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It’s been a little while now, and though reactions to this website have been mixed, the interest itself is much appreciated.

I haven’t had much time lately to work on R4tG, as I just had the first week of classes and moved back into the dorms, but I made some worthwhile progress tonight.

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(right-click -> view image to enlarge)

In this screenshot, all 4 tableaus are now functional and represent 4 separate players. You can zoom in and analyze each of them. Also, the icon in the middle will be used to view your own hand, which will swap out the 3 mini-tableaus and display the hand (though this is not functional yet). The swapping mechanism will also be used anytime extra room is needed on-screen, such as displaying the phase cards at the beginning of rounds.

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Hello. My name is James and I’m developing R4tG online with help from my brother, John. We are both CompSci students at American universities. This will be a temporary site until the official launch of r4tg.com (we have lots of work to do), but I’ll post updates here for anyone interested and to track my own progress.

The game itself is being programmed in python, using pygame (www.pygame.org) to ease development of the graphics engine. Even with python and the benefits of the pygame API, creating an online version of R4tG is still a massive undertaking for two students with limited time.

So far, the graphics engine itself has been mostly implemented, enough that adding a new visual object, say a chat box or a scorecard visible on the main screen, wouldn’t be too hard (besides the logistics of the object itself).

Here’s a current screenshot (right-click -> view image to enlarge):

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This image shows several things (though much, much more is happening under the surface). Two tableaus are visible, the bigger one being yours and the smaller one being an opponents. Although only two cards are loaded, the tableaus are different and are stored as separate players. The info box that popped up happens whenever you right-click a card, from your or another player’s tableau. This will help you remember everything a card does, especially new players, or quickly sort through another player’s tableau.

Look at the image again. Do you see the small magnifying glass? If you click that…

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… you can now see the big tableau has changed. This will let you zoom-in on an opponent’s tableau for further analysis. Too many times playing the game your strategy is insufficient because it’s a hassle to closely inspect someone’s tableau. Hopefully, the computer version will fix this problem and enhance the gameplay. Clicking that ugly little button on the top right zooms back out (gotta make a new icon).

Tons of things still have to be made. Here’s a brief list:

  • Ability to view your own hand
  • Scorecard that shows each players’ VP’s in chips, VP’s in hex’s, VP’s with 6-cost developments (automatically calculates their current value), and total cards in hand.
  • The phase cards and a method to select one (or two for a two player game)
  • Each phase must allow the player to select the necessary options. For instance, allowing players to choose cards to play in development or settle, or displaying all available consume powers and resources during the consume phase.
  • Hot-seat playing will come first to lay the groundwork and allow beta testing for suggestions and bug fixes. Then, the entire game will be recoded for online playing (which will take a long time!), with a non-beta release considered one that allows hot-seat or online play for 2-4 players.
  • The entire r4tg.com website must be created
  • Eventually, the expansion(s) and the robot for “single” player.
  • Animation and sounds added in a functional but visually pleasing style

That’s a short list, but you can hopefully appreciate the difficulty of creating such a game. From now on I’ll blog all progress here until I can migrate all information to r4tg.com.

Also, we *definitely* need help from artists. Anyone who wants to contribute even a single card, here are the specs:

  • Must have a full-sized version that’s 130×180 pixels, and a smaller version that’s 50×75 pixels.
  • The card can keep the title text (for instance, Artist’s Colony should remain Artist’s Colony and be novelty production), but the art itself must be completely original.
  • Keep phase numerals and icons in the card for identification
  • All images must be in PNG format

Also, if you haven’t noticed, the description of the phase powers of the Earth’s Lost Colony card is straight from the manual. All descriptions must be written to avoid plagiarism but construe the same point about the rules.

If you feel like helping, you’ll be credited in any release and be an automatic beta tester for R4tG online.

That’s all for now, check back for updates