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PostPosted: 10 May 2012, 02:49 
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Joined: 10 May 2012, 02:34
Hello all,

I am thinking of transporting a game mod I originally envisioned for Rise of Nations: Thrones and Patriots to TASpring. This mod concentrates on world history, between 1600AD and 1922 AD.

There are some questions I would like to ask:

- Is it possible to have a non-linear campaign, where you can attempt to conquer the world, one nation at a time?
- How about technologies? would it be possible to set limits on the number of units and buildings you can build, and (in the case of buildings) where you can set them up, or even have units upgrade to new ones, like medieval knights into modern cavalry or even tanks?
- Also, would it be possible to create squads of units, as opposed to single infantry bipeds that can line up in formation as they march into battle?
- Would it be possible to introduce alliances and politics into a Spring-based game, with players capable of contributing resources or even downright cheating on one another by playing with diplomacy?

I have had some experience with TA before, so I think I know what the game is capable of.

I have several questions more, but it will suffiice that for you to get acquainted with my game, you should visit the following sites:

http://ron.heavengames.com (community site for the original engine)
http://modernity.wikia.com (my project page, which is more of a brainstorming chalkboard)

Thank you for your time.


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PostPosted: 10 May 2012, 03:53 
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try some of the spring games. EVORTS, Zerok, gundam RTS, Kernel Panic..

get back to us after you have made some efforts to evaluate the games using the engine first. Your questions are very large and require OUR time to answer. Some of them can be answered by trying the games already using the engine.


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PostPosted: 10 May 2012, 03:54 
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Joined: 12 Oct 2007, 08:24
1. Yes but no one has done that at present. The territory is unexplored (so it will not be easy) but the capability is definitely there.

2. Yes to all. Trivially (because this stuff has been made by other people already).

3. Yes but I think you would have to do that yourself.

4. Yes. Alliances are built in engine side and resource/unit sharing is easy to gadget.

But a more useful answer would try and get you to understand the state of Spring. It is much more than 'TASpring' and if you know TA you are probably massively underestimating what Spring can do. There are many games that run on Spring and they can have a wide variety of different mechanics.

These mechanics are not built directly into the engine. Games include lua scripts that have quite a lot of control over the mechanics (gadgets) and interface (widgets) of a game. So in most of these "I'm looking at using Spring" threads the answers are either:
  • Yes, and there exists a Spring game with a similar/identical mechanic so it would be fairly easy to take (btw lua is GLP).
  • Yes, using my familiarity with lua in Spring your feature is well within the realms of feasibility but no one has written that gadget yet.

For completeness there are two more common types of answers:
  • No, you're trying to go against core functionality (this is the answer to really hard stuff like different topologies).
  • Yes, but you have to do a lot of work developing external programs. This is for stuff like online campaigns.

(smoth was wrong, I had a free 10 minutes. Although maybe I can copy paste this response to all such questions?)


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PostPosted: 10 May 2012, 03:55 
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Joined: 28 Jul 2008, 05:51
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The answer to all your questions is yes.

The Spring game Zero-K has a web-based campaign. The campaign is handled using web browsers and servers which then launch spring (as I understand it anyway).

The rest is something you would do via the Lua scripting language.

Basically most of the features you have mentioned you would need to write or adapt from existing Lua code. The Spring engine supports the necessary capabilities but doesn't actually provide high-level implementations of them as ready-made options. You need to bridge the gap between the low-level capabilities and your game logic yourself. In short, you will need to have a competent Lua programmer in your project and possibly a web developer as well.


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PostPosted: 10 May 2012, 06:38 
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Joined: 10 May 2012, 02:34
smoth wrote:
try some of the spring games. EVORTS, Zerok, gundam RTS, Kernel Panic..

get back to us after you have made some efforts to evaluate the games using the engine first. Your questions are very large and require OUR time to answer. Some of them can be answered by trying the games already using the engine.


I will say that this is mostly for solo play. But you are right. Thank you for pointing out what to look at, I shall try my hand at those games once I am ready.

For now, I think I will hold back from posting until I know what else to ask, but I will say this: I am more of an artist, and less of a programme (I flunked programming back in school), so who you're dealing with is a complete newbie at programming!


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PostPosted: 10 May 2012, 12:28 
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Location: You are going to die anyway, hurry up and do it.
Every line starts first with a point. You have to start somewhere


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PostPosted: 10 May 2012, 13:49 
Journeywar Developer & Mapper
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Joined: 24 Jan 2006, 21:12
Location: "drop table kitchens; comit;"
I dont know if im a artist. but i started completely noobish too.

I learned alot here, and if you are willing to take the time, people here (the more grumpy the moddev at first contact, the more helpfull everyday after your first step) are very helpfull.

Dont read into some programming book.. those might become handy later upon, but what you need is a hook, a first hurray experience that draws you in, gives you some taste of what can be accomplished.

Get knorkes tutorial game, and start playing around. Then if you got something done, import your first 3d-modell in, replace one of the units modell with it- and off you go.


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PostPosted: 10 May 2012, 16:14 
Cursed Zero-K Developer
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Joined: 07 Nov 2007, 21:48
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Although we have not started it, bobthedinosaur and I have a project idea similar to yours. We are experienced modders. You can join the project. Description here: http://code.google.com/p/towrts/


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PostPosted: 10 May 2012, 19:14 
Kernel Panic Co-Developer
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Joined: 16 Nov 2004, 13:08
VelvetClaw wrote:
- Is it possible to have a non-linear campaign, where you can attempt to conquer the world, one nation at a time?
Spring, natively, does not support campaign. Not even mission! Only multiplayer and skirmish vs bots.
It is theorically possible to code yourself a support for campaign. Some have done it. It's just a super long and complicated task.


VelvetClaw wrote:
- How about technologies? would it be possible to set limits on the number of units and buildings you can build, and (in the case of buildings) where you can set them up, or even have units upgrade to new ones, like medieval knights into modern cavalry or even tanks?
Spring, natively, support per-unit limit count, but not upgrade.
However, it is much easier to code in upgrade support. Or even just reuse an upgrade coded by someone else.


VelvetClaw wrote:
Also, would it be possible to create squads of units, as opposed to single infantry bipeds that can line up in formation as they march into battle?
Spring, natively, does not support squads.
KDR_11k coded squads for The Cuberor's Finest though.


VelvetClaw wrote:
Would it be possible to introduce alliances and politics into a Spring-based game, with players capable of contributing resources or even downright cheating on one another by playing with diplomacy?
Spring does not have a diplomacy window coded in.
You can however code it yourself.


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PostPosted: 11 May 2012, 06:43 
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Joined: 12 Oct 2007, 08:24
Those are pretty useless answers as far as what can be done with the engine is concerned. Currently with 'native' Spring you could probably only replicate 3/4 of OTA behaviour.

I suppose the main point here is that to use Spring you will need someone who is able to write lua scripts.


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PostPosted: 11 May 2012, 18:27 
Kernel Panic Co-Developer
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And with all those useless question, you forgot to ask an important one, about how Spring can only do robotic units, not organic ones, due to lack of proper model deformation during animation.


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PostPosted: 11 May 2012, 21:37 
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Well, that depends on the standards he expects to acheive. Even the official TA Kingdoms failed at making humanoid units seem "real". There are a very limited number of "organic" RTS games and very few of those are convincing. Most are 2D isometric, not 3D.

Ultimately, without an extreme art budget, you are guaranteed to fail at making "lifelike units" in a 3D engine even with engine support but that doesnt mean your game can't be successful.

The proposal here is extremely ambitious and only hard work will acheive the ends. Those ends are bound to limited by limited by time and programming long before fluid animation becomes an issue.

To be clear. I'm saying this project has a low chance of success. I'm not saying that to be mean. You are trying to solve some problems that, while possible, have been attempted and abandoned in the past. You'll need to dedicate a large portion of time to this so be sure this is something you really want to do or else expect to fail. Based on my own experience I'd say your proposal requires around 5 hours per week over a period of about 2 years - minimum.

I dont want to discourage you but at the same time I think you should be prepared for what lies ahead. Your proposal is a huge undertaking even for people with Spring/Lua programming experience. You can't do this without a serious time commitment. I'd say the same of any non-commercial game engine I've come across. There really aren't any that will give you anything close to what you described "out of the box".

There are many people here who can help you but that won't be enough unless you can build a larger team or develop the necessary skills yourself. There are issues in your proposal that only a huge investment of time will accomplish. If you feel that sort of commitment is impractical then consider a collaboration and/or compromise instead.

My advice: Try a smaller project first. See what's involved and see if you get a taste for what you enjoy and what is practical. With a project under your belt people will take your ideas more seriously and you will know for sure whether you are able to pull this off.

I'd also advise looking into the commercial Total War series as a basis for a historical mod. It's not a free engine but it does support most of your features via basic mod configuration files. Obviously it also has serious downsides (like players needing to buy the game) but it still may provide a more realistic pathway to achieving your goals.


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PostPosted: 11 May 2012, 23:53 
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excellent post spliff.


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