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February 11, 2005 by CaretFarmer
Well, all good things must come to an end: with the completion of the Planet Management feature of GalCiv2, I'm moving on to something else. Come Monday, I'll be starting on a new project here at Stardock, something new and exciting that looks like it could be a lot of fun both to make and to play. Using the GalCiv2 project as a starting point, it shouldn't be too long before I have cool stuff to write about once again! Talk to you soon.
January 28, 2005 by CaretFarmer
Happy National Kazoo Day! This week was kind of a mixed bag in terms of what I worked on. After last week's push for the media tour, this week was a time for going back and fixing things that weren't quite right under the hood but that were better left until after the deadline: fixing memory leaks, making things more efficient, etc. Also, it was a time for putting in more features that you can actually see:



First off, you've probably noticed that the overlays which indicate which tile...
January 21, 2005 by CaretFarmer
Things have been pretty hectic around here this week--Brad's getting ready for an important media tour next week, so we've been working hard to make the game as sweet as possible. You can see a summary of the whole team's recent progress in Brad's blog entry "GalCiv2 prepares to go on the road." Link. I closed out this week making it so that planets can be saved to and restored from files. And, though you might think there's nothing much to see there, you'd be wrong. Here's an inside peek:
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January 18, 2005 by CaretFarmer
The beauty of fractal terrain generation is that it can supply a large number of unique terrains from a compact representation. The ugliness of fractal terrain generation is that it looks, well, like fractal terrain. Okay, it's not that ugly, but it's nothing to write home about either. So, these days I'm spending my time trying to figure out ways of making the terrain look less fractal. The screen shot below displays some of the changes I've made of late. In particular, using a cheap and dirty ...
January 14, 2005 by CaretFarmer
Nothing earth-shattering to show you this week. As the title of this entry indicates, I spent this week tying up newly-found loose ends as well as some improvements. The bulk of this week was spent making it so that the planets in the main game screen look the same as the terrain surface in the planet management screen. Now, planets look the same whereever you see them, so I can go home happy tonight. Have a good weekend!
January 7, 2005 by CaretFarmer
Well, I've spent the last few days dealing with various things I've been putting off. None of them were particularly difficult or time-consuming; they just weren't particularly interesting. However, the end result is an improvement over what the planet management looked like at the start of the week. The shot below still has a lot of placeholder art, but it gives one a better idea of how everything works together. And, yes, I've managed to gorf up the terrain coloring a bit in this one; two ...
December 24, 2004 by CaretFarmer
Well, the planet surface is shaping up nicely. After taking a bit of a detour to deal with some underlying non-graphical stuff (yes, there's more to games than graphics), I've been working on ways of blending different terrain types so that they look reasonably 'natural' but are still easily identified for what they are. Water and snow-capped mountains were easy because they're colored based strictly on elevation, but other features have proven to be a bit trickier. I messed around with some ...
December 1, 2004 by CaretFarmer
I briefly considered posting an update last Friday (the day after Thanksgiving), but rest and relaxation won out. Besides, the screenshots have improved greatly since then, so it's just as well. Today the team agreed on the basic visual presentation of the planet's surface and I think it's going to be pretty sweet. I'll post a screenshot tomorrow. Um, that's it.

Actually, here's the shot right now:
November 19, 2004 by CaretFarmer
Greets from the Caret Farm. First off, let me introduce myself: my name is Paul Kerchen, and I've been developing games professionally for the past ten years. A few weeks ago I took a game developer position at Stardock Link, so in this blog I'll be documenting my contributions to and observations about the next hit titles to be released by Stardock. While I'll try to keep it interesting and fun to read, I make no guarantees: there's a reason I became a programmer and not a writer. Also, le...