Xconq as an Erfgame engine?

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Xconq as an Erfgame engine?

Postby Chris Goodwin » Thu Jul 22, 2010 4:30 pm

I've been looking at this software called Xconq which apparently is an extremely long lived engine for turn-based strategy games. It seems to be ridiculously powerful, though fairly complex as well. Things like units, sides, cities, money, and so forth, are all designed using a Lisp-like language called GDL (Game Design Language).

I've been glancing through the documentation (very thorough!) and so far finding very little in the way of Erfworld rules that couldn't be implemented without at least some contortion. I'm curious as to whether anyone else has looked at it.
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Re: Xconq as an Erfgame engine?

Postby Chris Goodwin » Thu Jul 22, 2010 5:16 pm

Some examples of what it can do:

  • Money is defined using something in the game called "materials". It's possible for units to be able to carry materials around with them (provisions!). The software allows you to define up to 127 different types of materials. (Pop points, as seen in one of the forum games -- which I'm going to steal wholesale -- can be defined as being a different type of material.)
  • it seems to not be too difficult to define cities that can be razed for money.
  • Units seem to be able to level up, or at least gain combat experience.
  • Special abilities, especially those that might be able to change during a game (such as Garrison, Chief Warlord, Heir) might take some of the aforementioned contortions.

I think I'm going to try this.
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Re: Xconq as an Erfgame engine?

Postby Nihila » Wed Jul 28, 2010 3:26 pm

Could you set Garrison, Warlord, Chief Warlord, and Heir as Unit Types, which I think can be changed?
"The Infantrymen of Erfworld have nothing to lose but their chains. They have Erfworld to win. Infantry of all sides: Unite!"--Kawl Mawx, Master-class Moneymancer
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Re: Xconq as an Erfgame engine?

Postby Chris Goodwin » Wed Jul 28, 2010 10:23 pm

Heir is apparently doable -- you set up a "self-unit" which represents you, and can be a city or a person or pretty much anything. You can also set it up so that if that one is killed another one can be so designated automatically. Garrison maybe; Warlord and Chief Warlord, I don't know. Stacking in the Erfworld sense is looking pretty difficult as well. I may scrap the notion, or at least come back to it later.
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Re: Xconq as an Erfgame engine?

Postby WaterMonkey314 » Thu Jul 29, 2010 8:59 pm

What would happen if you represented stacks as "units"? That would make it impossible to have multi-unit-type stacks, but you would at least be able to pull off stacks of 8 pikers and whatnot.
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Re: Xconq as an Erfgame engine?

Postby Chris Goodwin » Thu Jul 29, 2010 9:26 pm

WaterMonkey314 wrote:What would happen if you represented stacks as "units"? That would make it impossible to have multi-unit-type stacks, but you would at least be able to pull off stacks of 8 pikers and whatnot.


I had thought of that. It's not as impossible as it might look... everything in the game that is not map surface is represented by what the xconq software calls a unit. A unit can be an infantry, a dwagon, even a city. (In one game there's a unit called "rubble pile" which is what a wrecked city turns into.) One of my thoughts was creating a unit type called a stack, which would essentially be a transport that can hold X number of other units. That would let units stack together (in the Erfworld sense) and move around. What I wasn't sure about was how to represent a bonus based on that, or for that matter a bonus based on if a Warlord is present in the stack. Actually I'm having enough trouble just generating a map and placing a single unit on it somewhere.

Also, while the descriptor language syntax is reasonably well documented, there aren't a whole lot of examples, so I'm having to do some trial and error for some of the more esoteric stuff, and that's not going well. It has a very Lisp-like syntax, which means it's somewhat XML-like also, except without all of the angle brackets.
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