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Author Topic: Axioms Of Dominion: A Fantasy DIP Strategy Game(Release December 2022)  (Read 469 times)

axiomsofdominion

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Axioms Of Dominion is a project I got about 40% through and then had to let go for life stuff. Now I have roughly a year where I shouldn't have anything else to do so I'm hoping to release in late 2022 or very early 2023 if I run into serious issues.

I'd advise reading the wiki for a broad overview: https://axioms-of-dominion.fandom.com/wiki/Axioms_Of_Dominion_Wiki 
Here is the blog link: https://axiomsofdominion.substack.com/

The most recent blog post is specifically on a high level overview of the RPG aspects. Currently you can actually do more adventuring type stuff than politics sim stuff cause the core code for adventuring doesn't require as much support as the sim code.

This is a fantasy geopolitics simulator that is broadly comparable to CK2+Vicky2+Dominions4+more. As a fantasy game it has tons of magic stuff but the focus is on DIP mechanics.

Diplomacy(foreign affairs) Intrigue(shadowy affairs) Politics(domestic affairs)

While the game focuses on politics you can play non-landed characters and run businesses. Mercenary companies, which you can manage rather than lead on combat if you choose, shipping operations, various businesses although at a high level.

The economic simulation is quite detailed compared to a Paradox game.

I have a goal of enabling 40000 provinces on very new PCs but the game is perfectly functional around 14000. I have a major goal of playing an almost purely combat free couple millenia taking down a major empire in the world from the inside. I'd expect an average top tier empire to have roughly 7000 provinces on larger maps if you run history for 4000-8000 years. Anywhere from 15% to 40% of a larger map. What constitutes an empire or even a kingdom is much more fluid and dynamic than in existing games. A 7000 province empire would have something like 10 ~100 province substates at the core, 40 ~50 province "major vassals", and then 200 ~20 province periphery/border vassals. Of course you can fiddle those numbers a bit but that is a good illustration of my goal.

Several of the substack posts relate the very detailed political sim I am designing to make this goal plausible. I still have a few major and a few minor things to talk about on the blog. There is a Fandom wiki that has a few dozen pages on various major and minor systems. It hasn't been changed much since mid 2015 when I had to pause working on the game until now.

Most of the backend stuff is done and I'm primarily figuring out the equations for mechanics, doing all the UI stuff, and getting the AI to function. I expect I'll do a UI theme, smooth out map generation, and maybe polish up the art assets at the end.

The game is turn based with attention points. So you have like 1000 attention points per turn, still testing the proper amount and the costs for actions. I wanted to do a time based system but it is hard to code and people will just get mad anyways. It is a province map style like Sovereignty or Paradox games.

There is a very detailed population simulation which interacts with the character mechanics. Ideology covers almost a dozen areas, Propaganda impacts ideology and religion and the military, there's a Quality Of Life system regarding food variety/quality and material goods plus shelter, Religion ties into both magic and diplomacy/politics, population is where your troops come from and there is a logistics system.

https://imgur.com/a/AlPew Those are some early maps. The top one almost looks like Europe/Africa/Near East. Maps are generated procedurally as will the world be if you don't start on world creation but run history for a few centuries or millenia.

The magic aspect is highly integrated and very expansive. It impacts every game system in various ways. I have a substack post about just magic. My substack is free for anyone to read. Magic can build roads, discover secrets, troop movements, and other knowledge from distant provinces, change the weather and climate, be used in various enchantments, etc. There is even a cool The Runelords(think that is the right series) inspired magical transference/pacts thing where you can empower your soldiers or other people with the powers of captured, or tamed, magical creatures. Or sentient captives. Strength, mana pool, speed, physical features like scales or claws, etc. And you can do evil mad science [censored].

Speaking of evil Axioms allows you to play a truly ruthless tyrant rather than just a good boy. Fear, blackmail, military threats, second class citizens, slaves, etc.

The culture system allows a something like a society that reveres dragons, character secretly captures a dragon, transfers dragon traits to himself, become leader of confederation of tribes. Someone finds out, and can blackmail him, reveal him, kill him and become dragon king themselves, etc.

You can destabilize a society by cutting off their access to a prestigious food resource that is a traditional staple of cultural diet, say cinnamon, assuming the leader has depleted his political capital and put himself in a risky position. Much more detailed example on the blog.

The trade off is graphical sugar, no voice acting or 3d models, random world gen vs handcrafted map, although players/modders can make scenarios if they want, I just don't plan to release official ones but there is mod support.

A stretch goal, well not really since there isn't a kickstarter, if I finish the main stuff early before release date is to integrate a "History" system that records important actions and can be loaded/interpreted by a wiki type program to allow you to read "history books" about the game world. The "simulated" history mentioned earlier is just starting a game with no player or observer and letting the AI play a few centuries or millenia and then picking a point jump in. Player could look at data files in theory but the idea is that you only know what your AI guy knew when you swapped in.

axiomsofdominion

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Re: Axioms Of Dominion: A Fantasy DIP Strategy Game(Release December 2022)
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2022, 01:52:29 PM »
Something people might be interested in:
I just did three posts on the detailed and more RPG-esque character interaction:
https://axiomsofdominion.substack.com/p/rpg-and-character-development?r=i2fsj&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web
https://axiomsofdominion.substack.com/p/some-practical-population-opinion?r=i2fsj&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web
https://axiomsofdominion.substack.com/p/potential-character-values-respect?r=i2fsj&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web

Gonna maybe do something about the exploration system or the fantasy crafting. It has enchantments, monster parts, even monster cores as enchantment fuel.

Adding some art stuff cause people keep asking.

These are just working visuals except maybe the icons. I plan to finish the UI skinning and other art type stuff once the code is finalized.

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

A Randomly Generated Map:


Unique colors for province detection on maps:


Icons:
« Last Edit: January 06, 2022, 05:57:06 PM by axiomsofdominion »

axiomsofdominion

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Re: Axioms Of Dominion: A Fantasy DIP Strategy Game(Release December 2022)
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2022, 03:42:36 PM »
https://axiomsofdominion.substack.com/p/attention-points-and-attention-economy?r=i2fsj&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web

The Attention Point System: Or How MoLAoS is destroying strategy games and also all things good and beautiful.

A post about a strategy version of Tactical RPG action points. I'm going to post the full text here without the Substack specific notes.

History And Background
In my original plan for Axioms way back in 2014 I envisoned a system of turn times to create a sense of having to make choices and that your choices were important. You’d have some fixed amount of base time per turn to do things although extra time would roll over. This also served the purpose of leveling the playing field or AI.

In a rather infamous blog post on my old blog about snowballing and blobbing I discussed how the player was effectively a god. This idea was actually incorporate into the lore of Eador series of games. The AI “Masters” had special abilities to differentiate them. Your special ability was chronomancy. You could reset time to another point and you had infinite time to make choices for each turn. Imagine if an AI savescummed you. What a bummer.

I eventually determined that such a system was not workable. Players would try to get around it in various ways, you’d have to account for people having to pause and go do stuff, probably by allowing a pause that blanked out the screen, and there were other issues.

I settled on an Attention Point system. Basically Action Points but for strategy game rulers not rpg protagonists. When I gave up serious development for life related reasons around 2015 I hadn’t settled on exactly how it would work. During 2021 I played a pile of Star Dynasties. That game has an action point system. It is a less complex game and is functionally early access. Needs a few expansions to flesh out mechanics. You can win on easy in 3 turns.

In Star Dynasties you have like 12 action points plus modifiers. A trait can give +2 or -2. You lose 1 for each vassal over your cap you have. There is a happines bonus penalty accounting for +4 to -4. There is a rare character interaction event called Rivalry that can trigger a +2 bonues. So you can get anywhere from 6 to 20. I typically averaged around 17 since you can’t max happiness in the first 2 turns. Actions ranged from 8(for divorce) to 5 for Marriage and Request Vassalage and Declare War down to 2 for most actions and 1 for attempt or stop attempting to have a child. This system was too rigid for me and too limited. Although SD has few actions of value currently so it wasn’t horrible.

Attention Points, How Do They Work?
You recieve, currently, 1000 AP per turn. Actions should range anywhere from 10 to 1. You have a very wide array of actions to pick from even as a minor landholder or a landless character.

AP rolls over turns. This has two practical effects. One is that it is never wasted which feels bad and also is a bit of a limitation on characters without large land holdings and complex diplomatic relationships. The second is that it provides a sort of “new empire energy” whereby characters who come into empire have a, probably, large pool of extra action points to deplete. This is probably debatable historically but this is a fantasy game.

Attention points also benefit tall players and limit micromanagement, well beyond the relatively high base micromanagement level. You can invest your attention points into personal growth like magical training or education on a variety of subjects. You can spend them on exploring your provinces. There is an Eador-esque exploration system, minus the tactical battles, where you can discover various things in your lands.

You can focus attention into magical research as well. Or you can personally engage in professions like crafting. Often a leader will have crafting capabilities that outstrip dedicated crafters due to resources and/or knowledge security but they also have far more things vying for their attention.

A character with more attention per holding/relationship can also focus more into espionage or even diplomacy. Similarly the spent on travel and personal meetings is more available to those who lack vast territories.

I am also considering a system of specialization. Characters who personally do a lot of administration or intrigue could gain a discount on those actions as their capability builds. There also could be impacts from education and from the environment around you. So your society could have a tradition, forged in practice, not given by a random trait, in a specific area.

Discounts would probably cap at like 20% personal experience and 20% social milieu, so 40 over all. And of course lower cost actions wouldn’t benefit. You’d only be able to impact 3 point abilities at a minimum. This makes some sense since some things have a low skill ceiling. There could potentially be a batch impact, say in conspiracies but probably not. Whether this system is in the base game at all depends on interest and possibly early access play testing.

Feel free to leave a comment about how I am destroying strategy games, as well as all things composed of goodness and light.

axiomsofdominion

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Re: Axioms Of Dominion: A Fantasy DIP Strategy Game(Release December 2022)
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2022, 07:19:58 PM »
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.

axiomsofdominion

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Not that anyone follows the thread much but I've been working on this the whole time with a small break. The basic AI is up and running. I did some complex optimizing to get the Opinion system functioning. Reduced an OpinionMod from ~57 to 4 bytes. Very important since with 5-7 digit Character counts you need hundreds of millions of these with ~10 per Opinion between 2 characters. Well 20 since they have opinions of each other.

Been working on the magic a bit as well.

True Divination/Precognition, Map Level Weather Magic, Terraforming, Mind Magic, Magitech, Spell-Crafting, etc.

Did a lot of work, outside Opinions, on the social simulation. Actions, Social Events, Agreements, Social Interactions, adding NPC AI data for modifiers on Action choices, and a bunch of stuff like that.