This thread is to both advertise and receive feedback on my open-source (GPLv3) game under development called Khazad. It is 3D, written in Java and uses the JMonkey engine and it's associated Nifty GUI system.
Code is available at https://github.com/ImpalerWrG/Khazad
Currently the engine is still under development and the game is not playable, new developers are desired as well as initial testers, game-play ideas and goals are also welcome.
If this game were a song it would be https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ytWz0qVvBZ0
This will be a game that revels in the glory of the Dwarves, their rise and fall and re-conquest of their homelands. The flavor will be somewhere between Tolkienesque and Warhammer, visually it will resemble a slightly higher polygon Minecraft or Mythruna.
Khazad aims to become the preeminent open-source Dwarf Fortress like game by leveraging the talents and skills of the genres small but highly skilled fan base. In addition to DF it draw inspiration from 'A game of Dwarves', 'Craft the World', 'Gnomoria', 'Banished', 'The Sims', 'The Settlers', 'Zeues', 'Prison Architect', 'Civilization', ''Evil Genius' and naturally 'Dungeon Keeper'.
A firm technical foundation is being built first, so far this includes
A flexible map structure structure that can be expanded in any direction at run-time and which tracks volumes as well as surfaces.
Highly optimized and multithreaded path-finding which renders everything else in the genre obsolete, unit counts of ~1000 should be possible with game speeds that will have the dwarves moving too fast to even be seen.
3D rendering of terrain, rotating camera and visual slicing of the map to overcome confusion inherent in isometric or 2D perspectives.
Efficient object update queue, rather then iterating every game object every loop all objects are awoken at a dynamic determined future time.
Still under construction...
A new Job management system which groups individual tasks into logical group and assigns workers the same task type repeatedly to reduced wasted travel time.
Demand-pull basied crafting and stockpile management also know as 'Kanban', consumption triggers production without micromanagement
Khazad aims to be Deep, Challenging and Accessible.
Depth comes from a complex and emergent interaction between the choices the player is presented with. Choices need to be impact-full to the game and non-trivial for the player to find the best solution. The classic example is Chess, the player has a modest set of choices, but they are very impact-full and very difficult to choose between. In creating a settlement the player should be faced with numerous choices of what and in what order to develop and how to manage conflicting internal interest groups. Their should be no EASY choices or choices without a downside. All elements within the game world which are presented and uniquely named will be differentiated in some game play manor, mere 'cosmetic' complexity will be avoided.
Khazad aims to be Challenging, it has become the norm to think of the DF-like genre as a 'sandbox' in which the player (once familiar with the game) builds a settlement that is very resilient and will generally resist all external abuse given even a modicum of effort by the player. In contrast Khazad will be intended as a challenge for the player at all times, a game in which survival of the settlement is always in doubt and being knocked-back several stages is common occurrence. Should the player build their settlement to a mighty city they will face the challenges of keeping and maintaining a kingdom built on fragil alliances, diplomacy and the sword.
Lastly Accessible, the deficiencies of Dwarf Fortress UI have already been mostly corrected in games such as Gnomoria, Khazad aims to have a comparable UI built using Nifty. 3D rendering adds additional accessibility as was seen in "A game of Dwarves" and Khazad will feature nearly identical earth X-ray like rendering of underground tunnels.
Dwarf attributes, in keeping with an RPG theme all creatures have a basic set of attributes, but keeping with the detail orientation of the genre the attribute set is larger then the 6 in D&D, a set of 14 attributes will be used, 7 Physically oriented (Strength, Flexibility, Dexterity, Vitality, Reflexes, Endurance, Speed) and 7 Mental oriented (Logic, Perception, Charisma, Memory, Judgement, Willpower, Intuition). A roll of 2D4 is the normal range for each attribute. Each attribute will directly and transparently effect a different aspect of a creatures behavior and performance in certain jobs and skills.
Skills, rather then the genre standard of each Dwarf having a skill level in each possible skill Khazad will combine the class-tree system of 'Evil Genius' and 'A game of Dwarves' with the classes of Dwarf Fortress into a large tree of 3 tiers with an initial first tier division into 7 core classes (Worshiper, Thinker, Fighter, Crafter, Builder, Laborer, Gatherer), 3rd tier divisions may yield upwards of 100-200 highly specialized classes, but the bulk of game play will be done with the core classes and their 2nd tier divisions. Low level classes act as generalists so a settlement can be effectively run with just 7 Dwarves. Classic D&D character classes will be present to fill a variety of roles and multi-classing might also be possible.
Off Map activity, rather then having the players settlement sits passively and receives attacks, trade and migrants from an outside world the player in Khazad will send OUT just as many interactions as they receive. These Expeditions consist of hand-picked dwarves and stockpiled materials that are directed to a particular world map location with a specific goal, all of which have an effect on the outcome. The Expeditions are run and resolved entirely in the background without players being able to control or see the results until the expedition returns (if it returns). Significant political activity, wars, alliances and the like will play out with the player bringing the whole of the Dwarven race under their kingship as a possible outcome.