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Conquest Public Beta (indie student game project)

Discuss the development of other free/open-source games, as well as other games in general.

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SephiRok
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Conquest Public Beta (indie student game project)

Post by SephiRok »

Conquest starts in 2005 as a hobby game project of Lorenz Ruhmann. It goes through a lot of shapes and stumbles upon rough patches, but in the process a polished engine is created that aims for nothing less than perfection.

Conquest, just as all other living things, had a purpose since the day it got its first 1s and 0s. Perhaps the purpose was not as clear as now, but it knew it wanted to be a turn-based multiplayer strategy game. As it became a teenager its look stopped changing and it found the image it wanted to stand for. At that young age it already knew that life without power was meaningless. The Troopers standing over the desolated City with a flag in their hands were such a powerful symbol that Conquest knew it had to acquire it. But Conquest could not stop there. Soon after, it wanted more. It would stop at nothing less than world domination. But thankfully Conquest is just a game.

In May of 2008 Rok Breulj joins and the project's development accelerates like never before. Conquest storms towards fast-paced turns and competitiveness. These two students totally disregard time. They are known to argue over every little detail of the game, but because of that Conquest becomes extremely polished. They will not stop before the game is perfect in their eyes, whether 10 people play it, or 10 thousand.

Conquest is becoming an adult and is being thrown all alone into the merciless world. What will the world make of it, no one knows.

* Lorenz Ruhmann (Germany) is a student of Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg.
* Rok Breulj (Slovenia) is a student of Univerza na Primorskem.


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Last edited by SephiRok on December 28th, 2008, 11:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Conquest Public Beta (indie student game project)

Post by SkeletonCrew »

I had a look at your website and I'm wondering under which license the game is distributed.
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Re: Conquest Public Beta (indie student game project)

Post by SephiRok »

For now Conquest is simply freeware (free for personal, non-commercial use) and this won't change until the beta is over (which will last at least until the end of next year). We want to get at least spectators, alliances, replays and a ladder still in.

It's unclear yet what will happen after the beta. It will either stay freeware or we'll charge a small one-time fee. There's also a chance we'll go open-source, though that is unlikely at this point (also because of the competitive multiplayer orientation of the game).
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Re: Conquest Public Beta (indie student game project)

Post by governor »

Looks nice. Think I might give it a try.
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Re: Conquest Public Beta (indie student game project)

Post by SephiRok »

Be aware that not a whole lot of people know about the game, so you'll most likely either have to be patient while waiting on a server or bring a friend along.
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Re: Conquest Public Beta (indie student game project)

Post by Thanatos »

Looks quiet nice. :)
I think I will try it, too.
Enough time over the holidays.
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Re: Conquest Public Beta (indie student game project)

Post by cool evil »

Modern Wesnoth! I've been waiting for such mods for a long time now, thanks for telling me :D

But seriously though, besides the hexes, it looks a lot like risk and really nothing like wesnoth. There seems to be a lot of units on just one map, so i'd assume that combat is fast and done without a pop-up window to minimize time usage.
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Re: Conquest Public Beta (indie student game project)

Post by Dave »

It looks interesting, but I don't see a Mac binary, even though it says it runs on Mac. What's up with that? :)
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Re: Conquest Public Beta (indie student game project)

Post by panzervb »

Interesting...
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Re: Conquest Public Beta (indie student game project)

Post by panzervb »

Who's up for a test match?
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Re: Conquest Public Beta (indie student game project)

Post by SephiRok »

Dave wrote:It looks interesting, but I don't see a Mac binary, even though it says it runs on Mac. What's up with that? :)
There will be one soon. Hopefully before the end of this year.
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Re: Conquest Public Beta (indie student game project)

Post by Jetrel »

SephiRok wrote: There's also a chance we'll go open-source, though that is unlikely at this point (also because of the competitive multiplayer orientation of the game).
It's fairly trivial to make it impossible to cheat, even if the game is OSS and people can freely modify it. The reason for this is that all cheating modifies the game state of one of the clients, and if the game state is ever different between two clients, it generally renders the game unplayable. You can't cheat because the game can't even function after you cheat. The cheating client will be talking about things that don't exist for the other players. Yes, this requires that you're constantly syncing the game state between two clients playing the game, but that's required just for basic stability, and if it's client->client, it doesn't overload the server (c.f. bittorrent) - it's also especially light on traffic for a non-realtime game. Wesnoth for example plays just fine on a 56k.

Wesnoth is a fairly good example of this - people don't cheat, because if they do, the game goes Out-Of-Sync, and immediately asks the player if it should be ended. This isn't just about stemming cheating, it's also the only way to debug your networking code; we've had a number of cross-platform errors we caught this way.

Cheating happens in online games, but it only works when the games are not syncing certain things in the interests of speed. Generally this only happens in intense, realtime games that simulate too much data to trade in realtime. You're turn-based. It also tends to happen when players use "computer-assistance" scripts of some sort in a game of clicking skill (like aim-bots in a FPS game). TBS games don't involve any clicking skill.




If it's truly freeware, there's no reason not to open-source it. I totally understand keeping stuff closed if you're trying to make money off of it, but if you're not, you're really just shooting yourself in the foot. There are no disadvantages, and lots of advantages.
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Re: Conquest Public Beta (indie student game project)

Post by Jetrel »

:eng: And lest I forget: Very cool work on the art+game.
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Re: Conquest Public Beta (indie student game project)

Post by zookeeper »

Jetryl wrote:Wesnoth is a fairly good example of this - people don't cheat, because if they do, the game goes Out-Of-Sync, and immediately asks the player if it should be ended.
That's not really true. There's a lot of ways people could cheat in Wesnoth, it's only the most simple and obvious ways which don't work - tweaking your .cfg's to give you more gold, for example. Making your client not draw fog/shroud would be one. I'm not 100% sure, but I think even the random numbers used in combat are generated by the active player's client.

The only real way to prevent cheating is to keep all the information and calculations on the server. For example, the clients would simply not have access to the information on what lies under a fogged/shrouded hex, but when moving a unit as to uncover it, the server would send that information to that client so it could display it. Wesnoth clients know what's under that fog/shroud, and just wait until they conclude that the player should see it before revealing it - making fog/shroud cheating relatively easy without anyone being able to prove you're doing it.

Of course, in a game like Wesnoth or Conquest, that kind of an approach could very well be used.
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Re: Conquest Public Beta (indie student game project)

Post by SephiRok »

Yeah, cheating isn't really the reason. I don't know what I was thinking when I wrote that.

We use the model described by zookeeper. The Conquest server is a standalone application separated from the client which sends clients only the information they need. This way, even with OS, we can prevent cheating 99.99% (someone could still sniff packets) on the official servers.

In such a game (turn-based), spectators are a much bigger cheating issue.

The real reason for not wanting to go OS is because it limits us. Even if we decide to not charge money for Conquest (which is the main reason for no OS), we might use this engine to make another game. If it were to go open-source now and others make changes to it, we would be unable to go commercial with the next game without redoing things. Right now we love doing everything ourselves, it's like our little baby, so we really don't mind. Plus, it's a really nice learning experience. But even with all that said, we are keeping the OS possibility on our list. Perhaps we get tired of it, or see it as a good choice when we reach 1.0.0.
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