if I am able to continue doing this in the future as it the actual income is little bit low to sustain over a longer period of time. Also, it doesn’t look like sales will increase this year unless I am able to complete a new game soon. Demise of Nations is planned for release towards the end of this year.

If you like strategy games and you like to see more of it, please don’t pirate but support the following games.

  • Age of Conquest: a medieval Risk-like turn-based strategy game (PC, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS). Includes ONLINE multiplayer.
  • Tropical/Desert Stormfront: a modern real-time strategy game (PC, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS). Includes multiplayer via LAN/internet
  • Demise of Nations: in the making. Follow my twitter feed @noblemaster for latest updates.

Please note, you are not only supporting me, but you also support all the people I work with (which I prefer to pay decent so they don’t have to starve) including Antony Hager (Artist), Nick Lee (Artist, previous), Sean Beeson (Music) amongst many others. Also, you indirectly support 3rd party companies which products and services I purchase (software, hardware, internet services). You also support Open Source projects, namely libGDX and LWJGL, two excellent projects amongst many others out there.

Feel free to comment or ask questions! Thanks, Christoph, a.k.a noblemaster.

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