Ever wanted to learn how to program, but never really got into it for whatever reason? Maybe you couldn't find the right place to start. Maybe the language you started with wasn't the best. Maybe the teacher for your programming class wasn't great.
Do you know some programming, but you're rusty, or don't know where to go next?
Do you already know how to program and you're just looking for ways to improve your craft?
Epoch strives to be answer for all these coders or aspiring coders. An intelligent coding system will allow players to advance at their own pace, with their own preferences, all the way from beginner to code monkey.
Epoch itself is a Real Time Strategy game, set in a distant future in which the majority of humans have digitized themselves, and now exist purely as bits and bytes and electrical impulses. However, the infrastructure has quickly decayed with nobody to maintain it. Factions arise, taking on a myriad of forms, struggling for mere survival; and willing to do whatever it takes to ensure their own survival.
The location will be a metropolitan area (as well as possibly surrounding areas) where the warring factions have set up their borders across the city. As you've guessed, each district or section will come with its own set of unique advantages and challenges to go with each of the different factions.
I assume most of you are familiar with other RTS games. You know how they work. One of the main differentiators for Epoch is that you also have an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) integrated into the gameplay. With the IDE you can do anything from simple tasks, like automatic one particular action, to customizing how your units form into their ranks or find their way around in the world.
The code is everywhere. How advanced you are determines how much of that code you can see. Obviously, if beginners were confronted with A* path finding problems, they would throw their hands up in resignation on the spot, so they only see what will make sense to them, and we build up from that. This progression may be slow for somebody completely new to programming, or it may be very quick for somebody who obviously knows what they are doing.
Epoch will use an event-based system that will allow the player's code to interact in real-time with the game; meaning that the results of your code are almost immediately apparent. We plan to support many of the popular programming languages, such as Java, C#, C++, BASIC, Python, etc. We may also incorporate some shell scripting elements as well.
Risks and challenges
From a technology perspective, all the various pieces that will be needed to build Epoch are out there, but, as far as I know, nobody has pulled them together into any form like what I am hoping to do in Epoch. I'm confident this will not impose a serious impediment to the project.
From a personal perspective, I not only have a full time job, but I am also a full time husband and a more than full time father, with two children less than three years old, and in 2015 another child is due to arrive. This project is one that I've been planning for about a year now, and I'm finally ready (and have permission from my beautiful wife) to tackle in earnest.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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