Hello everybody, and welcome to our first development diary for ‘For the Glory’ (FTG). I know this is not Wednesday…
The story began with the announcement of the Europa Engine License Program in January 2008. FTG project was launched in June 2008 and we started the hard work with a main goal in mind: enhancing Europa Universalis II (EU2) but not changing it. Some members of the team are also leaders of one of, if not the most famous mod for EU2: AGCEEP (more than 10,000 historical events and growing, a 1,000 page book for all historical descriptions covering all the continents). With this mod EU2 was pushed to its limits, and with a complete knowledge of the game, we wanted to add what was “missing” in EU2, not redoing some kind of EU3. They are different approaches for different players and different play styles, but both are complementary to one another.
AGCEEP is bundled with the game as a mod and other scenarios are available for those who prefer them. Any other mod or scenario can be added to FTG.
Let’s start introducing the team:
and I, YodaMaster
Some new members will be mentioned in future dev diaries. Some other members joined the team but were unable to be involved or resigned for personal reasons. I just want to thank them now for trying to participate.
Our main tasks in the project:
GeneralSnoopy, MichaelM and Wreck handled the conversion of the source code to the new development platform. The result for players will be compatibility with most recent Windows systems, including Seven. For us, the result was a better control of the source code and bug hunting.
They also focused on game mechanism enhancements, with Dietmar1982 focusing on settings for the game. MichaelM also greatly enhanced the script engine and added many interface improvements. Garbon, as “technical advisor” (i.e. not a programmer) encouraged us and enhanced game scenarios. Well, he has another secret task that started few years ago...
And finally, with Wreck’s new database engine, I was able to build a fully reworked database structure, breaking almost all the limits of the Europa Engine. I also focused on interface and new game features.
Let’s take a look at the interface.
The screenshot is for a 1280x960 resolution. I didn’t dare post a 1680x1050 screenshot but it could have been possible with my 22” wide screen! FTG supports any screen resolution beginning with 800x600. I also had the choice but I preferred to use a modern font and enhanced shields for this screenshot. Selection is easy in the Settings screen before starting a scenario or loading a save file.
This is also the default interface for all countries if no one is defined for the played country.
On the screenshot, you can see the political map mode and yes, it is playable. I can switch display of armies on or off if I want.
On top of the screen, you will find a reworked bar where information adjusts according to the chosen resolution. More room for information, even in 800x600. Just under the top bar, you can see little red flags with different symbols. They are reminders and warnings (notifiers) for the player. Thirteen notifiers are available in the game.
On the left, there is the classic information window. All information windows have been enhanced. In this one, uniforms are exactly the same as on the map and icons for infantry, cavalry and artillery are now shiny gold. Just over the mini map, five icons for different map modes. From left to right: terrain, political, value and... just guess the last two ones. Under the mini map, the three buttons for menu and zoom in/out. Shortcuts for zoom are +/- but why not use the mouse wheel instead?
At the bottom of the screen, no surprise here with the information log.
Let’s take a closer look at the displayed map now. This is indeed the old EU2 2D map. Don’t try to find 3D in this game, Europa Engine was not made for it. As a consequence, FTG is compatible with all maps created for EU2. The same 2020 provinces limit but this is the only limit that didn’t change. All others have been broken and numbers are now unlimited except the number of possible countries: 1000.
If you look closer, you can see Russian cores on the map. I play Poland in the standard “Age of Mercantilism” scenario (1617) but I can check the cores of any other country. All the cores shown on this screen are national provinces of Russia. We could have trouble with Russia in the future because of Livland. You can see national provinces have a symbol over the shield and a banner just under. The symbol and the banner are important. All cores are not necessarily national provinces now.
Again, if you look closer you can see the Russian city set for Russia but take a look at Smolensk. Obviously, the culture of this province is not Polish. The city will evolve with time even if the culture of the province doesn’t.
In the next diary, we will see settings and integration of mods in detail. To be continued...