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Populus Romanus - turn based strategy game

Camillus

Lurker
Oct 24, 2011
7
1
Just thought to announce here the release of Populus Romanus, a turn based strategy wargame for Android.

There is a free version (1 scenario) downloadable at:

https://market.android.com/details?id=com.populusromanus_free

and also a full version (8 scenarios) here:

https://market.android.com/details?id=com.populusromanus

Those few screenshots on Android Market probably already tell more than several pages of explanation, so if you're interested in turn based strategy genre, please spare a few seconds and take a look!

It's a one man hobby project, born out of love for the "just one more turn, it's only 4AM" kind of strategy games. Did it for myself really first, mentality being "this kind of game I want to play on my phone and a tablet". I'm actively developing it forward still, but released it last weekend as it had reached the goals for a "final v1.0" game that I had set for myself. However, local multiplayer, more scenarios and some updated graphics are coming up next ... and possibly anything else that fits in the overall picture.

I'm also pondering whether to add a more open-ended (one could say "civilizationish") empire-building game mode in addition to the pre-defined battle-oriented main campaign. However, that might venture a bit too far from the core idea of this particular game and I'd rather do one thing well than several poorly, so currently I'm leaning towards undertaking the empire-building as the topic of the next game (which will probably be built mostly on the same engine, but having a bit different rules and AI).

Anyhow, I'd be really thankful for constructive comments or criticism about the game! What could I improve? What is already good?


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Congratulations on this wargame - I've just downloaded it and it looks/feels very slick.

I, too, felt annoyed at the lack of wargames on Android and last December learnt programming just in order to write my own. I now have a few hex wargames out (Korean war, Rommel in Africa, German Eagle vs. Russian Bear), and there are another couple of wargames from fellow Scandinavians like yourself (A brief history of Rome and Conflicts:Barbarossa and D-Day).

I tend to post on boardgame sites, especially boardgamegeek, since I'm a wargamer first, rather than a programmer (and it shows!).

One brief question - I see you went down the Open GL route... was there any reason for this? I have not needed to, and have added animation in German Eagle vs. Russian Bear without compromising performance.
 
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One brief question - I see you went down the Open GL route... was there any reason for this? I have not needed to, and have added animation in German Eagle vs. Russian Bear without compromising performance.

A few reasons: Performance, quality, and heap memory usage.

I initially implemented the game as simple bitmaps painted on a canvas, but that had performance issues on lower end devices. Choosing OpenGL ES solved that, as well as provided me with an easy way to handle zooming with good quality (I'm using mipmaps and linear filtering) and performance. Also, since GL textures aren't counted towards the 16/24MB per-process memory usage I still get to have a lot of memory to play with even with large-resolution textures being used.

As an additional advantage, I have a relatively easy update path now to a 3D view for the game map, if I ever feel like implementing such one. Mainly it involves creating 3D models of units/hills/trees/etc, adding code to draw the models, and tweaking the touch handling code to account for the third dimension. However, to accomplish that, I would need to find someone who actually can make decent 3D models :-D
 
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A few reasons: Performance, quality, and heap memory usage.

I initially implemented the game as simple bitmaps painted on a canvas, but that had performance issues on lower end devices. Choosing OpenGL ES solved that, as well as provided me with an easy way to handle zooming with good quality (I'm using mipmaps and linear filtering) and performance. Also, since GL textures aren't counted towards the 16/24MB per-process memory usage I still get to have a lot of memory to play with even with large-resolution textures being used.

As an additional advantage, I have a relatively easy update path now to a 3D view for the game map, if I ever feel like implementing such one. Mainly it involves creating 3D models of units/hills/trees/etc, adding code to draw the models, and tweaking the touch handling code to account for the third dimension. However, to accomplish that, I would need to find someone who actually can make decent 3D models :-D

Drawing is my weakpoint too!

I did an experimental map that was almost 1000 hexes iirc, each one of which was a unique bitmap created programatically, before I reached the memory limit. You could get bigger if you're happy to use the same bitmap for similar terrain (sea hexes, for example). However, at that size, you're getting to the limit of what is playable on a phone anyway.
 
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Do you use one of the OpenGL libraries (libGDX, AndDevEngine) or have your implemented your own little OpenGL engine?

I like "painted" maps myself (such as the new P&T map), but it does heavily limit how big one can make the map in general, unless one tiles the map something fierce (and so far I haven't felt tempted to do so, due to how slow the GC of bitmaps in Android is - don't want to make a bad situation worse). P&T in HD has a 1536x1536 pixel map, but I still see the occasional OOM errors.

Have considered doing OpenGL myself (implementing zooming in my games would be great), but I just haven't had time to sit down and look it over properly.
 
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