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New Silverlight Game: Astriarch - Ruler of the Stars RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hello, I've recently developed my first Silverlight app, a game called Astriarch - Ruler of the Stars.  It is a space strategy game similar to other great Space strategy games like Master of Orion.

    If you try it out, please let me know any feedback you have.

    http://www.astriarch.com

    Astriarch Screen Shot


    Sunday, January 30, 2011 11:08 PM

Answers

  • Thanks for the reply, I wonder if this is caused by security settings in IE, the acutal game (xap) content is hosted at a separate domain and served in an iframe.  I imagine if your IE is set for high level of security it may not allow iframe content to be delivered from a separate domain than the original page?  I can take a look at hosting my xap at the astriarch.com domain and perhaps it would then work for you.

    Wednesday, February 2, 2011 8:30 PM

All replies

  • Hi,

    Thanks for sharing this for us.

    But it seems not work when I open the link you provided (Just a white block).

    Could you check it out? Thanks.

     

    Regards

    Tuesday, February 1, 2011 4:06 AM
  • The page seems to be loading fine for me, I've tried it in IE, FF and Chrome.

    Perhaps there was a problem with how I specified the link to open in a new window?

    http://www.astriarch.com/

    This one is specified as opening in the same window.  Please let me know if you still have problems.

    thanks,

    -Matt

    Tuesday, February 1, 2011 2:24 PM
  • Hi,

    I can load it in FF and Chrome, but still not work in IE.

     

    Regards

    Tuesday, February 1, 2011 10:32 PM
  • The game is written in Silverlight 3, could it be a problem with the version of the silverlight plugin installed in IE, is the entire page blank or just the game window area?


    -Matt

    Tuesday, February 1, 2011 11:02 PM
  • Hi,

    is the entire page blank or just the game window area?

    Just the Game window area.

     

    Regards

    Wednesday, February 2, 2011 7:46 PM
  • Thanks for the reply, I wonder if this is caused by security settings in IE, the acutal game (xap) content is hosted at a separate domain and served in an iframe.  I imagine if your IE is set for high level of security it may not allow iframe content to be delivered from a separate domain than the original page?  I can take a look at hosting my xap at the astriarch.com domain and perhaps it would then work for you.

    Wednesday, February 2, 2011 8:30 PM
  • Hi,

    It's working now. Thanks.

     

    Regards

    Friday, February 4, 2011 4:58 AM
  • Hey,

    This is a truly great game! I've played it for (well... too long!) and it's not only fun but also strategically difficult. You have also produced some beautiful graphics. And I can't spot any programming errors whatsoever, not even a spelling issue.

    Truly good work and highly recommended (a bit too addictive though, I'm afraid...)!

    /Pettrer

    Thursday, February 24, 2011 10:31 AM
  • Thank you for your feedback and very kind compliments, I'm glad you enjoyed playing the game!  I hope it becomes even more playable when music and sound effects have been added, without music it feels a bit hollow, but for now you can always play with your own favorite music in the background.

    I owe lots of the nice looking controls to the built in Silverlight controls and especially the excellent ExpressionDark theme.  Other than that I was able to build all the graphics using my limited artistic skills and the Paint.net program.

    A couple of months back I tried converting the game to run on Windows phone 7 because I thought it should be easy to get working because silverlight runs on Windows phone 7.  I was able to get the main play area scaled down to fit, however it became quite a pain because not everything maps one to one between the phone and the silverlight that runs in the web.  For example the Dialog control that I use extensively in Astriarch is not available in the same form on the phone and buttons look different, etc...  After realizing it was going to be alot of work and fighting with it for awhile I gave up with porting it to windows phone 7, however I've begun porting the code to javascript using the HTML5 canvas so that potentially the game could run on phones that support the html5 canvas tag.

    thanks again for the feedback,

    -Matt

    Thursday, February 24, 2011 5:36 PM
  • Wow really cool and adictive.  Bravo

    Thursday, March 10, 2011 1:49 PM
  • I have played this game about 20 times now and I am unable to beat it.  Is the game too difficult or am I doing something wrong?

     

    Friday, March 11, 2011 11:41 AM
  • Have you watched the tutorial videos?  At least watch until the space platform is built on the home planet, it shows a build order that I find works well for me, basically build three farms, then two mines, then a factory, a colony, and two more factories and finally a space platform. 

    Even the easy computer is difficult if you don't get your home planet producing quickly. 

    After that you'll want to send out scouts or destroyers to the nearby planets and make sure you build them up as well before you start attacking the computer.

    Hope this helps, let me know if you still find it too difficult after watching the tutorial videos and following the build order, I spent lots of time tweaking the AI so that the easy computer would be easy enough but not dead-simple, it might still be a bit too hard though.

    Also make sure you start playing with the default game options (one easy computer and two star systems) before you start adding more computers and more systems.

    -Matt

    Friday, March 11, 2011 8:44 PM
  • After playing 20 games I think I have the build order down, however I find that the computer on Easy with 2 star systems is still so much faster than me.  By the time I build a space station he already has most of the planets colonized.  Once that happens the computer wins by simply being able to produce more ships faster.  I would suggest slowing down the computer, especialy on Easy.

     

    Saturday, March 12, 2011 1:13 PM
  • Ok, that makes sense, I'll look into what more I can do to tweak the easy computer's speed.  Can you tell me about what turn number you are finishing your space platform?  Even if you have the build order correct, if you don't manage the number of farmers, miners and workers you'll end up not keeping up with the computer, because you've either generated too much food or too much minerals.  I find I'll create my space platform around turn 23 and then I can capture and develop all the planets close to my home planet without any problem.

     

    Thanks for the feedback and input,

    -Matt

    Saturday, March 12, 2011 3:33 PM
  • I've just finished adding music to Astriarch, and it is now released as version 1.0 Gold!  You can read about some of the difficulties I had using the MediaElement control in Silverlight in my post here: Using MediaElement to Play audio before it is fully downloaded and the dreaded AG_E_NETWORK_ERROR

    I've also almost finished converting the game so that it can be played on tablet devices.  Check back at the home page Astriarch - Ruler of the Stars for release updates.

    Tuesday, May 3, 2011 9:29 PM
  • Astriarch: Ruler of the Stars version 1.0.1 has just been released.
    Version 1.0.1 includes new features to improve playability.  There are now planet strength indicators shown above each planet as well as a new feature to keep building the last ship built on each planet.  The easy computer AI is now slightly less aggressive and a bug related to the AI build logic has been fixed.

    Astriarch 1.0.1 Screen Shot

    Friday, May 27, 2011 12:35 AM
  • Really a cool game, I found this game interesting. There are lot of aspects of this game I like the color theme of the game I was unable to play I don't know what was the problem.

    But its really a good one. You can also host your game with http://silverlightclub.com

    Sunday, May 29, 2011 2:55 PM
  • ... I was unable to play I don't know what was the problem....

    Thanks for the comments, what do me mean you were unable to play? Did you get an error message? Was the game window blank?  Some people have reported problems with having silverlight 4 installed, they get a message saying a newer version of silverlight is required, however the game is written in silverlight 3 so if you have version 4 installed you shouldn't need to upgrade.

    Thanks for any additional information.

    Tuesday, May 31, 2011 1:38 AM
  • Hey mpalmerlee,

    Sorry for late reply. Can you try now?

    You can also find more interesting games here : silverlightclub.com

    Saturday, June 25, 2011 2:49 PM
  • I've just finished porting and publishing my HTML5/Javascript version of Astriarch that leverages the newer browser's canvas tag.

    You can see the new html5 version in action at Astriarch.com, if you browse to the main site with an older browser that doesn't support the canvas tag you will be redirected to the Silverlight version. If you want to get to the original silverlight version directly you can browse here: http://www.astriarch.com/silverlight.html.

    Wednesday, July 27, 2011 3:59 PM
  • Why did u redevelop the game in JavaScript?

    i am wondering what was easier and faster. Silverlight or JavaScript?

    Saturday, July 30, 2011 2:07 PM
  • The main reason I redeveloped the game in JavaScript was to be able to support tablet devices such as iPad and Android tablets, I tried playing around with silverlight for Windows phone 7 for awhile, but it wasn't very easy to convert my existing silverlight app into an app that works for the windows phone 7 version of silverlight, so I gave up on that and ported the game to JavaScript and HTML5.  It is hard to say which one was easier or faster since JavaScript and C# syntax isn't much different it wasn't too bad to convert an existing application from silverlight to JavaScript.  Developing the initial game using Visual Studio with the auto-complete features and simple debugging and classes made the initial development much smoother I'd say, building it from scratch using JavaScript and HTML5 I think would have been a bit tricker for me just because I'm so much more comfortable in the MS/VS world.

    If you are interested in more of the tools I used/developed to make converting from silverlight to JS easier you can see my blog post here:

    http://computercabal.blogspot.com/2011/02/porting-silverlight-app-to-javascript.html

    Also, if you use the listbox control in silverlight, I created a similar js/html control leveraging jQuery UI here:

    http://computercabal.blogspot.com/2011/03/jquery-ui-listbox-widget-plugin.html

     

    Thanks for asking!

    -Matt

    Tuesday, August 2, 2011 10:37 PM
  • Sounds interesting. I played both JS and Silverlight and did not notice big differences.

    btw, your game. I think u should invest some time and explain the first 2-3 minutes of the game to new players. Like: What are the first 10 actions to do, to get anything useful.

    Thursday, August 4, 2011 8:28 AM
  • ...

    btw, your game. I think u should invest some time and explain the first 2-3 minutes of the game to new players. Like: What are the first 10 actions to do, to get anything useful.

    Thanks for the comments.

    It is a bit hard to get started, and I'd like to eventually add a quick, in-game tutorial for first time players, but you might want to check out the tutorial videos I posted on this page: Help Page, you can also go to the videos directly here:

    http://youtu.be/zrMveBR0qCs

    The tutorial videos are a bit long so it might be nice to have a quicker getting started type of video or in game tutorial like I wanted to do.

    -Matt

    Friday, August 5, 2011 1:56 AM
  • I just realized that there was a bug in some browsers with the popup pages on the site, including the help page, this would explain why you couldn't see the help tips for the game or the videos.  The popups work now so you should be able to see all the information about how things work in the game and you should also be able to scroll down and see the videos now.

    -Matt

    Thursday, August 11, 2011 11:58 AM
  • Astriarch: Ruler of the Stars 1.1.0 has just been released. Version 1.1.0 automatically saves the current game at the end of each turn and allows the saved game to be resumed. There are also a number of minor bug fixes and other enhancements.

    Friday, March 2, 2012 5:35 PM
  • Greetings Earthlings...:)

    Ok, I had trouble discerning build sequence too, but I'm an old Avalon Hill gamer, read your post like I did A.H.'s The General Magazine and smoked the AI at expert level, 8 planets and 3 opponents....

    Any plans on beefing up the AI?  How about live play like Vassal.org?

    Great design, game flow, and general interface.  It's a resource management game that's easy to pick up and highly addicting!

    Best regards,

    TJM1

    Tuesday, June 12, 2012 2:20 PM
  • Thanks for trying out the game and giving feedback.  I would like to make improvements to the Game, though most people have not asked for the A.I. to be more difficult, it seems there are few people that play turn based strategy games, and even fewer who are experts like yourself.  I think there is more room for improvement of the A.I., especially on "expert" level, it could be more agressive towards your home planet and maybe protect it's own better.  I have been very careful to not let the computers "cheat" however and I want to keep it that way.  For example, the computers can't "see" your planets or know what your current strength is without sending out a scout fleet.  I also don't really want to make it so that there is an extra advantage say in combat for the more difficult computers, but I suppose that is one way games go to make the computer opponents more difficult.  I welcome your input on that topic.

    As far as the live play or multiplayer support, it's something I've thought about, multiplayer games can be more more fun than their single player counterparts, it's difficult to create the server side components that would be required for that, but eventually it would be fun to add.  Perhaps a library or service like Vassal.org would make that part easier.

    Other improvements I've thought about: Planet/Ship/Global level events and powerups to make the game have more surprises, and of course it badly needs an in-game tutorial for those people that need a gentle introduction.

    Anyways, thanks again for the comment, I appreciate that there are other people out there playing the game and enjoying it as much as I have.  You might want to also check out this great review by Adam Solo over at SpaceSector.com, his site is also great for space strategy games if you are into the genre.

    Tuesday, June 12, 2012 5:24 PM
  • Hello,

    I appreciate the feedback and links.  I will visit SpaceSector.com.

    Here are some random suggestions to consider and if implimented, these ideas will need serious playtesting for balance:

    Space

    • planets and asteroid belts provide random and limited unknown quanties of resources 
    • random unstable stars and planet destruction
    • unknown blackholes that eliminate a percentage of a fleet that traverses it
    • gamma radiation that destroys or incapciates a fleet that traverses it
    • wormholes that can destroy or disperse a random percentage of units up to 15 parsecs... a fleet scattering anomoly
    • space madness and mutiny resulting in  loss of unit(s) control... could prove interesting in the heat of battle

    Military

    • carriers with fighters and drones 1.75 the cost of battleships and 2xs the power (3 fighter per carrier that can be replaced)
    • dreadnoughts: 1.5 the cost of battleships and 1.5 the strength
    • custom ships for greater offensive, defensive or both capabilities, e.g., cloaked scouts
    • automatic unit surrender of out classed and out numbered units, e.g., a scout automatically surrenders to a fleet of 5 or more ships
    • navigatable starbases that remain hidden until observed and shadowed: NSs provide a refuge for lost home world and a second fighting chance with 2xs the space platform powers, but limited output if no mineable planet exists within x number of parsecs (but the starbase can be loaded with sufficient resources to build 20 units of any type, for example) .... and they move at 1/4 speed unless you risk a wormhole or refit it for hyperspace (qv. "hyperspace fleets")
    • planet annihilation weapon (1 per game or the cost of 15 space platforms, for example)
    • fleet annihilation weapons (random effects 30% to 100% elimination or disruption of target fleet); also, these weapons can be captured during production
    • hyperspace fleets (with random outcomes of loss for naviation errors and space anomilies) that triples movement rates, however, it costs 10 space platforms to refit a fleet of 6 units: any type of unit and combination
    • partial damage and automatic retreat with optional pursuit
    • admirals exert leadership effectiveness that improves or worsens a fleet combat result, e.g., heroic +1, fanatical +2, superior +3 to dubious -1

    Diplomatic

    • assassination of a home world leader that freezes 80% of all units
    • surrender levels based on economic and military conditions
    • treaties or limited surrender for weaker opponent forces and conditions (treaties can be broken)
    • intelligence on a specific location for 3 turns with force levels and movements in and out of location
    • false information about a location strength or weakness or development... could prove interesting
    • subversion of specific planets
    • sabotage of resources on specific planets, e.g., space platform destruction or disruption of resources

    Ok, I hope that helps.  I should have learned to code and build games.  Games have always been a passion for me but I had tendency to be a shithead and spend 20 years in healthcare working like a dog.  Infomatics is hot now, but I'm too old and tired for 6 years of intense computer science.  I'll just dole out good ideas when games like yours come across my path.

    Cheers,

    Troy

    Wednesday, June 13, 2012 5:06 PM
  • Wow...Thanks for the awesome, comprehensive suggestions Troy.  Don't be discouraged by having had little programming experience, if your passion is there for making games you can likely teach yourself, besides, casual/web games are becoming more and more common, it takes less experience to make a simple game.  If you start out small and learn some basics, I think you would be surprised at what you can accomplish (no CS degree required).

      My goal of Astriarch was to make a simple strategy game, influenced by my all time favorite game MOO 2.  Many of your suggestions are great, and would get closer to the full features of MOO 2, but some of them may add more complexity than I had ever envisioned in a simple space strategy game.  I like your suggestions on ship surrendering, I suppose the attacking fleets would capture and own those surrendering ships?

    I also like the idea of hyperspace/warp, when you say 10 space platforms do you mean it costs that much to research warp drive or do you have to sacrafice 10 space platforms to get the ability?  I think warp drive would be a great candidate for a research tree, maybe you could have different levels of warp drive (2/3/5, etc... parsecs per turn), along with many other trees, improved resource mining, better ship weapons/defence, etc...

    Also ship scanners would be something else to build/research, similar to what you said on "intelligence on a sepcific location"

    Thanks again for the great suggestions, glad to have other fellow passionate stratigists out there!

    -Matt

     

    Saturday, June 16, 2012 5:52 PM
  • I played a game against the Expert computer and I noticed there was a problem, as soon as I got to exploring it's planets, there weren't enough people on the planets, which got me thinking that there maybe a bug with the AI and managing it's food and population assignments.  I've been stepping through the code and it looks like my suspicions were correct, for some reason the Expert computer is letting the population starve.  This is something I was careful to test in the Silverlight version but perhaps when I converted it to HTML5 I created some bugs.

    I'm going to look into it some more and see if I can figure out what's going on, I'll let you know when it is fixed.

    Friday, June 22, 2012 6:29 PM
  • I was wrong about the expert computer letting it's population starve, I think that's not the reason I was seeing what I was seeing. Possibly the computer is over-extending themselves as far as scouting for planets in the early game, especially when you use 4 systems and 8 planets per system.  If the computer owns too much early on it seems they'll focus on feeding the planets instead of improving a few closer star systems,.  I'll see if I can tune that.

    Friday, June 22, 2012 9:44 PM
  • Hi Mpalmerlee,

    I am curious to know, if this game is still available to play?

    Thanks!


    Thanks & Regards, Gaurav Kumar Arora http://gaurav-arora.com http://mynangal.com

    Wednesday, February 10, 2016 7:20 PM
  • There's a url in the first post, which still works for me:

    http://www.astriarch.com/

    Or at least into the first bound of the game.


    Hope that helps.

    Technet articles: WPF: Layout Lab; All my Technet Articles

    Wednesday, February 10, 2016 8:09 PM