Use this space to cheer the creator along, and talk to your fellow backers.
Have a question?
@Forrest Thank you so much.
Thanks for undertaking this Mark. I am 68 years old, and have been playing for a long time. This masterwork will help me enter my dotage with my fighting spirit intact. Best wishes.
It is pretty intense (for me). But I am thrilled with how it started and how it has evolved. Program has really moved the past week.
My hope is to put out an update today/tomorrow. I also hope to post some of the changes in a video/stream in that time frame as well.
Greetings. How goes the beta-ing and bug stomping?
@Larry, The survey email is from Kickstarter, I am sure it is a no reply sort of thing. The response to the survey ends up in the records that I can view.
The pitch video has some history, but PGIE was a last minute add and I agree I could explain it a little more, thanks. So here are some straight definitions of the acronym soup:
EDIE: “Empire Deluxe Internet Edition” → This is very close to a direct port of the 1993 “Empire Deluxe”, with some bug fixes and some new features. This was released May, 2003 I believe.
PGIE: “The Perfect General Internet Edition” → This is close to a direct port of the original “The Perfect General”, originally published by QQP early 90's. August 2003 is the original release date.
EDEE: “Empire Deluxe Enhanced Edition” → The follow on to EDIE, this is Empire Deluxe with the Enhanced set of units and some new rules and other features. I think it was released in 2004.
EDCE: “Empire Deluxe Combined Edition” → The new version of Empire Deluxe, combining the units sets of EDIE and EDEE.
@All : The first set of rewards went out Monday early I believe. So if you did your survey before then you should have received an email if you requested EDIE, EDEE, and PGIE. I will do another pass this weekend.
Yes, I want my reward. But I’m still confused about the difference between all of your products: EDCE, EDEE, EDIE, and PGIE. Please, can you help by explaining what is what? (I tried sending this reply to the email that the survey came from, but that box is full, or out of commission or something.)
@Tomas, I think I can use several of @Scott Cade's quotes to describe the distribution of the surveys. For Update #29 and the addendum comments section there are some tips for getting around the minefield that is the rewards survey.
I just finished the survey, but I had a little hiccup. The last question said:
"For your Personal License, is the email address from which you received this survey the address you want associated with your EDCE license? If not, enter the different email".
So naturally, I left the field blank. However, this was not accepted. I know this may not be your responsibility, but it warrants looking at.
Here is a suggestion, "When in doubt use a full clip"
and some others...:)
Murphy's Laws of Combat
If the enemy is in range, so are you.
Incoming fire has the right of way.
Don't look conspicuous, it draws fire.
There is always a way, and it usually doesn't work.
The problem with the easy way out is that it has already been mined.
Try to look unimportant, they may be low on ammo.
Professionals are predictable, it's the amateurs that are dangerous.
The enemy invariably attacks on two occasions:
when you're ready for them.
when you're not ready for them.
Teamwork is essential, it gives them someone else to shoot at.
If you can't remember, then the claymore IS pointed at you.
The enemy diversion you have been ignoring will be the main attack.
A "sucking chest wound" is nature's way of telling you to slow down.
If your attack is going well, then it's an ambush.
Never draw fire, it irritates everyone around you.
Anything you do can get you shot, including nothing.
If you build yourself a bunker that's tough for the enemy to get into quickly, then you won't be able to get out of it quickly either.
Never share a foxhole with anyone braver than yourself.
If you're short of everything but the enemy, you're in a combat zone.
When you've secured the area, don't forget to tell the enemy.
Never forget that your weapon is made by the lowest bidder.
Friendly fire isn't.
If the sergeant can see you, so can the enemy.
Never stand when you can sit, never sit when you can lie down, never stay awake when you can sleep.
The most dangerous thing in the world is a second lieutenant with a map and a compass.
There is no such thing as an atheist in a foxhole.
A grenade with a seven second fuse will always burn down in four seconds.
Remember, a retreating enemy is probably just falling back and regrouping.
If at first you don't succeed call in an air-strike.
Exceptions prove the rule, and destroy the battle plan.
Everything always works in your HQ, everything always fails in the colonel's HQ.
The enemy never watches until you make a mistake.
One enemy soldier is never enough, but two is entirely too many.
A clean (and dry) set of BDU's is a magnet for mud and rain.
Whenever you have plenty of ammo, you never miss. Whenever you are low on ammo, you can't hit the broad side of a barn.
The more a weapon costs, the farther you will have to send it away to be repaired.
Field experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.
Interchangeable parts aren't.
No matter which way you have to march, its always uphill.
If enough data is collected, a board of inquiry can prove ANYTHING.
For every action, there is an equal and opposite criticism. (in boot camp)
The one item you need is always in short supply.
The worse the weather, the more you are required to be out in it.
The complexity of a weapon is inversely proportional to the IQ of the weapon's operator.
Airstrikes always overshoot the target, artillery always falls short.
When reviewing the radio frequencies that you just wrote down, the most important ones are always illegible.
Those who hesitate under fire usually do not end up KIA or WIA.
The tough part about being an officer is that the troops don't know what they want, but they know for certain what they DON'T want.
To steal information from a person is called plagiarism. To steal information from the enemy is called gathering intelligence.
The weapon that usually jams when you need it the most is the M60.
The perfect officer for the job will transfer in the day after that billet is filled by someone else.
When you have sufficient supplies & ammo, the enemy takes 2 weeks to attack. When you are low on supplies & ammo the enemy decides to attack that night.
The newest and least experienced soldier will usually win the Congressional Medal Of Honor.
A Purple Heart just goes to prove that were you smart enough to think of a plan, stupid enough to try it, and lucky enough to survive.
Murphy was a grunt.
I learned them in 1969 while serving with the 199th Light Infantry Brigade in the southern zone
- Scott Cade aka 'redvet'
Yes for sure congratulations.
This is the absolute best game there is and i have been playing it since it's original inception. This from a guy who might well be one of the oldest in the group.
Congrats on your success. If you need another tester, please drop me a line (win7).
Mark, Great Job!. I have been playing since empire on a mini/mainframe at USC in the 70's. I have the DOS, Graphics DOS and Empire Deluxe for Windows back in 93. (the original box with the strategy guide.)
I can't wait to start playing again.
Mark, congratulations on an incredible campaign.
We are cruising with < 5 hours to go! If you have waited, don't hesitate any longer.
@All I will send an update shortly after it finishes.
@mok, thx for the quick reply.
Ok, changed pledge to 3 licenses.
Great with the PGIE/WWII combo. Did not know there was a 20th century set :-) WWII is great!
@Fred, Thanks for participating.
1) yes one user per license.
2) I had not specified the WWII set, I added PGIE to the list at the last minute - but I will extend it to the PGIE/WWII combo - but not the 20th century set.
3)Right now EDCE is not in production, so there is no supporting mod site. I suspect there will be one, if not from others it will come from me. I have posted "extras" on all of those games.
4)Windows 10 Certainly.
5) PGIE works fine on Win10 to my knowledge. It does use Direct X 9, which is supported by it. However, mileage on you video card could vary depending on your drivers and hardware.
Wow, a trip down Atari ST memory lane. Had some realy good times playing Empire (Deluxe). Great to see it here and backed. A few questions:
1) When I want to play on LAN with my son both on our own computer, do I have to have 2 Empire Deluxe CE games/licenses?
2) Is the "The World War Two Battle Set" included in the PGIE package?
3) Is there a website where we can download the modded items / new scenarios / maps?
4) I expect EDCE will support Windows 10. Is that correct?
5) Does PGIE work on Windows 10? It states Windows XP as the latest Windows version.
I've created a thread at reddit to provide @mok with suggestions for the game in response to his daily update. The reddit forum can also be used for other ongoing discussions and there are several threads already about AI and other mods.
The reddit forum was set up to provide an ongoing focal point for discussions of edce and provide a place to organize group activities, games, tournaments , players looking for games, etc.
Of course mok has made his email available for direct contact if one feels that is more appropriate.
@Rich I didn’t mean to offend or upset you with my post and I understand what you are saying. I don’t believe my comments would discourage possible new players. I believe that knowing there is a greater depth to this game than what is visible would make potential new players think “ this guy has been playing this for 30 years, what is so good about it” .Some new players might just play the AI and then get bored and ditch the game. Knowing that there is a greater depth to the game they may continue with it. The AI will never match the tactics of a human and co-ordinate Land, Sea, Air and Space forces in order to control the battle. I am talking about the standard game here which I still play and which is why I have bought into this project. I hope this does not discourage new players because I hope to be playing this for another 30 years(91?) and look forward to challenging them. Ultimately one plays the game to their level of enjoyment and as long as you’re doing that it’s ok by me.
@David Goult I admit to becoming irritated when someone says The way to enjoy this game is you have to play another human. One thing this does is discourage new possible players who, like me and many others, never want to play another human. It is very possible to setup this game in a way that it is challenging and enjoyable playing against the AI. Not ultra though. This is a mod that will not do well against the AI. That doesn't mean you can't use other mods that will work just fine against an AI opponent. So, for any newbie looking at this thread, rest assured there will be a mod you can use to play against an AI that will give you a fun challenging game and it will be out within a couple weeks after I get my hands on the game.
I see a lot of comments about the AI player. To me the AI is there so a newbie can learn how to play the game.
If you really want to enjoy playing this game you have to progress to another humanoid. The AI will not negotiate city swaps in order to define initial boundaries, will not abide by cease fires( there’s no guarantee a human will either), will not send nasty emails when a ship is sunk(claiming it was a hospital ship) or taunt you by telling you what his troops are doing to the citizens of the city he’s taken from you. An AI player will not require you to have co ordinated forces to conduct effective attacks (satellites, air patrols, big ships that can fire inland). The level of play far exceeds anything the AI can do.
If you haven’t played against someone then you have not realised the full potential of this game.
I am currently playing a PBEM 4 player 500x500 non wrap game using the Ultra add on. We started this game on July 1 and are currently on move 102. 2 players in the US and 2 in NZ non allied. Ultra is a complex addon that lifts this game to another level .
Stick to 2 players or 2 teams, never play odd numbers because the game will either never end or collapse early. We had a game in the 90’s that lasted 3 years with no outcome because players kept swapping alliances and beating up the big guy.
On the subject of map generation, the map we are playing is folded horizontally and vertically so all 4 quadrants are the same and start positions are equal so the end result of the game is down to the skill of the player. The down side of this is the map has to be generated manually so cannot be played unexplored. As someone has to make the map it is only fair that everyone has a copy. We play in the dark but have the map as a reference. It would be nice if the game could generate this kind of map automatically but currently the map generation does not seat the players equally.
Congrats @mok The Kickstarter has reached over 500 backers today. That bodes well for a healthy sized group of players to begin playing with in the near future.
@Rich – I forgot if Swift adds new units types or just alters the existing ones. If it adds new units, or if the altered unit are specifically Enhanced Units, then I would recommend starting work with the Enhanced Set since you don;t want to alter AI code, and the Enhanced AI is the only one that takes the additional input script for things like ROE and production. If you are using just altered units from the advanced game, you might go with a stab with the Classic AI, but you still won't have ROE control.
I would also recommend you make a forum thread in reddit dedicated to the Swift set, describe the changes and see if some of the people there interested in the AI think it might be fun to try and alter an AI to maximize the differences in Swift.
In fact, I would encourage anyone making a set the want to share to make a dedicated thread to it there.
Well, the reason I'm asking is so I'm able to give serious thought to how I'm going to setup my game. I know all about the advanced AI. I recall the Classic AI is pretty good. If production choices are made even a little intelligently (better than a queue), then I will likely use the Classic plus a revised unit set. BUT if the expanding AI is better and can be setup in a viable fashion with a modded unit set, then I would likely use that. So I'm not looking for tactics but just info about the expanding AI. If neither fits the bill, I'll use the expanded AI and I can start working on it now. So I'm just looking for some info to help me make a decision.
@Rich I don't remember and would have to look over the code to remember, so that may have to wait until the Classic AI code is released. I do believe it is conditional to some extent. Not sure when the release is going to happen yet.
Regarding the Expanding AI, I would recommend not knowing how it works when you first play it. I think part of the challenge is can you defend against it without knowing its tactics There is one of the stream sessions (I think the second one) where I use the expanding AI.
Mark, can you please explain how the AI chooses what unit to produce in the Classic AI? And do you know when you'll be explaining the Expanding AI in more detail?
@Coal There will not be any formal treaties in this version of EDCE. One could code the AI players to work together, but right now they are enemies as well.
The gifting of units is allowed though. You give the unit away, and it turns neutral. Then the receiving player gets to accept or reject the gift on their turn. Otherwise, it remains neutral. You also can "neutralize" units, which makes them neutral but does not gift them.
The “AI” in EDEE is abysmally bad. Anyone who complains that the computer opponent in EDEE is too tough, must be one of the worst EDEE players ever. I routinely switch sides to provide a little bit of challenge. Hundreds of turns into the game, 100 cities, 7 players, I can take over a side with as few as two cities and (slowly to begin with) kick butt. (I almost never go back to saved games, either, never if I start with as many as four cities). Nowadays I routinely start the game with 10 cities randomly placed (each of six opponents has 15). Sometimes I give a point buy (I take half). It doesn’t make a difference in the long run, though the game is more interesting to start with. I don’t start a game with one city any more, too tedious early on. And I get to do the low-number-of-cities stuff when I switch sides.
Partial list of stupid play by the “AI” in EDEE (no particular order):
Computer builds up huge number of units in a city, but they do nothing until closely approached (with sight range of the city). Then a transport can nip in and take it, starting its turn outside sight range. I’ve killed more than 100 units in one city. Even when using the resource limitations (which I stopped doing because it so crippled the computer players), the computer leaves lots of units unused in cities.
Computer keeps trying to produce units in cities with low productivity (even 5% and less) rather than let them build back up.
Computer doesn’t understand rest. When I switch sides, it’s apparent that the computer doesn’t rest its units.
Air units attack dug-in infantry (without any particular reason - often the air unit is from a different land mass, and has no land units around).
Dug-in units never dig out. (I switch sides repeatedly, so that computer ends up playing sides where I’ve dug in. When I change sides, I can sit next to that dug-in unit, or bombard it with artillery, and it never reacts - it just dies.)
Computer has a city as close as two squares to opposing city. It builds a transport or air unit or even an engineer or ship instead of infantry or armor! It’s #1 priority there MUST be to take that opposing city. Otherwise, sooner or later the infantry or armor I build will take the computer city.
Computer uses sea or air transports to scout. They are expensive, and weak fighters; I slaughter them by the boatload (pun accepted) while I almost never lose one (air cover helps immensely, and computer evidently doesn’t really understand it).
Computer doesn’t provide air cover for transports. In general, transports (even loaded ones) are left hanging out to dry, my planes will get through.
Even if the game is set to show all the terrain and cities but not units (my norm now), the computer keeps sending out the suicide scouts.
Computer randomly bombs a city that’s often less than 50% productive.
Computer warship units wander around aimlessly (clearly not scouting, in some cases), ripe for ambush.
Computer warships evidently don’t understand when they’re bombarded from a city. They often continue to hang around in range until sunk. (They do shoot at LA outside a city.)
Computer warships don’t bombard cities containing juicy units (such as a damaged battleship).
In land fighting on big continents, computer produces the “river of infantry” (no armor and little artillery), which can be slaughtered by light artillery defended by dug-in units, and (along shorelines) massacred by cruisers and battleships. I’ve had an individual cruiser kill more than 20 infantry (when it gets damaged, it goes and gets repaired, of course).
Computer conducts lots of air attacks on cruisers and battleships. Once in a while this works, but mostly it squanders air. I’ve had an individual cruiser that has killed more than a dozen fighters and bombers, all in defense (and usually with repairs in between). I only have a warship attack a plane once in a blue moon; I occasionally leave planes as inviting targets for enemy warships, who often “commit suicide” (as I think of it) by attacking.
Computer transport carrying several infantry lands it beside a city (or farther) rather than attack the city. (This isn’t always the case, but the city should be the first target virtually every time - it isn’t.)
Computer doesn’t understand specialist producing cities.
The one thing I’ve never done is give the computer an advantage in individual combats. The inability to use mass (one of the main principles of war) in the game is bad enough (e.g. three fighters have no better chance of winning the first fight than one fighter), without giving the computer an advantage in one-on-ones. Nor would this change the utter stupidity of the computer opponent.
(It’s so stupid, in fact, that I’ve been collecting examples from it for a general article on good tactics and strategy in games, especially tabletop games where you encounter “live” opposition. (I’m a game designer and writer.))
I first played this game on the Commodore 64 in the 80s. When I purchased by first PC in 94 Empire Deluxe was my first game purchased. I also took purchased your Killer Bees advanced version. I am very much looking forward to the new A.I. and potential ones fans create. I only play against A.I. or Co-op with my wife or friends. Are there any plans for Co-op with team play in this new upgrade, such as shared maps and or teams of A.I.?
@Ian there is definitely a place for the way you want to play. And then there is the possibility you could even refine it. The Standard unit set is essentially the WotC game. You could actually make a copy and modify that to set the production times as you wish. Then play it with the "Classic AI" and go from there.
In further refining/tweaking your game play, this also makes me think of a way to change the game that I had not realized before as the modification aspect of the game( to be discussed in updates). In a modified unit set, you could have units the AI understands, and then another group of units in the same set the human can use. Both players do not have to use the same units within a unit set. Though both would be available to be produced, the human would follow the rule not to build anything within the AI's scope. Maybe the Human Infantry does not get produced quite as fast, or has different odds v AI infantry, etc. Hmmm.
I have been playing Empire since its 'Wargame of the Century' days, originally on an 8086 PC clone with CGA graphics. Perhaps because of that, its elegant simplicity means it's remained my favourite version.
So what I'd really like is the option to play 'E:WotC' rules with a better AI. 'ED' gave me nearly all of the former - you couldn't tweak the building rates and units' combat power as finely. As my favourite was 'fast building, better power for the me vs even faster building, not quite as strong for the AI', I missed that to the point that I still play E:WotC more...
I'm sure I will be happy with EDCE, but I'd like to be very, very happy :)
@Rich - The EDEE AI is the Scripted one from EDEE, so it still has the input script. The source code is C#, but you could work with the script instead of hacking code for that particular AI to do the ROE and such.
Regarding a click vs R.L click - if the game is ported to Android/iOS - those are touch devices and do not have R/L clicks.
Regarding your C#/script question, if you work with the EDEE AI a lot of it will be the same. That AI allowed you to define unit roles to a limited extent. So in effect it is like programming it. And if you mod only enhances existing units (I seem to recall you made fighters faster), this can be done without any real AI touches. But if you add a unit with a new unit type id and don;t get this in the AI's logic, either scripted or C#, then it will be out of the scope for the AI.
There will be a couple of updates on this this week.
Another important thing that just occurred to me. Will modding unit sets also require C# or can that be modded without programming experience?
Ah, you might recall I made SoloMod. Among other things, I changed the ROE for all the units. For example, I made a destroyer flee instead of attack when it encounters a battleship. Proper ROE is very important imo. If this has all changed to programming C# then the ability to change unit ROE will be open to very few people. How will us non-programmers be able to mod this?
I don't understand. Why would you do your best NOT to make "click move" available to R click?
@Rich - Sorry, typo, "doing my best NOT to establish R v L"
@Rich - I am doing my best to establish a right click vs a left click, as this would make things more difficult for touch technology. So it essentially is just "click".
The Scripted EDEE AI is part of the distribution. Though he has been ported to C#
"Reason for this question is if there will be a need for a similar mod." - not sure if I understand this comment.
A suggestion and a question.
Option to rebind the touch move to right-click. Much more intuitive for a lot of players. As you indicated, the left click can cause problems especially when it's used for everything.
Will the unit AI for EDCE advanced be the same as EDEE? I'm referring to things like ROE and production queue. Reason for this question is if there will be a need for a similar mod. Been wondering about this.
@Anthony - I have taken some steps to help this issue within the World Building code - however it will not be perfect. A lot of it has to do with how the map has been generated, and it has always taken a priority to give a more "fair" start (city proximity count) vs a distance start.
If you like 120 x 80 games, you might consider expanding the w/h by 20 as this may give more wiggle room.
For EDCE Spawn points may also help here if a friend builds it for you. There is a symmetrical capability.
Also the map maker code for both builders is not all that complex. Currently, both World Builders make a map first, then worry about placement without adding cities. It is possible to influence the way maps are built. Someone with the right skill could very easily adapt the code to where it still uses the same terrain generation technique, and then add an extra city for each player (or group of cities of starting count > 1) at some hint-specified distance.
If you don't have that skill, look to the community to help. More on the mod-capabilities to come this week.
Mark - a question about setup. I always play solo on a random map about 120 by 80 or so, hoping for lots of exploration and buildup before first contact with the enemy, and frequently find the game ruined because the computer starts very close to me. Is there a way to specify the minimum starting distance between the first two cities?
@Jim – EDEE allowed this to some level, but in this version the AI is constructed very differently and it will prevent the switching/abdication aspects. Hotseat/Network/Email switching will be allowed – but the AI/Biological streams will not cross.
@Rich The campaign is not complete so there is nothing binding yet between us. Also distribution at this stage is more than just producing a link for download, as there would be a level of support required. There will testing phases after the campaign and this will draw from the backers. A survey will come out enabling backers to express their level of interest in participating. I should have more details on this around the end of the campaign.
@Chris Unfortunately the first of those ideas is not within the current game mechanics. #1 definitely not. Same can be said of #2 to a lesser extent – I really have to resist adding things like this as it can cause stability issues with the game and unanticipated results can occur. That was experienced with EDEE in the beginning. Testing phase is a good opportunity to try ideas like #2 though. So you might ping me on it then.
Haven't seen anything about this so I thought I would ask. Can a player(s) be changed mid-game from computer to human or visa versa? This would be convenient if a friend showed up and he could jump in for a while and then return that player to computer after he/she leaves. This way you could continue the game being played. Maybe it's just me, but once I start a game I want to finish it before moving on.
Mark, I watched much of the twich and think the game is currently very playable. Is there some reason you don't want to distribute it to us kickstarter people? I think most of us know how to play already.
First off, thank you thank you thank you for keeping this great game alive. I had a few items that were always on my wish list when editing the army sets and I was wondering if these features were going to be present in the new version.
1.) Fly over enemy land/ground/sea units
2.) Conduct ranged fire even after moving
I was working at Virgin Mastertronic in the late 1980s when someone asked if I would like to play this game that was lying around - it was Empire. I still have it, with the 5 1/4 inch disk and the thick Star Fleet Planetary Task Force manual. And now, after Empire Deluxe, EDIE and the Android version under my belt looking forward to the next instalment of the saga.
Started playing it in the early 90's on Amiga 500. Bought the EDEH from killerbee. Can't wait to get the released version virtually in hand. I hope it will get a steam key.
Many thanks for keeping Empire alive. It's been special to me since I first played in the early 1990's.
Re Fonts: It will definitely be something to verify when the beta test is going on.
@mok @rich I agree that being able to adjust font size in the game, either thru the game is good to have. I recently bought a 32inch 2560x1440 monitor and it is great for playing games on, but I frequently need to fiddle with text fonts to make them readable.
Mark, no need to get stressed over font size. The problem is that with people using large monitors with windows based games, fonts can get very small and unreadable for people who don't have superb eyesight. An easier solution might be to just use one larger size or a few different sizes that can easily be substituted. The idea is for that (and other) info to be read without eye strain, that's all.